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Roe, Kaine Offer Encouragement to Virginia Teachers
02.13.13
 
Lesa Roe knows the importance of a child having a good teacher. For her, it's a subject that hits close to home.

"I see it personally with my own three kids," she said, "when they come home and suddenly have a teacher that believes in them and then they believe in themselves."

Lesa Roe and Tim Kaine

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NASA Langley Director, Lesa Roe, and Sen. Tim Kaine were keynote speakers at the NASA AeroSpace Educator Workshop held at the MathScience Innovation Center in Richmond, Va. Roe and Kaine had the opportunity to interact with 70 teachers from across Central Virginia. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Roe, Director of NASA's Langley Research Center, was speaking to an audience of 70 teachers from across central Virginia at a NASA AeroSpace Educator Workshop held at the MathScience Innovation Center in Richmond, Va.

Sen. Tim Kaine, who also spoke at the workshop, echoed Roe's sentiment.

"My wife and I have three children," Kaine told the audience of teachers." I think teachers do an amazing job; our children have been academically prepared, but also prepared for life."

Ultimately, teachers are the root of the growing Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) pipeline.

"You are the bridge for us (NASA) that enables us to have these students that are going to be our next generation workforce," she said. "We really, truly need them. You help them believe that they can, and we thank you very much for that."

Kaine and Roe are eager to see how NASA and the next-generation workforce will answer some of the tough questions the nation and, more importantly, the world face.

"On the macro scale, the fate of the entire planet is a science question," Kaine said. "At a policy level, we are wrestling with: does human activity affect climate? If so, how much and what to do about it? This might be the biggest issue we face as a species.

"Your inspiration of your students, to tackle scientific challenges and questions, could have all kinds of ramifications," he said.

Later that morning, the attending teachers learned how to build and launch a rover to Mars while adhering to a size limit and budget — replicating a real-world mission. They also walked away knowing that their contributions to education are making an impact across the world.

"You are the folks that actually reach these students and make them believe that they can make the impossible possible," Roe said. "That’s what we do at NASA. We need you…to keep that creative spark alive, to keep them believing they can explore, to keep them believing they can do these things."

By: Sasha Congiu

The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman