2013 October Education Newsletter

As a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, the Washington Space Business Roundtable strives to support space-related interests and develop opportunities for young people in the Washington Metropolitan area. The organization funds activities to support the

education of young students relating to space and space-related technology with the goal of stimulating interest in careers in space-related fields. All proceeds from the silent auction at the Annual Flagship Luncheon are used for the Education Fund used to sponsor initiatives in line with the WSBR mission. Some of the initiatives that the Education Fund financed in 2013 so far are highlighted below.

Space and Science can be Fun – Especially at Space Camp!

WSBR has continued its successful partnership with The INSPIRE Project to send local middle school students and teachers to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. WSBR directly sponsored 2 students to attend a one-week program at the Space Academy this summer, as well as 3 teachers to attend the Advanced Space Academy for Educators one-week program. This is the first time that the Advanced Space Academy for Educators program has been offered to applicants from the public. All applicants are required to have previously completed the Space Academy for Educators program. The 5 educators who attended this program have been sponsored by WSBR and the INSPIRE Project to attend the main program in previous years. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with and support for these dedicated teachers who are willing to put in extra time and effort to bring new ideas and experiences to their classrooms and their schools.

The student Space Academy program includes intensive classroom, laboratory and training time, focusing on space science and space exploration. The Space Academy experience encourages teamwork, problem solving, communication skills and self-confidence. Students take part in astronaut-style training and simulations, as well as STEM activities to excite our next generation of space science and technology explorers. Teachers also take part in astronaut-style training and simulations, as well as activities designed to promote life-long learning in a classroom setting. All lessons and activities link to National Science and Math Standards and are ready to use in the classroom. The program provides all attendees access to their own website with lesson plans, standards and tips needed to adapt many of the workshop activities to individual class environments.

We are also especially proud of one of our educators, Florentia Spires, who was awarded the “Right Stuff” medal at Space Camp this year (shown in the group photo to the left). She was awarded this Ultimate Honorary Award for exemplifying outstanding leadership and teamwork ability in the time of attending Space Academy for Educators.

The Space Camp experience has impacted the aspired to career fields and classroom teaching methods of participants from around the country and internationally. WSBR is proud to enable that experience for some very deserving students and teachers in the Washington metropolitan area.

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)

WSBR has supported the participation of three Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy to participate in Mission 5 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). Through the program, several hundred 9th and 10th graders at the Chavez Schools will design experiments for a microgravity environment. It is anticipated that the program will generate up to 60 designs and proposals for flight experiments. A Proposal Review Board will then select one of the experiments to be vetted and flown on the International Space Station. The winning experiment will be flown to space in the spring of 2014. This is a unique opportunity for students to design, think through, propose, develop and fly an experiment all in one academic year!

SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC, working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.

The Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy educate 1,400 low- income and minority students in grades 6—12 in Washington, DC. The mission of the schools is to mission is to prepare scholars to succeed in competitive colleges and to empower them to use public policy to create a more just, free and equal world.

Field Trips for Local Schools to Museums and the Challenger Center

WSBR has supported school field trips to the National Air & Space Museum both in Washington, DC and at the Udvar Hazy Center in Dulles, VA. In addition, this year we will be promoting field trips to the Challenger Center in Lanham, MD, as well. In preparation for the opening of the National Capital Challenger Center toward the end of next year, WSBR would like to encourage and support DC public schools to make use of the Center already located nearby.

For information regarding WSBR’s education initiatives, including field trip applications, visit Education Initiatives.

WSBR is always looking for programs in support of its mission to promote interest in STEM and space-related fields in the Washington Metropolitan area. Please contact Janice Starzyk, Education Chair (j.starzyk@ilslaunch.com) with any new ideas or programs.

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