Pre-Service Teacher Institute

NASA Kennedy Space Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI)


Program Description
The NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a ten-day residential opportunity designed to increase pre-service educators' skills in teaching science using NASA themed educational activities. The Institute will be held at KSC May 28 - June 7, 2013, and will focus on inquiry-based learning and the incorporation of technology into curriculum. Education Specialists from the Kennedy Space Center Educator Resource Center will provide participants with training to inspire student learning of science content through the use of education resources based on NASA missions of research and discovery. Participants will work in small groups to develop lesson plans using NASA educational resources and present these activities to local elementary level students. Participants are expected to present their lessons to elementary or middle school level students upon their return home.

The PSTI is provided in cooperation with Oklahoma State University to include current research on best practices in science teaching and learning. This will be an intensive and exciting experience providing a long-lasting impact on the participants' professional career in education. Participants are expected to fully participate in all activities throughout the ten-day experience including evening activities.

PSTI Objectives
  • To model and promote the use of scientific inquiry
  • To enhance pre-service elementary and intermediate school teachers' knowledge, skills, and strategies for teaching science
  • To promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science for pre-service teachers of young children
  • To provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies
  • To provide pre-service teachers with an opportunity to use computers and other communication and education technologies

Eligibility Requirements
  • Must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years of age
  • Have a cumulative overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a full time college junior or senior at an accredited institution during the summer of 2013. Priority will be given to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities or Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Be an Elementary Education or Secondary Science Education major
  • Have successfully completed at least one science course with a grade of B or better
  • Have not attended a previous Pre-Service Teacher Institute at any NASA Center

Financial Support
Participants receive a financial support package including:
  • $800.00 stipend for meal reimbursement;
  • Transportation for participants outside the State of Florida will be provided by Oklahoma State University. Florida residents will need to provide their own transportation to the PSTI;
  • Lodging during the PSTI will be provided to all participants at no cost. Participants will stay at a local hotel in a double-occupancy room; and

Application Information
  • Application open January 2 - March 15, 2013.
  • Date of receipt of the application will be a selection factor.
  • Space is limited, early applications are encouraged.
  • Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status on April 1.
  • Please have the following documents on hand to assist you as you complete the PSTI application:
    • Unofficial transcripts indicating your course work and grades
    • Names of two previous college professors or instructors who will provide academic references for you
    • An essay (200 to 500 words) addressing the following points:
      • Why you are interested in teaching and your career objectives;
      • Why you are interested in participating in the NASA PSTI; and
      • How you will share your knowledge from the PSTI with fellow educators.

Questions Please contact the NASA Kennedy Space Center Educator Resource Center for additional information or questions about the NASA PSTI.

Phone: 321-867-4090