Science

Take Note

July 14, 1999 1 min read

In the ozone

NASA researchers are studying data collected by young scientists at a Virginia high school.

The 50 chemistry and physics students from Menchville High School in Newport News this year built seven photometers that measure the intensity of the sun. They then hooked up the photometers to voltmeters to measure the thickness of haze and other substances in the atmosphere. The information they gleaned will be used to construct the first data-set the National Aeronautics and Space Administration creates on ground-level aerosol trends.

The students were the first group to pilot the SAGE III SOLAR project, which NASA developed, that will enlist classrooms worldwide to measure ground-level atmospheric substances.

“We wanted to test the instruments and test the materials in use before we released them on the national and international level next fall,” said Susan Walters, NASA’s Sage III educational outreach manager.

During the yearlong undertaking, the Virginia students built and calibrated their own instruments, collected data daily, and used the data to determine the amounts of atmospheric substances such as ozone and aerosol, said Susan Moore, the Menchville High teacher who learned about the project after working for NASA’s atmospheric-science division.

“It was a real privilege to come in and fix the photometers,” said Eric McGlone, a 17-year-old chemistry student at the school. “It was a real privilege to be dealing with NASA.”

The students’ reward was to see what they were doing on a larger scale at the Langley Research Center in Newport News. There, they glimpsed the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III instrument, or SAGE, that will measure aerosols, ozone, water vapor, and other atmospheric gases from a satellite.

“Basically, they’re the same instrument,” Ms. Walters said of the SAGE III and the students’ photometers. “They both measure aerosol, haze, and other things in the atmosphere, just from two different locations.”

When the SAGE III is launched on a Russian satellite later this year, Ms. Walters said, students will be able to tap into the Internet to view the data the instrument is picking up and compare the findings with their own when the satellite flies by their location.

Ms. Moore plans to continue the project next school year using her students’ machines and a NASA teachers’ manual they helped revise.

--Candice Furlan

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 1999 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Whitepaper
Improve language arts skills through science
In this white paper, learn how science can be an important part of the day by using a curriculum that includes communication, collaborati...
Content provided by Carolina Biological
Science Leader To Learn From A Place Where Teachers Take the Lead on Science Curriculum
Anna Heyer has empowered teachers to shape the science curriculum in an Arizona district, and has expanded time spent on science.
7 min read
Anna Heyer, District Science Specialist for the Flowing Wells Unified School District in Tucson, Ariz.
Anna Heyer, science specialist for the Flowing Wells Unified School District in Tucson, Ariz.
Caitlin O'Hara for Education Week
Science Opinion Ten Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies for the Science Classroom
Four teachers share how they implement culturally responsive instruction in their science classrooms.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Science Remembering Challenger, 35 Years After Space Shuttle Tragedy
The launch had a lasting impact on a generation of teachers and children who watched.
3 min read
In this Sept. 13, 1985 file photo, Christa McAuliffe tries out the commander's seat on the flight deck of a shuttle simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
In this Sept. 13, 1985 file photo, Christa McAuliffe tries out the commander's seat on the flight deck of a shuttle simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
AP