March 16, 2018
United States Congressman Neal Dunn visited Wakulla Middle School on Friday, March 9 to honor science teacher Katrina Roddenberry for being accepted to the U.S. Space Foundation’s International Teacher Liaison Program.
Roddenberry is one of 31 teachers selected world-wide, including five from India, one from Nigeria, and only three from Florida, to become a Space Foundation International Teacher Liaison.
The Teacher Liaison Program, founded in 2004 by the U.S. Space Foundation, influences space and science education at an international level. Teacher Liaisons serve as advocates for space-themed science and math education.
Selected teachers have access to training and resources provided by the U.S. Space Foundation to further integrate space principles into the classroom.
Congressman Dunn was contacted by the U.S. Space Foundation because Wakulla County is in his Second Congressional District.
Not only did Congressman Dunn visit WMS personally, he also addressed the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.: “I would like to recognize an outstanding science teacher from Wakulla County, Florida, Second Congressional District - Katrina Roddenberry.”
“In addition to recognizing Mrs. Roddenberry for being selected as a U.S. Space Foundation Teacher Liaison, Wakulla Middle School science teachers Roddenberry, Melissa Martin and their advanced science students were selected for NASA’s Microgravity University for Educators (MgUE) 2018 Challenge.”
Roddenberry, Martin and four WMS students head to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas during Spring Break to test out the solution to their real world NASA-issued problem.
Added Congressman Dunn, “It is clear that these teachers are inspiring a love of science and space in their students.”
New Teacher Liaisons are selected each January by a panel of experienced Teacher Liaisons and representatives from the space industry and the military. The U.S. Space Foundation’s Teacher Liaison program is funded by the world-wide aerospace and defense corporation Lockheed Martin.
Says WMS Principal Tolar Griffin, “Mrs. Roddenberry and Mrs. Martin have gone above and beyond to create participatory science lessons that come alive for their students. It is exciting to look at the next generation of scientists and mathematicians sitting right in front of us.”
Adds Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “We thank Congressman Dunn for coming to WMS to personally recognize Mrs. Roddenberry as a Teacher Liaison. It was obvious that he was aware of the link to NASA’s Microgravity Challenge as well.”
“It is always gratifying to see our schools’ accomplishments be noticed by those who may one day be hiring students from Wakulla. Our job is to offer enough engaging opportunities that our students are competitive with anyone from anyplace when they graduate from Wakulla High.”