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                     Adventures of the Agronauts
                        Online Tutorial Script


Hello! I’m Dr. Chris Brown, one of the creators of Adventures of the
Agronauts. I have been in Space Research and Education for over 17
years, first at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and now at North
Carolina State University. It is my hope that through this tutorial
you’ll gain all the information you need to get the benefits from the
Adventures of the Agronauts website.

This   tutorial is composed of seven sections. They are:
       What is Adventures of the Agronauts?
       What is Inside Each Mission?
       Why is Agronauts useful?
       Who can use Agronauts?
       How can Adventures of the Agronauts be used in the classroom?
       How can the teacher resources be used? And finally
       Agronauts After School – Informal Education.

If you’d like to jump ahead to another section, you can do so by
clicking one of the section titles on the left. Otherwise, just sit back as
I show you the many different aspects of the Agronauts website.

               What is Adventures of the Agronauts?

First, what is Adventures of the Agronauts?

Adventures of the Agronauts is an online science curriculum with a
space biology theme for elementary school students. The curriculum
was developed by the NASA Specialized Center of Research and
Training in Gravitational Biology at North Carolina State University and
is available free of charge.

Each mission is designed to help students make connections between
the concepts of space science and plant biology, all while addressing
North Carolina’s 3rd grade science learning objectives and national
standards for science.

Furthermore, students can use inquiry and problem solving to enhance
their knowledge of math, science, and research. Students connect
these skills with language arts, social studies, music, and art, all while
using this technology-rich website.

You have many options in the implementation of this curriculum.
Choose any or all of the suggested activities for your class. You may
decide when and how to have students work. This curriculum lends
itself to the needs of your students’ at their academic level. There are
opportunities to involve others in this curriculum and many ways to
help your students find success.

Six missions guide students through inquiry-based activities with the
goal of exploring how could we grow plants on the moon as part of a
future human settlement. These missions include:
    Mission 1 - What’s In Our Sky?
    Mission 2 - The Root of the Matter
    Missions 3 and 4 – Stayin’ Alive parts 1 and 2
    Mission 5 - Living Things in Space
    Mission 6 - Making the Plant Growth Chamber.

                    What is Inside Each Mission?

What is inside each mission?

Each mission begins with a title page where you’ll find a brief
introduction, a listing of the main topics covered, and links to the
teacher resources that correlate with that particular mission.

Students can progress through the curriculum by clicking “Next,”
which is a button located at the bottom right hand corner of every

As you continue through the missions, you’ll find Agronaut Log
activities in green font. These are writing exercises for your students
to complete either individually or in small groups. They are designed
to help students organize and reference the information they have
learned. These activities are most effective if kept together in one
large journal, as shown in this picture. This allows students easy
access to their logs throughout the year.

You will also notice that some of the words throughout the curriculum
are hyperlinks; these words make up our glossary. If you click on one
of these links, a definition will pop-up in a new window. This allows
students to locate and learn the definitions.

As you continue through the mission, you will find green boxes
indicating activities. These activities are hands-on exercises that you
can use to enhance student learning. Activities correspond to a
particular mission, and each activity is adaptable for various skill levels
among students.

Page numbers are located at the bottom of each page. Pick any page
number to conveniently navigate through a mission or just click
“Next.” Lets go to the quiz.

Interactive quizzes are available within each mission. Students can
continue with each question until they choose the correct answer.
These quizzes do not record grades; however, printable versions of all
the quizzes are available for your use.

Near the end of every mission, you will find Rosy’s Mail. These are
postcards that Rosy has received from pen pals around the globe.
Each postcard contains information about the writer’s country and an
easy recipe or interesting story.

Finally, at the end of each mission, students are asked to complete a
report for Commander Spud Goodroot, the Mission Director to whom
the students, or “Agronauts in Training,” report. Students are
prompted to answer a few questions that span the material covered in
the mission.

                      Why Is Agronauts Useful?

Why is Agronauts useful? There are several excellent reasons.

First, it’s free for all users! There are no restricted areas, so anyone
can access all areas of the site.

It’s available online, so it can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.

It meets national standards and North Carolina learning objectives for
third grade science, which means that it can be used as a complete
curriculum without additional materials, if so desired.

The curriculum is based on innovative and current research at North
Carolina State University and the NASA Specialized Center of Research
and Training in Gravitational Biology.

It’s interactive so it will keep the students’ attention.

Finally, it’s fun!

                      Who Can Use Agronauts?

Who can use Agronauts? Clearly, teachers can. The curriculum can be
used in full or it can be broken into parts and used as a classroom

Home-schoolers will also find the website useful. It provides a self-
paced, interactive curriculum and activities that parents and children
can complete together. It also provides the structure of a traditional
style curriculum so that parents can assign reading and Agronaut log

Also, informal educators and parents can use the website. They can
select activities that will interest their children. Agronauts is an
excellent way to spark children’s curiosity in science.

Finally, children can. Agronauts is a kid-friendly, ad-free site where
students can surf to find more information about living in space.

 How can the Agronauts curriculum be used in the Classroom?

How can the Agronauts curriculum be used in the classroom?

One of the greatest features of the Agronauts curriculum is its

Students can access the curriculum in a computer lab, where they can
read the material themselves or put on headphones and listen to the
narrator. Computer labs also allow students to take interactive

If your students will be using computers with a slow Internet
connection or no Internet connection at all, you can download the
student curriculum and store it on a disk. You can then load it onto
various computers around your classroom or in the computer lab, and
it will appear just as it would online.

The curriculum can be projected on a screen inside the classroom.
Teachers can read the material aloud or just show some of the
graphics and quizzes for group discussion.

Another option is to print the material, which can be used in a group
setting or on an individual basis. All of the curriculum, the glossary,
Agronaut logs, and activities can be found in the printable section of
Teacher Resources.

            How can the Teacher Resources be used?

In this segment, I’ll show you how to access and use the Teacher

The Teacher Resources can be accessed a few different ways. You can
enter the Teacher Resources section of the website by clicking the
button on the intro page. You can also enter the Teacher Resources
section through every page of the student curriculum. Simply scroll
down to the bottom of the page and click the Teacher Resources icon.

Once you’re inside the Teacher Resources section, you’ll see a green
navigation bar towards the top of the page.

The About Agronauts section contains a welcome letter and a brief
history of the Agronauts program.

The Interactive Section contains forums where educators and parents
can discuss the curriculum and share ideas. You’ll also find a survey
here where you can give us feedback. We are continuously looking for
ways to improve our website and greatly appreciate your comments.

The Resources section is where you will find all of the information and
online supplies you will need for your classroom. Each subheading
under the Resources section contains complete listings of resources for
all six missions.

The Activities page contains links to experiments and other hands-on
activities that directly apply to the curriculum within each mission.

The Materials List contains a complete listing of materials necessary
for each mission.

The Printables page contains PDF and Microsoft Word documents that
you can print and give to your students. Printable items include an
official Agronaut certificate, quizzes, curriculum workbooks, Agronaut
logs, and glossaries for each mission.

Preparing the Classroom offers ideas about how to decorate your
classroom for each mission and questions you can ask students before
beginning each of the missions.

The Extra Ideas section contains various inquiry-guided lessons that
can be used to enhance the curriculum.

The Involve Others section involves ideas to include your colleagues
and community members.

Rosy’s Mail is a multicultural component of the curriculum where
students can read postcards that Rosy has received from friends
around the globe. This page contains links to all the postcards.

The Curriculum Integration page provides a detailed listing of the
various other curricula integrated into each mission.

The State and National Standards page includes a detailed listing of
education goals met by each mission.

The Web Resources are up-to-date, relevant websites that we enjoy.

The final link under the Resources subheading provides you with a way
to download the student curriculum. This file allows you to download
the curriculum so that it can be loaded onto a computer without an
Internet connection.

The Agronauts After School section was designed specifically with
informal educators in mind. Here you will find activities that were
hand-selected from the curriculum to be used outside of the traditional
classroom. I’ll discuss Agronauts After School in more detail in the
following section.

Finally, you’ll find the Contact Us section. We’d love your feedback,
either by e-mail or via our survey.

Additionally, a Teacher Resources section can be found at the
beginning of each mission. To return to the Student Curriculum, click
the icon at the top right hand corner. Let’s visit Mission 2.

In the Teacher Resources box, you’ll find the resources that apply
specifically to each mission. Inside these boxes, you’ll find Activities,
Extra Ideas, a Materials List, Curriculum Integration, State and
National Standards, Printables, and Web Resources.

          Agronauts After School – Informal Education

Agronauts After School increases awareness and understanding of
gravitational and space biology through informal science education. It
engages youth, educators, and researchers in informal science
experiences such as 4-H camps, science centers, or community
settings. These activities spark interest in science, technology,
engineering, and math. If used in conjunction with the rest of the
Agronauts curriculum, the After School exercises help in retention of
key concepts. Finally, Agronauts After School is an excellent way to
engage other members of the general public.

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