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NASA is a part of everything I teach. Professionally, I first encountered NASA in the classroom when I applied for the Teacher in Space Program. Being a new teacher I did not receive serious consideration for Teacher in Space, but I used the application as a blue print for subsequent professional development activities. Fifteen years later I was quite pleased to make it onto the final selection list for the Educator Astronaut Program and into the ranks of the Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers (NEAT). Other honors include receiving the Vincent J. Marteka Jr. Award from the Weekly Reader Corporation for exemplary science teaching at NSTA National Convention in Philadelphia, PA 2003. I also received The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) from President Clinton in 1999.
Every unit I teach contains a significant section about NASA. Whether it is using satellite images to find areas rich in fossils, ground truthing cloud observations taken by the TERRA and AQUA satellites for NASA's S'COOL Project, or using satellite data from a GPS receiver to navigate using topographic maps. NASA is a part of it all. We have conversed with countless astronauts and cosmonauts as they orbited Earth using the radio equipment in the classroom. I find students (even those who tend to be less motivated by school) attentive and interested when NASA enters the topics we are studying.
I live with my wife and daughter in the “new house” we
recently purchased. My son is a sophomore studying mechanical
engineering at the University at Buffalo, New York. When
I am not working on the house I fit in a run or time to read a
good book. Life is good!
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