Heritage and Academies of Loudoun Biology Teacher Earns Spot at Space Science Summer Institute

Heritage High School and Academies of Loudoun biology teacher Amy Goodyear was selected to participate in Texas Space Grant’s LiftOff Summer Institute at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. This week-long professional development training for K-12 teachers emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning that incorporates a space science element supported by NASA missions. As each state sends only one participant, Goodyear will represent Virginia at the Summer Institute, which is from June 25 to June 30, 2023.

Participation in the Liftoff Summer Institute is the continuation of an educational journey for Goodyear. In high school and college, Goodyear participated in space research and education programs, including Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, the Space Life Science Training Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and a summer internship working in a space science research lab at the University of Texas Southwestern.

Goodyear, who had a previous career in the pharmaceutical industry before transitioning to teaching two years ago, said she believes space science research is important although it occasionally goes unnoticed. “I think a lot of people don’t think about the benefits we get from the space program and they don’t think about it from a biology standpoint. There are things we can do and look at in the microgravity environment that we can’t do on Earth.”

In addition to learning from NASA scientists and engaging with the other participants, Goodyear said she is looking forward to sharing information with her colleagues and students. “I’m really excited to bring back things – new and exciting experiments and designs – that I can share with my colleagues,” said Goodyear.

Published February 24, 2023