Teachers from 20 counties met at the RCB Institute and National Aerospace Education Center on Saturday to learn more about a new NASA program called "Museum in a Box."
"It's about 50 hands on activities and lessons, all focusing on how to teach aviation concepts in K-12 classrooms," said NASA's Todd Ensign.
NASA teamed up with RCBI, the NAEC and Marshall University to develop the program. Saturday's meeting shared what it has to offer with teachers, who will then be able to take those lessons back to their classroom. In addition to learning the science of flight, they also got a look at some of the modern materials being used.
"We've developed an all-day training that is allowing teachers to literally build a composite wing, we fiber glassed a balsa wood airplane. They're also getting to see some facilities that RCBI has that allows students and eventually companies to design components of aircraft and spacecraft," Ensign said.
Kathleen Prusa is a science teacher at Philippi Middle School. She said flight is something her classes have studied for a long time, and she's always on the lookout for ways to add to her lessons.
"Principles and things that I'll be able to go ahead and bring through the kit right through to the students to use, and there's just ideas that I don't come up with on my own, and it's always good to learn more about those kinds things and say 'oh yeah, I can do that,'" said Prusa.
Ensign said the aviation industry is taking off in the state, and that it can provide some different career opportunities that many West Virginia students may not be aware of.
"The aviation industry is repairing turboprop engines. We're building new airplanes in Ona, WV, we have advanced composite laboratories here where you can build components of spacecraft," said Ensign.
You can find more information on the program online at the link above.