CSU-Pueblo and the Colorado Springs-based Space Foundation signed an agreement Aug. 26 that will provide benefits to the community and the university’s teacher education program in the fields of science, technology and engineering.
The university was represented by Interim President Julio Leon, Dean of Education, Engineering, and Professional Studies Hector Carrasco and Associate Dean of Teacher Education Victoria Marquesen at the August 26 ceremony.
The Space Foundation was represented by CEO Elliot Pulham and Manager of Development and Education Partnerships Margo Hatton.
The Space Foundation is an internationally renowned advocate for space education. The foundation offers programs which focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM.
Its flagship program is a series of graduate-level courses called “Space Across the Curriculum.” The courses will equip PreK-12 educators nationwide with standards-based concepts, teaching tools and hands-on lessons ready for their classrooms, according to a CSU-Pueblo news release.
The cooperative agreement guarantees that the two organizations will explore new and innovative approaches using the “Space Across the Curriculum” courses. The courses are meant to enhance the quality of teaching at PreK-12 education levels, increase effectiveness of education in Colorado and beyond and increase space awareness.
The agreement allows for the space education courses to be taught through distance education, internships, pre-service and in-service instruction, as well as collaborative research and service opportunities at CSU-Pueblo.
“This agreement with CSU-Pueblo is another important step in our ongoing mission to train future generations of space professionals,” said Space Foundation Vice President of Education Iain Probert. “We must focus now on educating the people who will take leadership roles in our country’s future.”
The course offerings will be primarily focused on PreK-12 teachers who want to develop their science teaching skills, become leaders in the field of science and space education or learn more about applying contemporary science teaching strategies in their schools, the news release said.
In the agreement, CSU-Pueblo also agreed to create an emphasis on space studies, both through the School of Education’s Master of Education and the Continuing Education programs.
The agreement also included that CSU-Pueblo’s Continuing Education program will aid the Space Foundation in the development and delivery of “Space Across the Curriculum” to educators nationwide.
The Space Foundation and CSU-Pueblo will conduct research based on the course’s results and effectiveness. They will establish cooperative research agendas, including short-term, within one year, and long-term, one to five years, research objectives, according to the news release
The research will result in submission of a variety of external funding requests. The joint effort will also make possible collaborative service projects that may include teacher workshops and public outreach programs in the STEM fields.