News Release

Space Center Houston Honors Exceptional Educator

HOUSTON, Feb. 17, 2017 – Space Center Houston honored an exceptional science teacher with the prestigious Cherri Brinley Outstanding Educator Award for her significant achievements in space science education.

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Jodie Guillen of Edgewood, New Mexico, received the award during the 23rd Space Exploration Educators Conference. More than 500 educators participated in the interactive workshops led by scientists, engineers and astronauts and took home engaging classroom techniques for all grade levels.

“Jodie continues to challenge and inspire students with extraordinary learning opportunities,” said Daniel Newmyer, director of education for the nonprofit. “She is a successful educator dedicated to bringing innovative science-based curriculum to students. She encourages them to consider a future career opportunity in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.”

Guillen, a teacher at Moriarty (New Mexico) Middle School, has dedicated her career to science education and is committed to producing engaging lessons and making her learning an adventure.

Her extensive career includes serving as an education manager and project manager at the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering. Her lessons have been accepted by TeachEngineering, a web-based digital library with free access to activities, lessons, units and living labs. She also has earned grant money for her Title 1 school, providing students with valuable learning opportunities.

She earned a scholarship to attend the Space Exploration Educators Conference and the inaugural Space Exploration Expedition Crew Program. A generous grant from Boeing funded the initiative which is built on the success of Space Center Houston’s annual Space Exploration Educators Conference. The national program establishes six regional Space Exploration Expedition Crews, each with six kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. The teams are modeled after the cross-cultural collaboration among the expedition crews aboard the International Space Station.

Guillen was named as one of five Jacobs Educators for the 2016-2017 school year. As a part of this award, she will work with a team of researchers from Indiana University in Bloomington to implement cutting-edge research for technology integration into her classroom, and then share that research with educators in her school district as well as around the world.

The three-day conference brought educators from across the country who teach kindergarten through 12th grades to Space Center Houston. During the conference, attendees received ready-to-implement classroom ideas and participated in experiments and engaging workshops about science, technology, engineering and math. Attendees met with exhibitors and received the latest tools and resources on NASA programs.

The event featured keynote sessions with astronauts, leaders in aerospace and science educators. The renowned speakers included astronauts Dan Burbank, Leroy Chiao, Nancy Currie-Gregg and Nicole Stott; and scientist Dr. Matthew Greenhouse.

Attendees participated on a behind-the-scenes tours of the astronaut training facilities at NASA Johnson Space Center and learned about the technology and research that is furthering NASA’s current and future deep space missions.

The award is named for Cherri Brinley, a Houston-area educator and space enthusiast who shared her passion for space science with students and fellow educators. She died of cancer in 2008. Award recipients are leaders in education and recognized for helping to shape the future of students in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Dedicated to empowering educators with a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas and activities in space and science, SEEC provides educators with continuing education workshops and networking opportunities. Join the next Space Exploration Educators Conference on Feb. 1-3, 2018. For more information about Space Center Houston educational programs, visit https://spacecenter.org/education-programs/

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws more than 1 million visitors annually, was called “The Big Draw” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 200,000 youth from around the world visit the center annually to experience our educational space museum with more than 400 things to see and experience. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

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