Park View Middle School STEM teacher Kellie Arenz is readying for the experience of a lifetime. Selected to attend the 2017 Honeywell Educators at Space Academy, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, she will be joining educators from around the world to explore innovative techniques to educate and inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Only 400 educators from 55 countries are chosen each year for the week-long academy, and Arenz is ecstatic about the opportunity.
"I heard about the Honeywell Educator Space Academy two years ago from a friend, and I knew right away I wanted to explore the chance to go," said Arenz. "I applied last September and when word came early this year that I had been selected, I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled."
According to the Honeywell academy website and Arenz's congratulatory letter, she'll be involved in over 45 hours of classroom, laboratory, and field training activities during her week-long June stay. Opportunities include working with fellow educators in engineering design challenges, thermal design challenges, payload operations, rocket construction and launches, high performance jet simulations, guest speakers, team-building missions, space museum tours, simulated astronaut training, and explorations into space flight.
"My main goal is to learn new ways of inspiring my students," said Arenz. "I'm going to have the unbelievable chance to work with educators from other states and countries to see how concepts are taught on a global level, and with the help of the staff at the Space and Rocket Center, I'll come away with authentic, useful ideas for our STEM curriculum here at Park View. Knowing that I'm also teaching our new Flight and Space elective class next year makes this academy opportunity more relevant than ever."
Arenz's students agree with Honeywell's choice of their teacher to attend the academy.
"Mrs. Arenz is a hard-working teacher who really cares about us as her students," said eighth-grader Hunter Bischmann. "Our class is really hands-on and hard-working, and I love STEM because it gets me prepared for what's coming, like robots! It's cool she was chosen for this."
Her colleagues agree.
"I am so excited for Mrs. Arenz," explained Park View science teacher Jackie Nowak. “It is such an honor and a privilege to be chosen to attend an academy such as this. The skills she will learn and the experience she will walk away with will be something that can't be taught anywhere else. I can't wait for her to share all she has learned through this amazing, unique opportunity with both staff and students at PVMS.”
As for Arenz? She glows every times she talks about the upcoming summer trip.
"This is going to be a life-changing experience for me and how I help my students. I cannot wait to head down there."
For more information about the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy, visit educators.honeywell.com.