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Rutherford County Educators expand STEM knowledge

Nadeem Sabir at STEM Aerospace Conference.JPG

Six Rutherford County teachers are increasing their knowledge in aerospace, aviation and the STEM areas while participating in the annual Aerospace Education graduate workshop at Middle Tennessee State University.

Billy Coleman of Smyrna High School, Lee Martin of Daniel McKee, Eddie McGee of La Vergne Middle School and Nadeem Sabir and Denine Warner of Oakland High School are among 38 participants from 10 counties and 25 schools in middle Tennessee.

MTSU offers this three-week program for K-12 educatorsthroughout Middle Tennessee. This year’s 38 participants in the basic course will be carrying back what they have learned in various science disciplines to their respective classrooms.

“The teachers have been very engaging as a group and are quite interested,” said Phyl Taylor, who directs the program for MTSU’s Department of Aerospace.

Just in the June 21 model rocket activity alone — where the participants build and then try to launch a rocket in an MTSU parking lot — the class participants utilized physics, science, mathematics, history and geography.

“Everything we do is aligned with STEM standards,” added Taylor, making reference to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The main goal of the courses is to acquaint K-12 teachers with the ramifications of air transportation as the dominant form of transportation in this country and its impact on society as a whole, Taylor said.

The goal of the educators is to integrate aerospace into existing curricula, Taylor added.

Earlier in the week, all of the Rutherford County teachers traveled with the group to Pensacola, Fla., for a two-day field trip. They witnessed the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels in action during a one-hour practice air show and toured the National Naval Aviation Museum, among other activities.

Their schedule includes other hands-on activities such as “Egg Drop” and “Delta Darts” and hearing from experts like former NASA astronauts Rhea Seddon and Robert “Hoot” Gibson. The workshops end June 29.

To learn more about the program, call 615-898-2788 or visit http://mtsu.edu/aerospace and click on “Workshops.”