Include science activities
and experiments in
If you have ever had the opportunity to watch a meteor shower, you may have found yourself wondering just how many meteors are entering Earth's atmosphere. This app from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can help answer that question by providing you with a simple tool to use to count the meteors you see during a meteor shower.
When you head outside to do some stargazing, you can take your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with you. The app has an intuitive "piano key" interface that allows you to simply simply tap the key corresponding to the meteor's brightness. Keys on the left correspond to dim meteors—barely visible to the naked eye; keys on the right denote bright fireballs.
Once you are done with your stargazing, your data will be uploaded to a server for processing by NASA researchers. So, your observations will become part of a global database of meteor counts and contribute to real NASA research.
This app can be used to help foster students' interest in science and astronomy by getting them actively involved in citizen science because the data collected by this app is used by NASA scientists as part of their research. The data helps NASA scientists discover new meteor showers, pinpoint comet debris streams, and map the distribution of meteoroids around Earth's orbit.
You can use this app in conjunction with your lessons/or units on astronomy and the solar system. The app would help connect the world around your students with what they are learning in the classroom. As you have your students use this app to participate in citizen science, your students are bound to ask questions. Encourage students to use these questions to design and carry out scientific investigations of their own.