Space Foundation Rolls Out PreK-2 Program
The Space Foundation is expanding its nationally known Space Across the Curriculum educator professional development courses by adding a week of classes specifically for teachers of PreK-2nd grade students. Beginning in the summer of 2010, the new course will join the Space Foundation's other six classes for grade PreK-high school teachers.
Piloted Dec. 3-4 with Charles County Public Schools in Charles County, Md., the class shows teachers of young students how to incorporate space-related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities into the curriculum they are already using. The goal is to get students excited about learning about space at an early age. The courses were taught by Space Foundation Aerospace Education Specialists Bobby Gagnon and Melissa Peterson.
"There aren't many opportunities for teachers of young children to learn how to incorporate these concepts into their curriculum," said Bryan DeBates, senior aerospace education specialist for the Space Foundation. "But, because many children are excited about rockets and the universe at this age, it's a great opportunity to get and keep them excited about learning."
The 23 teachers who participated in the program learned how to incorporate space-related activities in their lesson plans, as well as having the opportunity to shape the curriculum as it is finalized before the official launch next summer. A second pilot will be held Jan. 25-26 at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Space Foundation has had a long-standing relationship with Charles County Public Schools. To read about additional courses taught in Maryland in December, see the related article in Space Watch. To see all of the education programs held in Charles County or other Space Foundation education programs, go to www.SpaceFoundation.org/Education.
Pictured: Space Foundation Aerospace Education Specialist Bobby Gagnon leads a lesson in light diffraction