Nebraska City Middle School teachers Tammy Blobaum and Elizabeth Dunn are preparing for take off as members of the first class of Nebraska Education Space Ambassadors.
They are among 13 teachers and six pre-service teachers from Nebraska to travel to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida July 22-26 for the "Out of This World" teacher training workshop.
A NASA Nebraska Space Grant developed the ambassador concept to help teachers feel more confident in earth and space science, as well as help build student interest and boost achievement scores.
Pre-service teachers are invited to encourage more teachers to enter the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“Our investment in quality teachers impacts more students over time than student-based programs,” said Michaela Lucas, associate director of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Consortium.
“Good teachers provide the spark for student interest in math and science, and keep the students interested. We want a team of quality teachers across the state mentoring other teachers and providing authentic training for thousands of students each year,” she said.
The schedule includes classroom activities and observations of the original Atlantis space shuttle orbiter in its new home at Kennedy Space Center.
A launch simulation is also planned.
Both Blobaum and Dunn provide classes for the Middle School’s After School Club and have participated in continuing education regarding space and technology.