Quaker Valley Middle School Science teacher, Mrs. Tracy Shaffer, has been selected for the prestigious LiftOff Summer Institute to be held at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas this summer. This nationally competitive program sponsored by NASA's Texas Space Grant Consortium selects teachers who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math through space education.
Liftoff 2018's theme is Reach New Heights, Reveal the Unknown, Benefit all Humankind! The workshops provide teachers the rare – and for most, unique – opportunity to spend a week working with professional scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of space exploration. Since its founding in 1958, NASA has reached that goal numerous times over. From walking on the moon to landing on Mars, NASA has brought the wonders of space to people on Earth for decades. Thousands of people have been working around the world – and off it – for decades, trying to answer some basic questions. What's out there? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?
LiftOff is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA, and industry. Teachers apply for LiftOff and are selected competitively. The workshops are organized around an aerospace or space science theme drawn from NASA's diverse engineering and scientific research programs. The weeklong institute features a series of workshops, hands-on activities, field investigations, and presentations by NASA scientists and engineers working on various missions. NASA brings together technology, science, and unique global Earth observations to provide societal benefits and strengthen our nation. Critical to understanding how our planet's natural resources and climate are changing, our observations form the foundation for important environmental planning and decisions by people all over the world. We celebrate all that NASA has contributed in the past and will contribute in the future and the engineering behind its accomplishments at LiftOff 2018!
Teacher selected for Liftoff will return to their school districts to not only use materials received in their own classroom, but to train other educators. Educators selected will come together June 24 - June 29 at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to conduct experiments, tour facilities, and network with other educators while sharing innovative lesson plans and ideas. The LiftOff workshops prove that the excitement teachers, and more importantly, their students, feel about earth and space science can be used to enrich STEM education and inspire the next generation of explorers.