Five Teachers from Mesa Unified School District Have Been Invited to Participate in the Microgravity University for Educators Activity at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.


MESA – Amber S. Amaya, Matt Berzins, Heather Haynie, Mandy Heal, and Kimberly Merlene of Mesa Public Schools in Mesa have been invited to travel to NASA Johnson Space Center in April to test student-derived experiments in a simulated microgravity environment.

nasaThrough a competitive process, educator teams submitted proposals to perform orbital insertion experiments on behalf of K-12 students at Johnson Space Center’s unique astronaut training facilities.  All experiments involve solutions to technical problems, or improvements to existing solutions, identified by NASA scientists and engineers who use simulated microgravity environments in their work. All teams have been assigned a NASA engineer or scientist to guide them through the Engineering Design Process before arriving.   

Educator teams will travel to Johnson and test a student-derived Satellite Launching Experimental Device on the Precision Air Bearing Floor, while videoconferencing with home campuses. NASA Ustream will provide a link for community members and the public to view.   

Microgravity University for Educators provides 50 Continuing Professional Education hours through training on NASA Education resources about microgravity and how NASA simulates microgravity on Earth.  Microgravity University for Educators is funded through the STEM Education Accountability Project to help advance NASA Education’s contribution to the national Co-STEM goal of preparing 100,000 excellent new K-12 STEM teachers by 2020.

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William Jeffs
Johnson Space Center, Houston