SEMAA at TSU
SEMAA is a national science education program for students in grades K-12. The Goals of the SEMAA Program are to:
Inspire a more diverse student population to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.
Engage students, parents/adult family members and teachers by incorporating emerging technologies.
Educate students utilizing rigorous STEM curricula, designed and implemented as only NASA can.
The key components of service are:
1) Hands-on, Inquiry-Based K-12 STEM Curricula
The NASA SEMAA project utilizes a series of unique hands-on, inquiry-based classroom curriculum enhancement activities. In addition to being aligned with national math, science, and technology standards, these activities encompass the research and technology of each of NASA’s four Mission Directorates (Aeronautics Research, Exploration System, Science, and Space Operations). On average, NASA SEMAA students participate in this classroom curriculum for a total of thirty-six (36) hours each year, twenty-one (21) hours during the academic year and fifteen (15) hours during the summer. NASA SEMAA graduates who have participated in the entire K-12 curriculum will have completed 441 hours of advanced studies in STEM prior to their enrollment in a post-secondary institution. For more information on our programs for students, see Student Programs.
(2) Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL)
Developed by NASA and equipped with 10 workstations, the AEL is an electronically enhanced, computerized classroom that puts cutting edge technology at the fingertips of NASA SEMAA middle and high school aged students. Each computerized research station provides students with real world challenges relative to both an aeronautics and microgravity scenario. Examples of the real aerospace hardware and software contained in the AEL include an Advanced Flight Simulator (AFS); a laboratory-grade, research wind tunnel; and a working, short-wave receiver and hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) for aviation. In addition to being an extraordinary tool for educating middle and high school students, the AEL serves as an excellent training facility for pre-service teachers on the NASA SEMAA curriculum.
(3) Family Café
Unique to the NASA SEMAA project, the Family Café is an interactive forum that promotes sustained family involvement at each of the NASA SEMAA sites around the country. The Family Café engages SEMAA parents/adult family members in up to 21 hours of Family Focus Group sessions each year; during which time participants are engaged in dialogue focused on relevant parenting and STEM education information. In addition to Focus Groups, the Family Café hosts a multitude of Family Night activities and other special events that promote parent/adult family member participation in student learning.
4) Professional Development
SEMAA provides ongoing professional development for all NASA SEMAA teachers each year. This intensive training component is focused on equipping certified teachers with the latest teaching tools and techniques required for implementing the SEMAA hands-on curriculum.
SEMAA provides a variety of customized educational opportunities and activities ranging from shows in our portable planetarium, to hosting a SECME Mousetrap Car Competition and a Lego Robotics Workshop. These special events are conducted at the Aerospace Education Laboratory [AEL] or on site at local schools or community centers. Recently, SEMAA began the Engineers of Tomorrow (EOT) in order to raise funds for these extracurricular activities and competitions.