As part of the inauguration week festivities, yesterday NASA participated in the Jack and Jill of America Inauguration Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, Pentagon City. Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is not only celebrating the Presidential Inauguration and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, but it is also celebrating its 75th Anniversary Commemoration. Jack and Jill is a national organization with chapters throughout the country dedicated to inspire children and empower parents to foster the leaders of tomorrow. Our Mission STEM activity, part of NASA’s Educate to Innovate program, had Leland Melvin, Associate Administrator for Education, kicking off the event, and several NASA volunteers. We had an Xbox 360 Mars Rover Landing simulation for the kids to practice, a complete spacesuit on display and a demonstration and hands-on activity in which students designed and constructed a mock pressure suit for Marshmallow Peep ‘astronauts’ to be tested in a vacuum chamber. You can find this ‘survival in a vacuum’ lesson and related activities at http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/pdf/dressing_for_altitude.pdf
Send me any feedback if you go over the document or use any of the lessons; I’ll be curious to know how you use them and how your students react to the activities. We had over 100 smiling kids during the event; parents and kids alike were delighted with the venue. Even Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator, made an appearance; that was a real treat. NASA Rocks!