Beginning in the summer of 1990, the NASA's Texas Space Grant Consortium initiated weeklong professional development training for teachers. This aerospace workshop, called LiftOff, emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences by incorporating a space science theme supported by NASA missions. In 2013 we began partnering with NASA Johnson Space Center and the Middle School Aerospace Scholars program. That partnership continues. Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others.
What is engineering? How is it being taught in K-12 schools? How do real engineering practices promote invaluable 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and innovation?
A growing number of K-12 students are being exposed to engineering-related materials, and evidence suggests that engineering education can stimulate interest and improve learning in mathematics and science as well as improve understanding of engineering and technology. Engineering design, by its very nature, is a pedagogical strategy that promotes learning across disciplines. K-12 engineering curricula introduce young students to relevant and fulfilling, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content in an integrated fashion through exploration of the world around them.
NASA's journeys into air and space have deepened humankind's understanding of the universe, advanced technology breakthroughs, enhanced air travel safety and security, and expanded the frontiers of scientific research. These accomplishments share a common genesis: education. As the United States begins the second century of flight, the Nation must maintain its commitment to excellence in STEM education to ensure that the next generation of Americans can accept the full measure of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future. NASA will continue investing in the Nation's education programs and supporting the country's educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the workforce of tomorrow.
Your students will be asking, "Why things work!" instead of "Why do I need to learn this?"
Learn how to motivate your students and integrate Engineering into your curriculum. Liftoff 2014: Let's Engineer It!
- Presentations by NASA scientists and engineers
- Tours of NASA and Space Center Houston
- Hands-on, inquiry based classroom activities aligned to educational standards
- Career Exploration
- Teacher Feature (sharing of ideas and activities)
- Opportunity to interact with researchers dedicated to space Missions
- Currently employed as a 4-12 grade classroom educator
- Minimum one year teaching experience prior to workshop
- Demonstrate willingness to share information with others
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Interdisciplinary STEM team from a school or district encouraged
- Texas Participants: FREE - All expenses paid by TSGC upon selection
- Out-of-State: $650 registration fee + travel to Houston, Texas
- Applications: Must be submitted online