NASA workshop for teachers under way at TROY's Dothan Campus

Posted: Wednesday, 24 June 2009

DOTHAN—A NASA education workshop under way at Troy University’s Dothan Campus is giving local teachers new ideas for getting students excited about math, science and technology.

The two-day workshop began on Wednesday, June 24, and is sponsored the Wiregrass Math and Science Consortium. It is being led by Dr. Wil Robertson, an aerospace education specialist from the Marshall Space Flight Center.

More than 30 teachers from around the state are attending the workshop. It focuses on providing educators with ideas for lesson plans and activities using resources and materials available from NASA.

By building rockets, parachutes or even hot air balloons, the hands-on lessons are bringing science and math concepts to life for students at all grade levels, said Sandy Armstrong, director of the Wiregrass Math and Science Consortium.

“Teachers are using these activities to teach concepts like the Pythagorean Theorem or geography,” Armstrong said. “And we are seeing kids getting excited about math and science—kids who’ve never been excited before. That’s the reason we do what we do.”

Dr. Robertson said NASA has a variety of resources available through its education program that can help K-12 educators enhance their science and math lessons.

“We try to show how the unique resources available through NASA can be used to help motivate students to get interested in math and science,” Robertson said.

The workshop will continue at the Dothan Campus on Thursday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Harrison Room in Malone Hall.

The Wiregrass Math and Science Consortium is a joint venture of TROY’s Dothan Campus and partner school systems. Its goal is to increase student performance in math and science by providing professional development for K-12 teachers.

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NASA workshop 1:
Dr. Wil Robertson, an aerospace education specialist from the Marshall Space Flight Center, responds to a question during the NASA education workshop for teachers on Wednesday, June 24, at Troy University’s Dothan Campus. More than 30 teachers from around the state are attending the workshop, which focuses on providing educators with ideas for enhancing math and science lessons using resources and materials available from NASA. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)

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NASA workshop 2:
Jessica Smith, right and Evangeline Gunn collaborate on a science activity during the NASA education workshop for teachers on Wednesday, June 24, at Troy University’s Dothan Campus. Smith and Gunn are both graduate students in education at the Dothan Campus and were among more than 30 local educators who are attending the two-day workshop. It focuses on providing teachers with ideas for enhancing math and science lessons using resources and materials available from NASA. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)