Space Foundation News

Space Discovery Institute Challenges Teachers to Create

Written by: developer

Space Discovery Institute Challenges Teachers to Create COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jun. 18, 2009) -- Teachers participating in this week's Space Foundation Space Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., are learning how to teach a broad range of subjects using space-related curriculum. One of Wednesday's exercises challenged participants to create spacesuits suited for specific environments ranging from Mercury to Pluto to the moons of Saturn. Working in groups and using primarily items found around a typical home, the teachers came up with creative scientifically based designs that could - theoretically - withstand radiation, acid-based atmospheric conditions, ice, wind, darkness, and both high and low gravitational pull.

This week's Space Discovery Institute on biological and physical research is one of 17 sessions being conducted this year in Omaha, Neb., Charles County, Md., and Colorado Springs. The week-long programs cover six different topics:

  • Biological and Physical Research: International Space Station Science & Space Law
  • Astronomy Principles for the Classroom: Exploring our Universe/The Search for Life
  • Space Technologies in the Classroom: Nanotechnology and Space Spinoffs
  • Earth Systems Science: Planetary Geology
  • Lunar/Mars Exploration and Base Construction
  • Rocketry: Space History

The elementary-school-through-high-school teachers who attend learn hands-on, minds-on activities and develop lesson plans that they can take back to the classroom. They also gain access to Space Foundation-provided teaching aids and additional lesson plans. The classes can be applied to several master's degree programs through both Regis University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The courses are developed and taught by Space Foundation educators, who are accredited teachers with additional space education credentials. The standards-based curriculum is designed to improve students' skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to motivate them to continue to study STEM topics.

This week's class includes 19 teachers from Colorado, Nebraska, and Alaska.

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