Project Definition


 Aeronauts 2000  Intergenerational Project  challenges our young technology leaders of tomorrow to create tools to improve the lives of older adults today. Interns will be working with seniors to dispel myths, understand the physiological changes as seniors age, and identify opportunities for technology solutions that foster independent living.  Ultimately, we are preparing our young people for the best technology jobs of the future.

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The Purpose (Mission)

  • To offer innovative and challenging scientific and artistically inspired internships to high school and college students.

  • To create learning environments where young people can develop skills for STEM jobs and careers and to support educational institutions in devising technology learning tools for students, senior citizens and other under-served populations. 

  • To engage the community in informal learning environments that will engage  persons of all ages to work together for the empowerment and betterment of all.

These are the targets we want to meet

  • Measurable impact with concrete deliverables that will be sustainable through existing partnerships at every level of higher education throughout Ohio.
  • Impact over 100,000 teachers, students and seniors across the country through informal learning and clinical study in secondary and higher education. 
  • Create an experiential pilot that is readily scalable across socio-economic boundaries, impacting over 1,000 young people by 2018. 
  • Develop a template for edutainment, substantive learning that is fun, through interdisciplinary modules with identifiable outcomes and measurable skills.

Why Support this Project 

  • Timely as NASA studies the effects of deep space travel on the Kelly twins; and families are struggling to cope with an increasing elderly population in need of care. 
  • Unique being developed by young people for young people that will provide a tremendous opportunity for a diverse group of young people and seniors.

  • Inter-generational  to include students and seniors across race, economic and cultural backgrounds;  and

  • Transformative for  young people to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow while assisting seniors to ensure a quality of life.

Goals and Objectives

 The goal is to engage young people to be more sensitive about the challenges of growing older and to motivate them to use their talents and skills  to develop technology tools that will enable seniors to age in place.  The objective is to engage learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through edutainment, i.e., quality education that is also fun, and at the same time integrate knowledge about the aging process.

Measurable Objectives:

  1. Interns will achieve basic competency in one or more STEM subjects as it relates to space travel, aging technology, and/or game design and integration;
  2. Demonstrate effective team building and complex problem solving  skills; 
  3. Interns will increase performance in technology solutions related to communications, transportation, and monitoring devices for space travel and aging. 


1)   Fact Sheets on the three topic areas: Planetary Conditions on Mars, Living on Mars, and Aging Challenges Among Seniors; and  Charts on the Senses and Technology options explaining the correlation of common senses on communication, navigation and transportation, and  monitoring of vital signs.

2) Paper Prototypes of a design for a Multi-purpose transportation vehicle; deep space habitat; and  physical monitoring and diagnostic toolkit.   The latter will also be used for a “Gerontechnology” solution  to aid seniors in  independent living (target audience is adults age  60+).  

3)  You Tube Videos produced by interns and seniors for social media, sensitizing young people to aging challenges.

4) Sensitivity Training on Aging Curriculum interns for informal settings. 

5) Report on Learning Outcomes of  Collaborative Learning in Interdisciplinary STEM Subjects in Informal Settings. 

Community Outreach

 This project responds to the White House challenge to use technology to improve the lives of older Americans.  Interns w ill work directly with seniors at Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority; and  Eliza Bryant Village, where they will play Wii bowling with seniors and then interview them about their interests, needs and challenges. They will also interview independent seniors through the Encore Program sponsored by Tri-C, and will host Saturday Family Academy where young people and their grandparents can test the paper prototypes and engage with each other in sensitivity exercises.  Interns will produce You Tube Videos for dissemination on social media about sensitivity issues relating to seniors and how young people can help with technology tools. Interns will also have the opportunity to publish their field work, their  Gerontechnology solutions and research,  and present their findings to the community through forums at local public libraries in Shaker Heights, Ohio and San Diego, California, and at poster sessions at a minimum of two conferences.
Andrea L. Johnson,
Jun 7, 2016, 5:07 PM
Andrea L. Johnson,
Jun 7, 2016, 5:06 PM