Poptential™ by Certell Brings the Global Space Race to Life with Media-Rich Content

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This October marks 66 years since the international space race began between the United States and Russia, and much has changed since then. In 2023, history was made when India successfully touched down on the moon's southern polar region, signifying a milestone in the world of space exploration, and private space travel rocketed towards reality with a record number of launches by SpaceX, led by Elon Musk. The captivating saga of America's historic "Space Race" has the power to ignite students' curiosity and is readily accessible to high school educators through Poptential™, a suite of free social studies course packages designed to captivate and educate students. Click to tweet.

Poptential™ content harnesses an array of pop culture media to illustrate concepts, including excerpts from sitcoms, movies, animations, cartoons, late-night shows, and other sources.

Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, Inc., commented on the significance of this year's space missions. “News of this year's successful space missions provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to engage students in discussions about the history of space travel and some of America's most remarkable achievements.”

Poptential's content library encompasses a range of topics on space exploration, including a number of Bell Ringers, brief conversation starters for use at the beginning of class to get students thinking:

The Space Race Begins: Poptential's October 4th Bell Ringer delves into the 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite, a pivotal moment that thrust Russia ahead in the early stages of the "Space Race." A video clip from the movie "The Right Stuff" vividly portrays Washington's response to Russia's initial lead.

Happy Birthday, Buzz!: Celebrating Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin's birthday on January 20th, this Bell Ringer pays tribute to his significant role in the historic 1969 moon mission—an event that drew a record-breaking television audience. It also includes a video clip from the animated Pixar film "Toy Story" showing the moment Woody and Andy first encounter Buzz Lightyear, a nod to Aldrin.

Cost-Efficient Space Exploration: The September 28th Bell Ringer dissects the differences between privately-funded space missions by SpaceX and publicly-funded space programs. It encourages classroom discussions on the advantages of a more streamlined approach to satellite launches into space. The Bell Ringer also features a video clip from the September 28, 2008, SpaceX Falcon 1 launch.

NASA and SpaceX – A Successful Relationship: The August 6th Bell Ringer explores the goals of various space programs, including expanding our understanding of space and establishing sustainable life on Mars. It showcases a video clip from the Goddard Space Flight Center, celebrating NASA's August 6, 2012, Mars landing of the Curiosity rover, and a scene from the movie "The Martian," highlighting a botanist's successful attempt to cultivate food on Mars. The content also underscores how the harmonious collaboration between NASA and SpaceX strengthens the U.S. position in negotiations with Russia, influencing critical foreign policy matters.

Poptential course packages include everything instructors need to teach a subject, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests. The curriculum is standards-based and developed by teachers. Poptential is available via a digital platform that allows students to access lessons even in poor bandwidth environments. Course packages in American History, World History, U.S. Government/Civics, and Economics are available free at www.poptential.org.

About Certell, Inc.

Certell is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers. More than 100,000 users from throughout the United States have signed up for Certell’s Poptential™ family of free social studies courses. Certell course packages have won a number of awards, including EdTech Digest Awards for Curriculum and Instruction Solution, Tech&Learning Best Tool for Back to School, Tech Edvocate Awards, Bronze Award of Excellence from the National Association of Economics Educators, and Civvys Awards. More information is available at poptential.org.

For information contact:

Mara Conklin, 847-340-6823

Kathy Zoeller, (312) 485-2422