For one week in June, 14 elementary and middle school teachers and administrators traveled to NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., to take their turn as students again.
Sharon Ferron, Chesterfield Elementary; Veronica Haynes, Norfolk Central Administrative Office; Colleen Orman, Jacox Elementary; Kathleen Woodington, Oceanair Elementary; and Constance Zimmerman, Campostella Elementary spent the week of June 19 learning about NASA and how to incorporate NASA technology in their classrooms. They toured NASA Langley's facilities, including model shops, laboratories and a wind tunnel. They also participated in team-building activities to take back to their school.
The NASA Explorer School (NES) program is sponsored by NASA to help educators and students join NASA's mission of discovery through educational activities and special learning opportunities tailored to promote science, mathematics and technology applications and career explorations.
"We applied to be an Explorer School in response to a deficiency in student achievement in the area of Earth and Space Systems," said Haynes. "In addition, the program supported all of our district and school board goals."
Norfolk City Public Schools were announced as one of NASA's 2006 Explorer School teams in May. They will be starting the NES program this fall and will continue the partnership for the next three years.
"The lessons and activities will be incorporated into daily instruction, Chrome Club activities, remediation programs, family nights and many other venues throughout the year," explained Haynes.
The theme for the one-week workshop revolved around the vision for NASA -- exploring the moon, Mars and beyond -- and also highlighted NASA Langley's key role in aeronautics and space. Workshop attendees participated in team-building activities to plan their role in the NES program and learned about the numerous resources available. They also spent time designing a three-year strategic plan for incorporating NASA technology into their school curriculum.
"Our team is passionate about being a NASA Explorer School because of the impact that this program will have on our teachers, students and the community," said Haynes.
Throughout the next three years, students in the NES program will participate in digital conferences with scientists and engineers at NASA. Educators will also take the hands-on activities they participated in during their workshop back to their students to provide exciting learning experiences in the science, math and technology fields.
To learn more about the NES program, please visit:
For information about NASA research and exploration, visit:
- end -