Ten Years of Teacher Space Camp; Two Million Students Inspired
September 03, 2014
More than 200 teachers from around the world took the trip of a lifetime to Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy (HESA) – the game-changing experience that celebrated its 10th anniversary of inspiring teachers who, in turn, inspire their students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers.
STEM Careers on the Rise
Honeywell Educator at Space Academy[/caption]According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in the last ten years, the demand for STEM related jobs grew three times faster than jobs in other fields. However, according to the U.S. Education Department, only 16 percent of high school seniors are considered proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career. Only half of those students who pursue STEM courses in college actually go on to careers in STEM fields.
Inspiration in the Making
Created in partnership with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC), Honeywell developed the award-winning scholarship program to help middle school math and science teachers become more effective educators in STEM subjects. Teachers were given rigorous training focused on science and space exploration including astronaut-style exercises like high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space mission, land and water survival training, and interactive flight dynamics programs.
This year, 204 teachers from 27 countries, including 144 from 43 U.S. states and territories, attended one of two five-day programs offered over consecutive weeks from June 11-24 at the USSRC in Huntsville, Ala. Since 2004, more than 2 million students have been reached and inspired by 2,176 math and science HESA alumni from 55 countries.
A Lasting Impact
From winning grants from local and federal governments, to entering students in international and NASA educational projects, to creating STEM-focused after school programs, the impact of the program is continuing beyond the classroom. To help mark the program’s decade-long run, 10 HESA alumni have been selected, one representing each year, to be the guests-of-honor at the graduation ceremony on June 23.
“HESA inspired me and in turn touched my students in a unique way. Years later, I was thrilled when I learned that the young
engineer at Kennedy Space Center speaking about his wonderful job was one of my former students,” said David Auerbach, HESA 2006 alumni and a middle school teacher from Canaan, New Hampshire.
“This program is all about re-igniting passion in teachers,” said Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s global citizenship initiative responsible for HESA. “STEM subjects are some of the most challenging to teach, but this experience helps teachers discover new ways of delivering lesson plans to the next generation of engineers, programmers, mathematicians and astronauts.”
HESA alumni are putting the knowledge they gain to good use back in the classroom.
“My experience at HESA was the pebble in the pond - the ripples are continuous and still growing. This summer a former student is interning at NASA. Due to my experience at HESA, my students have access to the world outside our town and their aspirations seem more accessible now!”
- Sarah Hardy Farnham, Maine, USA
“In more than 25 years of teaching, HESA has been the most fundamental and invigorating professional development of my career. The skills, knowledge and enthusiasm that I developed through HESA have undoubtedly had a positive effect on me, my students and teachers not just from my school, but also in schools around the region. As a result, I have received recognition at state and national levels.”
- Ken Silburn, Australia
“It was an amazing experience. They help you become immersed in the science and technology of what we’re teaching and why. What was very cool about that was I also got to participate in EVA, or extra-vehicular activities. That’s where we’d gear up in a spacesuit and try to perform some sort of task, like trying to fix equipment, that you would perform outside the capsule.”
- Virginia Casbourne, Maryland said in a Washington Postarticle
Want to apply?
To attend Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy, candidates must complete a thorough application process. Qualified teachers are awarded scholarships, round-trip airfare, tuition, meals and accommodations sponsored by Honeywell and its employees. Read more about HESA and “Like” Honeywell Educators on Facebook to follow along with their journey.
Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy is part of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, which focuses on five areas of vital importance: Science & Math Education, Family Safety & Security, Housing & Shelter, Habitat & Conservation, and Humanitarian Relief. Together with leading public and non-profit institutions, Honeywell has developed powerful programs to address these needs in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit http://citizenship.honeywell.com.