“We want to make teachers heroes,”
says Teachers in Space Education Director Donald McMahon
The Teachers in Space program (TIS) has been selected by the NASA Education Office to create an innovative professional-development program for high school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers during the summer of 2011-12. The workshops, conducted under the K-12 Cooperative Agreement Notice, will focus on suborbital science, suborbital flight, space medicine, and human factors. To conduct these workshops, Teachers in Space has assembled a team that includes members from NASA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Space Education Initiatives, and other organizations, as well as the Space Frontier Foundation, the TIS parent organization.
The new workshops will build on the existing TIS program and will take place in various states including California, Florida, and Texas. The teachers participating will not fly in space, but they will experience some of training being developed by TIS for astronaut teachers. The program will expand their knowledge of space sciences and provide them with new material with which to inspire their students to pursue STEM subjects.
TIS is designed to attract the best and brightest to the teaching profession and retain highly qualified teachers by creating exciting new incentives. The goal of TIS is to enable large numbers of teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom. The excitement and first-hand knowledge gained from their spaceflight experiences will then flow down to students, creating a new generation of aerospace scientists and engineers. TIS is working with US companies that are now developing fully reusable suborbital spacecraft for science and commercial applications. The first seven Pathfinder astronaut teacher candidates were announced on July 20, 2009 during the NewSpace 2009 Conference at NASA Ames Research Center.
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