Space Foundation News

Educators Enrich Curriculum through Space Discovery Graduate Course

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jul. 22, 2002) — `If kids love what they’re doing they’ll learn from it, and kids love space,` said Juanita Hutto, 3rd grade bilingual math, science and social studies teacher at Dunn Elementary in Houston. Hutto was one of 16 teachers encouraged by her school district to take the `Rocketry and the Biology of Living in Space` Space Discovery graduate course conducted by the Space Foundation. Twenty-seven K-12 educators participated in the weeklong course, held July 8-12 at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Course activities included building and launching model rockets, touring the USAFA, and participating in underwater training and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) exercises. Course participant Esperanza Bosworth, math and science teacher and MESA advisor at Merrill Middle School in Denver, said the course expanded her curriculum, therefore helping her students to become more aware of careers in space and encouraging them to follow their dreams. Lyn Osbourne, 8th grade Algebra teacher at Manitou Springs Middle School, took the course to strengthen her space science knowledge and “bring real applications back to the classroom.” Jim Blase, Sierra High School math and science teacher, said the Space Discovery courses “get me (and my students) to think differently about science.” He is taking all five courses offered this summer. “Space Discovery graduate courses assist teachers to gain new skills and content knowledge in math and science that result in increased student achievement in these disciplines,” says Dr. Patricia Arnold, vice president of education for the Space Foundation. The courses offer credit towards the new space studies specialty Master’s Degree Program offered by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Separate graduate credit is also available. “Rocketry and the Biology of Living in Space” course instructors included Dr. Paul Vergez, USAFA Astronautics Professor; Ann Grimm, Estes Industries Education Director; Capt. Brian Joseph, USAFA Assistant Professor of Astronautics; Capt. Scott Putnam, USAFA Aeronautics Instructor; Dr. Doug Kirkpatrick, visiting USAFA Aeronautics Professor; Joe Fulton, USAFA Aeronautics Instructor; Lt. Col. Mike Filler, U.S. Space Command Chief of Space Operations; and Tim Pleasant, Concord University School of Law Professor. Space Discovery courses are open to all K-12 educators and all participants are eligible for a $150 NASA fellowship. Additional Space Discovery courses to be held this summer are “Astronomy Principles for the Classroom,” July 22-26 at the USAFA; and “Robotics Made Easy,” August 5-9 at Air Force Space Command. “Biology and Physical Research” was held July 15-19 at the USAFA, while “Earth Systems Science” took place June 24-28 at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. Register online at or by calling the Space Foundation at 1-800-691-4000. The Space Foundation has trained more than 20,000 teachers since 1986 on Teaching With Space through Space Discovery graduate courses and Space in the Classroom national conferences. All courses and conferences meet state and national educational standards, with optional graduate credit available.