Last week, 50 university students studying to become K-12 science, technology, engineering and math teachers attended an educator institute at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the agency's Minority University Research and Education Project, or MUREP. The institute is designed to provide pre-service teachers from minority-serving institutions with NASA resources and connections. 

During the week, participants met with science and mission team leaders to discuss topics including construction of the Mars rover Curiosity, techniques used to discover planets outside our solar system, and future plans to study Jupiter's moon Europa. They also had the opportunity to tour facilities such as the Mars Yard, where Mars mission engineers test rover maneuvers, and mission control, the national historic landmark where teams monitor the nail-biting landings of such rovers.

JPL education specialists walked participants through hands-on lessons and activities from the JPL Education website and demonstrated how the standards-based activities could be used in the classroom. Among the activities, participants took on a number of engineering design challenges, constructing rovers and planetary landers, and did inquiry-based planning to develop solutions for climate and water issues on Earth.

See a collection of photos and videos from the week in the highlight reel above and using the hashtag #NASAMEI2016 on Twitter.

To learn more about the MUREP educator institute, visit the NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative website

More information about NASA's Minority Research and Education Project and related programs, can be found, here.

TAGS: Educator Institute, MUREP, MEI, Pre-service teachers, Professional Development

  • Brandon Rodriguez