NASA eClips™ Provides Engaging and Flexible Resources for Camps

July 5, 2021
Dr. Sharon Bowers, Joan Harper-Neely, and Betsy McAllister
Camper in goggles performing expirement

Captivating and interactive NASA eClipsTM resources use best practices to inspire youth through STEM experiences in nonformal and formal settings.  Because of their on demand availability, the short, content-rich activities and video segments are ideal for connecting campers to NASA content.  NASA eClips resources engage campers ages 8 and up with activities about Earth and its environment, the solar system, the Sun, and the universe  -- through the lens of NASA.

Check out NASA eClips Guide Lites.  These short hands-on activities are well-suited to engage campers. For example, in the interactive activity Solar Images campers create a picture of the Sun by blowing and carefully popping bubbles in a solution of dishwashing detergent and tempera paint. Different features of the Sun are examined using the solar image and colored filters, which simulate how specialized instruments enable scientists to capture images.

Gather your campers, your creativity, and your cameras to participate in the Spotlite Video Design Challenge!  Everything you’ll need to guide campers through planning, filming, and editing their own demonstration videos is packaged on the NASA eClips website. Videos help campers confront science misconceptions. Select one of the NASA eClips-identified misconceptions or choose your own as you guide participants in becoming content creators.

And don’t forget NASA eClips award winning video segments! These short (2-5 min) videos help campers explore topics in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), through NASA-inspired, real-world connections.

NASA Our World videos (grades 3-5) help campers understand the differences between science (the natural world) and engineering (the designed world). For exampleOur World:  Fire Safety describes the ingredients fire needs (fuel, oxygen, and heat) no matter where it may be housed.  The video reviews safety rules while also detailing research NASA is conducting to keep astronauts safe during space exploration.

NASA Real World segments (grades 6-8) connect 21st Century careers/innovations and math.  These video segments are designed to help campers develop an appreciation for math through real-world problem solving.  Emmy Award winning Real World:  The Carbon Cycle – Essential for Life on Earth helps us understand how life-sustaining carbon, converted through slow- and fast-moving cycles, moves through the environment. It illustrates how NASA measures carbon through both field work and satellite imagery, keeping watch through its eyes on the sky, on Earth, and in space. 

NASA Launchpad videos focus on NASA innovations and the technology that take us into the future.  These segments support project-based and problem-based learning experiences in nonformal and formal settings.

NASA Ask SME:  Close- up with a NASA Subject Matter Expert are career-oriented videos that capture a glimpse of NASA subject matter experts’ personal interests and career journeys.  They can be used to spark camper interest and broaden ideas about the STEM workforce.  Ask SME: Dr. Lola Fatoyinbo Agueh - Research Physical Scientist shares Dr. Agueh’s love for exploring new places and her passion for studying Earth, from the ground to satellite imagery.


Dr. Sharon Bowers is the Senior STEM Specialist at the Center for Integrative STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace (CISE-NIA).  Sharon developed and teaches graduate courses for McDaniel College that lead to a certificate in elementary STEM education.

Joan Harper-Neely is the STEM Education Specialist for CISE-NIA.  One of Joan’s passions is children’s engineering.  She has served in a leadership role for over 15 years on the Virginia Children’ Engineering Council.

Betsy McAllister is the STEM teacher specialist for Hampton City Schools in Hampton, VA and the Educator in Residence at CISE-NIA.  Betsy is passionate about environmental education and volunteers her time as a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist.

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