Developed by NASA and equipped with 10 workstations the Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL) is an electronically enhanced, computerized classroom that puts cutting-edge technology at the fingertips of NASA MAA Southwest middle and high school-aged students. Each computerized research station provides students with real world challenges relative to both an aeronautics and microgravity scenario. Examples of the real aerospace hardware and software contained in the AEL include an:
- Advanced Flight Simulator
- Research Wind Tunnel
- Short-Wave receiver
- Hand-held Global Positioning System for aviation
Additionally, the AEL offers aeronautical teaching tools such as:
- Little Bits Space Kits: Models real-life NASA technology like wireless communication circuits.
- Little Bits Premium Kit: General Electronics
- Little Bits Synth Kit: Create your own music with simple circuits and making different instruments.
- Little Bits Base Kit: General Electronics
- Lego Mindstorms Workstation: For learning the basics of programming and robot design.
- Ozobots: Tiny spherical line-follower robot that detects colors, can be programmed using simple visual codes.
In addition to being an extraordinary tool for educating middle and high school students , the AEL serves as an excellent training facility for pre-service teachers on the NASA MAA Southwest curriculum.