Space Foundation News

Rachel Harrington is 2023 recipient of the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

Rachel Harrington

Rachel Harrington has over 16 years of professional experience in K-8 instruction and currently teaches science at Haller Middle School in Arlington, WA. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (2006) in K-8 instruction and Master of Education in Literacy Instruction (2010) from Western Washington University. In 2016, in conjunction with her role as a teacher, Rachel became Arlington School District’s Middle School Science Teacher on Special Assignment, serving as the liaison between Arlington middle schools and helping to establish vertical alignment between the elementary and high schools. Rachel is also a member of Space Foundation’s International Teacher Liaison program. In 2019, Rachel achieved the distinction of being a Regional Finalist for Washington State Teacher of the Year.

As a prolific grant writer, a skilled professional development presenter, and a committed team leader, she has secured funding for her science department to travel out of state to attend the Space Exploration Educators Conference in Houston, Texas. Rachel is a graduate of Honeywell Educators Space Academy and Green Boot Camp. Rachel has presented at the Space Exploration Educators Conference located at Johnson Space Center and at SPACE conference located at Kennedy Space Center. She collaborates with NASA engineers, providing students with the opportunity to engage in direct conversations with professionals from the space industry. Additionally, she teams up with the First the Seed Foundation to cultivate tomato seeds that have been to space and works with the Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline to organize NASA summer camps. Rachel’s development and execution of a comprehensive STEM Day, designed for middle and select high school students, holds paramount importance as it immerses participants in the simulation of Martian astronauts actively engaged in the intricate process of colonizing Mars.