Science Teacher from Rembrandt Secondary travels to NASA!!

 

This program, sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium, selects teachers from across the U.S. who will increase their knowledge of space education through this professional development summer Institute.

 

LiftOff is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA, and industry.  Teachers apply for LiftOff and are selected competitively.  The workshops are organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA’s diverse engineering and scientific research programs.  The theme for LiftOff 2019 was Legacy of Apollo, celebrating the 50th anniversary of our landing on the moon.    

Opening the week-long institute was a presentation by former Astronaut Clay Anderson who shared “Turn Pages into Dreams”.  He has authored three books.  Two additional astronauts spoke to the educators during the week:  Apollo XIII astronaut Fred Haise shared his momentous experience and Jerry Ross shared his experiences as a seven time space walker while giving each teacher his book “Spacewalker” and the accompanying CD. 

 

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo, teachers heard from several scientists and engineers from the Astromaterials department from NASA Johnson Space Center.  John Gruener shared “What We Learned from Apollo”, Paul Niles talked about the new “Moon2Mars” initiative, and Samuel Lawrence spoke on “Exploring the Moon in the 21st Century.” 

 

Teachers increased their knowledge of working and living in space while visiting scientists and engineers in the Astromaterials Lab where they viewed the Apollo Moon Rocks, Genesis Lab, Stardust Lab, and CT chamber.  The experience continued during tours of the Food Lab, Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and Spacesuit lab.  Norm Chaffee, Apollo-era rocket engineer, walked the teachers and explained each stage of the Saturn V rocket.  Being certified to check out the Lunar and Meteorite Samples and sharing proven lessons for the classroom were highlights according to those attending.

 

Each teacher will return to their respective districts, train other educators, and use new resources received in the classroom.  The LiftOff workshops prove that teachers and their students are excited about space science and exploration.  The resources will be used to enrich STEM education for students nationwide. 

 

The workshops also provide teachers the rare – and for most, unique – opportunity to spend a week working with professional scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of space exploration.

 

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Mrs: Guzman's experience,

 

I had a great time at this powerful stellar event and am honored to now become a Lift-Off Alumni earning 48 Gifted and Talented, professional development hours. I have also earned a Lunar and Meteorite Certification which allows me to check-out space rock and meteorite samples directly from NASA for my campus.  Besides going behind the scenes at the Johnson Space Center and getting to personally meeting astronauts, scientists, engineers and teachers across the US, I had an exciting time participating in a simulated space mission control expedition to the Moon and Mars.  The information that I am bringing back to my campus is the vast activities and lessons that were provided on Next Generation STEM  such as a mosquito research project, identifying and analyzing lunar land-forms, project base lessons and links as well as opportunities available for our students.  Best of all, I had the opportunity to learn about a high school scholar pathway opportunity for Next Generation STEM Space Science Program that includes 60 hours of hands-on participation sponsored by NASA and the University of Texas.  All in all, this experience was one of a kind and I highly recommend it for all teacher that want to make a difference and provide our students with the most current and diverse opportunities. Take the leap, learn and share!

 

This nationally competitive, educational training for teachers is sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium.  Teachers interested in applying for LiftOff 2020 may obtain information from the internet at the following URL:  http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/liftoff/

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Questions?  Contact Margaret Baguio, Texas Space Grant Consortium at 512-471-6922 or baguio@tsgc.utexas.edu