Fairbanks, March 29, 2017 – (Marci Ward), a Fairbanks resident, joined more than 500 educators from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan for hands-on learning experiences with rocket scientists, astronauts and renowned educators at Space Center Houston’s 23rd Space Exploration Educators Conference, Feb. 9-11.
“The conference gave me more knowledge of exciting things happening now in Space,” said Marci Ward, a teacher at Immaculate Conception School. “The conference provided me with what's next in 21st century teaching and learning.”
The three-day STEM-focused conference drew educators from all disciplines in kindergarten through 12th grades for an immersive professional development experience and networking. The conference is one of many educational opportunities for teachers at the nonprofit.
“As a science and space learning center, we want to empower teachers with exceptional learning opportunities,” said Space Center Houston’s Director of Education Daniel Newmyer. “With access to industry leaders and NASA-unique curricula, we engage teachers and inspire students to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Using the latest classroom techniques, Space Center Houston’s conference featured dynamic workshops, including three keynote sessions: “Scientists are Artists too! – Engaging Students in Different Mediums” presented by astronaut and artist Nicole Stott, describing how important the creative mind is to scientific thought; “Succeed like an Astronaut,” presented by astronaut Leroy Chiao, exploring the importance of dreams and having the courage to pursue them; “The James Webb Telescope: Our New Eyes in Space” presented by Dr. Matthew Greenhouse, discussing the advanced telescope that will replace the Hubble Space Telescope and what we will learn from it.
Throughout the conference, artist Kiel Johnson designed extraordinary art using ordinary items such as cardboard and paint. Educators and museum visitors built their own creations in the live art installation, called the Space Center Houston Star Fleet exhibit.
Attendees received a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas, ready-to-implement classroom activities and made connections with STEM leaders during valuable networking opportunities, while earning up to 24 hours of continuing professional education credit. Attendees boarded unprecedented behind-the-scenes tours of the astronaut training facilities at NASA Johnson Space Center and learned about the technology and research that is furthering NASA’s current and future deep space missions.
Join the next Space Exploration Educators Conference Feb. 1-3, 2018. For more information about Space Center Houston educational programs, visit www.spacecenter.org/education.