AMES, Iowa – Thirty Iowa educators are ready to guide Iowa youth on a journey that could lead to the moon, the stars and beyond. They’re ready for the challenge because they completed Educator Astro Camp Training on May 20 in Ames.
Youth will participate in Astro Camp events across the state this summer. The training, offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and sponsored in part by the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, was open to any educator planning on hosting an Astro Camp in their area this year.
“This year we had the privilege of hosting an amazing group of educators from around the state for our first ever Astro Camp training for educators,” said Sara Nelson, 4-H STEM program specialist and interim director of the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium. “It was so wonderful to collaborate and learn with them about creating engaging youth day camps focused on space.”
Astro Camp gives youth the chance to get involved in and experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM. Astro Camp aims to inspire future astronauts and engineers as they learn about space with unique NASA activities.
The educators learned about NASA's work, participated in a simulated mission and learned how to teach Astro Camp lessons. All participants received an Astro Camp materials kit. Educators also learned about how to support literacy practices in STEM programs from Connie Beecher, ISU School of Education, and youth-led inquiry in STEM from Jolie Pelds, Science Center of Iowa.
“Astro Camp is a great way to help youth foster career dreams of tomorrow and develop life-changing goals through Next Generation science, math and engineering skills,” Nelson said.