NASA's Sally Ride EarthKAM Activity
To gain first-hand knowledge of and practice using tools of science and measurement, including:
- ISS Orbital Mechanics
- Latitude and Longitude
- Time Zones and Universal Time
- Meteorology and cloud patterns
- Remote Sensing
To document visible change of biomes and environments over time as viewed from space, enhancing spatial and temporal skill development
National Science, Geography, and Math Standards:
Computer access for students (one to one or groups of two students per computer). iPads and chromebooks work with the EarthKAM website and MOC.
Preparation Time Needed
Thirty minutes, including time to register for the mission (register at: https://www.earthkam.org/register (link is external))
Class Time Required
At least 15 minutes to explain or demonstrate image selection, then approximately 30-60 minutes for students to select photo locations and request images. The images then take anywhere from 1-5 days to be downloaded from the ISS.
For the picture annotation assignment, I have students work outside of class, and it takes my middle school students 2-4 weeks to complete it, spending anywhere from 1-4 hours in total.
Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is a NASA educational outreach program that enables students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space.
During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions (periods when the Sally Ride EarthKAM camera is operational), middle school students around the world request images of specific locations on Earth.
EarthKAM is a NASA educational outreach program that enables students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space. During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions (periods when the Sally Ride EarthKAM camera is operational), middle school students around the world request images of specific locations on Earth. The entire collection of Sally Ride EarthKAM images is available in a searchable Sally Ride EarthKAM image archive. This image collection and accompanying activities are extraordinary resources to engage students in Earth and space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and art.
The project was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, in 1995 and called KidSat. The KidSat camera flew on three space shuttle flights (STS 76, 81, and 86) to test its feasibility. In 1998, the program was renamed EarthKAM. The EarthKAM camera flew on two more shuttle flights (STS 89 and 99) before moving to the International Space Station (ISS) on Expedition 1 in 2001. Sally Ride died in 2012, and in 2013, NASA renamed the program Sally Ride EarthKAM. The Sally Ride EarthKAM camera remains a permanent payload on the ISS, supporting about four missions annually.
See the attached handouts below for how you can utilize EarthKAM with students and assess their work.