The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has admitted Marymount University to its Professional Development Network, “a select group of high quality professional development providers,” according to a letter from Dr. Kyle Peck of the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project, to Marymount’s Dr. Usha Rajdev, associate professor of Education.
The letter adds, “Together we can make a difference in STEM education, through collaborations that identify and serve appropriate audiences, providing them with sustained access to NASA resources and assets.” STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Dr. Rajdev has been collaborating with NASA Education for the past five years. She says, “Aerospace Educational Specialist Rick Varner, from the Goddard Space Center, visits my Science Methodology class every semester and provides professional development training related to our Earth and Space Unit. He brings materials for our pre-service teachers and they can replicate the activities in their own teaching.”
Dr. Rajdev adds, “Recently, when Mr. Varner was at the Reston Center with our students, he remarked that Marymount is the only NASA Professional Development Network partner in Virginia. That’s a nice distinction.”
PHOTO 1 - Toni Soliday (M.Ed. ’09) shows moon rocks to students at Dogwood Elementary School in Reston.
PHOTO 2 - Rick Varner, aerospace educational specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, leads a workshop at Marymount's Reston Center.