The dream of a young girl from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. That dream came true this summer for middle school science teacher Jodie Guillen, who attended the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA)
"As a teacher my job is to help my students find their paths in life,” said Guillen. “The investment that Honeywell made in me is totally worth it. I feel I can inspire my students in new and exciting ways.”
Created and funded by Honeywell Hometown Solutions (HHS)
, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative, in partnership with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the award-winning HESA program is designed to help middle school math and science teachers be more effective when teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The week-long program exposes educators to astronaut-style training, aviation land and water survival exercises, classroom and experiential learning – both essential for driving STEM passion in their students. Educators also interact with recognized professionals in the space community. This year, 200 teachers from around the globe earned their wings from HESA.
"I plan to devote my career to expanding the wave of change in me that was started by Honeywell and my HESA experience," said Spencer Kiper of Shreveport, Louisiana. Kiper, a 2014 alumni, was recently named 2016 Teacher of the Year by the Air Force Association of Louisiana.
“Meeting amazing teachers from very different countries who face the same challenges with students and educational systems has made a big impact in me,” said David Garcia of Tijuana, Mexico. “We learned, laughed and made friends for life.”
"HESA was an unforgettable experience on many levels: collaboration, compassion, self-reflection, STEM education and international communication,” said Mary Lou DeCaprio of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. “Thank you, Honeywell and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for a gift that we’ll keep giving to our students.”
Since its inception in 2004, HESA has graduated 2,576 educators from 56 countries and 52 U.S. states and territories. It also has benefited more than 3 million students who have learned from teachers who attended HESA.