William Paterson University Students Participate in NASA Project to Make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) More Interesting for all K-20 Students

--William Paterson is now a member of the NASA MSI (Minority Serving Institution) Emerging Stars Network

Six William Paterson students participated in the 2017 Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Educator Institute held from June 12 to 16, 2017 at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The students, all STEM and education double majors, included: Nataly Gaspar, Noelle Mironis, Summer Pirro, Andrew Santiago, Stephanie Tapia-Nunez, and Katherine Zimny. Jyoti Champanerkar, associate professor of mathematics, served as faculty sponsor.


L to R: Andrew Santiago, Nataly Gaspar, Dr. Jyoti Champanerkar, Katherine Zimny, Noelle Mironis, Stephanie Tapia-Nunez, Summer Pirro

The group participated in several student-centered classroom activities, utilizing NASA assets and resources with students and faculty from four other institutions. Among their lessons, students learned the science behind steering robotic space crafts, how to track global precipitation, and how to collect weather data on their cellphones and upload it to NASA servers. In addition, the students were excited to learn that NASA facilitates students to meet scientists online and ask questions from the classroom.

Prior to the trip, the students watched a series of STEM-based webinars and will complete additional web-based professional development in July. The purpose of the NASA experience is to help the future teachers develop K-20 instructional practices that will make STEM more relevant and interesting for all students.

As a result of this participation, William Paterson University is now a member institution of the NASA MSI (Minority Serving Institution) Emerging Stars Network.  The NASA MSI Emerging Stars Network is a partnership between the NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to enrich STEM teacher preparation through NASA professional development opportunities and educational resources.