NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium Receives $868,284 Grant for NASA’s Summer of Innovation

MOSCOW, Idaho – The NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) was chosen as one of only four states to participate in NASA’s Summer of Innovation (SOI) program. The ISGC’s proposal, Idaho, Montana and Utah – Summer of Innovation: NASA Education and STEM Programs for Underrepresented Populations, was awarded the full grant of $868,284 for the three year program.

The SOI experience will begin in June 2010. The NASA ISGC SOI program will bring NASA-centered science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to middle schools with high populations of students from underrepresented groups.

Six ISGC teams will travel to a total of 13 locations on the tribal reservations and in areas with high Latino student populations throughout Idaho, Montana and Utah. At each location, the teams will conduct summer programs with both students and teachers. The programs will be based on the NASA themes of space exploration, aeronautics and earth science.

The SOI program will equip teachers with tools that will help enhance their STEM curricula within their classrooms. The workshops will be offered at no charge to educators, and each teacher will receive a $250 stipend and two professional development credits for participating in the three-day program.

The student portion will consist of five days where they will attend classes, conduct experiments and participate in hands-on activities based on the NASA themes. Students will build model rockets as they learn about aeronautics, work with robots and cosmology as they study space exploration, and take field trips to learn about earth science. Classes will include topics in math, chemistry, physics, electronics, computer science, geology, earth science, biology and mechanics. All classes will be offered to students at no cost and each student will receive lunch each day while participating.

“We are humbled yet excited to bring NASA to our Native American and Hispanic populations,” said Aaron Thomas, NASA ISGC director and principal investigator of the proposal. “We are looking forward to working with our junior high teachers and students throughout Idaho, Montana and Utah.”

Team leaders will congregate in Boise, Idaho, June 7-8, for the SOI kick-off event, where they will attend workshops and develop the curriculum they will be teaching throughout the summer.

The tentative Summer of Innovation schedule is as follows:

June 14-16 (Teacher) Castledale, UT

June 21-23 (Teacher) Nampa, ID

June 27-July 2 (Student) Nampa ID

June 27-July 2 (Student) Blanding, UT

June 28-30 (Teacher) Homedale, ID

July 7-9 (Teacher) Plummer, ID

July 12-14 (Teacher) Lapwai, ID

July 12-14 (Teacher) Twin Falls, ID

July 18-23 (Student) Lapwai, ID

July 18-23 (Student) Twin Falls, ID

July 25-30 (Student) Skull Valley, UT

July 25-30 (Student) Blackfoot, ID

July 26-28 (Teacher) Blackfoot, ID

August 2-6 (Student) Plummer, ID

TBD (Teacher & Student) Poison, MT

TBD (Teacher & Student) Browning, MT

For more information or to request a registration packet for the ISGC’s 2010 Summer of Innovation program, contact the ISGC directly by phone at (208) 885-6438.

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