NASA Just Selected Six UAE High School Teachers to Train With Astronauts at Its Space Academy
Six high school educators from the United Arab Emirates are about to become the coolest teachers on Earth: they've been selected to train with NASA scientists and see what it's like to become an astronaut.
It's part of a program called Honeywell Educators at Space Academy, and includes "astronaut training exercises, high-performance jet simulations, scenario-based space missions, coding, rocket building and flying programs."
The program is a week long and has 45 hours of courses, spread over classrooms, laboratories, and field activities.
According to a previous participant in the program, it's an amazing experience: "The fact that we interacted with educators from around the globe and we had the chance to share best practices was definitely a highlight. Another mind-blowing aspect of the trip was the authenticity of all the activities we performed at space camp. Everything was designed to make us live the life of astronauts."
For a country like the UAE, space education is rapidly becoming less aspirational and more practical. The UAE already has an extremely elaborate model Mars colony, plans to grow plants on Mars, and a $500,000 grant for high-risk, high-reward space concepts.
NYU Abu Dhabi scientists also just announced a game-changing discovery in the quest to find habitable planets that could transform the future of space exploration.
Educators like Buthaina Abandah are already seeing the need to develop their own knowledge of space and pass it on to their students:
"The goal in the UAE is to go to Mars and the astronaut programme. We have a responsibility here to make space the focus for future generation of Emiratis. This is a good start and by doing these kinds of space camps it really helps the teachers and students. The experience we get is something we can implement into our daily lives, in classrooms and our space clubs."
The fact that the UAE already has space clubs says a lot about the country's commitment to making it to Mars and beyond.
On the other hand, the US has the 501st Legion, so I guess it balances out.