Tyler — School is out, but class is in session for some Tyler Independent School District teachers who are busy preparing for next year.
Mrs. Andre Williams, a fifth grade teacher at Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy, carefully measures a length of string and slides a bead onto one of the ends. She’s making a scaled version of our solar system: a project she will do with students in the fall.
The solar system project is one of many that Mrs. Williams, and several other teachers from Tyler ISD, will complete during the Imagine Mars training hosted by Sheri Klug Boonstra, the education leader for NASA’s Mars Education Program.
“By the end of the training we hope the teachers will have the tools they need to get the kids engaged in the Imagine Mars Project,” Mrs. Boonstra said.
The Imagine Mars Project encourages hands-on learning. It is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-based project that requires students to imagine and design a community on Mars. The project is designed to enrich student understanding in various aspects of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the state standards for what students should know.
“Students show a lot of excitement about the Imagine Mars Project, and by the end of the year they love science,” Mrs. William said. “As a teacher, it’s exciting for me to see students engaged in learning and having fun at the same time.”
You can get a glimpse of the projects teachers have completed during their training at the Imagine Mars Reception in the Boulter Library from will 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today.