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.
|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
|5.2, 5.3, 5.6
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
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
LiftOff Summer Institute Teachers study space
suite operations at NASA/JSC.
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.
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
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.
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.