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Michoud Education Fellows Kicks off 4th Year
07.27.11
 
From left to right MEF-4 teachers Kristie Milligan, Bianca Deliberto, and John Thacker.

From left to right MEF-4 teachers Kristie Milligan, Bianca Deliberto, and John Thacker. (Jacobs)
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Three teachers visited the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) this summer as part of the fourth annual Michoud Education Fellows (MEF). A partnership with Louisiana State University (LSU), MEF affords a group of elementary and high-school teachers access to MAF for two weeks, one in June and one in July.

The teachers have the opportunity to meet with all the entities on-site to learn about their role at MAF. Later, the teachers will interview different departments and share their findings with their own classrooms. The goal is to increase interest in math and science, as well as show children that there are a number of jobs they can do for NASA and its contractors. By using what they learn at MAF, these teachers have the opportunity to affect hundreds of children.

The teachers met with representatives from the metrology and test labs, Jacobs, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and the Coast Guard. They were briefed on everything from the Multipurpose Crew Vehicle -- based on the Orion Capsule, to the metrology lab, to the Coast Guard facility.

"With a facility this big, you really need a whole week to take it all in," said eighth grade science teacher Kristie Milligan from St. Tammany Parish.

Ian Binns, an LSU science education professor said, "Unfortunately, it seems that the message getting out to the public is that NASA does not exist anymore. The Michoud Education Fellows program is in a unique position to correct this mentality." Binns said he hopes that the information the teachers bring back to their students will spark a new interest in NASA and encourage the students to pursue careers in science, technology, math and engineering.

The teachers will implement information they gather at MAF as well as improved lesson plans into their curriculum for the upcoming school year. Bianca Deliberto, a second and third grade teacher from Zachary Elementary School said, "This experience has given me the opportunity to gather priceless information to bring back to my classroom and share with my students. Not only will I share the history of Michoud with them but I will also share the amazing capabilities this facility has to offer them in the future."

After a year of working with their students, the teachers will brief NASA and LSU about their experience and the results they had with their children.