Student teachers and mentor teachers were recently treated to an “out of this world” seminar with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As part of NASA’s Educator Professional Development Collaborative, or EPDC, educational specialists Dr. Brandon Rodriguez and Paula Partida led a professional development workshop designed to help educators teach science literacy to children.
Participants spent the day practicing hands-on activities, including a planetary creation activity geared at addressing the spatial misconceptions people often have of our solar system, and simulating crater impacts with cake flour. Dr. Brandon Rodriguez, who helps develop these lesson plans (which can be found online), encouraged the educators to “practice academic language with your students,” and provided them with standards-aligned NASA STEM content to bring into their own classroom. At the end of the training, educators earned their Lunar and Meteorite Disk Certification which allows them to borrow actual lunar rock and soil samples as well as meteorite samples from NASA for their classrooms.
“The class was such a valuable experience– even if you just want to see how to make science fun and interactive. It’s especially entertaining to see that adults have similar misconceptions about our solar neighborhood as our students,” said student teacher Leah Dawdy.
To learn more about our Teacher Education Program look here.