STILLWATER — A video series written, created and produced by a team of Oklahoma State University education specialists won an Emmy, university officials announced.
“NASA Now,” a series of short instructional videos, received the award from the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The videos are generally about 5 to 7 minutes in length, and are designed to be used in science classrooms. Each video is available free online, and videos come with classroom activities for students to do before and after they view the video.
Each video in the series showcases a different aspect of life at NASA and how science, technology, engineering and math are put to use in the agency, said Cathy Graves, a NASA projects staffer at OSU.
The program garnered the award for an episode from the series that dealt with exercise programs astronauts undergo to ward off bone density and muscle loss issues that result from time spent in space, Graves said.
The videos are available on the NASA website to U.S. classroom teachers and other educators, including homeschool teachers. At the moment, about 80 videos are available in the website's archive, Graves said.
The videos are meant to be used as a supplement to classroom lessons, Graves said. The videos are relatively short, meaning they don't take up an entire class period and can be used to support concepts teachers are discussing in class, she said.
Steve Marks, the university's NASA education projects coordinator, said the videos are designed to foster an interest in science and math. By featuring researchers at NASA, he said, the videos show students how concepts they learn in the classroom apply to the real world.
OSU began producing the videos in 2010 as a part of a larger initiative called NASA Explorer Schools. The university has been involved with the larger program since 2003.
Promoting an interest in science and technology among middle and high school students is important, Marks said, because students who pursue those interests go on to work in high-demand fields such as engineering.