Colonies on Mars as soon as appeared like a pipe dream, nevertheless it’s our youthful generations now who will someday be strolling the floor of the purple planet and calling it dwelling, and it’s about time we began getting them prepared for it.
On June 16, officers from choose college districts across the state of Florida, together with Citrus County, had been joined by academics and professionals in fields like aviation, building, engineering, robotics and extra on the Heart for House Schooling on the Kennedy House Heart to collaborate within the Mission One STEAM Initiative summit.
These from Citrus who had been invited to attend the summit had been Thomas Kennedy, college board member and Florida College Boards Affiliation president, Dr. Ashley Shidner, trainer and science division head at Lecanto Excessive College, and Jacqueline Benoist, physics and robotics trainer at LHS.
“One of many many issues I like in regards to the method of this program is that it appears to interconnect STEM with Profession and Technical/workforce schooling,” stated Kennedy. “Many industries, together with the aerospace industries, have lengthy acknowledged the significance of getting staff members who’re educated technicians who come from all instructional paths together with technical certification establishments, packages, and our Armed Forces.”
All of that is being developed in collaboration with the Astronauts Memorial Basis (AMF) at NASA to supply college students entry to the Kennedy House Heart in a approach they by no means had earlier than.
“The thought is to create noise for the Mission to Mars at Kennedy House Heart,” stated Matthew Susin, Brevard County College Board member and the thoughts behind Mission One’s inception. “We need to get college students excited for what’s coming sooner or later.”
By far, the most important element of Mission One would be the free digital platform.
Following hours of brainstorming of how this can work, right here’s the plan to this point: The digital platform will include movies and lesson plans protecting completely different subjects in STEAM inside the context of the area program.
These classes will correspond with already established state schooling requirements making it simply implementable in school rooms – that approach academics gained’t should redo something of their lesson planning, they’ll simply insert the brand new curriculum into what they’re already doing, as recommended by Dr. Shidner.
There might be 4 completely different “Missions” or digital modules to finish, the titles of which mimicking the completely different divisions inside NASA. The Sources & Navigation mission will cowl subjects resembling methods to develop meals and crops on Mars, how life methods function, and many others. The Launch Companies mission will cowl subjects pertaining to getting issues off the bottom and into area. The Floor Programs mission will cowl the whole lot on the bottom, resembling launch pads, transporting rockets, preparation for launches and communications. Lastly, the Robotics mission will embody all issues engineering, physics, expertise, and many others. Profession paths in STEAM might be included all through as nicely, as they pertain to every lesson.
Every mission might be created at a excessive degree in order that particular person college districts can unpack them in a approach that works for them. Not each district has equal quantity of assets or funding obtainable to them for implementation of this curriculum, so it will likely be achieved in a approach that educators can choose and select what they need to use or take part in.
“I actually assume if it’s achieved proper, we are able to get the youngsters excited in the event that they’re not already,” stated Susin.
Along with the free curriculum for educators, college students will get to go on subject journeys to Kennedy House Heart to view launches from just one mile away, a privilege normally solely afforded to media.
Throughout these subject journeys to the launch pads, college students might be given press passes and act like journalists protecting the launch from the media viewing space. These movies will then be uploaded onto the digital platform for any county to entry and be taught from.
The present plan is to do a trial run in July with a choose few children from Citrus County to view a launch and document a dwell protection video discussing the kind of rocket, what it’s carrying, the way it works, and many others.
The thought is for one district a month to carry college students to the Kennedy House Heart.
A priority arose through the Mission One summit about transportation for these subject journeys, particularly for counties with little or no funding to spare. Susin recommended that there are a number of completely different grants that districts might apply for and that he would assist facilitate that course of to make this doable.
There may also be alternatives for visitor audio system from NASA and the area program to return to varsities because the AMF expands its schooling outreach shifting ahead.
A date has been set for the 2023 Innovation Video games to be held at Kennedy House Heart on March 3. College students from all around the state of Florida will get to compete in fun-filled and academic STEAM competitions, together with drone racing across the Kennedy House Heart.
The present projection for when the Mission One digital platform will change into obtainable is September on the earliest. For the reason that program is being absolutely funded by the corporate Mark III Worker Advantages, the web site software program wanted has already been purchased and is prepared for configuration – all Susin and the AMF must do is create and add the content material in a approach that works finest for academics.
“Citrus County might be instrumental on this program and the long run as a result of majority of those that change into concerned in NASA and the area program aren’t from the large cities, they’re from extra rural areas,” stated Susin in a earlier interview.
Proof of this may be seen in former Citrus County Faculties alumni Dr. Eric Stewart, an aerospace engineer at present employed at NASA.
“It’s my hope that this new program will additional broaden the will for extra engineers, technicians, and scientists from Citrus County,” stated Kennedy.
The Mission One STEAM Initiative will set a precedent shifting ahead for the inclusion of area journey in schooling as we transfer in the direction of a future as soon as thought unattainable. Whereas it’s nonetheless a piece in progress and challenges lay forward regarding logistics of implementation which is able to proceed to be workshopped, it’s one small step in the proper course in the direction of returning to the celebrities.