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What does it take, physically, to be able to make it in space? Seven physical educators are visiting NASA this week to develop content for its Train Like An Astronaut (TLA) program.
Adapted physical education specialist, Linda Hilgenbrinck of Denton Independent School District, TX and other Past Teachers of the Year including Mary Driemeyer from Sappington Elementary School, MO; P.J. Jarvis from Central Valley Elementary School, WA; Janet Kennedy from Sedgefield Elementary School, VA; Tecca Kilmer from Turkey Creek Middle School, FL; Kathy Lund from Bluffview Elementary School, NM; and Sabra Reagle-Szczyglowski from Evergreen Elementary School, MD; along with Cheryl Richardson, AAHPERD Senior Director of Programs, have been invited to travel to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX for a week to help NASA's Human Research Program Education and Outreach (HRPEO) in developing content for the program.
Geared toward 8- to 12-year-old students, TLA is a scientific and physical approach to human health and fitness on Earth and in space. It allows the students to "train like an astronaut" by participating in physical activities modeled after real-life physical requirements for humans traveling to space. Students gain an understanding of the science behind nutrition and physical fitness by participating in structured, hands-on activities that relate to Earth-based physical needs and the requirements of exploring space. A total of 10 physical activities and three educational activities are currently available for formal and informal educators.
During their week-long visit, the physical educators will engage in activities that enhance their knowledge of NASA and the TLA project, and will provide their expertise to develop new content material around physical fitness, educational health, and adapted PE modules. They will also be given the opportunity to tour unique NASA facilities and attend presentations on current projects and programs occurring at the Johnson Space Center. These tours and lectures will enhance their knowledge of human space exploration, which will help in understanding the space relevance of the TLA project.
Read the Daily Press article on 2012 Southern District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, Janet Kennedy, and her plans to incorporate some of what she learns at NASA in her fall curriculum.