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Nebula students conclude NASA Mars mission with out-of-this-world hands-on experiences at STEP

Hands on computer simulation(05/17/2024) Fifth-grade students enrolled in the Nebula program at Eisenhower Elementary School visited the district’s Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP) Thursday, May 16. The visit is aligned with their experience in a NASA Mars 2020 mission to engage in enriched learning experiences that provide real-world context to various coding and research skills. View photos from the trip.

Nebula is a talent development program that provides a core curriculum specialized in supporting acceleration by compacting and extending Minnesota academic standards while still providing differentiated learning experiences that foster curiosity, exploration, and academic growth.

During their time in Nebula, students have built several prototypes of rovers using LEGO blueprints, utilizing the LEGO Education coding program which will support the coding of their rover. The recent experience at STEP gave students hands-on learning opportunities to conclude the project, including space flight simulation, face/hand scanners, 3-D printing, a Z-space station and go-cart driving. The NASA Mars 2020 mission is thanks in part to a grant from Anoka-Hennepin Educational Foundation (AHEF).

The project provides an enriched experience that provides context to various coding and research skills in addition to exposing students to introductory career skills in engineering, astrophysics, geology, biology, and chemistry.