No-Cost Access to Advanced Learning Environment

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT – A combination of federal and state grants has allowed FSRI to significantly upgrade its web-based Advanced Learning Environment (ALE).  Originally developed with as a training tool for incumbent aerospace industry workers, ALE is being expanded to support other critical workforce and education needs in Florida, including training for biotechnology workers and science and mathematics teachers.  In addition to expanding ALE’s content, FSRI is now providing unprecedented no-cost access to the system.

“ALE currently provides almost 100 hours of high-quality, highly interactive, self-paced content,” said FSRI program manager Tom Cavanagh.  “With grants from Workforce Florida, NASA, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Florida Independent College Fund, and the Florida Department of Education, we will continue to add new content, and we will provide it free of charge to the people who need it.” 

After ALE was unveiled for aerospace technicians and engineers in 2002, it was discovered by Florida K-20 science teachers who started using some of its basic aerospace content in their classrooms.  FSRI soon tailored the content specifically for classroom and homeschool use, and added in-service components for K-12 teacher professional development.  Grant-funded partnerships with multiple universities and community colleges then made ALE a key web-based resource for recruiting science and math teachers, expanding the use of aerospace content in math and science classrooms, and providing entry-level training for the state’s growing biotechnology workforce.

“Our most recent grant, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, supports FSRI’s costs for providing free access to ALE,” said FSRI Executive Director Dr. Sam Durrance, a former astronaut and veteran of two Space Shuttle missions.  “ALE has served nearly 3,000 registered users since 2002, and we anticipate significant growth in our user base.  By shifting our internal costs from a per-user model to a grant-funded model, we eliminate the financial burden on the individuals who need to access ALE’s resources.”

As the ALE expands, FSRI is exploring additional partnerships with K-12 teachers, community colleges, and universities to capitalize on the existing curricula already resident within the ALE. To sign up, interested learners simply need to go to and click the Register link.  From there just follow the on-screen directions.