Archive for July, 2011

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI)

Program Description:

The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a two-week summer residential program for college students who are preparing to teach in elementary or middle schools. The AERO Institute administers the institute in partnership with California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). The program is designed to increase students’ skills in teaching mathematics and science, while incorporating technology in the curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning (PBL) aerospace theme. Each student is assigned to an Institute Flight Team. Students develop a lesson that they teach to children from a local school and will teach in an elementary or middle school when they return home. NASA Strives to ensure that underrepresented and underserved students participate in NASA research and education programs to encourage more students to pursue STEM careers. One main goal of the PSTI is to increase the number of underserved and underrepresented teachers in the STEM fields. Students from HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and/or students participating in programs that emphasize teaching underrepresented/underserved students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Objectives

  • Model and promote the use of scientific inquiry through problem-based learning for pre-service teachers.
  • Enhance the knowledge of pre-service teachers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using content from NASA’s Directorates.
  • Promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science and mathematics for pre-service teachers of young children.
  • Increase skills in teaching mathematics and science while incorporating technology into the curriculum.
  • Provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies.


Candidates must

  • Be a U.S. Citizen (the program is not open to foreign nationals) and at least 18 years of age.
  • Have an overall 3.0 Grade Point Average or higher.
  • Be a full-time college student at an accredited university. Be a rising junior or senior, prospective teacher going into the K-8 classroom, or a graduate student in K-8 with no undergraduate degree in education.
  • Have successfully completed at least one math or science class.
  • Have a current e-mail address, checked regularly.
  • Have a current phone number.
  • Have not attended a Pre-Service Teacher Institute at one of the NASA Centers.
  • Have the recommendation of a science, mathematics, or education professor

The Financial Support Package is provided to all participants upon successfulcompletion of all requirements of the two-week PSTI Institute

  • $500 stipend
  • Double occupancy hotel covered for 12 nights (check-in July 31st, check-out August 12th)
  • Resource materials including notebooks, educator guides, supplies and curriculum will be provided to participants at the workshop. Participants will need to bring their personal wireless laptop computer for the two-week institute. (if this presents a hardship, please contact the coordinator)
  • College credit (3 units) given to PSTI participants by CSUF upon successful completion of the program

Successful Completion Includes

  • Attend all workshops
  • Arrive to each event on time
  • Complete assignments
  • Teach a lesson to a classroom

What to Bring

  • Laptop computer
  • Comfortable business casual clothing
  • Closed toed, flat walking shoes (these are required for tours of the NASA facilities)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Camera (optional)
  • Clothing and shoes for moderate hiking

Program Sponsor

  • Funding provided by NASA Aeronautic Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), through NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
The recommendation form is found at
Applications are due NOW!  Send your materials electronically to Amy at .