NASA Awards Funding to Kansas College

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded funding to educators at Fort Hays State University.

According to the school, Dr. Janet Stramel and Dr. Paul Adams of the Fort Hays State University College of Education were awarded several federal grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via the Kansas Space Grant Consortium to support teacher training and professional development in Western Kansas. These grants will provide funding for a series of workshops for Kansas teachers to be held in the fall of 2023.

Through these grants, we are able to bring NASA into the classroom to spark excitement and interest in technical or scientific careers vital to the future growth of Kansas,” Adams said.

The Dean of the College of Education, Adams, recently secured two grants. The first was a $21,700 award for FHSU’s Robotics for Middle School Teachers workshop program. The workshop provides teachers with a robot kit, training on how to work with their students and robots, an introduction to the FHSU Western Kansas Robotics Competition, and support to prepare team(s) to participate in an upcoming FHSU robotics competition. Teachers are also provided with information about NASA’s engineering programs and their use of robots, along with an overview of potential careers in robotics that teachers can share with their students.

Dean Adam’s second Kansas Grant Consortium award of $25,390 was for FHSU’s High-Altitude Balloon workshop program. This workshop provides teachers with the tools that enable students to create an investigation of the upper atmosphere (up to 100,000 feet) with a balloon launch system provided by FHSU’s Science and Mathematics Education Institute and MakerVan. Participating teachers fly a flight and then return to their schools to work with students to design a later investigation to be flown during a return trip to FHSU with their students.

Dr. Stramel’s grant of $36,461 will support the delivery of a workshop titled, Astronomy – The Year of Eclipses. The workshop will focus on preparing teachers to work with their students as they observe the two solar eclipses that will occur during the 2023-24 school year (October and April).  Participants will discuss eclipses, heliophysics (the study of the Sun and how it influences space), how to safely view solar phenomena, and work with two digital planetariums designed for classroom use and operated by the FHSU Science and Mathematics Education Institute and its associated MakerVan program.