Classroom Products

Sponsored by NASA, EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) is an educational outreach program allowing middle school students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera on board the International Space Station. Enrollment into an EarthKAM mission is free and allows students to plot where pictures will be taken, then observe and analyze the results, which are posted on the EarthKAM website.

The project, initially called KidSat, was initiated by Dr. Sally Ride in 1995. The KidSat camera flew on three space shuttle flights (STS 76, 81 and 86) to test its feasibility. In 1998, the program was deemed successful and renamed to EarthKAM. The EarthKAM camera flew on two additional space shuttle flights (STS 89 and 99) before finding its permanent home onboard the International Space Station in 2001. The EarthKAM camera conducts approximately four missions each year.

According to the EarthKAM website, "The EarthKAM Mission Operations Center (MOC) is located at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and is modeled after NASA’s Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center (JSC). The mission team targets, requests, and retrieves images from the International Space Station and communicates with JSC in the MOC for all EarthKAM missions. A staff of UCSD undergraduate students and EarthKAM advisors support and maintain the MOC year round."

In the fall of 2011, NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will launch twin spacecraft in side-by-side orbits around the Moon to measure its gravity in unprecedented detail. On top of answering important questions about the Moon's internal structure, the mission will give scientists a better understanding of how our solar system formed.

GRAIL MoonKAM will allow classrooms to request pictures of the Moon's surface from cameras on the satellites and, similar to EarthKAM, students will be able to analyze the images when they are posted to the GRAIL MoonKAM website.

Sally Ride Science Festivals
Multiple Sally Ride Science Festivals are hosted throughout the year on college campuses across the country. These student-centered events are designed for 5th-8th grade girls and feature science games, experiments and workshops as well as guest speakers, food and music. Since, 2001, Sally Ride Science has held approximately 85 festivals. There are expected to be about three to four Sally Ride Festivals held in 2011.