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Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

NASA-approved Products Pay off for Elementary Education Students

Wed Dec 12 2007

Elementary education students at Wheeling Jesuit University this fall got to experience the fruits of the NASA product review system coordinated by the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future on the WJU campus in Wheeling, WV.

Jane Neuenschwander, coordinator of the Educator Resource Center at the Center for Educational Technologies®, home to the Classroom of the Future™, taught a course fall semester about teaching math and science to elementary students. The 12 junior elementary education majors were introduced to various products that have been approved by the NASA product review system.

A year ago the Classroom of the Future launched a new web site to submit educational products for NASA approval. Neuenschwander based her coursework on curriculum that has undergone that rigorous review process.

"My pre-service teachers are generally no big fans of math and science to begin with," Neuenschwander said, "so my goal was to show how much fun they could have presenting math and science concepts using a number of NASA space or Earth science themes. My college kids were motivated enough by doing the lessons in my class that they wrote and presented lessons they taught during their field placements. I can't think of a higher form of flattery than to hear students tell me that they 'stole' my lesson to teach it themselves."

Neuenschwander used NASA curriculum products to demonstrate inquiry and problem-based learning. The most popular topics, like rockets, weather, and mission math, were later taught to elementary students by the pre-service teachers.