Space Foundation News

Space Foundation and Air Force Academy train teachers on space

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jul. 22, 2003) — The Space Foundation recently wrapped up its `Rocketry and the Biology of Living in Space` Space Discovery graduate course, a unique hands- on experience for educators to gain new skills and content knowledge in math, science and aerospace studies. The course was held July 7-11 at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs.

K-12 educators from across the country participated. Activities included USAFA tours, and lessons on the history of rocketry, the four main pioneers of space flight, and alternative sources of rocket power. Participants also built and launched foam, water, and air- powered rockets, and an Estes Model Rocket.

Course participant Mona Sue McPherson, a physical science and aerospace teacher at Hendersonville High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., said the rocketry and biology course “was very informative, had high quality speakers, and contained information and activities to take back to the classroom.”

McPherson was awarded this year’s Space Educator of the Year Award for creating a “First Flight” celebration for students and teachers, which included an appearance by a former astronaut, tours of the local airport, and rocket launch.

Ann Grimm, the course’s model rocketry instructor and education director of the Estes-Cox Corporation, commented. “The ‘Rocketry and the Biology of Living in Space’ course is exciting and energizing for the teachers, so it will excite and involve kids in learning,” said Grimm.

Additional Space Discovery courses offered by the Space Foundation this summer in Colorado Springs are “Astronomy Principles for the Classroom,” July 21-25 at the USAFA; and “Space Technologies in the Classroom,” July 28-August 1 at Peterson Air Force Base. Recently completed courses include “Biological and Physical Research,” held July 14-18 at the USAFA; “Earth Systems: Pikes Peak or Bust!” held June 23-27 at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post; and “Space History & Space Law,” held June 16-20 at Space Foundation Headquarters. Register for Space Discovery courses online at or by calling the Space Foundation at 1-800-691-4000.

The Space Foundation has trained more than 30,000 teachers since 1986 on Teaching With Space through Space Discovery graduate courses and national conferences. All courses and conferences meet state and national educational standards, with optional graduate credit available. The Space Foundation offers an on-site NASA Educational Resource Center, which helps educators access and use science, mathematics, and technology instruction products aligned with national standards and appropriate state frameworks based on NASA’s unique mission and results. The Foundation also offers two distinct Masters in Space Studies Degrees in conjunction with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Regis University.