Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) William S. Carlsen, Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pennsylvania State University
AESP A five-year cooperative agreement between Penn State University and NASA, through Langley Research Center. AESP provides educational services to K-12 schools and other educational entities. Its 18 Education Specialists, who are based at NASA centers, deliver teacher professional development and other educational programming in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In 2008, six new Traveling Education Specialists will be added to the AESP workforce.
Project Goals • Work closely with higher education. • Change the emphasis of school visits. • Work early with new NASA projects. • Give priority to the needs of schools. • Facilitate collaborations between K-12 schools andscientists and engineers. • Use technologieseffectively. • Support differentiated training and activity of education specialists and other staff. • Help prepare NASA’s future workforce.
Elaboration on Select Goals • Higher education: Strengthen preservice and inservice teacher education at colleges and universities where NASA R&D is conducted and where interactions can be sustained among scientists, science educators, and teachers. • School visits: Shift the focus from one-time visits and school assemblies to efforts that strengthen university-based professional development; build capacity; and provide opportunities for teachers to practice new pedagogical approaches. • New NASA projects: Where desired, assist in planning K-12 components, to contribute a ground-truth perspective on the actual needs of teachers, state curriculum standards, and mechanisms for training and dissemination.
Elaboration on Select Goals • Collaborations with Other Stakeholders: Support collaborations that leverage other university, industry, and government outreach to K-12 education. • NASA’s future workforce: Identify and address strategic holes in NASA’s educational enterprise at the K-12 level. For example, promote and support initiatives like the cross-cultural opportunities in the new GLOBE IESSPs.
National Space Grant Foundation • Support development of credit-bearing preservice and inservice science courses for teachers in all 50 states and territories, by working in collaboration with Space Grant affiliated colleges and universities. Partnerships at the state level provide a mechanism for state-specific modifications in programming. • Financial support for state-by-state modification of courses by Space Grant-affiliated colleges and universities. • Through mini-grants administered by the NSGF ($300,000/yr), subsidize courses offered at Space Grant Consortium institutions during the first year or two that they are offered. • Work closely with state Space Grant directors to develop strategies for building and sustaining university/NASA/school collaborations and build state-specific endowments for NASA education that can be used to sustain collaborations.
Ed Specialists & Space Grants • Education Specialists based at NASA Centers can assist in developing state-specific PD courses, and will offer interstitial workshops and school visits, recruit new participants, observe and coach teachers, build support from school administrators and parents, and leverage resources from other outreach programs. • Specialists will work with Space Grant Consortium institutions to market courses and to provide the ongoing school-based support and evaluation data that Space Grant partners will need to help them sustain their efforts. • Specialists will be able to help ensure that PD plans emphasize student scientific inquiry, growth in student and teacher subject matter knowledge, and building local and regional capacity—all elements of effective professional development.
Template “Sandbox” • Solicitations for sandbox course development will be developed in collaboration with LaRC, which will work with NASA to ensure that the focus of new content is consistent with NASA’s strategic direction. • Create a small number of course “templates” by engaging NASA-funded scientists, education scholars, Educational Specialists, and teachers. • Product will be one or more course templates and a toolkit of new and pre-existing instructional materials that could be used to expand the template into future PD curricula. • Clearly articulate the conceptual progression in the templates (evident to educators), and select instructional activities to model and enhance inquiry-based instruction, not to “keep students busy.”
Curricular Prototypes, Field Testing, and Programmatic Integration • Prototype courses will be developed annually • Focus on preservice teachers, inservice teachers, or both; and attentive to the different needs of elementary and secondary teachers (and students) • At least 30 hours of classroom instruction, plus other structured work, and offered for graduate credit through an accredited college or university, typically a Space Grant Consortium institution. • Ensure that the programs are long enough in duration to effect measurable changes in teachers’ knowledge and will also make it much more likely that the resulting courses will both address teachers’ needs and can be sustained through a tuition model.
National Dissemination and Evaluation • Awards for course offerings will be made annually on the basis of merit and will be administered by the NSGF. • Network of state-specific courses offered annually to inservice and preservice teachers • e.g., Week-long courses in successive years with an intervening period of school-year workshops, ePD, and other participation • Professional development that is both “routine” and site-sensitive • The primary purpose of evaluation will be not to “rate the workshop/lesson/curriculum,” but to gauge its educational effects
Proposed Initial Course Template/Prototype Themes • Summer 2008: Mars • Summer 2009: The Moon
Possible Scenario • A group of New Hampshire science, engineering, and education faculty apply for and receive a minigrant to offer a credit-bearing course on Mars-related science to NH teachers in summer, 2009. • AESP specialists and other experts assist in acquiring and modifying instructional resources, recruiting teachers, getting commitments from schools, etc. • The graduate course is offered to teachers. Support for instruction and tuition subsidies are provided through the NSGF award. • During the following school year, AESP specialists visit participating teachers’ schools and provide classroom support, observe classes, collect evaluation data, etc. In addition, a fleet of traveling specialists spends two weeks in NH delivering programs high production value programs in participating schools.
Opportunities for Space Grant Consortia • Technical and financial assistance in developing high-quality, sustainable professional development opportunities for teachers in NASA-related content. • A mechanism for recruiting teacher participants and systematically collecting meaningful outcome data: Measures of teacher and student learning, changes in instructional practice, recruitment into STEM higher education, etc. • New routes for faculty who conduct sponsored research to offer manageable, effective EPO to teachers. • Significant school-year follow-up and subsequent, relevant school programming.
Bill Carlsen (email@example.com), cell (814) 933-2899Tom Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), AD for Business & Alliances