Press Release

NASA/NIA Help Teach Educators How To Teach Science and Technology

By SpaceRef Editor
July 15, 2010
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HAMPTON, VA. – Forty new and future educators are in school themselves this summer learning how to excite youngsters about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Thirty university students who are preparing for their college class work student teaching and 10 new Hampton Roads elementary and middle school teachers are part of the two-week NASA Langley Research Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute now underway at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Va.

Media who are interested in what kinds of cool, interactive experiments the soon-to-be and new teachers are learning can experience one of their lessons on Wednesday, July 21, at 10 a.m., at NIA. NIA is located at 100 Exploration Way in the Hampton Roads Center North campus off Magruder Blvd.

“We hope to excite teachers about STEM subjects and how those subjects can be taught in an engaging manner,” said Thom Pinelli, University Affairs Officer for NASA Langley’s Education Team. “That way they can integrate the material into their standards-based lesson plans and in turn excite the students about science, technology, engineering and math. It’s NASA’s hope that more students will choose STEM careers and work with us to explore the universe, improve aviation and study earth and atmospheric science.”

The 2010 Pre-Service Teacher Institute attracted students from Virginia, North Carolina, Washington and New Mexico plus a novice teacher from Japan. They were selected from a pool of applicants based on their exemplary junior/senior level university status, ability to attend the full two-week program and the completion of all pre-assigned work. Four NIA Educators in Residence, including Project Manager Becky Jaramillo, recipient of the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, are giving them hands-on experiences.

The students and teachers are using 21st Century tools to strengthen their understanding of STEM topics and encourage them to think and act like engineers and scientists. One of the things they’re focusing on, with the help of NASA experts, is the science of climate change. Each participant receives a technology tool kit to create digital documentaries, verify the effects of UV light, collect repetitive thermal data, explore ice cores and understand the engineering challenges of putting a satellite into space. The ideas and tools are designed to be used by teachers in classrooms across the country.

“It is a privilege to work with future teachers who are looking for ways to make their classrooms more exciting for today’s students,” said Jaramillo. “I love to watch their enthusiasm grow as they create a vodcast for the first time or discover the excitement of being a citizen scientist.”

For more information about the NASA Pre-Service Teacher Institute, visit:

For more information about NASA Langley education programs, visit:

For more information about the National Institute of Aerospace, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.