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Museum aerospace educators participate in NSTA Conference

  • Published
  • By Judith Wehn
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The Education Division staff took outreach to a new level this spring. The team presented three sessions at the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in Indianapolis March 29-April 1, 2012.

This conference offered the latest in science content, teaching strategy, and research to enhance and expand science teachers' professional growth. It provided a unique opportunity to collaborate with science education leaders and teachers from across the country. The conference theme "Merging Inquiry, Creativity, and Innovation Through STEM" fit perfectly with the Education Division's mission. Our hands-on programs use inquiry to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) content. The blending of creativity, innovation, and inquiry fosters the growth of human understanding in these academic disciplines. This provides educators with the foundation, tools, and resources to facilitate community conversations, promote STEM education, and generate effective assessments.

In 2008, the National Science Teachers Association created a position statement on aerospace education. It stated that "the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) believes that aerospace education is an important component of comprehensive preK-12 science education programs. .... More significantly, aerospace education provides compelling, powerful, and inherent opportunities to strengthen and support the teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology for students. The true benefit of aerospace education is that it serves as a motivating theme for teaching these subjects, though not a new content area in and of itself."

The education team also attended a myriad of innovative presentations and hands-on workshops to strengthen and support their teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and to learn about the latest educational products and teaching techniques.