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JSC Awarded Employers for Education Excellence Gold Award
A NASA employee talks with community college students

A NASA employee talks with community college students about careers in science and math. Credit: NASA

NASA Johnson Space Center was awarded the Employers for Education Excellence Gold Award by the Texas State Board of Education. The award, established in 2007 by the Texas Legislature, is given to employers who encourage staff volunteerism in school activities and programs. Winners of the Gold Award category have implemented policies that support employees who participate in student mentoring programs. Barbara Cargill, chair of the State Board of Education, feels the selected employers of the award truly understand the importance of a strong education system. “By providing volunteers, mentoring programs, and other avenues of support, these organizations are helping to ensure their own future workforce for Texas.”

In an effort to cultivate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts, NASA Johnson employees participated in and supported many programs at Clear Creek ISD. NASA Johnson employees volunteered for Summer of Innovation, a program designed to provide meaningful and engaging STEM activities for under-represented middle school students during the summer, outreach activities such as speaker’s bureau where NASA employees share the vision and mission of the center to inspire students. “Volunteer activities such as those associated with the Summer of Innovation initiative, offer an opportunity for members of the JSC workforce to become actively involved in K-12 STEM education, helping to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and prepare the students to be leaders in the 21st century, “ said Jon Neubauer, JSC Education Specialist.

Employees also supported HUNCH, a program where Clear Creek high school students design and develop useable training hardware for NASA’s International Space Station, Clear Creek’s robotics team, and the Center for Agriculture, Science and Engineering (CASE) – Longhorn Project where students breed and raise longhorn cattle on a 60-acre tract on land located at Johnson Space Center. Students gain valuable knowledge in landscape design, green house and aquaculture pond technology, and vegetable and grass gardening.