Teachers in Space, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization that gets students excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing their teachers with extraordinary space science experiences and industry connections.
Our professional development workshops for STEM teachers include personal and experimental flight opportunities, hands-on work with data sensors and remote device control, opportunities to meet and interact with scientists and developers at NASA and commercial space companies, and unique teaching materials and design contests to take back to the classroom. Teachers in Space sparks a transfer of passion for space science and exploration from teachers to their students, preparing and encouraging those students to pursue further education and exciting, rewarding careers in the emerging space industry.
Teachers in Space, Inc. is inspired by NASA’s Teacher in Space program, which in 1984 selected Christa McAuliffe from over 11,000 applicants to be the first school teacher to train as an astronaut and fly via space shuttle to the International Space Station. When Space Shuttle Challenger tragically broke up during flight in 1986, the Teacher in Space program ended without completing its first mission. By the time McAuliffe’s backup, Barbara Morgan, did fly in 1998, NASA had abandoned the idea of flying classroom teachers and returning them to their schools. Morgan’s Shuttle commander, Scott Kelly, told a journalist, “I don’t have a teacher as a crew member. I have a crew member who used to be a teacher.”
Our Teachers in Space project is created to fulfill the promise of the original program. We already offer teachers authentic astronaut training and real space science experiences combined with information and resources that they bring back to classrooms across America.
Sponsored by NASA from 2010-2013 and by the Airbus Perlan Project in 2015-2016, Teachers in Space, Inc. now offers workshops for teachers in suborbital astronautics, space medicine and suborbital flight experiments. Our teachers and their students have conducted numerous high-altitude balloon missions, flown experimental payloads on gliders in the USA and in Argentina, and helped to test the first multipurpose commercial spacesuit on a parabolic flight over Ottawa, Canada.