Valencia secondary STEM education and elementary education majors from West, East and Osceola campuses attended a five-day 2014 NASA Kennedy Space Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) in July 2014. Rhonda Atkinson, West Campus professor of education, also attended the training sessions.
Each of the 12 students received a $1,300 stipend from NASA for their participation. The institute provided participants with hands-on opportunities to learn how to teach STEM topics using NASA-themed educational materials. Participants also toured Kennedy Space Center facilities and met an astronaut along with other personnel involved in NASA programs.
“Before going to the NASA Training Program, I had discarded my option of teaching at a high school as I was thinking about the difficulty of teaching young adults,” said Katherine Soto, a sophomore education (general preparation) major. “The experience itself and the knowledge I gained over a short period has helped me make an important decision regarding my degree. It is an excellent program for those who want to expand their knowledge about NASA and STEM.”
Each participant was certified to check out authentic NASA moon rocks and meteorite samples for school, college or community programs. All were exposed to the myriad resources that NASA has for teachers.
Click here to view NASA instructional materials that were shared.