A one-day Sally Ride EarthKAM event was conducted at Sri Venkateshwar International School, Dwarka Sector – 18 on November 1, 2017 under the Universe in the School (UITS) program of SPACE. It is a unique scientific opportunity for the students to participate in a space mission through the Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) project, a NASA-sponsored education programme. This educational program enables students to take pictures of their own planet from a digital camera on board the International Space Station (ISS) via a web interface and photograph locations of their choice on Earth from the perspective of space! The EarthKAM camera till date is a permanent payload on board the ISS and supports approximately four missions annually, one for each season. The recent mission was opened from October 31, 2017 to November 4, 2017.
The event took place in the Junior Computer Lab of the school from 8:30 am- 10:30 am. 18 students from Classes VI participated in this workshop. The workshop started with a presentation on Sally Ride EarthKAM and how the program works with a brief demonstration showing the students how to request for the photographs keeping various aspects such as orbital path, weather, location, day/night preference in mind. After which the students had two hour of exciting time of locating regions of their interest and requesting for photographs after examining weather, orbits and other aspects.
Participants were given technical information and background regarding the ISS and were guided about selecting locations and submitting them through an interface, for subsequent photographing by a camera placed aboard the ISS. Students studied geographical features, environmental problems, climatic sciences, meteorological changes and results of natural phenomena and disasters like deforestation, glacier recession and coastline changes. During the process, they gained exposure of tools such as Google Earth, and learn about orbital mechanics and mapping.
To inspire and motivate the students, certificates were given by the Principal Ms. Nita Arora, and Headmistress – Middle Wing Ms. Ritu Vashisht.