Harding Middle School in Des Moines is one of 25 schools nationwide recently named as NASA explorer schools. Vanessa Suggs of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama says the program involves a lot of sharing.
Suggs says they provide technology grant money, professional development for teachers, and visits by aerospace education specialists that work with teachers, students and families. Suggs says the program has one goal. She says the purpose is to get students excited, and increase their learning in science, math and technology.
Suggs says they hope to create the excitement that might lead to future NASA scientists and astronauts. Suggs says by getting students interested in science, math and technology, they’ll have the people who’ll lead NASA in the future for things like a return trip to the moon and go on to Mars and continue exploring space. Suggs says NASA will lay the ground work for the program later this year.
Suggs says there’s five members on the Harding Middle School team, and those members will go to the space flight center this summer for training. The program will then start in the fall. Suggs says the school team will develop a strategic plan to address its students’ needs in mathematics, science and technology education. Schools can then apply for technology grants over the three-year period to help implement their plans.