Northrop Grumman Foundation Fosters a “Passion for Engineering”

The first class of Northrop Grumman Foundation Teacher Academy Fellows participated in a five-day summer workshop held at Northrop Grumman’s Linthicum, Maryland facility in 2016. The workshop helps to engage teacher-to-teacher discourse on pedagogical strategies for effective integration of authentic engineering design practices in their classroom. The 2017 Teacher Fellows will participate in a similar workshop.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering, for the second year in a row, to host twenty-five middle school teachers (fellows) from locations near Northrop Grumman sites for a year-long blended learning experience, culminating in a two-week externship during the summer at a site near them. NSTA and the Northrop Grumman Foundation believe that a passion for engineering can be ignited among teachers and students by engaging teachers in real-world engineering and technology, increasing their awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career opportunities, and providing teachers aligned professional learning experiences and activities they can implement in their classrooms.

Northrop Grumman says that Northrop Grumman Foundation Teacher Academy Fellows and teachers attending the NSTAConference in Los Angeles in April had a chance to experience Northrop Grumman technology and programs during tours of Northrop Grumman California facilities in Space Park and El Segundo. The teachers came from all over the United States, as well as one from Australia, and almost all of them from schools near Northrop Grumman locations.

At the California sites, teachers learned about programs and toured production areas for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the FA-18 and the Advanced Composites Center, a state-of-the-art facility for advanced composite structures.

“These experiences help share why we love doing what we do as people and as a company, and they help teachers find experiences and examples to highlight the need for technical and soft-skill development in their classrooms,” said Stephanie Fitzsimmons, manager, STEM education programs, Northrop Grumman.

“Considering the employees, resources, and technology we have at our Space Park and El Segundo facilities, we were thrilled to host these teachers at our site to show them our local commitment to the community and our commitment to STEM education,” said Dan Nieman, manager, corporate citizenship, western region, Northrop Grumman. “We know the important job teachers do and want to make sure as aerospace industry leaders, we can give these teachers a unique experience that will ensure that they are stronger teachers.”

Teachers at the NSTA conference were invited to attend a showing of the film, “Into the Unknown,” which tells the story of the building of the James Webb Space Telescope – a revolutionary successor to the Hubble Telescope and 100 times more powerful. After the showing, Scott Willoughby, vice president and James Webb Space Telescope program manager, Northrop Grumman and Julie Van Campen, NASA Integrated Science Instrument Module deputy systems engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope provided insight into the telescope and program progress. Carleen Beste, director of global corporate citizenship, Northrop Grumman moderated the panel. Attendees were given thirty Into the Unknown BINGO cards, for use in their classrooms; as well as James Webb Space Telescope posters.

See here for more information about the Northrop Grumman Foundation Teacher’s Academy.

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