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Educators to Get Lift from Balloon Experience
07.20.12
 
High school educators from across the country will join with NASA July 23 -27 for an uplifting experience in conducting experiments using scientific balloons at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas.

Hosted by the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, which manages the NASA scientific balloon program, the week-long Wallops Balloon Experience for Education (WBEE) will provide an opportunity for high school educators to fly experiments on scientific balloons.

Joyce Winterton, senior advisor for education and leadership development at Wallops, said “We are very excited to offer this workshop for the second year. Scientific balloons are a wonderful platform for conducting cutting edge science and technology development. This workshop will introduce educators to hands-on activities that can be applied in the classroom with science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.”

The WBEE builds upon an existing partnership between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium, which has developed student education programs including the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) and Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students (LaACES).

Since 2002, the programs have flown multiple missions reaching hundreds of students in undergraduate though post-graduate programs. WBEE expands the LaACES platform into secondary education with a focus on core principles and future partnership with educators and their institutions.

WBEE involves teams of select educators who have participated in other NASA education projects to visit the balloon facility in Texas. During the week-long workshop participants will be involved in classroom and hands-on balloon science activities. The teams will be given the opportunity to build and test their own science payload for a flight to the edge of space under the direction of NASA and Louisiana Space Consortium personnel.

The WBEE experience culminates with the launch of these payloads aboard a NASA scientific balloon. WBEE is an intensive course that involves a broad-based learning experience that can be implemented at the educator’s home school.

The program continues NASA's investment in the nation's education programs by supporting the goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to future space exploration.

Information about the WBEE program is available on the Internet at: http://education.wff.nasa.gov