Honeywell Sends Teachers to Space Camp to Accelerate STEM Teaching
Andover teacher Katherine Budinger was selected to return for a second time to help lead the group as an “Ambassador.”
Honeywell has selected 224 teachers from 35 countries and 45 U.S. states and territories to attend the annual Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA) program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama. The teachers will participate in several science, technology, engineering, and math inspired activities during one of the two five-day programs to be held in two consecutive weeks from June 14-19 and June 21-25.
This year, Katherine Budinger, a teacher from Andover, was chosen as an “Ambassador” camp participant, which is a space camp alum selected to return to camp for a second time to help lead the group of teachers attending. Her weeklong trip began last week.
Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company's corporate citizenship initiative, and USSRC created the program in 2004 to inspire middle school science and math teachers to not only continue their own education, but to promote STEM in their classrooms. Since its creation, more than 3,000 teachers have attended the HESA program and have cumulatively gone on to impact more than five million students around the world.
"We're thrilled to continue our long partnership with Honeywell to bring teachers to learn and grow at our facility in Alabama," says Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO, and executive director, USSRC. "The opportunity to help these teachers ignite their students' passion in space, science, and technology is one we at USSRC look forward to each year."
While at Space Camp, teachers attend 45 hours of immersive classroom and laboratory instruction focused on science, space exploration, and leadership skills development. In addition to learning new instructional exercises, including coding challenges, the teachers will build a network of peers from around the world to continue collaborating and developing their STEM education goals.
"Teachers dedicate their lives to educating students and preparing them for a world they will one day lead," says Mike Bennett, president, Honeywell Hometown Solutions. "Today, STEM education is no longer about reading from textbooks or memorizing facts and formulas. STEM is about doing. We're proud to invest in teachers, help them improve their teaching techniques and their curriculum, and ultimately motivate their students to reach their fullest potential."
"It's inspiring to watch my students get excited about the STEM-related activities I've been able to introduce since my time at Space Camp," says 2017 HESA alumnus James Falletti of Hackensack, New Jersey. "I've proudly worn my HESA flight suit to class and am so thankful to Honeywell for allowing me to further explore my passion for teaching and implementing science each day with my students."
HESA candidates complete a rigorous application process. Qualified teachers are awarded scholarships, round-trip airfare, tuition, meals and accommodations, supported by Honeywell and its employees.
For more information about the HESA program click here.