WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — A new resource for engaging and inspiring the next generation of space explorers, engineers, scientists, and technologists is coming to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wallops Educator Resource Center (ERC) was held on Monday, Nov. 24, at the NASA Wallops Visitors Center.
The ERC will provide expertise and facilities for educators to access and use science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instructional products aligned with national and state standards. The ERC will allow educators and educational professionals to participate in workshops and presentations directly tied to NASA and Wallops missions by providing real-time, hands-on experiences and content support to enhance STEM classrooms.
“The new Educator Resource Center will increase the number of opportunities for regional educators and their students to engage with NASA and its missions,” said Dr. Joyce L. Winterton, Wallops’ senior advisor for education and leadership development.
According to Winterton, the new ERC will be a force multiplier to what is already a robust education program at the facility. In fiscal year 2014, Wallops’ education team conducted professional development programs reaching 87 educators from 11 states, who in turn reached some 6,900 students. Nearly 800 students participated in Wallops education opportunities, such as the Virginia Space Coast Scholars, the Robotics Alliance and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate’s Undergraduate Student Instrument Project.
In addition, some 32 high school and college students participated in summer internships.