NASA landed at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School on Friday to give middle school students a glimpse of the work that goes on inside the nation’s space agency and to bolster its ties with LCPS.
“Typically, we would bring the students to us, but this is a long distance and this is an area of North Carolina we’ve been focusing on a lot this year with some other programs, so we decided to bring the lab to you,” explained Kim Brush, an education specialist with the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Students heard a presentation by NASA engineers Sam James and – via Skype – Kevin McLean about their work building and testing models of spacecraft, then put some of what the engineers told them into practice in hands-on experiments with Brush’s colleagues and demonstrations in the mobile STEM lab from Elizabeth City State University.
CSS was chosen as a stop for this once-a-year event – called STEM Week at the Lab – because of connections NASA educators have made with teachers from LCPS and other eastern North Carolina counties in the past year, according to Brush.
Since June, NASA has rolled out a program it calls Network of States, which “allows us to focus on a specific region and build a network within that community of industry, government, schools, universities and community colleges so we can add support to the local schools,” Brush said.
Teachers from Lenoir and Beaufort counties have particularly been involved in professional development through NASA, including a four-day session in June and another on Thursday, which included 15 teachers from LCPS.
Students at S.W. Snowden K-8 School in Aurora, in Beaufort County, were connected to the presentation by James and McLean via Skype.
Photos from NASA’s visit are here.