CAPE CANAVERALSPACEPORT, September 4, 2003 – The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) has partnered with the Florida Independent College Fund (FICF) on a $300,000 statewide initiative to recruit, train, and place new teachers intoFlorida’s K-12 classrooms.  The Yes Teach! program, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education, reaches out to graduating seniors and alumni of 27 FICF-affiliated institutions and other colleges and universities, encouraging non-education majors to pursue careers in teaching.

FSRI’s Advanced Learning Environment (ALE), developed with support from NASA and WorkforceFloridato train aerospace technicians and engineers, is being expanded with 10 hours of self-paced, interactive web-based training for first-time teachers.  Nearly 600 prospective teachers have begun using ALE under the Yes Teach! program.  FSRI worked with education experts atStetsonUniversityandEckerdCollege, as well as Jacksonville-based Steel Beach Productions, to develop the online Yes Teach! curriculum.

“The partnership with FSRI and the ability to leverage ALE’s existing infrastructure allowed us to deliver a comprehensive curriculum in a very short time frame,” said FIFC Director Kathy Burley. “The ALE curriculum offers new teachers critical support to be successful as soon as they walk into the classroom.”

FICF is charged with developing programs and funding for collaborative initiatives for most ofFlorida’s independent colleges and universities, encompassing a total enrollment of more than 101,000 students statewide.  More information about FICF and Yes Teach! is available at

FSRI has also partnered with other independent universities to leverage ALE’s capabilities.  An agreement signed recently with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) allows the ERAU students to receive continuing education units (CEUs) upon completion of FSRI’s ALE-based aerospace curriculum.  ERAU is the world’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious university specializing in aviation and aerospace. It is the only accredited, aviation-oriented university in the world.  More information about ERAU is available at

FSRI was established by the state’s Governor and Legislature to promote collaboration among the state’s academic institutions, industry, and federal agencies to support aerospace research, technology development, education, and training.  More information about FSRI and ALEis available at