Monday, August 24, 2015
Posted on 3:09 PM by Spring Branch ISD | No comments
Molly Nipper, a Bendwood School SPIRAL program Gifted and Talented teacher, has returned with new skills and insights after attending the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy based at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Hundreds of instructors from dozens of nations attended.
Molly Nipper, a SPIRAL program Gifted and Talented teacher at the Bendwood School, returned this summer from the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy based in Huntsville, Ala., at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
The Spring Branch ISD instructor was one of 200 teachers from 38 states and 22 nations to attend the skills focused camp in science, technology, engineering and math, held from June 11-15. NASA’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center functions as the official visitor information center for the Marshall Space Flight Center.
The Space Academy camp week provided Nipper with authentic astronaut-level training, as well as hands-on activities and missions based on teacher teamwork, leadership and decision-making.
Nipper took part in mock astronaut missions, experienced time inside simulators, and even took a virtual tour into space to save the International Space Station. On her first mission, she was a Lunar Mission Specialist on the Orion spacecraft with orders to complete an EVA (Extravehicular Activity) on the moon. As a materials scientist on the ISS, she manufactured polyurethane foam as an experiment.
In the classroom, she received STEM lessons to bring home. Her camp team built rockets and launched them. She built and tested land rovers and landers using tiny egg payloads. She worked on water filtration systems to support life.
“One of the unique parts of this program was collaborating with teachers from all over the world. In my team alone, I had the privilege to work with educators from Indonesia, The Netherlands, Turkey, Canada and India,” Nipper said.
“Our team name was Destiny,” she adds, “and I truly believe it was destiny that brought us all together during this life-changing space camp. I returned to “Dare Mighty Things” and to do more for my students.”
Camp attendees like Nipper took part in classroom, laboratory and field training exercises, which are linked to U.S. science and math teaching standards. All the teachers received 45 hours of continuing education credit, and had the option of earning graduate hour credits through the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The space camp was sponsored by Honeywell as part of its award-winning math and science education initiative. Nipper and other Honeywell educators received full scholarships for tuition in the six-day program, round-trip airfare, meals and accommodations and program materials.
For more information, please visit www.spacecamp.com.