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Posts tagged ‘Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program’

Future Librarian Prepares to Take Flight

The large door over its 2.5-meter German-built telescope wide open, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 747SP aircraft soars over Southern California’s high desert during a test flight in 2010 in preparation for its Early Science missions. (NASA / Jim Ross) ›

Two years ago Jennifer Carter, a fellow high school science teacher, and I were selected to become  a part of NASA’s SOFIA’s Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program.   We are two of  twenty-six teachers (13 teams) from across the nation that were selected for the program.  Jennifer and I were the only teachers from Kentucky selected.  We under went a rigorous selection process and completed a semester long astronomy course hosted by Montana State University.  The AAA program is designed to give educators experiences in real world research opportunities, most specifically in the study of infrared astronomy.

The GREAT far-infrared spectrometer (gold vertical structure in the foreground) is shown viewed from inside the aircraft cabin, mounted on SOFIA’s telescope instrument flange during the observatory’s first Southern Hemisphere deployment.

The GREAT far-infrared spectrometer (gold vertical structure in the foreground) is shown viewed from inside the aircraft cabin, mounted on SOFIA’s telescope instrument flange during the observatory’s first Southern Hemisphere deployment. (NASA / GREAT Consortium / R. Guesten)

Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Constance Gartner, Vince Washington, Ira Hardin and Chelen Johnson at the educators' work station aboard the SOFIA observatory during a flight on the night of Feb. 12-13, 2013.

Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (from left) Constance Gartner, Vince Washington, Ira Hardin and Chelen Johnson at the educators’ work station aboard the SOFIA observatory during a flight on the night of Feb. 12-13, 2013. (NASA / SETI Institute / Pam Harman) ›

 

 

 

 

Due to budget cuts to the NASA educators program we have been waiting to take flight for over a year now.  The first team took flight in February 2013.  Next week will be our turn to fly aboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory.  The amazing opportunity is a little bitter sweet since I am not currently employed as a classroom teacher.  I will miss sharing this unique experience directly with my students.  However, with a more flexible schedule I can easily bring related activities to students across our district.

I look forward sharing my new experiences with you!

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