NASA Career Connection Explorations

Career Connection Explorations (CCE) enhance student understanding of NGSS’s disciplinary core content related to Earth System Science and Space Science through the lens of NASA resources and professionals. CCEs will improve student understanding of the earth and demonstrate real-life examples of how advancing knowledge helps meet the challenges related to changing environments. The CCEs are theme-based and expand beyond a simple introduction to a scientist or engineer -- the goal of the CCEs are to help students discover that NASA products are used in a wide range of applications.

CCEs are stand-alone investigations, useful to any teacher regardless of the curriculum they use, however they were designed to complement existing Mi-STAR units.

Each CCE is composed of four phases:
Phase 1: Introduction - An introduction to the CCE career and a chance for students to think about their prior interests in the career.
Phase 2: Day in the Life - A reading activity that introduces students to an actual person with the CCE career.
Phase 3: Try It Out! - Students engage with one or more activities that lets them try out some of the NASA tools and/or data used in the CCE career.
Phase 4: Mind Mapping - A mind mapping exercise, where students work in small groups and then as a class to brainstorm as many other careers that benefit directly and indirectly from the CCE career.
 
Career Connection ExplorationWhat Students DoMi-STAR Unit Tie-in

CCE#1 - Meteorologist
Students explore what a typical workday is like for a meteorologist and try out some of the tools used to monitor, forecast, and study the weather.6.1 - The Water Cycle
8.5A - Regional Climate
8.5B - Weather
8.7 - Global Climate Change
Students explore what it is like to be a volcanologist and engage with NASA related tools and data that are used to monitor volcanos and predict eruptions.7.2A - Volcanoes
8.2 - Fossils, Rocks, and Diversity
8.6 - Reducing the Impacts of Natural Hazards

CCE#3 - Geospatial Analyst
Students explore what it is like to be a geospatial analyst and try their hand at applying some of the tools and data that geospatial analysts use to solve problems.6.1 - The Water Cycle
7.2B - Earth's Dynamic Surface

CCE#4 - Science Communicator
Students explore what it is like to be a science communicator and get a chance to translate scientific information so that it can be comprehended and interesting to non-scientists.7.2B - Earth's Dynamic Surface
7.5 - Our Drinking Water Resources
8.4 - Force and Gravity in Solar System Motion
8.5A - Regional Climate
8.6 - Reducing the Impacts of Natural Hazards
8.7 - Global Climate Change

These resources were supported in part by funding provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), under award number 80NSSC20M0124, Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC).
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Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through generous support provided by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mi-STAR has also received substantial support from the National Science Foundation, the MiSTEM Advisory Council through the Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Technological University.
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