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Manteca Unified School District Teachers selected as NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) by the SETI Institute

Post Date:03/15/2017 11:46 AM

Manteca Unified School District Teachers selected as NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) by the SETI Institute

The SETI Institute announced selection of eight Manteca Unified School District teachers along with the NGSS District Coordinator, Lisa Snyder as part of the cohort of 39 teachers for the NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program, a one-of-a-kind professional development experience for teachers.

The AAA program prepares participants through webinars, workshops, and online learning modules for flights onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) The SOFIA flight week is an immersive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) experience at NASA’s research aircraft facility in Palmdale, Calif. Following training and flight week, the AAA teachers implement related science curricula. The AAA evaluators measure enhancement of student learning and STEM engagement resulting from this new science curricula that emphasizes real-world science.

SOFIA is the world’s largest airborne observatory, with an effective telescope diameter of 100 inches. Flying at altitudes between 39,000 to 45,000 feet, above more than 99% of the water vapor in the atmosphere, SOFIA makes it possible to obtain astronomical data that are impossible to obtain from telescopes on the ground.

Teachers from Manteca Unified School District will participate in two cycles as noted below:

Cycle 5 – flying Fall 2017:

Timothy Horning, MHS

Christopher Courtney, SHS

Remberto Lopez, Jr., EUHS

Todd Walker, LHS

Juliet Mathews, EUHS

Cycle 6 – flying Fall 2018

Stephan Unterholzner, SHS

James Wright, SHS

Joseph Verderame, WRHS

“At first when I got accepted it didn’t weigh on me as to how big the opportunity is to get the chance to work along with other NASA scientists ... I talked to my students about it, I realized that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m excited to be part of the program and share my experience with my students once it is complete. It will allow me to put more of a personal stamp on the lessons that cover the same material we will be collecting data on,” Tim Horning, Earth Science Teacher for Manteca High School.

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The Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) serves more than 23,500 students. MUSD School Board will ensure every school day is relevant, rigorous, and leads students to become productive and engaged members of a global society while residing in the central valley. MUSD is committed to providing a safe environment where all students will thrive with the tools, resources and support needed to achieve their academic and personal potentials.


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