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George Fishman Named One of the Outstanding Space Science Educators for the 2011 Flight of Teacher Liaisons by Space Foundation
The Space Foundation named Bentley University faculty member George Fishman one of 38 outstanding space science educators for its 2011 Flight of Teacher Liaisons. Drawn from 37 different schools in 19 states, the new Teacher Liaisons will serve as advocates for space science education and will use Space Foundation-provided training and resources to further integrate space curriculum into the classroom. The teachers, selected for their active promotion of space and science education, will be recognized at the Space Foundation's 27th National Space Symposium, held April 11-14 Colorado Springs, Colo.
Fishman, senior lecturer in Natural and Applied Sciences, is a strong advocate for human space exploration in and beyond low-Earth orbit, as well as NASA's scientific endeavors. In his newly designed science elective course, "U.S. Space Program: Going Beyond," he not only presents the achievements of NASA over the past 50 years, but explores the benefits of space activity to STEM education, scientific discovery, technology and innovation, and societal benefits from its spinoff technologies, and major space-business concepts, such as the commercial space sector, space tourism, and the global space economy.
"These topics appeal strongly to Bentley students, as they readily make connections between these space-business concepts and their major business courses," Fishman says. "Space science education at all academic levels -- from elementary school through graduate school - inspires and prepares the future workforce of scientists, space educators, and space entrepreneurs. Bentley students leave this course with a strong appreciation, understanding, and perspective of the role and importance of space activities in technology, business, and society."
Fishman also served as the faculty adviser to Bentley's "NASA Means Business" student organization, which competed annually in the NASA Means Business case competition at the NASA Customer Engagement Conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Bentley won the national championship in May 2009, just before NASA cancelled future funding for this program.
In addition to the recognition activities, the 2011 Teacher Liaisons will participate in workshops and education programs at the 27th National Space Symposium. Following the Symposium, Teacher Liaisons can take advantage of specialized training and instruction at Space Foundation and NASA workshops with optional graduate-level credit; exclusive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professional development experiences with optional continuing education credit; and special space-oriented student programs created just for Teacher Liaisons.
The highly regarded Space Foundation Teacher Liaison program is in its eighth year and has 360 active participants, including the 2011 Flight. Honorees are selected by a panel comprised of experienced Teacher Liaisons and representatives from the space industry and the military.
In addition to the U.S. Space Program, Fishman's teaching interests in astronomy are quite broad, including: earth and its astronomical environment, interactions between the Sun and planets, comparative planetology, astrophysics, and the existence of life beyond our solar system. Related topics in these areas include space weather, the discoveries and characteristics of extra-solar planets, and stellar evolution. He is a recipient of Bentley's Gregory H. Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009).
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.