WASHINGTON – NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) will host the 12th Annual Pre-Service Teacher Conference Feb. 15-17 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, in Alexandria, Va.

Former Astronaut Bernard Harris, Jr., will open the conference as the keynote speaker Feb. 15. Harris was the payload commander on shuttle flight STS-63, the first flight of a new joint Russian-American Space Program in 1995. During the flight, Harris became the first African-American to walk in space.

The conference was created to help undergraduate education students develop the confidence and skills to teach mathematics and science effectively using cutting-edge technology and educational materials only NASA can provide. Harris will address more than 300 prospective elementary and middle school teachers and faculty advisors from 50 member institutions representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and selected minority institutions. Media are invited to attend.

The Pre-Service Teacher Program is a partnership between NASA, NIA and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. NIA is a nonprofit research and graduate education institute created by a consortium of leading research universities and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics to complement NASA’s mission to conduct innovative aeronautics, space and atmospheric research; to develop new technologies; and to inspire the next generation of explorers.

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