Launching STEM Interst: Using Rockets to Propel to Excel in STEM Results of the Lift-Off for Teachers and Youths (LOFTY) Program

Reynee Kachur, Michelle Fleming, Sara Seidling


The Lift-Off For Teachers and Youths (LOFTY) program brought together the UW Oshkosh Science Outreach Program within the College of Letters and Science and College of Education and Human Services faculty to provide a space-related science learning opportunity for in- service teachers that in turn excites and engages the students they teach in aerospace-related science, design and technology. This project dovetailed nicely with many of the other hands-on science programs already conducted by Science Outreach, while at the same time filling a void of increasing the content knowledge of elementary teachers, and increasing the interest and hands-on space-related science experiences for elementary students in Wisconsin. The LOFTY project also emphasized current NASA education goals including helping educators and students develop the critical skills and knowledge base in space-related science. By bringing in elements of an in-service hands-on teacher training, cross disciplinary discussions to incorporate a rocket unit into each subject, planetarium shows at the Buckstaff Planetarium, and using the framework of the Science Olympiad rules and values, the LOFTY project increased interest in and excitement for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

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