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Victoria Steiner                                                                                            Aug. 12, 2004     

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-0176

E-mail: Victoria.L.Steiner@nasa.gov


RELEASE: 04-76AR

NASA SUPPORTS FUTURE TEACHERS OF MINORITY CHILDREN

California's soon-to-become teachers in schools with a higher-than-average percentage of minority students are taking part in a unique enhancement program this week featuring NASA's exciting educational resources.

The NASA Ames Research Center Education Office, Moffett Field, Calif., and Integrated Space Technologies (IST) Inc., Huntsville, Ala., are sponsoring the workshop through a grant to California State University, Fresno. The two-week workshop, from Aug. 8 to Aug. 20, focuses on using technology to increase the knowledge, skills and competence of prospective teachers of mathematics and science.  College students will be exposed to problem-based learning, mathematics and science enrichment activities.

"We are very pleased to offer this opportunity for pre-service teachers to potentially impact the future of students from underrepresented, underserved communities, inspiring them to choose careers in math and science," said NASA Ames' university affairs officer Brenda Collins.

The workshop will provide future teachers with access to NASA's wide variety of educational products and services. It also will offer them an opportunity to incorporate these resources into their state-mandated math and science curricula in an effort to enrich their local classes in the future. 

NASA increasingly has recognized the importance of providing educational outreach programs to younger students. ÒThe sense of wonder and excitement inspired in students at a young age stimulates an interest and motivation to pursue the necessary education in mathematics, science, engineering and technology," Collins said. "ItÕs important that NASA support those teachers who are entrusted with the future scientists of our country."

ÒWe have to realize that all students have dreams. But they donÕt often have the resources to Ôsurf the WebÕ after school and dream of being astronauts and scientists,Ó said Annette Rodrigues, president of IST Inc. ÒWe are pleased to be part of a program that will give pre-service teachers tools to take into their future classrooms to foster such dreams.Ó

Selected NASA researchers and managers are participating in briefings and demonstrations of NASA's cutting-edge research. During these times, students interface with NASA personnel, tour the facilities and 'brainstorm' applications of the resources.   Students will be asked to provide a lesson plan at the end of the session that incorporates the information learned. This workshop will be used to develop strategies for inspiring interest in math and science for elementary and middle school students.

This program leverages the available NASA resources by demonstrating how to incorporate them into school or college curricula. Through the interactive program, participants have an opportunity to develop and share strategies for using the resources to inspire students from this disadvantaged and underrepresented population.

More information about the workshop is available on the Internet at:

http://www.ist-ca.com/psti

Pictures from the workshop are available at:

www.integratedspacetechnologies.com/psti/gallery

To learn more about NASA educational programs, visit:

http://education.arc.nasa.gov

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