Inaugural Flight for the IPN’s ‘Educators in Space’ hailed a success!!!
‘THANK YOU IPN, for giving me the opportunity to participate in what has been to me a life altering experience.’
The IPN has made a commitment to utilize it’s relationships with NASA and the space community, built up over a ten year period, to benefit young people and adults around the world.
In October 2010 the IPN organized a trip to Houston, Texas for a group of young people from England who had won UKAYRoC 2010, a national Rocketry challenge, to read about their experience click here.
January 2011 saw the first group of educators from Australia, Canada and Finland meet in Houston, Texas for an inspirational week offering learning experiences, professional development, relationship building and social interaction. Feedback from the delegates was outstanding as shown in the comments they provided either on the IPN blog or their feedback forms, to hear more read on….!
The ‘Educators in Space’ were based at the Hilton NASA, Clear Lake, a stones throw from Johnson Space Center! They were welcomed on Sunday evening by some of the locals, including George Abbey, former Director of the Johnson Space Center and an astronaut or two!
‘It is great to meet people who are so passionate about their work that they will give up personal time to talk to us. In a word it is inspiring.’
Monday was a day of history and culture for the delegates visiting Kemah Boardwalk, and the San Jacinto Museum. This was an opportunity for the group to get to know each other before getting to know some of the space community they would be meeting during their trip. This included Astronaut Mike Baker, Rocket Scientist, Kevin Mellet and former Director of JSC, George Abbey as well as several other scientists and engineers!!!
Tuesday saw the hard work beginning for our ‘Educators in Space”! The morning was taken up by meetings with Rob Alexander from NASA on mission control safety for the ISS, and Bill McArthur, who talked about his experience of living and working in space, and the future of the US’s role in the space program. Then in the afternoon, they were joined by Chuck Lloyd and his team from Human Research Program Education & Outreach (HRPEO) Team for a session on maths and science at work.
‘Great ideas for my classes. New connections all over the world. An amazing experience.’
Space Center Houston was the first stop on Wednesday, for a tour of the visitor center and a session with their Education Team. The afternoon was spent with Human Research Program Education & Outreach (HRPEO) Team, this time for a session on Expedition X and training to be an astronaut, both NASA produced education resources. During this session the delegates also learned more about the partnerships NASA has with the private sector to co-produce educational materials for schools.
‘This will prove to be a wonderful resource for Australian teachers looking for innovative materials to inspire their students.’
‘I feel that this has improved my experience, knowledge and skills, giving me more confidence when I am teaching STEM subjects.’
The group spent the evening at the home of Neal Pellis a former NASA scientist and his wife Jeanie where they enjoyed some music and mingling with more of the Houston space community.
On Thursday the group visited Houston Christian High school, where they spent time with students and teachers, to learn more about science education in the USA. They then moved on to the Education District Head Quarters for Region 4, where they learned about education resources and the services and support provided to schools in the region. In the evening they were guests of George Abbey at the inaugural ‘Space Frontiers’ lecture at Rice University, Houston Texas, to be given by astronaut Loren Acton.
‘the experience has increased the intensity of my passion for my work and given me more focus’
Friday, was the final day of the program for our ‘Educators in Space’ but probably one of the many highlights of the trip. It’s hard to beat a Director’s private tour of JSC, accompanied by George Abbey….!! You also never know who you will come across while touring JSC, the group bumped into Don Pettit (astronaut and mission specialist) and took the opportunity for an impromptu photo call! After an amazing morning at JSC the group travelled to Galveston to visit Odyssey Academy, a school focussing on math, science and technology. The final dinner for our ‘Educators in Space’ was at their new favorite restaurant, Chelsea’s!!! In recognition of their hard work and stamina during the week, the IPN presented each of them with a Certificate, signed by some of their new friends, George Abbey, Michael Baker and Bill McArthur…not forgetting Alex Blackwood, CEO of The IPN!
‘Brilliant, every day was full of stimulating experiences, social, cultural, and professional.’
‘Congratulations on hosting an incredible experience that is bound to be repeated.’
The IPN will run events in Houston for educators in January and June. If you are interested in attending an educators event, or supporting the participation of educators in the program click here.
If you are interested in sending a group of young people, click here to find out more, or click here to register interest in the next trip, June 28th – July 5th 2011. Deadline for applications 31st March 2011.
The IPN can also help you promote science and technology in your country through links with the space community in Europe and the USA, more information on this can be supplied on request.
We look forward to hearing from you and to expanding this unique international partnership that promotes Science and Engineering across the world.