Former astronaut George Nelson to speak about science education on Thursday at TTU

George “Pinky” Nelson, a science educator and former NASA astronaut, will be presenting a discussion at Tennessee Tech University on Thursday about the North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership.

Scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Bruner Hall auditorium, Room 119, the presentation is titled “Successful Science Education for Every Student: Insights from a Regional K12-Higher Education Partnership.” It will be followed by a short reception, which will include the opportunity to meet and talk with Nelson.

The purpose of the North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership is to improve science teaching and learning in grades K-12 by offering pre-service teacher classes. The partnerships between K-12 and higher education focus on a deep understanding of effective instruction through collaboration in professional learning communities.

Growing evidence has shown that, as a result of this collaboration, student learning is increasing in both the undergraduate courses and the K-12 classrooms. Notably, while students from all demographics benefit, state assessments show that minority and special needs students are gaining the most.

During his career with NASA, Nelson flew as a mission specialist on three shuttle missions, one of which was the first following the 1986 Challenger tragedy. He is also a former director of Project 2061 for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Now he spends his time at Western Washington University as the director of the Science, Math, and Technology Education Program.

The event is co-sponsored by the Stonecipher Fund for the Arts and Sciences, the TTU Learning about Learning Group, and the Millard Oakley Center for Teaching and Learning in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics.


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