Since the beginning of the Space Age, 50 years ago, students have been told that if they studied math and science, they could grow up to become astronauts and go into space.
Unfortunately, that was a false promise. Even at the height of the Shuttle program, a student had a better chance of becoming an NBA basketball player than a NASA astronaut. No wonder today’s students show more interest in athletics than math and science.
What if we could turn that around and show students that they have a real chance for a future in space?
The Space Frontier Foundation wants to show students that they have a chance of going to space. And the best way to show students is to send astronaut teachers into American schools to share their spaceflight experience.
Every journey begins with a single step. The Pathfinder program is the first step in the journey toward the goal of putting a thousand astronaut teachers into American classrooms.
Pathfinders will be the first astronaut teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom. These Pathfinders will not only fly in space, they will also help design the three-week training course for the large number of teachers who follow. Pathfinders will also be invited to return each summer to help teach the course.
The project, which has a budget of $20 million, will eventually enable the Space Frontier Foundation to send 200 teachers a year — four from every U.S. state — into space.
Due to the high degree of interest, the deadline for applications is extended to December 4, 2008, but please don’t wait until the last minute. If two candidates whose applications are given identical weighting by the selection committee, preference may be given to the application received first, so do not delay.
You can download an application at the Teachers in Space site.
See you in orbit!
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