Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Camp for Science Teachers

What do science and math teachers do during their summer vacation? Several years ago a number of teachers from St. Tammany Parish and surrounding areas took part in the Michoud Education Fellow Program (MAF), an unusual learning experience that brought them to the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans for tours, discussions, and meeting with astronauts, engineers and builders of America's most advanced space hardware. 

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The teachers completed an intensive two week summer internship at MAF and Stennis Space Center, learning about all kinds of leading-edge science and engineering to take back to their classrooms.

The professional development program was the result of collaboration among St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, Louisiana State University/Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE), and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center/Michoud Assembly Facility. The pilot program was held 2008-2009. The unique opportunity for professional development within NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility offered teachers a working model of what they want their students to be able to do in a real world setting.

Producing video tapes for classroom educational purposes

The program continued for three more years and included the teacher participants producing educational videos with the help of Channel 13, the School System's television production department. They video-taped interviews with engineers, multi-media specialists, scientists, and other professionals on site, then returned to the David Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville to complete the video productions. The videos illustrated for students how science, mathematics and communication skills are used by the scientists, engineers and other professionals at the Michoud Assembly Facility.

The First Year Group

The Second Year Group

The Third Year Group

Teachers were even encouraged to design their own mission patches each year.

Here is a press release and photo from the first program.

Louisiana Teachers Recognized for Participation in LaSpace/NASA Michoud
Education Fellow Program at Michoud Assembly Facility

Five Louisiana teachers were recognized July 25, 2008, for their participation in the LaSpace/NASA Michoud Education Fellow Program at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. For the 2008-2009 school year, these teachers were paired for three, two-week sessions with department heads, engineers, chemists and welders at Michoud to learn first hand about science and technology careers available to their students in their own backyard of New Orleans. 

The educators teach earth science, physics and physical science to students in eighth through 12th grade and took their experiences back to the classroom, reaching over 700 students. This program is a partnership between the state of Louisiana, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and NASA. Participating in the ceremony were from left, front row: Shelia Cloud, Michoud transition director; Steve Turner, Michoud safety and health manager; back row: Paul Chandler, a physical science and chemistry teacher at Slidell High School in Slidell, La.; Deborah Nunez, a physics teacher at Covington High School in Covington, La.; Dr. Paulette Perrin, a curriculum specialist for St. Tammany Board of Education in Slidell, La.; Ruth Hill, an earth science teacher at Monteleone Junior High School in Mandeville, La.; Crystal Drake, an earth science teacher at St. Tammany Junior High School; JoAnne Hobson, an earth science teacher at Slidell Junior High School in Slidell, La.; and Dr. Pam Blanchard, representative of Louisiana State University. (Photo: Lockheed Martin/MAF) 

The Fourth Year Group

St. Tammany Parish Public School System teachers who took part in the Michoud Education Fellows MEF-4 Program attended a briefing at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans where they met the Final Four STS-135 astronauts who had just returned from the very last Space Shuttle flight. The astronauts were at Michoud to brief the employees and share their personal stories for one last time. Pictured above, from left to right, are Dr. Pam Blanchard of LSU; John Thacker of Covington High School; Sandy Magnus, mission specialist; Doug Hurley, pilot; Rex Walheim, mission specialist; Chris Fergusen, commander; Dr. Paulette Perrin, St. Tammany Parish Public Schools; and Kristie Milligan, Creekside Jr. High School. 

CLICK HERE for PDF file showing teachers visiting UNO-NCAM and Lockheed Martin.

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