The Space Foundation education team traveled to Tulsa, Okla., at the end of January to deliver a Space in the Community program to students, teachers and parents there.
The first three days of the visit were spent in rural Mayes County where approximately 4,500 students heard first-hand about adventures in space from former NASA astronaut Lt. Col. Duane G. Carey, USAF (Ret.), sponsored by Mid-America Electric, Inc. The program also included a Saturday of professional development for area teachers.
On Jan. 29, a second astronaut joined the program when the Space Foundation visited local elementary schools for presentations by former NASA astronaut Col. Paul S. Lockhart, USAF (Ret.). On Jan 30, parents had the opportunity to share the astronaut experiences with their children at a Community Night at the Hardesty Arts Center in Tulsa. The event combined Tulsa's popular Flight Night program with the Space Foundation's Space in the Community program, with sponsorship provided by Flight Night and Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.
The purpose of Space in the Community is to inspire students to pursue STEM-related careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The community aspect integrates teacher professional development and support from parents by helping them understand career opportunities in these fields. The presentations are reinforced with hands-on learning for students through activities such as designing, making and launching straw rockets (pictured), which teaches the students simple engineering principles.
Through lasting community partnerships, the Space Foundation's Space in the Community program is designed to help a community develop a Pre-K through 20 STEM pipeline, to grow a community's organic workforce and to strengthen economic development. Learn more about Space in the Community here.