Report from Headquarters

Funding Sought for Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy

Written by: developer

Funding Sought for Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy As Colorado Springs School District 11 (D-11) prepares for the opening of the new Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy (JSAA) in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is seeking partners to underwrite the costs of materials, renovations, and space laboratories.

D-11 and the Space Foundation are working in partnership to create the aerospace-focused middle school that uses space-based curriculum to drive proficiency in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Curriculum will use a hands-on approach based on proven Space Foundation programs that drive interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics and science among students, teachers, parents, and the community.

Named in honor of former astronaut and Colorado Congressman-elect John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., JSAA is a public middle school with a student population of about 520. Classes begin August 18. Later this school year, the Space Foundation education team, including the vice president of education, four aerospace education specialists, and three education administrators will relocate from the Space Foundation’s headquarters to the school to provide on-site support for teachers.

The Space Foundation’s commitment to JSAA includes delivering on-site space-related education programs for students and teachers, providing enhanced professional development and support for teachers, developing an on-site national teacher education center, and creating three laboratories to support the space-related curriculum:

  • The Space Missions Lab will simulate launch, flight and landing of a plethora of satellite space missions; early 2010
  • The Mission to Mars Lab will simulate Martian terrain and be used for manned and robotic mission simulations; 2010-2011 school year
  • Science on a Sphere will house a system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary and solar system data and images onto a six-foot-diameter sphere; 2011-2012 school year

The JSAA facilities were built in 1967 and are in need of repair and renovation. To date, D-11 has spent more than $1.65M on asbestos abatement and mechanical and HVAC renovations. Volunteers from Peterson Air Force Base, Ft. Carson Army Base, and The Broadmoor Hotel have volunteered time to paint and landscape the school grounds.

The Space Foundation is actively recruiting donors and partners to underwrite lab construction, equipment and renovations. Specific opportunities include:

  • Audio/visual upgrades for the gym and auditorium: $90K
  • 21st century classroom computers, wireless LAN and state-of-the-art teaching equipment: $54K per classroom; total $1.3M
  • Macintosh computer lab to assist students in developing creative presentations that bridge left- and right-brain thinking: $57K
  • Secure campus-wide wireless Internet: $150K
  • Mission to Mars laboratory: $118K
  • Science on a Sphere laboratory: $165K
  • Space Foundation education center classroom equipment: $61K each; total $183K
  • Campus building renovations: $3M
  • Space Foundation education center construction: $7.5M

For more information about underwriting opportunities, contact Jessica Sharp at [email protected] or 719-576-8000.

This article is part of Space Watch: August 2009 (Volume: 8, Issue: 8).