In-Service Teacher Training Program: By focusing on the Six Principles of 21st Century e-Teaching implemented in our lesson plans, NIA trains teachers on how to use an experiential approach to inquiry-based teaching. NIA leads teacher training for a number of organizations, including: NASA, USAFA, Hampton City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Public Schools, Norwood Public Schools, Virginia Air and Space Center, Newport News City Public Schools, Portsmouth City Public Schools, National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA), National Council for Teacher's of Mathematics (NCTM), International Society for Technology Educators (ISTE), Virginia Association for Science Teachers, Illinois Association for Science Teachers, Children's Engineering Council, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Current Programs Managed and Led by NIA include:
RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Competition: The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge is a unique education initiative for students in grades 7-12. It encourages them to explore and to build skills essential for successful STEM careers through two phases of project-based learning and team competition. In the RealWorld phase, teams of high-school-aged students and teachers/coaches work face-to face collaboratively as engineers and scientists. After exploring and designing solutions in the RealWorld phase, participants move InWorld to continue working in a 3D virtual universe. In this virtual environment, each newly-formed team uses 21st Century tools to refine designs and to create 3D models of the Webb telescope. Webb engineers visit and “chat” InWorld with participants throughout the challenge. The winning team receives scholarships and technology awards.
NASA eClips™: “NASA eClips” is an award winning national educational program that provides short, relevant educational video segments designed to inspire and engage students by helping them see real-world connections to STEM education. NASA eClips™ offer unlimited flexibility in the classroom for timing, sequencing, and pacing of instruction to meet the needs of students and classroom instructors. Educational material, including the educators guides, for this program is selected based on national curriculum standards identified by NCTM, NSTA and ISTE.
Space Math @ NASA: NIA collaborates with Dr. Sten Odenwald, the creator of SpaceMath@NASA, to align NASA eClips™ video segments and educational resources with SpaceMath@NASA problems. This work organizes the two NASA resources into a STEM educational product for middle and high school teachers that supports real world, relevant constructivist learning. New alignments are posted monthly to both the NASA eClips™ and SpaceMath@NASA websites. NIA Educators in Residence are currently working with Dr. Odenwald in the creation of a pre-algebra/Earth science resource. NIA develops and implements best practice workshops and presentations using the paired educational resources developed within this partnership. Presentations in FY11 included NCTM regional, and NSTA and ISTE national conferences.
NASA and You: “NASA and You” is a joint venture between NASA, NIA and Univision Communications working together to inspire and engage Hispanic students to pursue STEM careers. Combining NASA's unique STEM education content with Univision's media platforms substantially increases awareness and interest in STEM among Hispanic children and parents.
Featuring Hispanic employees from NASA as role models, NIA produces the series of 30-second videos that present new perspectives on education and STEM careers. The segments air on Saturday mornings during the Univision children's block. They are part of the Univision’s comprehensive, multi-platform, three-year national education initiative called Es El Momento (The Moment is Now).
Virginia 21st Century e-Teacher Graduate Series and Teaching Professional Development Initiative: NIA, with its partner LearniT-TeachiT and member university the University of Virginia developed four graduate courses that serve as the curricula for the Virginia 21st Century e-Teacher Graduate Series. The series was piloted with Virginia Beach City Public School educators. The 21st Century eTeacher Initiative uses Web 2.0 technologies as teachers work through individual courses, each emphasizing the use of technology to support project-based learning while developing critical, creative and problem-solving skills. Courses empower teachers to develop constructivist lesson plans that effectively integrate instructional technology to support student learning in core academic subjects.
In 2011, nearly 350 Virginia Beach City Public School teachers received focused 21eTeacher training. NIA continues to work with VBCPS to shape changes within the school system’s professional development approach. The Virginia 21st Century eTeacher Initiative is now a state-wide initiative under the direction of the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Education and Public Outreach for NASA HIAD (Hypersonic Inflatable Aerospace Decelerators):
NIA is colloborating with the HIAD project team to develop and deliver a comprehensive educational and public outreach program to educate and generate awareness about this "game changing" and highly innovative technology. To achieve this, NIA is developing HIAD specific content for inclusion in the following NASA programs: NASA eClips™, NASA 360, Innovation Now.
NIA is developing the HIAD project website and will Livestream the HIAD test and validation launch from Wallops Space Flight Facility scheduled for the spring 2012.