May 5, 2021 | Lee Cannon

After a very successful first year, NC Space Grant is opening the call for the next cohort of North Carolina Space Education Ambassadors (NCSEA).

NC Space Grant will select up to 10 current teachers from eight education districts across the state. The educators will commit to a one-year ambassadorship, beginning in the summer and continuing throughout their school’s academic year, ending in the spring.

“We’re looking forward to building on the successes of the first year of the program and adding to our network of K-12 teacher ambassadors, who are bringing a NASA education to students across the state,” says Jobi Cook, associate director of NC Space Grant. “Even though we had to adapt certain parts of the program because of the pandemic, the first cohort of teachers made big leaps and got really creative with how they collaborated and delivered their new STEM content.”

“We’re excited to add to our network of K-12 teacher ambassadors, who are bringing NASA education to students all over North Carolina,” Cook added.

During their Ambassadorships, teachers will be challenged to improve their own teaching skills and the STEM learning of their students by providing enriching STEM and space-themed instruction through hands-on, real-world challenges. They will work together to design space education initiatives, then implement those initiatives in their own schools, districts and communities.

The Ambassadors will collaborate with each other to identify learning objectives, share methods and develop lesson plans that align existing NASA education materials with the NC Standard Course of Study. They will also find ways to partner with other institutions in their communities to provide students with memorable STEM-learning opportunities.

Ambassadors have opportunities to learn directly from NASA education experts at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, through remote workshops. Also, the cohort will travel as a group to NASA Langley for in-person, hands-on training opportunities, subject to the center’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

The NCSEA program is designed to help meet two equal, nationwide needs. The first is a need to prepare pre-college students for the STEM careers of tomorrow. The second is the need to equip teacher leaders to inspire these students early. The NCSEA program will build a statewide network of master teachers who deliver NASA educational content not only to their own students, but also to their colleagues, schools and communities.

In-service public and private school teachers with three years or more experience are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity by June 30 on the NCSEA program page.

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