An electronic field trip via interactive television, computer networks and hands-on science activities.

Made possible in part by NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, The National Science Foundation, PBS K-12 Learning Services and public television.

Dear Educator,

Welcome to Live From the Stratosphere! Whether you're a "graduate" of Live from Antarctica, our "electronic field trip" from December 1994 and January 1995, or a new participant in this 1995-1996 "Year to Explore Space and Cyberspace", we hope you and your students enjoy this novel learning experience. For the first time ever, NASA's Advanced Communications Technologies Satellite will provide a live video, audio and data downlink from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO)--a Lockheed C-141 jet--as it flies its infrared telescope at 41,000 feet to explore planets, stars and galaxies. Students will look over the astronomers' shoulders as they use sophisticated detectors to transform faint images into new understanding of our Universe. Live From the Stratosphere (LFS) is targeted primarily at middle schools, but can easily be adapted up or down in grade level. The project features cutting-edge science, but also provides extensive connections across disciplines, including math, social studies, language arts, technology education and computer skills. It contains information about aeronautics and careers in research as well as astronomy.

There are opportunities for students to participate in live flights during both day- and night-time missions. Students in class or at overnight camp-ins at schools, planetariums or science centers can "fly" at the very edge of space. NASA TV (NASA Select) and some PBS stations and educational networks, will provide live television over the air, ITFS, satellite and/or cable (check local listings, and see the LFS "Broadcast Update" on-line.)

But Live From the Stratosphere is much more than these television events. The hands-on activities and background information in this Guide will help you brief your students before the video programs, follow-up afterwards and integrate this unique experience into your teaching. NASA's K-12 Internet Initiative will provide opportunities to interact on-line with KAO astronomers, aircrew and other students all across America. You can also access our on-line resources through NASA Spacelink, PBS ONLINE or other commercial Internet gateways. Send questions via computer and modem, and receive answers back directly from astronomers via Researcher Q&A. Access images and information about the objects being studied or the careers in aeronautics required to keep the Kuiper flying. For those of you who've have not been on-line, we've provided a primer. But we've designed Live From the Stratosphere to be an exciting and worthwhile experience even if you don' go on-line.

We've tried to learn from participants in our previous electronic field trips. We hope you will fill in and return the Teacher Evaluation form to be found at the end of this Guide and on-line. We're "all ears" and your comments will shape future Passport to Knowledge projects. In coming years we hope to be Live from the Amazon Rainforest... Mars... the Place where the Dinosaurs Died... and the Arctic Circle!

This Guide also introduces Live from the Hubble Space Telescope, designed for Spring 1996, with student activities beginning this Fall. Student research and input will help determine which of four planets the nation's most powerful orbital observatory will study next year!

We hope you'll come along with us, up into space, out into orbit around our planet...through your hard work and inspiration turning a tv and computer into a Passport to Knowledge. Thank you for your dedication to America's future.


Geoffrey Haines-Stiles

Executive Producer and Project Director

Passport to Knowledge and the Live from... specials

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