domingo, 7 de julho de 2013

N. Michigan student spends week in NASA program

A Northern Michigan University student was among 35 undergraduates who spent a week in June at NASA's Johnson Space Centerin Houston.

"The week was just full of my mind being blown," elementary education major Kristen Bustrak of Brule, Wis., told The Mining Journal of Marquette ( ) "All of these people (are) talking casually, 'Oh yeah, we're going to Mars.'"

She was among the students participating in the space program's Pre-Service Teacher Institute. Astronauts and rocket scientists show future teachers in the institute how to integrate NASA's work into school lessons.

Science, technology engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, areas have been pushed in the last few years as more jobs require employees to be skilled in them.

"It's very important from such a young age to feel confident in STEM and be interested in STEM and feel, 'Hey, I can do this,'" Bustrak told the newspaper. "There's way too many students all around the world that feel, 'Oh I can't do that, it's too hard for me.' When you start at a young age, it instills confidence from the get go."

Bustrak said she speaks from experience.

"Science is hard for me, and in my application essay, I wrote about that, how there's always so many things to try and understand, and they don't click easy for me. I have to work really hard at it," Bustrak said. "But with the astronauts and the actual rocket scientists that I met, they were all so passionate about questioning and learning and discovering."

Bustrak will take what she learned to the classroom next semester when she begins student teaching in Green Bay, Wis.

"(I'll be) leading my students in discovering by asking questions, not just telling them information but asking them questions," she said."

And as a bonus, Bustrak became certified to handle moon rocks.

"We're all certified to handle lunar and meteorite samples, so when I'm a teacher, I'll be able to borrow lunar and meteorite samples from NASA and bring them to my classroom," she said.


Information from: The Mining Journal,


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