About TSGC




1: National Space Grant College & Fellowship Program Objectives

2: Texas Space Grant

3: Organization

4: Higher Education Programs

5: Outreach/Public Service Programs

6: Research Programs

7: Weaknesses and Solutions

8: Closing Remarks/Fact Sheet

10th Year Report

5.	Outreach/Public Service Programs

TSGC seeks to increase educational and career opportunities in science, engineering and mathematics for K-12 teachers and students, including minorities and women. Through these projects TSGC's major focus has been on teacher training. Since 1994 TSGC has conducted 187 Educational Outreach and General Public Projects involving almost one million people. These projects have had a total budget of $1.3M. Greater than 92% of these funds were provided by outside sources with less than 8% provided by TSGC.


National Education Priorities  
# Cntrb.
Stimulate public interest in aerospace sciences through informal education partners  
5.1, 5.4 5.5
Provide information and activities to increase public appreciation for the benefits of NASA-sponsored research  
5.2, 5.3, 5.6


5.1	LiftOff Summer Institute

The goal of these workshops is to enrich teaching of math, science, and technology by providing teachers with information, ideas, activities, and materials that can be used to augment the regular curriculum and shared with colleagues. This ongoing program is organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from the many research and engineering programs of NASA. Past themes have included International Space Station, Remote Sensing Lunar Bases, and Space Biomedicine.

The LiftOff workshops have shown that the excitement that teachers and students feel about space science and exploration can be tapped to enrich math and science classes. In addition, the workshops provide teachers the rare and for some, unique, opportunity to spend a week working with professional scientists and engineers involved in up-to-the minute missions and projects that are not yet well known to the public at large. In the words of one LiftOff participant:

“This was one of the best experiences in teacher education that I have ever had! I am leaving with a renewal of interest and enthusiasm. I will be singing your praises for a long time. You did a great job and deserve a hearty "Thank you!" I hope all the science teachers in my district will apply; I will be encouraging them to do so! I have a workshop planned for sharing this information as soon as school starts. Thank You!!! (The photo op on Friday was super!)”

Figure 3:
LiftOff Summer Institute Teachers study space suite operations at NASA/JSC.


5.2	Fly High

This program provides a unique academic experience for High School students to successfully test, fly and assess a reduced-gravity experiment during an eight-month academic/flight experience. That experience includes scientific scholarship, hands-on test operations and education/public outreach activities.

Fly High was initiated by TSGC in 1998 in cooperation with NASA/JSC. Prior to their flights, students work directly with a Team Mentor. A Team Mentor is a professional NASA scientist or engineer who guides the students as they choose and learn to operate a zero-gravity experiment of their own design or one made available by NASA. While at JSC, students attend pre-flight training sessions, facilities tours, and astronauts' presentations, as well as fly with their experiments aboard the "K-bird."

In its inaugural Class of '98, Texas Fly High pilot program successfully flew teams of high school students from Austin, Houston and the Clear Lake area. Their activities were reported by local television stations and newspapers, and were featured in an article aired nationally on "CBS This Morning" by reporter Jose Diaz-Balart, who flew with the teams.

In 1999, Texas Fly High will fly 20 teams of students. Each Team Mentor will fly once with his or her student team, as will each team's supervising teacher and team journalist.

Texas Fly High is designed to give Texas high school students one chance every two years to fly aboard the KC-135A. In odd-numbered years, teams from Texas Education Agency Regions I through X will participate. Students from Regions XI through XX will fly in even-numbered years.


5.3	To Rise From Earth

To Rise From Earth was published by TSGC as a scientifically accurate yet easy to understand guide to space flight. Without the use of a single mathematical equation, this book describes how orbits work, what makes rockets fly, and how astronauts and satellites perform space maneuvers. The book brings to life in layman's terms the space shuttle and what it does in space, the role of satellites in our daily lives, the excitement of the Apollo moon landings, how to stage interplanetary missions, and explains how the exploration of space benefits humanity. After two years of distributing the book at cost TSGC commercialized its publication and distribution through Facts on File.


5.4	SkyCap

The goal of this project was to demonstrate how airborne technology could be used to enhance our knowledge of our environment and resource utilization. To do this the SkyCap project pulled together diverse elements of the Texas community. By teaming participants in agriculture, aerospace, public education, academia, and the Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, a prototype project was defined and implemented that incorporated airborne remote sensing technology and procedures.

The project provided interactive flight experiment opportunities for three groups of students, a high school science class in Beaumont, university students from Lamar University, and a 4-H Club in the Corpus Christi area. The focus of the project was airborne remote sensing of targets selected by the students and their teachers. Potential target focuses include, but are not limited to, studying Texas beach erosion, land usage in the transition zone between urban areas and farms and ranches and pollution monitoring.


5.5	SpaceExplorers

SpaceExplorers is a series of workshops sponsored by TSGC in cooperation with 4-H county extension agents. To date, two one-day workshops have been conducted with approximately nine follow-up sessions. At the workshops Middle School Teachers who are interested in space were introduced to topics including international space cooperation, life sciences, remote sensing, microgravity, and orbital mechanics. The workshops were held in Austin, Texas and Edinburg, Texas on the US-Mexico border. Additional workshops are being planned for other parts of the state.



The focus of the GLOBE program is to train teachers (and for them to train their students) to conduct hands-on experiments that have real scientific significance. They learn how their local observations, together with those of other students and scientists around the word, will assist in forming a detailed environmental picture of the globe.

TSGC has sponsored five GLOBE teacher-training workshops hosted at UT Dallas. Over 160 teachers from across the southwest participated in the sessions.