What Is Remote Sensing?

by | Sep 7, 2015

Remote Sensing Discovery Cart

Interpretive Science Educator Allorra Codega uses the Remote Sensing Discovery Cart to explain remote sensing to a guest inside Building 2.

Look for our newest Discovery Cart on Pacific Science Center’s exhibit floor to find out.

Thanks to our newest five-year NASA grant, Pipeline for Remote Sensing Education and Application (PRSEA), we’re building a bridge to  STEM- and remote sensing careers—starting in third grade and continuing through adulthood.

What is remote sensing? It’s the science of obtaining information about distant objects or areas—typically from aircraft or satellites. Did you see the pictures of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft? That’s an extreme example of remote sensing at work.

We’re introducing remote sensing to 2,000 children in grades 3-5 through a hands-on out-of school program. During summers, 180 youth in grades 6-8 will learn about remote sensing and NASA’s role in this field through an intensive camp program.

And at the high school level, a diverse team of 38 teens, from groups underrepresented in STEM fields, will study remote sensing, intern in local labs and help staff a remote sensing-themed Discovery Cart on Pacific Science Center’s exhibit floor—engaging 10,000 visitors of all ages in activities highlighting remote sensing and global climate change.

“We got the chance to do what NASA engineers do when they control Mars rovers from labs here, ” wrote Neishaun W., a Discovery Corps teen in a paper titled, Prototyping: GPS, Radar, and Rovers Oh My!  The hands-on activity highlighted the engineering challenges involved in completing tasks remotely. People “will love the activities and develop an even stronger passion for science and engineering.”