The Space Foundation chose a Missouri University of Science and Technology education student and her mentor teacher at Rolla Middle School to attend the 35th Space Symposium this month. They will serve as teacher liaisons at the symposium April 8-11 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Shay Sturgeon, a junior in multidisciplinary studies with an emphasis in elementary education at Missouri S&T, and Logan MacCash, a sixth-grade science and geography teacher at Rolla Middle School who oversees S&T education students through field experiences, are two out of 27 educators the Space Foundation selected to join its 2019 Teacher Liaison Program.
“I am beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity and look forward to taking one step closer to becoming the real-life Ms. Frizzle,” says Sturgeon, who was inspired by the teacher from the Magic School Bus book series. “The Space Symposium is a perfect fit for me. I have always had a passion for teaching space exploration to elementary students.”
This is the third year a Missouri S&T student and a teacher from Rolla Public Schools have been selected for the Space Symposium. This year’s liaisons, who represent 11 U.S. States, India and Ethiopia, were chosen for their active promotion of space and science education. The program offers benefits and privileges that improve teaching skills, strengthen resumes, and influence space and science education in their schools and districts.
“I am excited and grateful to be in the teacher liaison program for the Space Foundation,” says MacCash. “Attending the Space Symposium is a unique opportunity, and I am looking forward to bringing back as much information as I can to share with my students and our community. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Missouri S&T as a mentor, and I look forward to continuing the collaboration between Missouri S&T and Rolla Public Schools.”
To stay active in the program, which now has over 250 liaisons from around the world, teacher liaisons must meet annual requirements in community outreach, teacher education, Space Foundation connection and student engagement. Missouri’s 2018 teacher liaisons, Marisa Tompkins, a senior in multidisciplinary studies at S&T with an elementary education emphasis, and Amanda Almany, a Rolla Middle School teacher and cooperating teacher for S&T’s field experiences, will also attend the symposium and be recognized for their teaching of space principles this past year.
“Participating in the Space Symposium and collaborating with PreK-20 educators is a wonderful professional development opportunity for our students,” says Kelly Carter, interim chair of teacher education and certification at S&T, who encouraged Sturgeon and MacCash to apply for the program. Through mentorship of S&T teacher education students and cooperating teachers, Carter works to get more youth interested in and prepared to study STEM fields in college.
The Space Foundation Teacher Liaison program is funded by Lockheed Martin. Find more information about the program and about the Space Symposium on the Space Foundation’s website.