NASA in Local Classrooms

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Space programs around the world play a large part in the global economy.

The NASA Space Program will give students in the Wiregrass a new look into space.

According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2005, fourth graders around the country scored well in math and science against the international competition, whereas in 12th grade their score was much lower.

Troy University, the Wiregrass Math and Science Consortium, and the Alabama Commission of Higher Education are coming together with NASA to bring to life the subjects of math and science to students.

"This project is a wonderful illustration of that partnership. People need to work together and not segment themselves because education is a theme, and education is a continuum and it's not segmented," says Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Chancellor at Troy University.

Colonel Doug Wheelock, a mission specialist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, hopes to be able to show students in the Wiregrass things like space food, gloves used in space, and other instructional tools to help them get a hands-on approach to the field of science.

Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins feels there is a deficit when it comes to students' interest in math and science and this program will help to get rid of that deficit. "We need more people going into engineering, into the sciences; when you look at what's happening internationally, the United States is falling short," he says.

Bringing space exploration to the students may just be the key to helping them love to learn about science.

A group of teachers in the Wiregrass area will also be able to go and see the launch of the STS-120 Shuttle on October 20th.

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