Flying the Infrared Skies: An Authentic SOFIA Educator Experience
The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flagship education effort is its Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program. The program flies teams of teachers on SOFIA research flights as part of an educator professional development effort enabling these teachers to experience first-hand the workings of the airborne observatory, to interact with scientists and technologists, to observe research in progress and how scientists use technology—all in support of national STEM goals. The presenter will share his own experience as an EPO escort on a recent SOFIA flight including two educator teams, providing a first-hand account of how an “authentic” science experience can exploit unique NASA assets to improve science teaching, inspire students, inform local communities, and contribute to the elevation
of public science literacy.