2014 March Education Newsletter

As a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR) supports 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 since the 2013 Flagship Luncheon 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. In 2013, WSBR directly sponsored two students to attend a one-week program at the Space Academy this summer, as well as three teachers to attend the Advanced Space Academy for Educators one-week program. We are thrilled to continue our 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.

WSBR is 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 top 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 made an impact on the career aspirations 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 and will be participating in the program again in 2014 for the session from July 19-25, 2014.

Applications for the 2014 program are due 30 April! Please encourage students and teachers from the Washington Metropolitan area to apply at http://www.theinspireproject.org

Expanding the Reach of the Challenger Center

WSBR has pledged financial support for Challenger Center for Space Science Education on an exciting project for the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program. The four- year, multi-million dollar grant enables Challenger Center to leverage its brand new, state-of-the- art technology and bring simulation learning opportunities into classrooms throughout the mid- Atlantic region and eventually, worldwide. The grant includes teacher training, real-time assessment of students and third party evaluation of methodologies.

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. The winning experiment on the growth of radish seeds in microgravity, will be flown to space in May 2014 aboard the 3rd Orbital Cygnus flight to the International Space Station. 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.

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.

Exponential Impact of One Scholarship

One of WSBR’s biggest success stories is Thurman Jones, the President of the Patriots Technology Training Center in Seat Pleasant, MD, an organization whose mission is to empower students through technology. Thurman was inspired by his WSBR/INSPIRE-sponsored trip to Space Academy for Educators to create a annual, space-related competition for local students at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. WSBR has been proud to support this competition that has involved hundreds of students in space research projects over the last three years. We are proud to announce that we will be providing this year’s winning team of the annual Solar System Competition with a trip to Space Camp!

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. In preparation for the opening of the National Capital Challenger Center 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 Iinitiatives.

Bring Us Your Ideas!

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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