IPN International Space Education Professional Development Program, Houston (day 1)


Scientix has been invited to join the IPN International Space Education Professional Development Program in Houston, 1-7 February 2015. Educators from Norway and California have come for a one week long program designed to motivate, inspire and inform delegates on Space Education.

Alex Blackwood and Val Caldwell, organizers of the week say: “During the week, they [the participants] will meet scientists, engineers and astronauts, experience a VIP tour of Johnson Space Centre and take part in SEEC to name just a few of the amazing things they will experience.”

During this week, I (Agueda Gras, Scientix project manager) will share tips, links, stories and pictures on the week through the Scientix blog.  Stay tuned via twitter (@scientix_eu) or just check out this blog every day (I’m 7 hours behind Belgium so I should be able to publish a new blog the post by the time you get up every morning!).

Day 1: Monday 02 February 2015


We started the day at Honeywell where we saw their products on work safety. Incredible source of thought for students: Engineer and Physics degrees can get you into careers that make a difference in every day life (design of emergency equipment like smoke sensors, design of protective gear like fire fighter wear…)

We learned a bit about 0G from Dr John Bain, Engineer at Honeywell Aerospace, previously Engineer/Test Director/Vomit Cleaner at NASA. Check out more about the Reduced Gravity Aircraft:

to share with your students why is it important to carry out experiments at 0 gravity, how do you achieve 0G without getting out of Earth, etc.

Then 4 women shared their career paths and job experiences with the group. Check out these incredible role models (and the jobs they do):


Honeywell-06Michael A. Baker, Astronaut and International Space Station Program Manager, for International and Crew Operations, Johnson Space Center (full bio) came to tell us about his work with the Russians cosmonauts and his experience as mission commander on STS-68. Check out more NASA missions from here. Regarding approaching the Space Station, Mick Baker says “The rendezvous is like watching grass slow of how slow it is…”

It seems we’ll be meeting more astronauts this week. To all European STEM teachers, any questions your students would like me to ask the astronauts on their behalf? Add them to the comments to this post.


And one last thing, do you know which are the main organic elements?
CHON = Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen (materials that are basic for life), which are part of comets (and because of them, comets are quite dark).

More tomorrow. Have a nice day!



Article written by: Agueda Gras Velazquez, Scientix Project Manager and Science Team Manager, European Schoolnet

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One Response to “IPN International Space Education Professional Development Program, Houston (day 1)”

  1. Costantina Cossu says:

    It’s all very intriguing …. I am close to you with the thought in this beautiful adventure.
    I’ll involve my students in this adventure.

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