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Alexis Tharpe featured in NASA eClips® at Home video

Alexis Tharpe, a sixth grade science teacher at Phenix PreK-8 School, was recently featured in a NASA eClips at Home Solar System video. This video is one of three developed by the National Institute of Aerospace in conjunction with Virginia Public Media to be broadcast throughout the Commonwealth. The videos were envisioned as a way to provide quality educational resources to students and families with limited Internet access during the time of virtual and hybrid learning. In the video, Tharpe demonstrates an activity she uses with her students at Phenix -- how to create a pocket solar system using everyday materials found at home.

Tharpe said, “This is an easy activity for teachers and parents to do at home with students. The most important concept that I need my students to understand when we are discussing the scale of the solar system is that size is relative. Studying planets can be difficult because it is not a tangible thing. The foldable scale model of the distance of the planets always amazes them. While the Earth seems huge to us, it is minuscule when compared to the rest of the solar system. Creating models allows them to investigate concepts that would otherwise be out of their reach.”

VPM NASA eClips at Home: Solar System
NASA eClips at Home: Solar System explores the sun and the solar system. Learn more about some of the objects within the solar system, ways to scale distances between these objects, and the power of the sun. Create a solar oven, your own pocket solar system model, and a working paper plate sundial. View the NASA eClips at Home: Solar System here. Tharpe’s activity begins at time code 6:45. Directions for the NASA pocket solar system activity can be found here.

Hampton City Schools Educator in Residence at the National Institute of Aerospace, Betsy McAllister, helped produce the NASA eClips at Home videos that are targeted for students in grades four through seven. Two additional videos created cover the topics of simple machines and the water cycle.

VPM NASA eClips at Home: Simple Machines
NASA eClips at Home: Simple Machines explores force, motion, energy, and simple and compound machines. Viewers will learn how NASA uses simple and compound machines and how to find (or create) examples within their own homes. View the NASA eClips at Home: Simple Machines video here.

VPM NASA eClips at Home: Water Cycle
NASA eClips at Home: Water Cycle explores water as it moves through Earth’s spheres in the water cycle. Viewers will learn about the processes involved in the water cycle, types of clouds, as well as special properties of water. Viewers will be introduced to a cloud cover estimator engineering design challenge and other investigations for additional exploration at home. You can view the NASA eClips at Home: Water Cycle video here.

Additional NASA eClips resources can be found at:  https://nasaeclips.arc.nasa.gov/.