The science of learning: NASA brings Gulf Coast educators to Keesler

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The 335th Training Squadron and the 403rd Wing Hurricane Hunters hosted a NASA Educator Workshop here March 30.

More than 18 educators from Mississippi and Louisiana along with Stennis Space Center NASA education specialists came here to learn diverse ways of teaching and gain resources to take back to their schools.  

“This is first time we have come to Keesler with local educators for this workshop since I have been at Stennis,” said Steve Culivan, Stennis Space Center NASA education specialist. “We have worked with the 403rd Wing several times before to have Keesler personnel come out to Stennis and do presentations for us. They had mentioned inviting us to come out to Keesler so we met with them and some of the personnel at the Keesler Weather School and started planning this event.”

Event participants interacted with 335th TRS weather instructors and the Hurricane Hunter personnel to get hands-on experience and resources to teach science, technology, engineering and math. The event included Stennis Space Center and weather school presentations, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and Hurricane Hunter briefings and a WC-130J Hercules static display tour. 

“These teachers love having face-to-face interaction and hands-on training with subject matter experts because it gives them experience with the subjects they are teaching their students,” Culivan said. “With the information they learn today, they won’t be teaching out of a book. They will be teaching from their experience at the Keesler Weather School.”

Airmen from the 335th TRS and the Hurricane Hunters were also able to learn and build partnerships with the instructors by asking them questions about their teaching experience.

“This event was great because we weren’t just giving them briefings about what we do in the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Dominick Martin, 335th TRS instructor supervisor. “We were building relationships as educators. Building that bond and learning from each other has given each person here more tools in their tool kit to use in the classroom.”