Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-2203
2008-01-29

South Texas Engineering, Math, and Science (STEMS) Space Day Program: A Nontraditional Partnership Based on Mentoring 2008-01-2203

This paper describes a unique partnership between NASA and students residing in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. The program is based on annual activities that provide a connection between NASA and border communities via mentoring. The approach utilizes older students and teachers as mentoring ambassadors who are trained at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The mentors are trained in specific space themes for each year's main event and return to South Texas to serve as mentors and role models for younger students. The main event occurs at UT Brownsville, in which over 600 5th and 8th graders from five counties attend. The event utilizes the trained ambassadors to offer more than 20 hands-on activities that highlight a theme related to NASA's current focus and missions. The activities demonstrate how math, science, and engineering relate to exploring and understanding the universe and solving problems on earth. The program offers a framework which remains up to date and is self reproducing though mentoring.

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