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Video: NASA and TI Launch Virtual Scavenger Hunt for STEM Learning

19 April 2017

As part of the prizes in the “Search for STEMnauts” competition, students can talk to an astronaut on the ISS. Source: NASA As part of the prizes in the “Search for STEMnauts” competition, students can talk to an astronaut on the ISS. Source: NASA In an effort to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Texas Instruments and NASA are teaming together for a virtual scavenger hunt.

“The Search for STEMnauts” will allow students in the sixth through 12th grade to solve space-related puzzles each week to earn virtual reward points. Those with the most points by the end of the challenge win prizes such as TI’s Galaxy Gray graphing calculator, a $500 Amazon gift card, NASA swag bag and a live video chat with an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).

The weekly challenges will range from beginner to advanced difficulty with the goal to introduce students to coding and problem-solving skills NASA employees use in their jobs every day. Students will use TI’s basic programming language to calculate the travel time between Earth and Mars, for example.

Virtual field trips are also part of the contest where students will take a journey behind-the-scenes to NASA’s headquarters. A leaderboard on the contest website will allow students to see where they rank in the competition along with their classmates and other competing teams.

“The future of space exploration lies in the hands of students in today's classrooms,” says Peggy Whitson, a NASA astronaut who has been to outer space three times and is currently living and working on the International Space Station. “By creating opportunities to encourage teamwork, creativity and problem-solving, we can make learning fun and set students on a course to become the next generation of explorers.”

Learn more about the contest by visiting: www.STEMnauts.com

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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