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NASA experts teach educators STEM exercises | News

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NASA experts teach educators STEM exercises

Making a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows may seem simple, but eight teachers from across central Georgia found out just how hard it can be.

It was part of a workshop run by NASA experts at Fort Valley State on Tuesday.

Edward Hill, the dean of the school's college of education, invited NASA to train teachers who work closely with students.

"Some simple, basic activities from NASA that they can take right back to their classroom to help spark the interest in STEM," said John Weis, a specialist from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

He says the desire for science and engineering jobs drops once children get to middle school.

"[NASA] did a survey not too long ago and found that somewhere around 30 percent of our work force is of retirement age," said Weis.

He also said getting kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math could guide them toward careers in those fields.

Many of the teachers say they had fun doing the exercises and could see their students enjoying them, too.

"Most of them, definitely," said Michelle Capese, a 5th grade science teacher, "Even the struggling students would find something like this even successful for them."

"They were very interesting, something I think I could even take back to a math class," said Nathaniel Battle, a high school math teacher.

Weis says the goal is for students to not be intimidated by STEM.

"Making sure that every student, everywhere understands that STEM careers are a possibility and something we're interested in looking at for them," he said.

This is the first time the workshop has come to Fort Valley State.

It runs through Thursday.


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