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Education

Newark teacher brings advanced STEM lessons home from Space Camp

U.S. Space Camp

 A Delaware teacher just got back from Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Jenny Rovner spent a week learning about cutting edge STEM techniques to pass on to her students at Wilson Elementary School in Newark.

This summer, teachers became students at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The educator camp offers 45 hours of professional development. The ultimate goal for these educators is to take classroom STEM education to the next level. That means moving away from rote memorization and embracing critical thinking skills, teamwork and experimentation.

Together, these teachers, who came from all over the country, built rockets and even something called an ablative shield.

"What that is is, it’s modeling what’s underneath of the space shuttle, so that on re-entry it doesn’t burn up," saysRovner, who got to go to the camp thanks to a sponsorship from the Honeywell Company. She was one of 205 teachers selected for the program from a pool of 2,000 applicants.

 
She worked in a team to make an ablative shield to cover an egg. The egg and shield were subjected to the flames of a blow torch for five minutes. The goal? To build a shield with the right materials to protect the egg from burning up.

"There were cotton balls, paper, cardboard. I mean there were like a menu of items and you had to choose."

 

Now Rovner can’t wait to take this activity to her students at Wilson Elementary School in Newark.

 

"What I thought would be great to bring back to the classroom is, I want my students to not only do that, but then obviously see where there were failures and then come back, and we’ll do it again."