Palmdale teacher chosen to work with NASA
Kathleen Joanne Fredette of Desert Willow Intermediate School
PALMDALE (CNS) - A Palmdale intermediate school teacher was one of six educators from across the country chosen to work with scientists aboard a NASA astronomy lab housed in a converted 747 airplane, the space agency announced today.
Kathleen Joanne Fredette, a teacher at Desert Willow Intermediate School, is part of the first group of educators chosen for the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program aboard NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.
"Enabling educators to join SOFIA's scientific research and take that experience back to their schools and communities is a unique opportunity for NASA to enhance science and math education across the country,'' according to John Gagosian, SOFIA program executive in Washington. "More than 70 teachers flew on NASA's previous flying observatory, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, from 1991 through 1995, and that program had long-lasting, positive effects on both the teachers and their students."
The SOFIA laboratory is aboard a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft fitted with a 100-inch-diameter telescope. Scientists aboard the airborne lab study the formation of stars and planets, the chemistry of interstellar gases and the composition of comets, asteroids, planets and black holes.
The teachers will take part in flights this month and June. The SOFIA program is based at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Palmdale.
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