Students attend teacher institute

Alex Fenceroy (left), Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, Jessica Tisdale and Arceneaux Robinson pose with rocket at Johnson Space Center. The students will present the results of their NASA involvement today in Charles P. Adams Hall Room 217 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Department of Curiculum and Instruction at Grambling State University recently visited Houston’s Johnson Space Center as part of a Pre-Service Institute.
Three teacher candidates, Alex Fenceroy, Jessica Tisdale and Arseneaux Robinson, and a faculty member, Dr. Loretta Walton Jaggers, professor of education, took part.
Grambling State was one of six universities invited to participate in the program. GSU was also the only university from Louisiana that participated.
Prior to the “face to face” workshops at the NASA Space Center Oct. 19-24, the teacher candidates had an opportunity to participate in online courses on three specific dates which started on Sept. 22.  The final online course, which served as a follow-up to the on-site experience, was held on Oct. 27.
The diverse highly interactive program activities at the Johnson Space Center involved the use of NASA Education resources, and “best practices” instructional strategies, that related to STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concepts.
Diverse experiences were also provided to promote an increased understanding of human space exploration. These experiences presented opportunities for the teacher candidates to plan effective lessons using the “5 E Model”, and develop instructional resources to promote authentic learning experiences for students in PK-12 classrooms.
The daily activities provided an opportunity for the participants to gain knowledge and skills needed for their culminating project.  Their culminating project involved the construction and presentation of an e-portfolio that served to highlight each teacher candidate’s work-related experiences throughout the week.   
Specifically, the program’s goals included:
-Utilize NASA Education Resources related to human space exploration that demonstrates integration of STEM.
-Provide pedagogical and content-based training in order to enhance pre-service PK-12 teachers’ knowledge, skills and strategies for teaching STEM.
-Provide opportunities for authentic teaching experiences.
-Demonstrate the delivery of instruction in the virtual and traditional fashions.
-Equip participants with an end product useful for marketing their acquired skills.
Some of the additional activities throughout the week included a tour of the NASA Johnson Space Center Facility (Building 9 and 30) Starship Gallery; a tour of the Digital Learning Network Studio; candidate lesson presentations in the DLN Studio; a presentation titled “Living On the International Space Station”; Johnson Space Center Sand Box Tour; and the Moon Surface Simulator Activity.      
“This was a very excellent and rewarding  experience for all participants involved,” Jaggers said. “The teacher candidates had diverse opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.”