Space Center Houston welcomed more than 580 educators from seven countries, 39 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. for hands-on learning experiences with rocket scientists, astronauts and renowned instructors at the 25th Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC), Feb. 7-9.
“We’re connecting teachers from around the globe with authentic learning experiences,” said Daniel Newmyer, vice president of education for the nonprofit. “Our teachers are vital to preparing the next generation of explorers to walk on Mars.”
New this year, the conference provided interactive sessions co-presented by NASA experts and educators. Teachers learned about the latest research happening at NASA Johnson Space Center, received ready-to-implement classroom activities and valuable networking opportunities with their colleagues, while earning up to 24 hours of continuing education credit.
For teachers from kindergarten through 12th grades, the three-day conference featured keynote speakers such as Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson Space Center deputy director, Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons principle investigator and legendary Apollo flight director Gene Kranz. With new ideas for the classroom and hands-on professional development sessions from NASA experts and leading educators about what’s happening now in human space exploration, SEEC puts the power and wonder of space into a teacher’s hands.
Over the years, thousands of educators have attended from the United States and around the world, many on scholarship thanks to generous support of SEEC by the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation and the Tranquility Foundation. Space Center Houston connects formal and informal educators with the latest teaching tools to inspire the next generation of explorers.
Space Center Houston honored Michael Wilkinson, a fourth-sixth grade math teacher from New York, with the prestigious Cherri Brinley Outstanding Educator Award for his significant achievements in space science education.
“Michael is an exemplary teacher driven to impact his students and his community with innovative authentic learning experiences,” said Newmyer.
The award is named for the late Cherri Brinley, a Houston-area educator and space enthusiast who shared her passion for space science with students and fellow educators. Award recipients are leaders in education and recognized for helping to shape the future of students in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Attendees took behind-the-scenes tours of the astronaut training facilities at NASA Johnson Space Center and learned about the technology and research that are furthering NASA’s current and future deep space missions.
Dedicated to empowering educators, SEEC provides continuing education workshops, access to industry leaders and networking opportunities. For more information about this and other Space Center Houston educational programs, visit www.spacecenter.org/education.