Astronaut vs. Robonaut Foosball
A very popular Earth-based game is foosball. The two player competition is sometimes called desktop hockey. Skilled foosball players must react quickly and deftly to their opponent’s swinging-paddle-shot attacks. The picture below was created with computer graphic software of the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Integration Graphic Operations and Analysis Laboratory (IGOAL). The IGOAL team models all manner of space missions, from space shuttle to advanced missions back to the Moon and on to Mars. Using their expertise, models and animation tools, the programmers composed a “make-believe” game of foosball between a shuttle astronaut and their Division’s premier project Robonaut. The lesson which follows deals with questions about the concept of space foosball, a fiction or non-fiction game? Using the answers to the posed questions, the student is asked to compose a paragraph answering the question, “Is foosball between an astronaut and robot feasible in the cargo bay of the space shuttle?” The exercise teaches space technology as well as reading/writing proficiency.
Above graphic by the Integrated Graphic Operations and Analysic Laboratory, NASA JSC
Grading of the paragraph is two-fold, a space technology grade based on answers to the six questions and a rhetoric grade based on articulation of the answers in prose which uses proper grammar. The two grades will be averaged for an overall grade.