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Kimberly W. Land
(Phone: 757/864-9885, 757/344-8611 mobile)
k.w.land@larc.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 04-010
 


Feb. 5, 2004

NASA CONFERENCE ENCOURAGES FUTURE EDUCATORS
PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS GET TOOLS THEY NEED TO SUCCEED

NASA Langley Research Center’s Office of Education and Norfolk State University’s (NSU) School of Science and Technology are gearing up to provide future teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to be more effective in the classroom. NASA and NSU are hosting the ninth annual Pre-Service Teacher Conference held February 12-14 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Va.

The three-day conference is designed to enhance the teaching skills of future elementary and middle school teachers while incorporating technology into the curriculum. Over 750 undergraduate students and faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities are expected to attend the conference. This year, the conference includes participation from select majority institutions. Participants are nominated to attend by their faculty advisors.

Students can attend general sessions with internationally known guest speakers; interactive workshops with educators, scientists, and researchers; and a career fair where recruiters from school systems in Las Vegas, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland, Atlanta, Daytona, Ohio, and Norfolk will be interviewing prospective teachers.

Dr. Adena Williams Loston, NASA's Associate Administrator for Education, will open the conference. "Our country needs more programs like the Pre- Service Teacher Conference to attract future generations of young people to the teaching profession and to motivate students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics." says Loston. "It is through such programs that we expand and strengthen the Agency's education mission to inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can."

Dr. Calvin Mackie, motivational speaker and teacher from Tulane University, New Orleans, La., will the keynote address. Mackie is recognized for his dynamic deliveries and sees the conference as critical to the development of future teachers.

A highlight of the conference will be the appearance of NASA Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa. In 1993, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to fly in space as she studied the Earth’s ozone layer during a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery. Ochoa, a classical flutist, has received numerous NASA awards and was selected by President Clinton in 1999 to serve on the Presidential Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History.

Media Opportunity:  Members of the media are invited to talk with Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. Contact Kimberly Land at (757) 344-8611 for details and directions.

Other distinguished guests include Dr. Chauncey Veatch, 2002 National Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Aziza Baccouche, president of AZIZA Productions, Inc. A retired U.S. Army Colonel, Veatch decided to use his doctorate in jurisprudence to teach social studies at Coachella Valley High School, Thermal, Calif. Baccouche’s company, AZIZA Productions, Inc. produces science news segments and features for the media. As a nuclear physics graduate student, she wrote, produced and reported science news stories for CNN in Washington, D.C., for two years. Her stories ranged from technologies for the blind to quantum computers.

Also featured is Dr. Dennis Kimbro, a renowned educator, public speaker and business consultant. Kimbro has been featured in USA Today, Newsday and Black Enterprise magazine and has appeared on CNBC, BET and PBS television networks.

“NASA is excited about hosting over 750 future education majors representing more than 70 minority and major colleges and universities with certified education programs. These students will be coming from over 31 states to attend the NASA/NSU Conference,” says Roger Hathaway, NASA Langley’s University Affairs Officer.

The conference is part of the Pre-Service Teacher Program (PSTP) that consists of the Pre-Service Teacher Institute, held during the summer. This year, two-week programs will be held at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Ames Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Stennis Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center. The Universities of Sitting Bull, ND, and Sinte Glesak, SD, will also host summer institutes.

The PSTP is a partnership between NASA and NSU in Norfolk, Va. For more information, visit:

http://edu.larc.nasa.gov

http://edu.larc.nasa.gov/pstp

http://edu.larc.nasa.gov/pstp/psti

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