A group of 17 elementary and secondary school teachers
from Native American reservations in New Mexico and Arizona are
learning about some of NASA’s most exciting missions. During a
two-week educational workshop ending June 22, teachers from
four different school districts are learning how to involve
their students in the wonders of space exploration while
preserving and celebrating their rich Native American
traditions. Participating schools are:

Wallace Elementary, Parker, Arizona

Santa Clara Day School, EspaÒola, New Mexico

San Juan Elementary, San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico

San Felipe Pueblo Elementary, San Felipe, New Mexico

The workshop, hosted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, Calif., at the JPL Educator Resource Center in
Pomona, Calif., brings together two different worlds that view
the stars differently. For one, the stars are a source of
spiritual guidance, and for the other they are a means to learn
more about age-old questions such as “Where did we come from?”
and “Are we alone?”

“Our role is to help these teachers come up with a plan
that they can take back to their classroom,” said Gene Vosicky,
administrator for the JPL Educator Resource Center. “The plan
takes into consideration all of their needs. Together, we work
to answer questions and figure out ways to incorporate space
science and technology into their curriculum.”

The primary goal of the workshop is to develop an action
plan that supports standards-based teaching and learning in
mathematics, science, technology and geography. Scientists,
educators and engineers from JPL serve as guest speakers.
Tours of a botanical garden, an observatory and NASA Dryden
Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., are also part of the

The program is part of a NASA Educational Workshop aimed
at providing educators with an opportunity to observe NASA’s
state-of-the-art research and development through direct
interaction with NASA scientists, engineers, technicians, and
educational specialists at NASA centers. Locally, educators
from elementary through college levels receive assistance and
resources on America’s space program at the NASA/JPL Educator
Resource Center. They also see first-hand a model state-of-
the-art classroom complete with rotating stations that can be
integrated into a science curriculum back in their own
classrooms. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute
of Technology in Pasadena.