Janet McDonald Fuller, a Dallas ISD teacher at the Environmental Education Center, had the opportunity to train at NASA’s Educator Professional Development Institute this summer.
Fuller applied for the program after attending an Astronomy training through the district taught by Brandon Hargis of NASA. Hargis encouraged all participants to apply for EPDI. EPDI is a five-day program taught at Johnson Space Center in Houston, focusing on training teachers in the field of science.
Fuller has always been intrigued by science.
“My mother was a Life Science teacher and would bring home frogs, possums, and all kinds of marvelous things,” she said. “You might say I was raised to be an Environmental Science teacher.”
The days of training consisted of touring important parts of Johnson Space Center, lectures by NASA personnel, and hands on labs to practice the skills that were taught. Fuller learned ways to teach the topics of galaxies, space flight, geologic processes, and more. Her favorite experience of the program was visiting Ellington Field to see U.S. Armed Forces’ planes and learning their purpose and how they fly.
Fuller is excited about applying her knowledge at the Environmental Education Center when the school year begins. The EEC now has an observatory and planetarium to support the eighth-grade Astronomy teachers at Dallas ISD. Through the EDPI she has been able to strengthen her abilities in Astronomy and will be able to take full advantage of that knowledge for her students.