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24 September 2008

Secondary Education Department
Awarded $233,975 NASA Grant

The Department of Secondary Education has been awarded a grant from NASA for the amount of $233,975.00.

Dr. Jan Wilson, Professor and Head of Department in Secondary Education is serving as the Principal Investigator of these grant activities, and Dr. Nouredine Zettili, Professor of Physical and Earth Sciences is serving as Co-Investigator.

From September through April 2009 a total of ten Saturday workshops will be conducted for 6-12 math and science teachers in the surrounding school systems. A maximum of 25 workshop participants have pre-registered and will attend the first workshop on Saturday, September 27, featuring Dr. Wil Robertson from NASA. Dr. Robertson will address Space Based Astronomy. Teachers will be provided an introduction to the Hubble Space Telescope and the upcoming Shuttle launch to service the Hubble. Lessons using Hubble as the theme will be presented to introduce astronomy concepts in the teaching of earth and space science, as well as mathematics, aligned to Alabama education standards.

Dr. Wil Robertson is a NASA education specialist with over 20 years working within the NASA education community to bring the excitement of space exploration into classrooms around the country. Wil is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe (B.A) and Oklahoma State University (M.Ed); (Ed.D) with additional post graduate work completed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Middle Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University and University of Idaho at Moscow. Dr. Robertson is currently employed by The Pennsylvania State University under Penn State's NASA to the Schools program and the NASA's Aerospace Education Services Project.

Wil taught school in Arkansas and Louisiana before joining the Academic Affairs Office at Marshall Space Flight Center in 1985. Wil started his career at NASA with what was then known as "Spacemobile" -a nationally recognized program created by NASA in the 1960s to disseminate knowledge of NASA's aerospace discoveries to the American public.

Wil currently provides professional development to teachers on the in-service and pre-service levels. Each NASA Aerospace Education Specialist uses best teaching practices to enhance the study of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and geography in grades K-12.

One of the exciting new areas Wil is working on is delivering NASA curriculum content into the schools by interactive teleconferencing known as the Digital Learning Network.

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