Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2019 issue
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – Jill Gilford, an Earth and Space Science Teacher at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello, Indiana., has been selected to receive the 2019 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The award is presented jointly by the Space Foundation, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in recognition of creative and innovative use of technology by K-12 educators, or district-level education personnel.
Gilford started a program called “Science Buddies,” a peer mentoring program that trains high school students to present science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities to first graders. The activities focus on collaboration, organizational skills, problem solving and design process. The program also uses video conferencing to enable students to virtually travel to classrooms around the world, such as Australia, Italy and the Ukraine.
Gilford has won a number of teaching awards, including the 2017 Twin Lakes School Corporation District Teacher of the Year, and she was an Indiana Teacher of the Year top finalist in 2017.
The award, named in memory of Mercury and Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard, will be presented during the Space Foundation’s 35th Space Symposium, to be held April 8-11 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. See details about the Space Symposium at www.spacesymposium.org.
To learn more about Space Foundation STEM education programs, visit www.discoverspace.org.
Founded in the wake of the Challenger accident in 1986, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation honors and memorializes 24 astronauts who sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program while on a U.S. government mission or in training. The foundation, which is a private, not-for-profit organization, built and maintains two major facilities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Mirror Memorial is a 42-foot high by 50-foot wide polished granite monument designated by Congress to be the national memorial for America’s astronauts. At the Center for Space Education, AMF partners with NASA to inspire future generations of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Students, teachers and mentors experience building rockets, robotic competitions and other hands-on space-related learning activities led by NASA space education specialists.
The Center for Space Education also houses a massive conference area with state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities. This conference space is used for NASA Day of Remembrance ceremonies, as well as educational programs, and community and international conferences throughout the year, including the NASA collegiate Robotic Mining Competition involving over 500 students from almost 50 colleges throughout the country.
For more information about AMF, visit www.amfcse.org, and follow it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See award information at www.amfcse.org/alan-shepard-technology-in-education-award.