LAYTON, Utah — A Utah educator who attended a space program for teachers is using her experience to add to her curriculum this year.

Tami Pandoff teaches fifth grade at E.G. King Elementary School and was the only person from Utah in her 100-person group this summer at the Honeywell Educators at Space Academy, the Deseret News reported .

Participants were from 36 states as well as Europe, Africa, Asia, and Canada.

Educators spent a week at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, engaging in activities like simulating a moon landing and practicing water rescues by sliding from a building six stories high.

She said it isn’t easy trying to walk when gravity is a sixth of what it would be on Earth.

Pandoff says she hopes her experience can inspire students.

“NASA is working on a trip to Mars right now; it will be a three-year voyage,” she says. “The kids we’re teaching this year could be astronauts on that trip. That is very realistic.”

The academy’s goal is to encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

“When I went to school, science was taught through a book and it was hard,” Pandoff said. “Now it’s more discovery-based and hands-on. It takes the hardness out of science. It makes it fun.”


Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com