Solar Dynamics Observatory - Day at Goddard

Program Element / Activity Title:
Solar Dynamics Observatory - Day at Goddard
E/PO Project Name:
Contact Information:
Please see contact information on the SDO website.
Program Element / Activity Website:
Short Description:

You are invited to bring your classes to spend the day at Goddard Space Flight Center! Activities include a facilities tour, a career-oriented meet and greet with scientists and engineers, and a hands-on lab activity. The purpose of this trip is to increase your students' interest in STEM subjects, expose them to STEM-related careers, and increase their awareness of the research that NASA conducts.

This trip is free; lunch and transportation are not provided.

This program currently runs on MONDAYS only. Register now! Spots fill up fast!

Classes can participate in one of two hands-on labs:

Rocketry 101: Students build an Estes model rocket with a team of their peers, altering one variable in the design of the rocket. In the afternoon, students launch their rocket and record the results.

Solar Cars: Students will develop a design for and build a solar car.

Currently this program is only available for Classroom Teachers.

Program Element / Activity Status
Audience Metrics
Who is the primary audience of your program element / activity?:
Who is the secondary audience of your program element / activity?:
National Priorities and Coordination Approaches as Articulated in CoSTEM:
  • Increase and Sustain Youth and Public Engagement in STEM
What are the goals and objectives of your program element / activity?:
1) Communicate to the public the excitement and relevance of solar science, its influence on the solar system, and the discoveries of the mission. 2) Increase awareness of the broad spectrum of careers in science, technology, engineering, math, adn especially in solar science.
What are the main impacts of your effort to date and how do they correlate to the project's goals and objectives:
Students responded to two questions on the feedback survey about the impact of the event on their interest in space science and science careers. Of the 47 students who responded to the question, 28 (59.6%) indicated that they were more interested in science careers as a result of participating in Day At Goddard. 23 (48.9%) indicated that they were more interested in space science as a result of the Day At Goddard. Students rated all aspects of the trip highly with the highest rating for the hands-on laboratory activities followed by viewing Science on a Sphere. Students rated meeting and talking with scientists/engineers and tour of the I & T facilities lower but still rated them positively as indicated by mean ratings above 5.0. These findings indicate that students are engaged and interested in the activities and that interactions with scientists and engineers were motivating to them. Students indicated their level of agreement with three questions about their interactions with scientists, and their perceptions of their learning on a five-point scale. The results presented in indicate that the majority of students (89.4%) agreed or strongly agreed that they felt comfortable talking with NASA scientists, corroborating findings from the question rating their experiences with interacting with NASA personnel. The majority of students (89.3%) also indicated that they learned a lot about NASA from attending the day’s events. Of the respondents, 44.7% agreed or strongly agreed that a career at NASA is possible for them. Results from the Day At Goddard surveys indicate that the events are effective at engaging student interest in space science and provided good exposure to the work of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Hands-on activities, Science on a Sphere and interactions with scientists and engineers are particularly engaging for students. Teachers particularly value the active learning experiences and the career opportunities presented in the field trip.Teachers rated all aspects of the Day At Goddard trip very highly. Teachers responded to a question about what they found most valuable about the Day At Goddard visit. They rated the interactions with scientists and engineers highest followed by lab investigations and Science on a Sphere.
Teachers indicated their agreement with three statements regarding their perceptions of the impacts of the Day At Goddard event on their students. All teachers felt that the event increased their students’ understanding of the work of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientists and engineers. All teachers agreed that the event was effective in increasing students’ awareness of STEM careers and most (80.0%) agreed it was effective in generating student interest in space science. Findings from the teacher survey indicate a highly positive response to the Day At Goddard events. All teachers agreed or strongly agreed with the statement on the survey, “I learned new things as a result of today’s visit,” indicating that they also benefitted from participating in the event with their students.