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March 23, 2010
UD to Host NASA Education Days

On Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31, the University of Dubuque Department of Education will host NASA Education Days. The two-day workshop will feature a variety of training sessions by NASA Aerospace Education Specialist John Weis.

"We have invited a NASA Aerospace Education Specialist to campus as part of our new Professional Development series of workshops. As a department, we see a need to offer a wide range of experiences, speakers, and trainings that go beyond what we can offer in our required program," commented Debra Stork, professor of education and coordinator of the NASA workshop. "NASA has produced many research-based educational programs that are available to K-12 teachers in all content areas. We feel that by allowing ourpre-service education studentsto be trained by a NASA specialist they will be more highly qualified and able to compete for teaching positions in this difficult economic time. The highlight of the trainings offered is the Certification for Lunar and Meteorite Samples. Following certification trainingparticipants will be able to borrow moon rocks and meteoritesfrom NASA to share with their students and have activities that enhance the experience."

Stork is currently collaborating on a prospective NASA research proposal involving Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. The study is currently converting existing 21st Century Explorer formal education content to informal education content. This prospective study will determine if the 21st Century Explorer informal educational content is effective in inspiring and educating young girls about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

John Weis has been an Aerospace Education Specialist with the Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) for 6 years and is currently stationed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He is responsible for education outreach including professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers, student and community outreach programs and liaison with state and local education agencies within the Marshall region. His main focus is in the states of Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas.

Weis is a graduate of the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Science and Mathematics Teaching with an emphasis in Mathematics and Physics. Before joining NASA/AESP, he taught for 10 years as a secondary science teacher in Volusia County, Florida. His areas of specialization include Math, Physics, Earth Science, and Astronomy education.

Weis is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the International Technology Education Association, and the American Geophysical Union.