Houston, We Have Liftoff: Professor Receives STEM Funding From NASA

NASA-Imagery from Pixabay

To infinity and beyond seems to be the goal for a dedicated faculty member committed to providing the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students with the resources and knowledge to lay the foundation for their future accomplishments within the field.

Image of Joanne Caniglia

Joanne Caniglia, Ph.D, professor in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, recently received funding from the NASA Glenn Research Center, an institute located in Cleveland, to provide k-12 students with an immersive and educational experience focused on critical thinking, observation and innovation within the field of science and engineering. 

The grant will be used to create activities that can be done remotely or independently by students. These activities include the creation of spaceship prototypes and parachutes and allows for each participant to be supplied with the necessary materials and directions to take part in the program. 

“It’s important that these students be engaged and interested in what they are doing, so we make it as fun and creative as possible,” Caniglia said. “There is so much unlocked potential when we tap into a student's imagination through the activities.” 

COVID-19 has unquestionably affected the way children receive their education, making Caniglia’s efforts particularly timely and important. “The remote environment has really put a damper on the collaboration between students and teachers,” Caniglia said. “Some districts that are unable to meet face to face really lose an important part of learning.” 

Caniglia explained how similar programs assist school districts forced to do remote learning and encourage cognitive development in a fun and interactive way. Students are encouraged to report their findings and keep a log of observations. 

This remote workshop takes place every other Saturday and encourages creativity and critical thinking for students involved in Proyecto Raices and the King Kennedy Center, two organizations in Northeast Ohio.

Proyecto Raices 

This organization is currently providing around 30 to 40 children and families of Latino backgrounds with academic and social support within Summit County while celebrating their ethnicity and incorporating culture into the community.

King Kennedy Center 

This organization currently provides around 40 to 50 children and families with opportunities and resources for cultural, educational, and social development. The King Kennedy Center is located in Ravenna and helps nearly 100,000 people each year with its services.

“The main priority will always be focused on the children's culture and ethnic background,” Caniglia said. “Diversity within the STEM field is something NASA is very much committed to.”

Learn more about the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies.

POSTED: Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 9:16am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 4:16pm
WRITTEN BY:
Theresa Lovrak