Space Across the Curriculum Provides STEM-based Classroom Activities for Teachers

Written by: developer

Space Across the Curriculum courses began June 23 at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs. These intensive week-long graduate-level professional development courses are for PreK-12 educators, and provides space-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content that is instantly transferable to the classroom.

All of the Space Foundation Space Across the Curriculum courses focus on national standards and STEM principles. Although the underlying concentration is on STEM, the courses are structured to adapt lessons to all grade levels and all curriculum areas. Participants do not need to be science or math teachers, and public, private and homeschool teachers from around the globe are welcome.

The first course of the summer was "Astronomy Principles for the Classroom: Kinesthetic Astronomy." The 21 teachers enrolled in the course included two recipients of Space Foundation scholarships:

  • Cristina Veresan, a middle school science teacher at Star of the Sea School in Honolulu, recipient of the 2014 Space Foundation Lucy Enos Memorial Scholarship
  • Sherry Wilkewitz, a third grade teacher at The Classical Academy (TCA) Central Campus in Colorado Springs, the 2014 recipient of The Anna and Kathryn Probert Educator Enrichment Scholarship

The course focused on providing teachers with hands-on activities to help students of all ages understand the motions of the galaxy, stars and constellations, astronomical research tools, 3D exploration of comets, auroras and planets.

A second course will be offered at the Discovery Center, July 7 - 11. "Space Technologies in the Classroom: Imagery and High-tech Science" will examine the numerous uses of space technologies in our society for the benefit of humankind. The participants will build and explore a variety of space technologies, including the construction of their own programmable robot.

Charles County Public Schools
This summer will be the eighth consecutive summer that the Space Foundation will conduct Space Across the Curriculum professional development courses in Charles County, Md.

Four sessions of two different courses will be conducted during the weeks of July 28 - Aug 1 and Aug 4 - 8, including

Week 1: "Meteorology and Space Weather, and PreK-2 Early Childhood Space Exploration"
Week 2: "Biological and Physical Research: Long-Term Space Travel, and Earth Systems Science: Our Earth Revealed"

A special highlight during the sessions will be the grand opening of the newest Charles County Public Schools high school -- St. Charles High School. This will be one of the most technologically advanced schools in the country, featuring not only a digital planetarium, but it will also be only the third school in the world to feature Science On a Sphere. The keynote speaker for the grand opening will be Dr. Leroy Chiao, Space Foundation Special Advisor - Human Spaceflight.

Learn more about Space Foundation STEM outreach and education programs.

Pictured above and below: The Space Across the Curriculum Astronomy class at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs

This article is part of Space Watch: July 2014 (Volume: 13, Issue: 7).