Teacher at­tends space camp

The Covington News - - LOCAL - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

A Rock­dale County teacher joined 204 mid­dle school math and sci­ence teach­ers to take a teacher-only field trip out of this world.

Tse­lane Chest­nut, a sev­enth-grade sci­ence teacher at Ed­wards Mid­dle School in Cony­ers, was among teach­ers who rep­re­sented 27 coun­tries and were awarded scholarships to at­tend the Honey­well Ed­u­ca­tors at Space Academy (HESA), a camp that cel­e­brated its 10th an­niver­sary this year of “in­spir­ing teach­ers, who, in turn, in­spire stu­dents to pur­sue STEM ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reers.” Teach­ers, in­clud­ing 144 from 43 U.S. states and ter­ri­to­ries, trav­eled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Cen­ter for one of two five­day pro­grams be­tween June 11-24.

Honey­well, a For­tune 100 di­ver­si­fied tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany that serves aero­space prod­ucts and ser­vices to cus­tomers world­wide, cre­ated the award-win­ning schol­ar­ship pro­gram for teach­ers in part- ner­ship with the U.S. Space and Rocket Cen­ter (USSRC) to help mid­dle school math and sci­ence teach­ers be­come more ef­fec­tive STEM ed­u­ca­tors (sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math). Dur­ing its first decade, Honey­well has awarded scholarships to 2,176 teach­ers from 55 coun­tries and 52 U.S. states and ter­ri­to­ries, ac­cord­ing to a Honey­well press re­lease.

“This pro­gram is all about re-ig­nit­ing pas­sion in teach­ers,” said Tom Buckmaster, pres­i­dent of Honey­well Home­town So­lu­tions, the com­pany’s global ci­ti­zen­ship ini­tia­tive re­spon­si­ble for HSEA. “STEM sub­jects are some of the most chal­leng­ing to teach, but this ex­pe­ri­ence helps teach­ers dis­cover new ways of de­liv­er­ing les­son plans to the next gen­er­a­tion of en­gi­neers, pro­gram­mers, math­e­ma­ti­cians and as­tro­nauts.”

Teach­ers were given rig­or­ous train­ing fo­cused on sci­ence and space ex­plo­ration, in­clud­ing as­tro­naut-style ex­er­cises such as:

- High-per­for­mance jet sim­u­la­tion - Sce­nario-based space mis­sions - Land and wa­ter sur­vival train­ing - In­ter­ac­tive flight dy­namic pro­grams

Can­di­dates had to com­plete an ap­pli­ca­tion process to qual­ify for the pro­gram. Cho­sen teach­ers were awarded round-trip air­fare to the USSRC in Huntsville, Alabama, tu­ition, meals and ac­com­mo­da­tions.

“Honey­well is a world-class leader when it comes to ed­u­cat­ing teach­ers in STEM ed­u­ca­tion, and they’re prov­ing it again,” said Deb­o­rah Barn­hart, CEO and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of USSRC. “These teach­ers, in turn, in­spire tens of thou­sands of stu­dents around the world ev­ery year. We are pleased to part­ner with Honey­well in help­ing to build the next STEM gen­er­a­tion.”

The de­mand for STEM-re­lated jobs grew three times faster than jobs in other fields in the last 10 years, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, but only 16 per­cent of high school se­niors are con­sid­ered pro­fi­cient in math­e­mat­ics and in­ter­ested in a STEM ca­reer. Only half of those stu­dents who pur­sue STEM cour­ses in col­lege ac­tu­ally go on to ca­reers in STEM fields.

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