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Reading, Riting, Rithmetic, Rockets?

You know me...I.Heart.Space. And, I also, love raising awareness about manned spaceflight [just look over there --------> at my sidebar thingy!]. So, I thought I would introduce you to a little organization that is aiming to get school-age kids interested in careers that require math and science [i.e. Aerospace Engineer :-)].



In order to appreciate this, you must forget all...well, most...of my opinions about manned spaceflight and NASA, because this new batch of teacher-astronauts are preparing to traverse the skies via private company spaceflight. The organization is called "Teachers in Space." Their goals include: 1) make it possible for large numbers of teachers to explore space 2) return Astronaut-Teachers to American classrooms and 3) provide teachers opportunities to impact the next generation by sharing their experiences, knowledge, and adventure. Their leaders include some of my role-models, Don McMahon and Colleen Howard. And their Board of Advisors includes such Aerospace Celebrities as Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Burt Rutan. And folks, they are really going for it.

NASA's previous teacher-in-space program did not materialize into it's original vision: to fly teachers in space and return them to the classrooms to inspire the next generation in the fields of math and science. Challenger exploded in 1986, killing the first teacher-in-space candidate. It took her back-up, Barbara Morgan, 12 years to convince NASA to let her fly, and in 1998 she became the first teacher-astronaut. But not all was well. You see Morgan had to give up her teaching career in order to complete the training necessary to fly as a shuttle astronaut.

The new "Teachers in Space" program aims at getting the teachers back in the classrooms with minimum training requirements, for maximum results. And inspiring the next generation of "Nerdy Aprils" ...well, I'm always on board for that :-)

And PS: The organization just announced on July 12 that they are taking applications for their next batch of teacher-astronauts! Tell all your teachers to apply!

Comments

  1. Thanks for your support, April. Just got back from 10 days on the Space Coast. We went to train our teachers in astronaut activities that they can take back to the classroom. We did vertical wind tunnel flight, skydiving (2 solo jumps), VIP KSC tour, and an Embry Riddle tour. We just submitted a NASA CAN grant application that will allow us to set up training workshops across the country. This whole project will happen in the next two years. In the meantime we are in constant pursuit of the ever elusive dollar. So giving us a plug occasionally really helps!

    Take care and stay safe!

    Don McMahon
    Education Director
    Teachers in Space
    don.mcmahon@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. dude... that (^) is freakin sweet...

    ReplyDelete
  3. April! Way to go on the TIS post! Don and I had an amazing trip with the Pathfinders this summer. AND we were just selected to receive one of the NASA CAN grants ~ WHOO HOO!

    Colleen Howard (Bennett is my space-aviation blog for K-3 kiddos)

    ReplyDelete

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