Report from Headquarters

Community Honors Space Foundation

Written by: developer

Community Honors Space Foundation The Space Foundation and Colorado Springs School District 11 (D-11) were honored Nov. 5 by the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation with an Excellence in Local Industry Chairman’s Award for their collaborative efforts to create the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy in Colorado Springs.

Created through a partnership between D-11 and the Space Foundation, the public middle school uses aerospace themes and principles to build student proficiency in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

The Space Foundation and D-11 jointly develop the Academy’s national standards-based curriculum and provide teachers with the training and support they need to bring the curriculum to life in the classroom. The inquiry-based hands-on, minds-on teaching approach encourages and inspires students to study technology-based subjects, as well as helping them develop study skills that can be applied across all disciplines. Formal mentoring programs that connect students with aerospace professionals and involvement in Space Foundation programs, such as the National Space Symposium, further strengthen the educational program at the Academy. The campus is also home to the Space Foundation Discovery Institute.

The original plan for the school was launched in October 2008, the agreement was finalized in June 2009, and the school opened in August 2009 with more than 500 students. It is named in honor of Colorado native and Apollo astronaut John L. “Jack” Swigert.

The Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy is part of the Space Foundation’s broad-reaching education programs. For more details on the wide variety of space-themed programs for teachers and students, click here.

The Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation is a privately-funded organization that provides primary employers with complementary, comprehensive relocation and expansion services, including: city comparisons including wages, workers compensation rates, taxes, building rates, utility comparisons, average cost of living, and housing costs; information regarding building, land, and build-to-suit facility availabilities; site visit assistance, including hotel accommodations, tours and ground transportation, and interviews with local agencies and potential employees; planning and permit meetings with city officials; incentive analysis preparation to identify any benefits available to relocating businesses, including tax credits, enterprise zone credits, training credits/funding, and additional financing options.

Pictured, left to right: Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera, D-11 Special Projects Director Mary Ley; D-11 Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Gledich; Space Foundation Vice President Communications and Public Outreach Janet Stevens; Space Foundation Aerospace Education Specialist Melissa Peterson, and El Paso County (Colo.) Commission Chairman Jim Bensberg.

This article is part of Space Watch: December 2009 (Volume: 8, Issue: 12).