Educators from around the world gather to learn, gain inspiration at 30th Annual Event Convening Aerospace Experts
HOUSTON, TX (FEBRUARY 5, 2024) – Eclipsing 30 years, Space Center Houston is unveiling speakers and highlights of the 2024 Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC). This year’s event will take place February 7-10, at Space Center Houston.
The immersive conference is Space Center Houston’s signature professional development training for STEM educators, and one of the nation’s leading science educational opportunities. Industry leaders will empower K-12 instructors of all disciplines with extraordinary science learning experiences, the latest teaching tools, and insight on what’s happening now in science and human space exploration.
“The Space Exploration Educators Conference is one way we bring people and space closer together,” said Daniel Newmyer, vice president of Education, Research and Collections at Space Center Houston. “This year marks the 30th anniversary for SEEC and promises to offer educators exclusive innovations to take back to the classroom.”
At SEEC, attendees will engage with inspiring speakers during the daily keynote presentations, learn and grow with other teachers while interacting in over 250 curated sessions (live and virtual offerings) from educators and NASA experts, and embark on tours to explore Space Center Houston, NASA Johnson Space Center, as well as commercial space companies in the area. Attendees can earn up to 24 hours of continuing education credit, and be armed with inventive lessons to help fuel their students’ passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Highlights of SEEC
Keynote speakers include Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator, NASA Office of STEM Engagement, and Megan McArthur, Astronaut and Chief Science Officer at Space Center Houston.
McArthur will also engage in a lively discussion with space-traveling educators. Attendees will hear about the ways in which the “Right Stuff,” that all great teachers possess, contributed to the success of professional astronauts.
The “NASA’s Leap from Moon to Mars” panel features Alexandros (Alex) Kanelakos, Lunar Surface Operations Program Integration Manager; Clare Luckey, Mars Architecture Team, Mission Analysis & Integration Assessments; and Dr. Doug Archer, Mars Research Scientist. They will cover pre-launch preparation activities, crew training, and science objectives the crew will likely complete, as well as what astronauts can expect while traveling to and from Mars and living on the surface. The panel of experts will be moderated by Patricia Moore, Education Outreach & Public Engagement Strategy Manager, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate.
Another panel, “Building the Space Education Ecosystem,” will detail the future workforce needs of the space sector which is projected to triple by 2050, employing over 1.5 million people. Attendees will learn about the importance of educational ecosystems in building this talent pipeline. The session will also highlight the U.S. Department of Education’s Middle Grades CTE Accelerator Program for Space. Panelists include Natalia Allen, Engagement Manager, Luminary Labs; Jill Prince, Deputy Director of the Research Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center; Mary Sandy, Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Old Dominion University; and Cindy Watson, Educator, Forest Middle School.
Participants will also enjoy a private screening of “Closer to the Stars,” a documentary that highlights the journey, struggles, and triumphs of a group of Colombian students and educators striving for educational excellence against sometimes tough odds. The documentary features retired NASA Astronaut Mike Foreman, Space Center Houston President & CEO William T. Harris, Board of Directors Vice Chair Ivan Rodriguez, and Education Specialist for International Programs Oscar Neira. Closer to the Stars is produced by Vibra Latina Productions. Gabby Baptista and Ivan Rodriguez are executive producers.
Space Center Houston relies on the support of our community to bring opportunities like SEEC. The 2024 SEEC supporting partners are Club for the Future, City of Nassau Bay, and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. Tuition scholarships for educator attendance at SEEC are provided by the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation and Tranquility Lodge #2000.
In previous years, SEEC has welcomed over 600 educators from around the world, including South America, Asia, and Australia. At this year’s conference, one attendee will receive the Cherri Brinley Outstanding Educator award, named in honor of the 14-year SEEC veteran. The Houston-area teacher motivated fellow educators and students to pursue space exploration learning while battling terminal cancer.