Community Based Learning
NASA Ames Research Center
Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI)
The NASA Ames Research Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a two-week summer program for college students who are preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school. California State University, Fresno's (CSUF) administers the institute through a Cooperative Agreement funded by Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP).
The program is designed to increase pre-service teachers' skills in teaching mathematics and science, while integrating technology into the curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning (PBL) space exploration theme. The participants will be assigned to an Institute Flight Team. Using the skills they have learned, the PSTI Participants will develop a lesson to teach to a 5th grade class from a local school.
To participate in the NASA Ames Research Center's PSTI Program, candidates must attend one of the member universities (see Member University list)
- Model and promote the use of scientific inquiry through problem-based learning for pre-service teachers.
- Enhance the knowledge of pre-service teachers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using content from NASA's Directorates.
- Promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science and mathematics for pre-service teachers of young children.
- Increase skills in teaching mathematics and science while incorporating technology into the curriculum.
- Provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies.
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Be majoring in Elementary Education (K-8 prospective teacher)
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or higher
- Be a rising college junior, senior or a graduate student going into the K-8 classroom; graduate student must not hold an undergraduate degree in elementary education
- Have successfully completed at least one college level mathematics and one science course with a grade of "B" or better
- Be in attendance for the full two-weeks
- Be a full time student at a member university (see Member University list)
- Have not previously participated in PSTI (at Ames or at one of the other Centers)
- Have the recommendation of a science or mathematics professor