Robbinsdale Cooper High School Physical Earth and Science teacher Teresa Esnough attended NASA’s Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center this past summer. The event was sponsored by Honeywell, and more than 200 teachers from 38 states and 22 countries participated.
Esnough was part of the Space Academy for Educators Program, which is designed for teachers who want to advance education in the STEM fields. She experienced astronaut simulators and took a virtual tour into space to save the International Space Station. Participants also followed lesson plans based on NASA content (which is correlated to the National Science Education Standards) and received content and knowledge to pass on to their students in the classroom.
Educators who participated in the event earned 45 hours of continuing education credit and can potentially earn graduate credit through the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“The best part was doing all the simulations –¬ it was like being a student again,” Esnough said. “It was like being a kid and having all the fun of the camp. I was excited we got to do that and not just the in-classroom education stuff. On my first day of class this year, I even showed the video of me in the (multi-axis-trainer) spinning chair, and the students thought it was funny to see their teacher do stuff like that.”
Lessons inspired by the camp might be coming to Esnough’s classroom this year – she plans on doing rockets with capsules designed to protect their “astronaut” eggs, and students may learn about heat transfer with a heat shielding lab similar to what was at Space Camp.