A schoolteacher and a student from the UAE recently attended the 2011 Boeing Educators to Space Camp program held in Huntsville, Alabama in the United States. Sami Shaikh Alawi a teacher at Ghantoot school in Abu Dhabi and Mohammed Al Blooshi, a student from Al Tamayuz school in Al Ain were part of a group of more than 90 educators and students from 11 countries taking part in a weeklong training adventure.
Al Blooshi attended this year's Space Camp as part of the benefits that were awarded to the UAE teacher who won the 2010 Space Camp award for his outstanding performance.
“The program was very beneficial, and proved to be creative and innovative in teaching us techniques that will be useful in developing our students’ curriculum. This is an excellent initiative from Boeing, and I am very excited to have been part of it,” said Sami Shaikh Alawi.
This year’s group of teachers represented 11 countries, 16 American States, and the District of Columbia. Since 1992, more than 800 teachers have participated in Boeing’s annual program, designed to help them motivate their students in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which is estimated to have reached more than 400,000 students around the world.
The Boeing Educators to Space Camp program uses information on current space exploration initiatives to enhance teachers' skills in presenting STEM lessons in a way that will inspire students and help ensure a skilled workforce for a globally competitive technology market. The group participated in activities such as simulated space missions, astronaut training, and lectures by rocketry and space exploration experts.
"Boeing is an active advocate of educational advancement and has a long-term commitment to community development in the Middle East." said Jeffrey Johnson, President of Boeing Middle East. "By offering students and educators a chance to take part in the Space Camp program, we are focusing on elevating the quality of education in the region, so that students can excel in a competitive global market.”
The program provides full scholarships to teachers in communities where Boeing has education partnerships and/or a business presence. Working with educational institutions and community leaders around the world, Boeing distributes scholarships to partner schools and districts, which then select the teachers who demonstrate exceptional commitment to increasing student interest in STEM.
After graduating from Space Camp, each teacher returns home with a lesson-plan workbook and materials to use in the classroom. The graduates also have access to online training and a website with science experiments and other class activities, as well as resources to help them continue to network and communicate with their fellow camp attendees.