April 6, 2010 – Corpus Christi, Texas Two teachers from the Odem-Edroy Independent School District have been selected to participate in the Northrop Grumman Weightless Flights of Discovery program. Jerry Plemons and John Tierney, both teachers at Odem Junior High School, will join 28 other current and future educators in McAllen, Texas on Friday, April 30th, the date of the scheduled “weightless” flight. The group of teachers will conduct and then test the experiments developed within their classrooms while aboard an aircraft that simulates zero gravity.
An initial orientation workshop in McAllen Saturday, April 10th, will acquaint them with details of the program and the flight, and will provide an opportunity to brainstorm ideas for experiments. In the three-week period following the workshop, the teachers will prepare for the flight by working with their students to develop experiments to conduct in environments that simulate lunar gravity, Martian gravity and weightlessness. Following the flight, teachers will share their experience with students back in the classroom.
This unique teacher professional development program aims to energize students’ interest and enthusiasm for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and careers. The University of Texas-Pan American is partnering with Northrop Grumman to facilitate the program. The program targets middle school math and science teachers primarily because the United States is experiencing a shortage of college graduates to fill jobs requiring strong math and science skills.
To learn more about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery, please visit http://www.northropgrumman.com/goweightless .
To learn more about Odem-Edroy Independent School District, please visit http://www.oeisd.org/ .