Local teacher selected for LiftOff program at NASA
Laurie Scheibner — an elementary science teacher at Tahoe Truckee Unifies School District’s Glenshire Elementary and Tahoe Lake Elementary schools — has been selected for the prestigious LiftOff Summer Institute program to be held at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in June.
The nationally competitive program, which is sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium, selects teachers who will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math through space education. Teachers apply for LiftOff and are selected competitively.
Scheibner is also receiving grant funding from the California Space Grant Consortium for her registration fees and travel expenditures to Houston.
Liftoff’s theme for 2017 is Starry Night. The workshops provide teachers the rare opportunity to spend a week working with professional scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of space exploration.
Multiple NASA missions are studying the sun and the solar system, unraveling mysteries about their origin and evolution. By understanding variations of the sun in real-time, we can better characterize space weather, which can impact exploration and technology on Earth.
Educators will receive background information on the sun while analyzing the characteristics of objects in the solar system that allow life to exist.
From robotic explorers, increasing knowledge about the Red Planet, and telescopes, educators attending Liftoff will return to their school districts to not only use materials received in their own classroom but to train other educators.
The LiftOff workshops prove that the excitement teachers, and more importantly, their students, feel about space science can be used to enrich STEM education and inspire the next generation of explorers.
LiftOff is a collaborative effort of Texas Space Grant Consortium members and affiliates, NASA, and related industry. The program runs from June 25-30.