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NIA's CISE Now in Collaboration with ITEEA
November 30, 2017

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)'s Center for Integrative STEM Education (CISE) is now in collaboration with the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). Through this partnership, Dr. Sharon Bowers of CISE will sit on an advisory board to inform revisions to ITEEA's Engineering by Design™ courses, as well as suggest opportunities for inclusion of NASA eClips™ resources within the lessons. 


ITEEA's STEM Center for Teaching and learning has developed the only standards-based national model for Grades K-12 that delivers technological literacy in a STEM context. The model, Engineering by Design™, is built on the Common Core State Standards (High School/Middle School), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEEA); Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM); and Project 2061, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS). Additionally, the Program K-12 has been mapped to the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges for Engineering.

For more information, visit ITEEA's website:


Dr. Sharon Bowers presents for ITEEA: "Collaboration Among Disciplines: Integrative Themes, Projects, and Design Challenges"
February 21, 2017

Dr. Sharon Bowers will be presenting for Session 2 of the Spring 2017 Integrative STEM Education Professional Learning Community - "Collaboration Among Disciplines: Integrative Themes, Projects, and Design Challenges" scheduled for February 21 at 8PM EST.

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Presentation to Stevenson University Masters in Teaching (MAT) Graduate Students
September 12, 2016

Saturday, September 10, Dr. Sharon Bowers, NIA Senior STEM Education Specialist, introduced seventeen first- and second-year graduate students in the Masters in Teaching (MAT) program at Stevenson University to STEM education.  Using a NASA eClips™ Engineering Design Challenge. Dr. Bowers modeled best practice pedagogy in design-based learning during the MAT students’ weekend residency.

Stevenson University MAT program is an online program designed for math and science baccalaureate degree graduates who have a desire to teach secondary students.

For more information about the Stevenson University MAT program, visit:

Dr. Sharon Bowers Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa!
April 18, 2016

Dr. Sharon Bowers, NIA’s Sr. STEM Education Specialist and Associate Director for NIA’s Center for Integrative STEM Education, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at her alma mater, McDaniel College, on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

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NASA eClips Selected for NASA SMD K-12 CAN AWARD
October 01, 2015

On September 25, 2015, NASA selected NIA as one of 27 organizations from across the United States to begin negotiations for cooperative agreement awards totaling $42 million to implement a new strategic approach to more effectively engage learners of all ages on NASA science education programs and activities. NIA' proposal title:  "NASA eClips-- 4D Multi-Dimensional Strategies to Promote Understanding of NASA Science: Design, Develop, Disseminate and Discover”; Principal Investigator: Shelley Spears, 757.325.6732

NIA Partners with Miami Science Museum to Offer Virtual Missions and Exoplanet Discovery for Students
July 09, 2015

Have you ever explored another world? How about 1,000 of them? NASA missions have recently discovered over 1,000 known extrasolar systems, some of which could be like Earth. Become a part of these missions through vMAX: Exoplanet Summer Camps.

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Newport News Elementary Students Compete in NASA’s Exploration Design Challenge
May 12, 2014

The National Institute of Aerospace Newport News Educator in Residence, Tami Byron, and Hampton Educator in Residence, Pamela Robnett, teamed with district leaders in Newport News, to facilitate NASA’s Exploration Design Challenge at the first ever NNPS Elementary Engineering Fair, Friday, April 25th at Newsome Park Elementary. Teams comprised of 4th and 5th grade students from 24 Newport News elementary schools participated in the challenge. First, second, and third place winners were recognized by NNPS superintendent, Ashby Kilgore. VIPs in attendance included the NNPS chief academic officer, NNPS executive directors, the principal from Newsome Park Elementary, members of the local school board, and Dr. Lynn Lambert the Associate Chair for Christopher Newport University’s Physics, Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Newport News created a brief "News in a Minute" video featuring the event. 

For more information about the NASA Exploration Design challenge, please visit: <>

For more information about Newport News Public Schools,please visit:<>

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NIA’s Center for Integrative STEM Education, Newport News Public Schools, and McDaniel College Team to Prepare Teachers for New Elementary STEM Magnet
February 26, 2014

National Institute of Aerospace Educator in Residence, Sharon Bowers, is teaching the first of five McDaniel College elementary STEM graduate courses to a cohort of Newport News teachers.  All courses are hybrids, beginning and ending with online interactions.  The first face-to-face meeting for the cohort took place Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at NIA in Hampton, VA.  This course will wrap-up with online conversations reflecting on teaching integrative STEM lessons to students.  The second course will begin June 2014.  All courses will be completed by Fall 2015.

Upon the completion of all five courses, the teachers will earn a STEM education certificate from McDaniel College.  The cohort of teachers, joined by administrative staff, are building their skills and understanding of STEM education to be teacher leaders at the new Magruder Elementary STEM Magnet to open fall 2015.

For more information about Newport News Public Schools, please visit:

For more information about McDaniel College, please visit:

Teachers and administrative staff (left) learn how to engineer a solution by applying Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli’s Principle to force and motion.

Check out even more fun images from the event on our Flickr

NIA’s CISE and Virginia Tech Team Conduct Hands-On SeaPerch Workshop for Virginia Beach Students
February 03, 2014

National Institute of Aerospace Educator in Residence, Sharon Bowers, and Senior Educator, Becky Jaramillo, teamed with Virginia Tech Ocean Engineering professor, Dr. Leigh McCue, to run a one-day SeaPerch workshop for 17 seventh grade Plaza Middle School students at NIA, Saturday, January 11 at the NIA Lab building in Hampton, VA.  In addition to building and testing five SeaPerch underwater robots, the students learned about aquaculture from Steve Urick, Hatchery Manger for VT Seafood AREC.  August Noevere, an NIA GRA PhD student from Georgia Tech Aerospace Engineering, supported the Saturday student construction.  The SeaPerch robots will be used by the Plaza Middle School students to identify best underwater locations to plant oysters for an oyster restoration project in the Lynnhaven River.  This work will be included in Plaza Middle School’s Samsung Solve for Tomorrow finalist digital documentary.

For more information about SeaPerch, please visit:

For more information about the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition, please visit:

SmartTALK @ McDaniel College with Sharon Bowers
January 15, 2014

CISE Educator in Residence, Sharon Bowers, returns to her hometown and alma matter to discuss STEM education in the modern world. The following presentation is from McDaniel College's series SmartTALK.