TEACHERS IN SPACE PRESS RELEASE
At the NewSpace 2009 conference in Mountain View, Calif., Teachers in Space introduced the next generation of space explorers: seven astronaut teachers who will boldly go where no astronaut has gone before — back into the classroom.
â€œFifty years after the Mercury 7, on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, weâ€™re rebooting the American space program,â€ said Teachers in Space project manager Edward Wright said. “The Pathfinder 7 are now training to fly on suborbital spacecraft under development by private companies. They will be the first astronaut teachers to fly in spce and return to the classroom, paving the way for hundreds to follow.”
A joint project of the Space Frontier Foundation and the United States Rocket Academy, Teachers in Space plans on using suborbital flights donated by and purchased from five suborbital companies. “we want to make teachers heroes in space, and heroes in the classroom,” Wright said.
The Pathfinder 7 Teacher Astronaut candidates are:
Maureen Louis Adams, 54, of Lampasas, TX. She is an elementary school teacher/principal from Killeen, TX. She established an elementary robotics program in central Texas, has been a guest instructor at US Space Camp, and has flown weightless experiments on NASA aircraft twice.
James Kuhl, 53, of Syracuse, NY. He is a 6th grade Earth Science teacher from Syracuse, NY. The third time is the charm for Kuhl, who applied for the original NASA Teacher in Space program in 1985; and applied for the second teacher program, called the Educator Astronaut program. He was a finalist in 2004. He has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Education and serves on the board of directors of the Science Teachers Association of New York State.
Lanette Oliver, 43, of San Antonio. She is an elementary science specialist for the Judson Independent School District. She grew up on a farm in Washington, Oklahoma. She now teaches predominantly minority students in San Antonio, TX. She has been a Golden Apple Award winner, a Texas Space Grant Scholarship winner, and was one of four teachers selected by the Texas Space Grant Consortium to fly aboard a NASA microgravity flight in January, 2009.
Stephen Heck, 56, of Cincinnati. He is an 8th grade Earth Science teacher in the Milford Exempted Village School District. He is a former department chairman and professor of Aerospace Studies at the University of Cincinnati. A US Air Force veteran, he has over 2,700 flight hours in jet aircraft and holds two world records set in KC-10 aircraft.
Rachael Manzer, 39, of East Hartland, CT. She is a district science coach in the Suffield School District. She teaches and models inquiry-based science lessons for K-12 classrooms. She is a former NASA distance learning educator and was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut selection in 2004. She is president-elect of the Connecticut Science Teachers Association.
Chantelle Rose, 36, of St. Paris, OH. Rose teaches science at Graham High School in St. Paris. She was named the 2006 Ohio Teacher of the Year by the Air Force Association, the 2007 Ohio Earth Science Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and the 2008 Aerospace Teacher of the Year by the Scott Crossfield Foundation. She was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut selection in 2004.
Robert “Mike” Schmidt, 31, of Tucson, AZ. A second-generation teacher, Schmidt teaches math to grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 at University High School, in the Tucson Unified School District. An 8-year education veteran, he found out about Teachers in Space while attending a National Science Teachers Association meeting.