July 23, 2018
Wakulla Middle School science teacher Katrina Roddenberry presented at the inaugural Space Port Area Conference for Educators (SPACE) at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on July 11-13.
In early 2017, Roddenberry was selected for Space Center Houston's inaugural Space Educators Expedition Crew (SEEC) and has been working with her SEEC Crew to inspire students and teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields for almost two years.
Space Center Houston launched the Space Educators Expedition Crew program in 2017 to help meet a nationwide need to prepare students for STEM careers. The crew aims to empower teachers to build leadership competencies by creating innovative STEM programs for their students, schools, and communities.
“My Space Educator Expedition Crew (SEEC) of four presented an interactive, hands-on lesson we co-authored entitled ‘Orion Splashdown’. In this lesson, we explore the Engineering Design Process and use it to solve an Orion spacecraft design challenge,” explains Roddenberry.
Roddenberry’s SEEC has presented this lesson at multiple conferences, including the Space Exploration Educators Conference in Houston, the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta, the Florida Association of Science Teachers Conference in Orlando, and now the Space Port Area Conference for Educators at Kennedy Space Center.
In addition to presenting and attending other sessions, the crew was able to meet inspirational keynote speakers, including former astronauts Eileen Collins and Winston Scott, as well as astrophysicist Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi.
Roddenberry also attended sessions by astronauts, NASA scientists, and engineers in various fields. “We heard first-hand information about the bold future of space exploration including the latest NASA commercial collaborations with SpaceX, Blue Origin, and others happening right now at Kennedy Space Center,” she added.
Roddenberry and the other educators departed at the end of three days with ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse their classrooms with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) and multi-faceted, space-related curriculum content.