High School Educators Will Work With Agency's Technical
An innovative summer internship program will give 42 U.S.
middle and high school teachers a unique opportunity to gain
hands-on experience with NASA's latest aerospace engineering
technologies while working closely with agency technical
From July 18-29, those selected for the Simulation-Based
Aerospace Engineering Teacher Professional Development program will
learn about virtual technology so they can get their students
excited about real-world science, technology, engineering and
mathematics applications. NASA's Office of Education and
Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate sponsor the program.
Simulation-based aerospace engineering relies on computer models
and simulations of aerospace structures, materials, atmospheric
flight conditions and system operations to design improvements for
the next generation of flight vehicles and systems. "The greatest
engineering accomplishments today are made possible because of
modeling and simulation," said Behzad Raiszadeh, technical manager
for the modeling and simulation initiative at NASA's Langley
Research Center in Hampton, Va. "These highly qualified educators
will see first hand how simulation is used to solve some of the
most challenging NASA problems using the basic math and physics
principles they teach in school."
Four NASA centers are participating in the program this year.
Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA; Kennedy Space Center in
FL; and Langley are hosting workshops. Johnson Space Center in
Houston is supporting a workshop for the Hispanic community in
Kingsville, Texas. The centers employ extensive modeling and
simulation tools in their research and technology development
During the program, teachers will work alongside NASA mentors in
various agency laboratories and have the opportunity to tour NASA
facilities. They also will participate in NASA's Digital Learning
Network, learn about other agency educational resources, hear
speakers, and develop lesson plans incorporating modeling and
Participating teachers are from nine states: Alabama, Arizona,
California, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas.
Half of the teachers represent schools with a minority population
exceeding 50 percent. After their internships, the teachers will
implement the new lesson plans and share them with other teachers
in their school districts. The ultimate goal of the program is to
get students interested in aerospace engineering and computer
simulation early in their education.
The teachers were required to obtain sponsorships from industry
and academia. Forty sponsors have committed post-workshop support
to the teachers, including mentoring, classroom site visits, field
trips, equipment loans, forums for future workshops and speakers,
and financial donations.