Space Foundation Press Releases

Space Foundation Offers Space Scholarship for Pinellas County Educators

Written by: developer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 21, 2012) -- The Space Foundation is accepting applications for a scholarship specifically for educators in Pinellas County, Fla. The Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship for Teachers was established by the Space Foundation in 2010 to create special professional development opportunities for teachers currently teaching in the Pinellas County Schools, and especially for teachers at Dunedin High School in Dunedin, Fla. Funding for The Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship for Teachers is provided by her daughter, Janet Stevens of Colorado Springs, Colo., who is the Vice President -- Marketing and Communications for the Space Foundation, and her son, Mark Pedretty, of New Port Richey, Fla.

About Dr. Catherine Pedretty
A lifetime learner, Dr. Catherine Frazer Partain Pedretty worked as a teacher and guidance counselor in Pinellas County Schools for 38 years and was director of guidance for Dunedin High School at the time of her retirement. Born in 1928 in Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Pedretty grew up in Tennessee. She excelled in the sciences and wanted to become a geologist, but, as was common during those times, she was steered away from a profession "not befitting a girl." She majored in French and Spanish at the University of Tennessee, graduating with honors in 1949, the same year she married William L. Pedretty, an electrical engineer. She moved with her husband to North Carolina, Texas and then to Florida. While their four children were still young, Dr. Pedretty began working in a non-teaching job for Pinellas County Schools. She returned to school for her teaching certification, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in education from Florida State University. As a guidance counselor, she was most proud of the numerous times she helped young women pursue careers in engineering and science and in the role she played in getting her students accepted into the nation's military academies. Her husband William died in 1996, after 47 years of marriage. In 2004 she married James Gecoma, who survives her. Dr. Pedretty died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer.

About the Scholarship
The Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship for Teachers provides a unique opportunity for the selected teacher to travel to Colorado Springs and participate in one of the Space Foundation's annual Space Across the Curriculum courses. The scholarship provides spending allowance for travel, meals, lodging expenses and full tuition and fees for the selected teacher to attend any one of the Space Foundation's weeklong in-residence courses. The courses cover topics ranging from rocketry, robotics and astronomy to living and working in space. The courses are designed to help teachers use space themes in their classrooms to enable improved student performance in literacy, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other subject areas.

How to Apply
The applicant should first become familiar with Space Foundation teacher professional development and Space Across the Curriculum courses by going to The applicant must send a letter stating his or her qualifications and motivation for applying, experience or interest in space themes in the classroom and what he/she hopes to gain from the experience. The application must be endorsed with a letter of support by a principal or other supervisor.

Letters of application should be sent to:

Chrys Rheinbolt
Education Programs Administrator
Space Foundation Discovery Institute
105 Coleridge Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO  80909

Applications must be received no later than April 6, 2012, for the coming summer session. The winner will be notified in May 2012.

About the Space Foundation
The foremost advocate for the space industry and an expert in all aspects of space, the Space Foundation is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness, 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." The Space Foundation publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity and provides three indexes 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. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office and has a field office in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and read about the latest space news and Space Foundation activities in Space Watch.

Pictured: Dr. Catherine Pedretty