Space Foundation Astronaut Program Sparks Math, Science Interest at Two Colorado Springs Schools
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Apr. 28, 2009) -- On Monday, April 27, the Space Foundation took one of its PreK- 2nd grade astronaut programs to two Colorado Springs schools, giving students the opportunity to meet former NASA astronaut and Colorado Springs resident Dr. Jim Reilly and to experience space science in action. More than 100 pre-school students at Preschool Partners and more than 200 K-2nd grade students at The Classical Academy Central Campus gathered to hear about Dr. Reilly’s adventures on three Space Shuttle missions and to witness indoor launches of three types of rockets, all of which the students can build in the classroom or at home. Both schools are located in northern Colorado Springs.
Dr. Reilly’s presentation included video of his visit to the International Space Station, which he augmented with informative and amusing descriptions of everyday life in a weightless environment and student-assisted demonstrations of how low gravity greatly increases the distance a person can travel in a single hop.
Dr. Reilly encouraged students who want to become astronauts to study math and science, underscoring the Space Foundation’s objective of building enthusiasm for and competence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Space Foundation programs support teachers and PreK-12 students using standards-based curriculum that integrates STEM into all content areas. Space Foundation instructors present teachers with age-appropriate, hands-on activities they can immediately use with their students.
This fall, the Space Foundation will be piloting a two-day graduate-level professional development program for PreK - 2nd grade teachers and administrators centered on space and science education for early learners. This initial program will be the prelude to a five-day graduate-level Space Discovery Institute, planned to begin during summer 2010. PreK - 2nd grade teachers and administrators interested in taking part in this pilot project, containing curriculum and projects that are instantly transferable to the classroom, should contact the Space Foundation Education team at 719-576-8000.