2008 Pre-Service Teacher Institute

NASA KSC/FSGC Pre Service Teacher Institute
Program Dates: June 1 – June 13, 2008
Application deadline extended to April 15, 2008


What is a Pre-Service Teacher Institute?

The NASA KSC/FSGC Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a two-week residential institute for junior or senior college students who are preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school. The Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) is a voluntary association of seventeen public and private Florida Universities and colleges. FSGC supports the expansion and diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education.
The purpose of this program is to increase students’ skills in teaching mathematics and science, while incorporating technology in their curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning (PBL) aerospace theme. Strong NASA content will be implemented throughout.

Each participant will be responsible for planning and presenting a lesson plan to a group of fourth or fifth grade students from a local school on the second Thursday of the Institute (June 12, 2008).

The lesson plans will have a specific time frame and will begin and end according to a developed schedule. This will be an intense and exciting two-week experience that should have a significant and long-lasting impact on their professional career in education.

Students should be from a designated member college university. Go to Member Institutions to see if your college/university is listed. Preference will be given to students in member college/universities in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. A financial support package is provided to all participants.


  • To model and promote the use of scientific inquiry
  • To enhance pre-service elementary and intermediate school teachers’ knowledge, skills, and strategies for teaching mathematics and science
  • To promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science and mathematics for pre-service teachers of young children
  • To provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies
  • To provide pre-service teachers with an opportunity to use computers and other communication & education technologies


To apply for this fellowship program all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • be a full time undergraduate student at an accredited minority university. See Member Institutions.
  • be a junior or senior college student who are preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have successfully completed at least one mathematics and one science course with a grade of “C” or better
  • be in continuous attendance for the full 2 week program
  • have not attended a PSTI at one of the NASA centers


The PSTI faculty and NASA education specialists will guide participants through a wide range of learning activities designed to model problem based learning in mathematics and science and the effective use of technology in teaching and learning.

Participants may visit KSC working facility

Participants will be divided into project groups for designing and presenting lessons. Participants will keep journals and share from their journal entries daily.


Your day at the Institute will begin at 7:30 AM (pick-up time for transportation to KSC) and typically end at 5:00 PM.  After dinner, evening sessions will be conducted and scheduled by faculty coordinator. Classes are held at the NASA Educator Resource Center, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex


Transportation costs will be reimbursed to participants. Students must make their own travel arrangements.

Air Transportation: Students traveling in excess of 400 miles from NASA Kennedy Space Center may fly and will be reimbursed, for actual costs, up to $400. If the amount exceeds $400, the participant is responsible for any costs over that amount. (Students should plan well in advance and reserve airline tickets early for the lowest fares) The airport code for Orlando is “MCO”. Please keep all your receipts and air tickets

Ground Transportation: Students traveling between 50 and 400 miles from NASA Kennedy Space Center are expected to use ground transportation and will be reimbursed for actual costs up to $200. Please keep all your receipts etc. The program will not reimburse for personal travel while you are participating in the KSC PSTI.


Students will be housed at the Hampton Inn, Titusville


  • Participation in the KSC PSTI includes touring of operational areas.  The following Dress Code is required during the entire two-weeks:
  • Proper dress is required of all participants during the institute
  • Shoes must be flat, closed toe, and closed back (cover entire foot), eg. sneakers
  • Must wear socks, full length pants or jeans, no tank tops, etc.
  • No pagers, cell phones, transmitters, electronic devices, lighters, or matches
  • No hanging earrings or large necklaces
  • A light sweater/jacket may be needed inside on some days.

Rules and Regulations

  • Participants will attend all sessions. The schedule is intense and punctuality is crucial to the smooth flow of activities.
  • Students will not be permitted to remain after the checkout date and provisions have not been made for overnight guests.
  • Students must complete all forms and return them prior to or during registration day.
  • Supplies – All required instructional supplies will be provided in the classroom.

Being a PSTI participant and a visitor to the non-public areas of Kennedy Space Center is a privilege.  Non-participation, violation of rules, or causing disruptions will result in removal of the participant from the institute.

Unless you are instructed otherwise, you will be permitted to take photos and video everything you see and do.

KSC is an active operational area.  Just keep in mind; security rules are rather simple and straightforward.  Violations of the basic rules are one of the quickest ways to cease having access to KSC and therefore result in the end of your involvement in the institute.

Safety rules and regulations will be covered during the orientation session on the first day. It is mandatory for all institute participants to obey all safety rules and regulations


The Institute provides a generous support package to include the following:

  • $500 stipend (for those who completely fulfill all requirements of the Institute)
  • Travel reimbursement (see Transportation)
  • Transportation to and from NASA and field trip sites
  • Breakfast will be available at the Hampton Inn and lunch will be provided.  Participants will receive a dinner allowance. The hotel is located near many restaurants.
  • Resource materials including binders, videos, DVDs, books, supplies and curriculum will be provided


APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY APRIL 15, 2008. Accepted students will be notified via email.

Get the application form here and the recommendation form here.


Complete the application in its entirety. Please type or print all information in blue or black ink. Return the completed application along with the required essay/writing sample, official  transcript from all colleges/universities attended and current resume. Letters of recommendation should be received under separate cover.


A complete application includes:

  • Application form
  • Two recommendation forms. It is required that you provide one recommendation letter from your college mathematics or science professor.
  • Current official copy of your transcript
  • Current resume (please include email address)
  • A well written essay  on why you want to be a teacher, why you want to attend the Institute, and how you will use this educational experience.

Completed packages should be sent to the following address:

Birdette Brown, Program Manager
NASA Educator Resource Center
Mail Code:  ERC
Kennedy Space Center, FL  32899
REFERENCE:  Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI)

You will receive notification, via e-mail, that your application has been received. A current e-mail address must be listed on your application. The Institute is not responsible for incorrect or missing e-mail addresses.

Participants must provide proof of US citizenship upon arrival.  Proof of citizenship may be provided by presenting one of the following:

  • voter’s registration card
  • U.S. passport
  • standard U.S. birth certificate issued by a state government
  • naturalization certificate
  • certificate of citizenship
  • certificate of consular registration of birth.

Direct inquires to, KSC/FSGC PSTI Project Manager (Birdette Brown,birdette.s.brown@nasa.gov)



Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen in order to apply?
Yes. The program is solely for those with U.S. citizenship.

After successfully completing a PSTI, can I apply to a second PSTI? 
No, each participant can attend only one PSTI. The PSTI is an entrance-level program designed for students who have not had an opportunity to participate in a PBL guided environment.

I’m a freshman undergraduate student, if this program is for undergraduate students, why can’t I participate? 
This program is designed for students that will be entering the workforce and will provide resource they can use in the classroom.


Is it possible for me to send in an application now and remain on file for consideration next year? 
No, your application will only be considered for the current year.

Can references be sent by e-mail?
No.  All references should be sent with your application. You can print the recommendation form here

Who should I get to write my references?
References should be submitted by someone familiar with your academic achievements and your academic ability. It is required that you provide one recommendation letter from your college mathematics or science professor.

Am I required to submit transcripts?
Yes. You must request an official transcript from your current  institution. The transcript must be included in your complete application package. On the application, you are required to list all science and mathematics courses taken and for which you are currently enrolled.  Grades received must be listed for all completed courses.

Will you let me know if you are missing parts of my application?
No. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete.


How does the selection process work? 
When the deadline for all applications arrives, an Application Review Committee will review all applications. The faculty and Education personnel at NASA KSC and the University of Central Florida are involved in the selection process.

How are applications judged?
Your application will be judged on your educational experience, your essay and references. You will also be judged on your commitment to a career in teaching.

When and how will I find out if I’ve been selected?
Notification of your selection will be received via e-mail from FSGC. This notification will then be followed up with an appointment letter and other documents explaining the details of the institute. Please check your e-mail frequently, as you will only have 1 week in which to accept an offer once it has been made. If you fail to notify us of your acceptance or decline to our offer (via e-mail), you will forfeit your selection and another participant will be selected.

If I don’t get selected this time, will my application be reviewed again next year automatically or do I have to reapply?
You must reapply the following year.


What if I can only participate for a portion of the institute due to other commitments?
Participation requires a full time commitment for the duration of the internship period. You must insure you will be available full time during the entire two weeks. Only those students that have participated full time in the institute and have completed all requirements will be awarded the $500 stipend.

Is there any flexibility in start and end dates?
No. The start date for the NASA KSC/FSGC PSTI is scheduled for Sunday, June 1 through Friday, June 13. Please note that other NASA Centers across the country offer similar PSTI programs throughout the summer.

Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?
The program does not include vacation or sick leave.

How do I receive my stipend payment and where does it come from? 
You will receive your stipend and travel reimbursement check on the last day of the program. All checks are issued by FSGC/University of Central Florida.

What kind of travel reimbursement will I receive?
You will be reimbursed for inbound and outbound travel between your home or school and the hotel. See Transportation for more details.

Does the institute pay any tuition costs I might incur while participating?
No. Tuition and fees incurred during your participation in the institute while you are still enrolled in a college or university are not reimbursable.

By participating in this institute, do I become an employee of the administrator, the host institution, or NASA? 
No. You will be considered a program participant and will not enter into an employer/employee relationship with the administrator, the host institution, or NASA.

Do I have to prepare a report or give a presentation at the end of my appointment?
Yes. The presentation is a requirement and not an option. The work you perform and the knowledge you obtain throughout the Institute will prepare you and your group members to teach your lesson to actual 3rd and 4th graders.

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