Asto-Venture uses astrobiology content, the scientific inquiry process, and critical thinking skills to increase awareness of NASA careers and to educate students on the requirements of a habitable planet.
Astro-Venture is an educational, interactive, multimedia web environment highlighting NASA careers and astrobiology research in the areas of astronomy, geology, biology, and atmospheric sciences. Students in grades 5-8 role-play NASA occupations and use scientific inquiry as they search for and build a planet with the necessary characteristics for human habitation. Supporting activities include NASA Career Fact Sheets, trading cards, and NASA Quest Challenges (http://quest.nasa.gov) in which students engage in design problems or explorations supported by NASA scientists who provide answers to questions and feedback on solutions via web chats and webcasts.
Astro-Venture is composed of online, interactive, multimedia modules and off-line classroom lessons. The story line and technology components provide the overall purpose and motivation for teaching the standards and concepts in the off-line lessons. The technology components also help to connect students to real science and scientists at NASA.
Astro-Venture is divided into five sections or "Research Areas"
3. Atmospheric Sciences
5. Design a Planet
The first four sections have the following components:
a. Training (students learn what humans need in a planet and star system to survive)
b. Classroom Lessons (students engage in classroom investigations that demonstrate why humans need the requirements identified in the training modules)
c. Missions (students engage in interactive, online multimedia missions to simulate the methods scientists might use to search for a star system and planet that meet the qualifications identified in the training modules)
Once the students have completed the first four sections, they will engage in the online, interactive, multimedia Design a Planet module.
Astro-Venture was developed to meet National Science Education Standards, International Society for Technology in Education Standards, National Council of Teachers on Mathematics standards, and benchmarks founds in the Benchmarks for Science Literacy produced by the AAAS as part of Project 2061.