Students sharpen technology skills for college and careers

Lynn Camp Middle School students recently demonstrated how they have sharpened technology and communications skills that they will need in college and the workplace as part of the Kentucky Space Movie Project.

In March, the students moved outside of their classrooms to study with Kentucky’s leading space scientists at Morehead State University’s Space Science Center and at the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky at Hazard. They also were coached on how to use digital tools to communicate about what they learned.

Students recently gathered again at the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky at Hazard to premier their movies, share their work, and discussed what they learned.

“We did not place in the top three, but the team members had a wonderful experience and are excited to be involved with this project next year”, said teacher Chasity Jeffrey who worked with students on this project.

“They learned a great deal from viewing other teams videos and can’t wait to put what they’ve learned to work,” said Jeffrey.

In addition to experiencing learning on a college campus, the students interacted with scientists, aerospace engineers, and astrophysicists. They also tapped into their innovative, creative thinking skills as they worked collaboratively on their projects. All of these capabilities will be critical to them in the 21st Century workplace.

“Students prepared to adapt to the rapidly changing technological world have much greater odds for success,” said Dataseam COO Henry Hunt. “Students walk away from their experience in the Kentucky Space Movie Project with greater capacity to use technology to investigate concepts, solve problems, and communicate about them. It pushes them to dig deeper into what they are studying and succeed in project-based learning.”

Dataseam is one of the sponsors of the Kentucky Space Movie Project along with Morehead State University’s 21ST Century Education Enterprise, and the Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky on the campus of Hazard Community and Technical College.

Students get a sense of what it will be like to learn in a college setting. One of the scientists they work with is Dr. Ben Malphrus who is the director of the Morehead State University Space Science Center and developer of two nanosatellites launched in partnership with NASA. Malphrus credits the Kentucky Space Movie Project for helping him attract Eastern Kentucky students to study stars, advanced electronic, and building satellites at MSU.

“Two former participants are studying at MSU now with four more on the way in the fall of 2013,” Malphrus said. “We are opening up a whole new world for students. Armed with a bachelor degree in Space Science, students can go directly to work in space-related industries.”

Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky at Hazard Director Tom Cravens enjoys seeing sparks of interest ignite as students work with hands-on simulations and projects at his Center. “We don’t use textbooks or lectures. We engage students in our work through simulations with NASA and help them perfect critical thinking and communications skills. It motivates and excites them.”