Amy Johnson
757-864-7022 / 757-272-9859
RELEASE : 11-008
NASA Hosts Virginia Teachers During Weeklong Institute
HAMPTON, Va. -- Twenty-five Virginia teachers will participate in an institute designed to show them how to bring the excitement of NASA content to their classrooms.

As part of the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) will hold its second Teacher Institute at NASA Langley Research Center Feb. 20-24. Secondary science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) teachers will spend the week participating in planetary science and engineering-themed activities, learning how to incorporate NASA materials and multimedia resources into their lesson plans, and garnering new skills for infusing their teaching with the latest podcasting and video technology. The goal is to arm them with tools and content to inspire students to want to learn more about STEM, space exploration and careers.

"We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to another group of STEM educators. Our first Institute was extremely successful and positively evaluated. Several of the Institute participants are now Master Teachers for the VASTS online course for high school juniors, and many have reported the innovative ways they are incorporating what they learned into their classrooms," said Amber Agee-DeHart, the VSGC's VASTS program manager.

Teachers will also be introduced to NASA-developed, inquiry-based activities that focus on the engineering design process. William Moore, planetary scientist with Hampton University and professor-in-residence at the National Institute of Aerospace, will expose the teachers to the latest research about the solar system. Aerospace engineer Scott Striepe, who worked on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Science Lab projects, will also be a featured presenter.

A former participant in the Teacher Institute described it as a "fantastic program," going on to say: "It stretched my mind in really great ways. I was constantly challenged and will be using these resources for a long time to come. I will recommend this program strongly to other colleagues."

This program is a partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Langley, and the following industry sponsors: Aerojet, Analytical Mechanics Associates Inc., ATK Space Systems, Dominion, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Sierra Lobo Inc, and Unisys. To find out more about the VASTS program and Teacher Institute, visit:

For more information about NASA, visit:

NASA news releases are available automatically by sending an e-mail message to with the word "subscribe" in the subject line. You will receive an e-mail asking you to visit a link to confirm the action. To unsubscribe, send an e-mail message to with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

- end -

text-only version of this release