Professional Grant Success Story
Submission by Amanda Wyatt and Jacqui Schilling
When you attend the informational meetings about applying for an ITEF grant one thing that stands out is professional development. Charmaine and Brenda continuously stress the importance for including professional development in your application. So this year as we prepared to apply for “Two Stars to the Right, Straight on to Learning” we thought what better place to learn about space than space camp.
We packed our bags (the list was long) and headed out on a road trip to Huntsville, AL for a week at educators space camp. Little did we know just what would be in store. No really, the itinerary was pretty vague. When we first arrived they immediately had us try on NASA flight suits. I remember thinking: “this week is going to be interesting.”
Throughout the week we listened to real life NASA heroes like Homer Hickam (author of Rocket Boys), Ed Buckbee (author of The Real Space Cowboys) and Don Thomas (retired NASA astronaut). They talked to us about the adventures and struggles they experienced. Don Thomas talked with students about never giving up through adversity. An inspiration to all.
We took off our teacher hats and fell back into childhood as we played (while we learned) completing team missions, building rockets, creating ablative shields, and daring adventures in space at the low ropes course at “Area 51”. We went to space camp anticipating to learn some new activities we could bring back to our students. We left space camp with an even deeper desire to continue in our journey to bring as many unique experiences to our students in hands on engaging activities in order to continue to push them into the future.
Without the push from ITEF to be SURE to include professional development in your grant we would not have had this amazing once in a lifetime experience. Thank you for the continuous support with professional development for teachers.