Students and educators nationwide will have the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and scientists through two newly developed NASA programs. The programs, developed at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, are designed to give both students and educators hands-on flight experiences through the use of NASA sounding rockets and scientific balloons.
Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers and Students (WRATS)
Provides high schools with a technical flight experience that will reinforce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts.
Teachers and students participate in person or virtually in authentic, hands-on experiences that are based on NASA’s sounding rocket engineering and science data collection.
In 2011 there were 21 teachers from 12 states that participated WRATS, and in 2012 there were 21 teachers from 11 states in the workshop at Wallops in connection with the RockOn experience for university students and faculty.
Wallops Balloon Experience for Education (WBEE)
Provides an opportunity for high school teachers and students to be involved in balloon flights.
Balloons can help NASA inspire and train the next generation of engineers and scientists.
In the summer of 2011 there were 31 teachers from 15 states that participated in WBEE, and in 2012 there were 24 teachers from 13 states that participated in the scientific balloon workshop in Palestine, Texas.
The Wallops Balloon Experience for Education (WBEE) will provide an opportunity for high school educators and students to be involved in piggy-back balloon flights. WBEE will build upon an existing NASA program, High Altitude Student Project (HASP). Since 2004, the HASP program has flown 44 payloads involving more than 200 undergraduate students from across the United States. WBEE will involve teams of students and educators in classroom and hands-on balloon science activities. The teams will be given the opportunity to build their own science payload.
The WBEE experience culminates with the launch of their payload onboard a NASA scientific balloon from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas.