Space Foundation Press Releases

United Space Alliance Doubles Teacher Grant

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United Space Alliance Doubles Teacher GrantCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May. 9, 2011) — During the 27th National Space Symposium, held April 11-14 in Colorado Springs, Colo., United Space Alliance (USA) partnered with the Space Foundation to present two checks for $5,000 to Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons who applied for the first-time grant by submitting student project plans to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects in the classroom.

Teacher Liaisons competed for the grant by creating space-based classroom lessons and activities around the theme, “Human Space Travel in the Year 2020,” and submitting a plan that outlined materials needed, estimated cost and learning objectives. There were 22 applications submitted and, according to USA, the competition was very close.

The results were so impressive that instead of offering one $5,000 grant as originally planned, USA also awarded a second grant. By selecting an additional project, the grants will benefit elementary, middle and high school levels in two different school districts.

“The project plans were so innovative and sustainable that we found it impossible to select just one,” said Dan Brandenstein, USA executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We had the opportunity to help inspire many more students than we originally thought possible, and we’re glad we were in the position to give the extra grant.”

One grant was awarded to a team of four teachers from Center, Colo.:

  • Gail Martinez, Skoglund Middle School 
  • Kathleen Newmyer, Center Consolidated School District 
  • Diego Martinez and Daniel Newmyer, Center High School

The other grant was awarded to Stephanie Kawamura of Pine Lane Elementary-North, Parker, Colo. Kawamura received the good news about the grant by phone in her classroom when Brandenstein called to inform and congratulate her.

“I took the call in the classroom and the students erupted in cheers while I both giggled and cried following the surprise announcement,” said Kawamura.

The competition was only open to Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons who registered to attend the Symposium as of March 11, 2011. Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons serve as active links between the Space Foundation, NASA and their schools and school districts. They are selected annually by a panel comprising experienced Teacher Liaisons and representatives from the space industry and the military.

The highly regarded Space Foundation Teacher Liaison program is in its eighth year and has 360 active participants. The program provides an honored few educators numerous benefits and privileges, builds resumes and influences education at a national level.

Learn more about becoming a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison in the Educators section of the Space Foundation education website at:

The deadline to apply for the 2012 Teacher Liaison program is December 9, 2011.

About United Space Alliance
Established in 1995, USA is the world’s leading space operations company. USA is NASA’s primary industry partner in human spaceflight operations, including the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station (ISS) and exploration programs. USA has expertise in mission planning and preparation, flight design, training, flight hardware and software processing, launch and recovery operations and real-time mission operations. In addition, USA has leveraged its space operations expertise in support of Department of Defense, commercial and international customers. The company is based in Houston and has employees in Florida, Alabama, California, Washington, D.C., and Russia. Learn more about USA at

About the Space Foundation
The Space Foundation is a global, nonprofit organization and the foremost advocate for all sectors of the space industry – civil, commercial, military and intelligence. Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is a leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom, and major industry events, including the National Space Symposium, all in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” An expert in all aspects of the global space industry, the Space Foundation publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity and provides three indices that track daily performance of the space industry. Through its Space Certification and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, the Space Foundation recognizes space-based technologies and innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office and has field representatives in Houston, Texas, and Cape Canaveral, Fla. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and read about the latest space news and Space Foundation activities in Space Watch.

Pictured: Winning Teacher Liaisons, Gail Martinez, Kathleen Newmyer, Diego Martinez and Daniel Newmyer from Center, Colo., flanked by former NASA Astronaut and USA COO Dan Brandenstein (left) and USA President and CEO Virginia Barnes (right) at the 27th National Space Symposium.