When Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) announced their nationwide Mission: Microgravity competition for educators, one Arizona teacher dared to go where few have gone before.
With a little ingenuity and assistance from her eighth-grade students, Sossaman Middle School’s Conceptual Physics teacher, Nancy Foote, was awarded the winner’s title and will be testing a variety of experiments on an upcoming weightless flight.
As part of her prize package, the Queen Creek teacher will test the limits of gravity with a ride in the nation’s only weightless laboratory.
As she explores a special flight pattern producing 30-second periods of microgravity, Foote will float like an astronaut while conducting hands-on experimentation and collecting data in-person.
“I wanted my students to see how utterly amazing STEM is – and how amazing they are,” Foote said. “To know the ideas and curiosity in our classroom in Queen Creek has turned into this amazing flight experience makes me really proud to be their teacher.”
For Mission: Microgravity, ZERO-G asked science classes across the country to create a video showcasing a handheld, creative and thought-provoking experiment that can be conducted under microgravity conditions.
Foote and her curious students in the Higley Unified School District wanted to observe the effects of weightlessness on common devices found in nearly every Physics classroom across the country.
Their biggest question: How much does gravity impact a variety of physics tools?
To find the answer, Foote is hoping equipment like Newton’s Yoyo, self-siphoning beads, jitter rings and more will help her and her students better understand the impact of gravity on the physics of everyday objects.
Terese Brewster, CEO of ZERO-G, said “When we saw Nancy’s video submission, we knew we found someone who appreciates the ability to challenge her students on a daily basis, all while keeping class fun.” She continued, “We are excited to help Nancy and her students learn more about Physics with our special weightless lab!”