California teachers in schools with a higher-than-average percentage of
students from migrant farm-worker families soon will take part in a unique
workshop featuring the exciting educational resources available from NASA.

In collaboration with the National Hispanic University (NHU), San Jose,
Calif. and Integrated Space Technologies (IST), Huntsville, Ala., NASA Ames
Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley will sponsor the workshop
from Aug. 11-16, 2002. Sixteen teachers of grades 4 through 6 from
disadvantaged rural school districts with significant numbers of students
from Spanish-speaking migrant farm-worker families are scheduled to attend.
This will be a first-of-its-kind, one-week-long professional development
opportunity offered by NASA.

“We are very pleased to offer this opportunity for teachers to potentially
impact migrant farm worker children’s futures by inspiring them to choose
careers in math and science,” said Adriana Cardenas, chief of the NASA Ames
Equal Opportunity Programs Office. Cardenas’ office is providing funding
for the workshop through a grant to National Hispanic University. IST is
providing technical support services.

“NHU and IST share mutual interests in supporting the outreach of math and
science opportunities to underserved teachers and students,” said Dr.
Josephine Hawkins, NHU vice provost for academic affairs. “NHU prides
itself on being a model for other universities to follow in the areas of
outreach and service to the Hispanic community.”

The workshop will expose teachers to NASA’s educational products and
services, and offer suggested ways for them to incorporate these resources
into their state-mandated math/science curriculum in an effort to enrich
their local classes. Managers and researchers from NASA Ames also will
present information about current research that may be incorporated into
the curriculum and may inspire students to pursue ‘science fair’ or
school-wide projects.

“It’s easy to forget that the children of the people who harvest our food
have dreams, too. But they don’t have the resources to ‘surf the Web’ after
school and dream of being astronauts and scientists,” said Annette
Rodrigues, IST president. “We are pleased to be part of a program that will
give these teachers the ideas and tools to foster such dreams.” Rodrigues
hopes to expand the workshop to other parts of the country “where the
children of migrant workers are at risk of being forgotten in today’s
high-tech world.”

Workshop participants will receive college or continuing education units
(CEUs). Participating teachers will be provided lodging, transportation
costs to and from NASA Ames, CEU registration fees and a small stipend
during their stay at NASA Ames.

Mornings to mid-afternoons will be spent on-site at NASA Ames, where
participants will become familiar with a variety of NASA educational
resources, including the Aeronautics Education Lab, the Ames Aerospace
Encounter, the Ames Educator Resource Center (with bilingual curriculum
supplements), educational technology tools, and ‘NASA Quest’
distance-learning opportunities. Special attention will be given to how
Web-based products and services can be adapted for use in schools that lack
computer resources.

Selected researchers and managers will participate in briefings and
demonstrations of leading-edge research. An educational consultant will
facilitate late afternoon and evening workshops, with participation by NASA
staff. During these times teachers will brainstorm applications of the
resources to their own classroom situations. This workshop time will be
used to develop strategies for inspiring interest in math and science among
the targeted student population.

NASA increasingly has recognized the importance of providing educational
outreach programs to younger students. The sense of wonder and excitement
inspired in students at a young age stimulates an interest and motivation
to pursue the necessary education in mathematics and science that can lead
to successful post-secondary education in mathematics, science, engineering
and technology. NASA recognizes that efforts to reach these students will
contribute to a diverse workforce that can meet the technical challenges of
the future.

“Unfortunately, teachers from rural schools with large numbers of
disadvantaged students often are unaware of the educational resources
available or have special challenges in adapting these resources to the
specific needs of migrant farm worker children,” Cardenas said.

This workshop will leverage the available NASA resources by providing
teachers with the opportunity to learn how to incorporate the resources
into their curriculum. Through the interactive residential program,
teachers also will develop and share strategies for using the resources to
inspire students from this severely disadvantaged and underrepresented

More information about the workshop is available on the Internet at:

For information about NHU, visit: