As NASA prepares to launch a space shuttle on Friday, May 14, the agency is offering the ABCs of 3,2,1 liftoff to students and educators throughout the nation. A new computer simulation program will allow them to take on the roles of NASA engineers and launch the shuttle from their own classrooms.
The program is based on software used for training at the shuttle Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Kennedy Launch Academy Simulation System, or KLASS, gives students the chance to monitor important shuttle systems during a launch countdown and decide whether they are "go" for liftoff. They will work together as a team and learn about the different responsibilities behind-the-scenes of a shuttle launch. KLASS was designed for sixth- through 10th-grade students to develop their science, technology, engineering and math skills. In addition to the launch simulation software, KLASS is offering 40 hours of lesson plans and interactive resources for teachers. These materials can be used for one-day lessons or one-year curriculums. The KLASS materials are available for download at: http://www.nasa.gov/education/klass.