Mars and bowling- what’s the connection?

Mars and bowling- what’s the connection?


This is what hands-on learning is all about. A group of fourth and fifth graders from Hampton, Virginia, came to a movie entertainment complex for a class in geometry and Newton’s laws of motion. It all started with a bowling demonstration. An iPad beamed the action from the lanes into a nearby theater, where education specialists from NASA’s Langley Research Center presented lessons to the students and an audience on the Web. Now there was a scientist years ago that came up with some really interesting information about force and motion. Isaac Newtown? Oh, Isaac Newton. The youngsters already have a passing familiarity with Newton’s laws. They learned about them in class. But never before had they heard an engineer at Langley explain how NASA uses them to land rovers on Mars. So we model all of the forces that are acting on the vehicle in a computer, and then we fly it in the computer and we see if we can land safely or not. And we do that literally millions of times. These are the kinds of lessons that stick in a kid’s head, including one rocking a haircut made famous by a NASA Mars engineer. Before I bowl I’ve got to, like, think of all the, like, equations in my head and see what would be the best places. Bowling and Mars: a unique way to capture students’ attention.