NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center is assisting local schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by taking its Educator Resource Center (ERC) materials and programs on the road.
The ERC supports the NASA Office of External Affairs and Education at Stennis and provides educators with free educational materials. Before the hurricane, teachers visited the ERC to choose which materials suited their needs. Since the storm, staffers have been taking the materials to South Mississippi and Louisiana schools where teachers may browse the offerings and receive them on the same day. "With so many classroom materials, and in many cases entire classrooms destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, we quickly recognized our coastal schools were in need of special support," said Dr. Dewey Herring, NASA Education Officer. "Though our Educator Resource Center personnel have gone to schools on special occasions in the past, we know that now, each day is a special occasion as teachers and administrators struggle to bring our schools back to normal."
Educators may choose from curriculum guides and other materials that reflect the most recent scientific discoveries about space, oceans and the Earth. Subjects range from science and geography to meteorology, astronomy, social studies and environmental science.
The first stop for the "mobile ERC" was Pearl River Central Middle and High schools in Carriere, Miss. Thirty sixth- through 12th-grade teachers reviewed and picked up materials including NASA educator guides, lithographs, posters, bookmarks and brochures. Renee Burge, a seventh- and eighth-grade math instructor at Pearl River Central Middle School, was pleased to receive the science-related products. "Students tend to think math and science are different subjects, and this can help relate them together, to integrate the curriculum more."
NASA aerospace education specialists are also presenting teachers the opportunity to have ERC staff return and lead activities or auditorium presentations, and informing teachers about professional development workshops available through the ERC.
Michelle Seal, a ninth-grade pre-algebra and algebra teacher at Pearl River Central High School, was excited about hands-on activities offered by the ERC like making model airplanes. She said, "I'm always interested in bringing new things to the classroom. I think this is great."
To schedule an ERC visit to a local school, contact Chris Copelan at (228) 688-1261.
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