Iowa Space Grant Consortium announces partner schools for ISGC Academy

Monday, January 16, 2017
Storm Lake teachers Jacquie Drey and Karen Hixon

The Iowa Space Grant Consortium has announced its partner schools for the 2017 ISGC Academy. The Consortium will work with 10 Iowa educators for two days during a NASA workshop at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

During the workshop, the teachers, who include teachers from elementary to high school teachers throughout the state of Iowa, will tour the space center, interact with NASA scientists and education specialists, and participate in educational workshops. In turn, the teachers will take what they learned during the workshop and apply it to their curriculum.

The teachers will work with former NASA Astronaut, Robert L. Stewart throughout the workshop, which runs from February 8-11. Brigadier General Stewart completed two missions to space from 1984-1985. The workshop will also allow the teachers to interact with other MSFC engineers, scientists, and educators during the workshop to see STEM in action.

“This experience will be very inspirational to these teachers,” Jay Staker, Associate Director of Iowa Space Grant Consortium, said. “They will see the past, present, and future of NASA’s Space Program. Teachers that participated in previous years become energized from their contact with some of NASA’s best and brightest people.”

Jacquie Drey, Storm Lake 4th Grade Elementary Teacher, and Karen Hixon, Storm Lake School District Instructional Coach, have been selected to participate in the Iowa Space Grant Consortium in partnership with the Spencer Community Schools and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “I am beyond excited to travel with colleague and instructional coach Karen Hixon to Huntsville for this amazing opportunity provided by Iowa Space Grant Consortium and to have the support from Dr. Turner and Storm Lake Community School District (SLCSD) to attend,” shared Jacquie Drey. She continues, “I look forward to meeting former Astronaut Robert L. Stewart, touring NASA, interacting with scientist and other educational specialist during our workshop. Furthermore, what I am most thrilled about is bringing what I have learned and experienced back to SLCSD, our elementary, and my students. I am very inspired about the connections we will be able to make to our new NGSS science standards and STEM projects.”

SLCSD Instructional Coach, Karen Hixon, speaks to the work that is already happening in the district and the benefits provided by this Iowa Space Grant Consortium. “We believe that any experience that can help drive advances in educational opportunities, boost the integration of science and technology, and push students to identify problems and pursue solutions, regardless of setbacks, is extremely valuable. The opportunity to learn from and engage with NASA scientists, other science teachers and STEM professionals in this immersion experience would allow our team to increase the depth of our understanding and bridge that knowledge into making things happen here at SLCSD. Our exposure to real-world applications of STEM practices is something we are eager to bring back to our students and staff through pictures, resources, activities, simulations, presentations and discussion. SLCSD Science teachers have been working diligently toward learning and understanding and are eager for resources and materials. Our Fourth Grade team has been implementing STEM days throughout the first semester. Likewise, our Middle School has an 8th grade STEM course as part of the Essential Skills program and both buildings incorporate STEM into their after school activities. This opportunity will no doubt directly enhance those experience for both students and teachers. By enriching our background knowledge, we will be better prepared to teach and model STEM instruction and address the significance of STEM in the world within and beyond Northwest Iowa.”

The program is an exciting professional development experience that links to STEM and the NASA mission for training and enables teachers to bring their experiences back to their classrooms, schools, and colleagues.

In addition to introducing what they learned to their students, teachers will also provide professional development sessions for their colleagues related to their experiences.

“The reach of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium is truly Iowa-wide, and we are proud to announce these partner schools,” said Dr. Richard Wlezien, Director of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. Teachers attending this year’s workshop come from seven different schools throughout the state.

Torrey Proctor – Spencer Community Schools

Amanda Bare – Spencer Community Schools

Jacquie Drey – Storm Lake Elementary School

Karen Hixon – Storm Lake Community School District

Kelly Myers – Clarke Elementary School

Matthew Hennes – Clarke Community High School

Jenny Stessman – Missouri Valley Elementary School

Carla Christensen – Missouri Valley Elementary School

Alicia Schiller Haynes – Central Lee High School

Jamey Sue Smith – Central Lee High School

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: