Aldine ISD educators complete space discovery graduate courses

Recently, 22 Aldine ISD educators in the multilingual department completed the Space Discovery graduate courses this summer at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Space Discovery week long college level courses were conducted by the Space Foundation and were designed to help K-12 educators prepare students for the global work force.

In the ‘Living in Space and Basic Rocketry” course, educators learned about rockets, life and survival with an in-depth study of rocketry, astronomy and aeronautics. Participants studied human space flight, the effects of micro gravity on the human body and the physics of a space environment.

They also built and launched model rockets and experienced weightlessness during an underwater neutral buoyancy experiment.

“Astronomy Principals for the Classroom and Life-long Learners,” focused on NASA’s enterprise for space science.

The courses were taught by several experts that included Dr. Paul Vergez, USAFA professor of astronautics and several academy instructors.
The program also featured speakers such as Mike Coats, a former NASA astronaut and a veteran of three space flights. Coats has logged more than 460 hours in space.

Coats is currently vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Denver, CO.

District administrators who attended were Christina Gomez, program director of elementary bilingual/ESL (English as a Second Language) education and Amy Hirasaki, program director of secondary ESL education. Schools represented at the Space Discovery summer program were Gray Elementary, Worsham Elementary, Goodman Elementary, Eisenhower Sr. High, Black Elementary, Anderson Academy, Caraway Intermediate, de Santiago EC/PK Center, Odom Elementary, Stovall Academy, Oleson Elementary, Hinojosa EC/PK Center, Johnson Elementary. Stovall Middle, and Smith Academy.
According to J.C. Harville, director of multilingual services, the district has been sending teachers to the program for the past three years.

“Teachers and students both benefit from the program,” said Harville. “Students are able to make and launch different rockets and understand the science of rocketry.

“The Space Foundation staff do an excellent job of providing hands-on instruction that will benefit the teaching of space science to our students.”
The Space Foundation has conducted Space Discovery graduate courses since 1986, training more than 12,000 teachers about “Teaching with Space.” All Foundation courses meet state and national educational standards.