In June 2010, OS sponsored the 27th Aerospace Science Institute in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida. The Space Center is responsible for NASA’s Shuttle Launch Services, human space flight program, and planning and implementing the human exploration and development of space. Twenty-five elementary, middle and high school teachers from Department-assisted overseas schools attended the Institute. Each participant received a stipend from OS to cover housing and incidental costs.
The Aerospace Science Institute enables educators to stay abreast of NASA's technological and scientific advances and educational resources that can be used in school classrooms. The Institute provides an intensive experience encompassing many aspects of aerospace science and technology and their practical applications. Teachers attend briefings, participate in group discussions, visit sites, take field trips and develop curricular and instructional materials that can be replicated or built upon in their classrooms. At the 2010 Institute, a variety of topics was covered concerning the human exploration and development of space focusing on the International Space Station and the Constellation Program and roll-out of the shuttle replacement vehicle scheduled for 2012. In addition, participants were given information on the Space Shuttle Program, strategies/plans for lunar and Mars exploration, aeronautics principles, rocketry, space environment, astronaut training techniques, living and working in space and life support systems, including the growth of plants in space for long-duration flights. In addition, participants are offered a series of enrichment activities including visits to the Kennedy Space Center’s Saturn V Complex. Teachers also received detailed instructions on using the Internet to access NASA educational information and were given a CD-ROM containing text materials, photos, brochures, teacher guides and videos.
The University of Central Florida continues to grant three semester hours of graduate credit to teachers who choose to take the Institute as a graduate education course. A total of 850 teachers and administrators from Department-assisted overseas schools in 85 countries have attended the Institute since its inception in 1984.