Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with NASA: Earth, Aerodynamics and Mars!

It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, a great time to celebrate culture and emphasize to students that NASA is for them! NASA has some amazing astronauts, engineers, scientists and technicians that serve as inspiration to all. Just a few examples include NASA’s first Hispanic Astronaut, Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz, former NASA astronaut José Hernández, son of a migrant farm worker who knew he could fly in space, and Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first and only Hispanic woman to travel to space, who is now director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Former NASA astronaut José Hernández met with children of migrant workers in North Carolina. Credit: NASA

The best way to inspire students is to see these amazing people in action. Here are some resources for the classroom to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month:

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director, Johnson Space Center. Credit: NASA

NASA also has some exciting hands-on activities and resources for the STEM and language arts classroom. Here are some recommendations about Earth, Aerodynamics and Mars:

Earth Right Now:

  • Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL citizen science program) – The S’COOL citizen science program is great for K-5 students to make observations of clouds while NASA’s satellite studies the Earth’s Energy Budget at the same time. The most exciting part of this program is that teachers who enter student observations will receive the satellite observations at that very instant. The project also contains lesson plans in English and in Spanish.
  • The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program – The GLOBE Program is an international science and education program that allows students and the public to collect data and be part of the scientific process.
    • Elementary GLOBE books – The Elementary GLOBE books are design to introduce K-4 students to the study of Earth System Science. They are available in 6 different languages.
    • GLOBE Teacher Guides – The GLOBE Teacher Guides are a collection of procedures to collect data. They also have background information and hands-on activities available in 6 languages. Activities are organized by Earth’s Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere and Soil.
  • NASA Earth Science Week 2013 en español – A special website in Spanish designed to celebrate NASA’s 2013 Earth Science Week with blog posts, resources and stories about Earth sciences.

NASA is With You When You Fly (Aerodynamics):

  • Robin Whirlybird book – This is a story about a 6-year old whose mother is a rotorcraft test pilot for NASA. The interactive multimedia storybook teaches students about the structure, function, and history of different types of rotorcraft. Text is provided in English, Mandarin and Spanish.
  • NASA Aeronautics Research Onboard Lithographs – This series of informative PDFs brings you into different types of aircrafts and identifies technology and discoveries made possible by NASA research. These PDFs are available in Spanish and other languages.

Journey to Mars:

  • NASA y Tú (NASA and You) Mars Curiosity Rover – has three programs focused on challenges, science and engineering of sending rover to Mars.
    • Science and the Mars Science Laboratory (English / Spanish)
    • Engineering of the Mars Science Laboratory (English / Spanish)
    • Challenges of Dealing with Atmospheres: Entry, Descent and Landing (English / Spanish)

Keep up-to-date on all NASA news in Spanish with Ciencia@NASA.


NASA y Tú (NASA and You) website – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/

NASA Hispanic Heritage Month Video Series – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2aBZuCeDwlSaZvSZmxeWwn2ANlEPj7Ju

S’COOL website – http://scool.larc.nasa.gov/

GLOBE – http://www.globe.gov/home

GLOBE Elementary Books – http://www.globe.gov/web/elementary-globe

GLOBE Teacher Guides – http://www.globe.gov/do-globe/globe-teachers-guide

NASA Earth Science Week – http://nasaeswespanol.strategies.org/

Robin Whirlybird – http://rotored.arc.nasa.gov/

NASA aeronautics lithographs – http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/onboard_lithos.htm

Science and the Mars Science Lab English – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/science-msl_en-index.html

Spanish – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/science-msl_sp-index.html

Engineering of the Mars Science Lab English – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/eng-msl_en-index.html

Spanish – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/eng-msl_sp-index.html

Challenges of dealing with atmospheres English – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/edl_en-index.html

Spanish – http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/nasaandyou/home/edl_sp-index.html

Ciencia@NASA – http://ciencia.nasa.gov/

By Colón Robles, Marilé
NASA Educator Professional Development Specialist
NASA Langley Research Center