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UAE teachers attend space programme

Four UAE teachers among 200 being trained at US space centre

Image Credit: Organiser
Galeb Wahbi, Zarya Siji Sudhakaran, Buthaina Abandah and Lara Chouman, four teachers from the UAE at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.
Gulf News

Dubai: Four UAE-based teachers are among a group of 200 selected from across 33 countries who will train at a US space centre.

Conducted jointly by Honeywell and the US Space and Rocket Centre (USSRC), the two-week long scholarship programme, the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA), will also have teachers from 45 US states and territories.

The scholarship programme running from June 14 to 27 will offer teachers a unique opportunity to reignite their passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Since 2004, when the HESA began, the programme has graduated 2,776 educators from 62 countries and 52 US states and territories, reaching more than three million students around the world.

“Technology is changing exponentially. Things we once held as impossibilities are reality now — we are on our Journey to Mars,” said Dr Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the US Space and Rocket Centre.

The programme includes 45 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction focused on science, space exploration and leadership skills development. Teachers will participate in astronaut-style exercises such as high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, coding challenges, land and water survival training and interactive flight dynamics programmes. Through these exercises, teachers learn how to reinvigorate their classroom with ideas, lessons and other materials.

“Educating the next generation of leaders and learners is key to global success. Exploration improves quality of life for all humanity through discoveries in science and engineering. The Honeywell Educators at Space Academy programme unites teachers with exciting tools and methods to change the lives of students around the globe,” she added.

HESA candidates complete a rigorous application process. Qualified teachers are awarded scholarships, round-trip airfare, tuition, meals and accommodations, thanks to the generous support of Honeywell and its employees.

“Attending Honeywell Educators at Space Academy was truly the most incredible experience of my teaching career. I was so excited to get back into my classroom and use everything I learnt to inspire the future scientists and engineers sitting right in my classroom. Who knows, maybe one of my students will actually make it to Mars one day,” said 2016 alumni Jodie Guillen, from the US state of New Mexico.