The students, all STEM and education double majors, included: Nataly Gaspar, Noelle Mironis, Summer Pirro, Andrew Santiago, Stephanie Tapia-Nunez, and Katherine Zimny. Jyoti Champanerkar, associate professor of mathematics, served as faculty sponsor.
The group participated in several student-centered classroom activities, utilizing NASA assets and resources with students and faculty from four other institutions.
Among their lessons, students learned the science behind steering robotic space crafts, how to track global precipitation, and how to collect weather data on their cellphones and upload it to NASA servers.
Prior to the trip, the students watched a series of STEM-based webinars and will complete additional web-based professional development in July.
The purpose of the NASA experience is to help the future teachers develop K-20 instructional practices that will make STEM more relevant and interesting for all students.
As a result of this participation, William Paterson University is now a member institution of the NASA MSI (Minority Serving Institution) Emerging Stars Network.
The NASA MSI Emerging Stars Network is a partnership between the NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to enrich STEM teacher preparation through NASA professional development opportunities and educational resources.