Paulo Oemig is an Albert Einstein distinguished educator fellow with NASA's STEM Education program in Goddard's Office of Education. The Einstein Educator Fellowship Program, signed into law by Congress in November 1994, provides a unique professional development opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to serve at the national education level.
Oemig and the other teachers were chosen by the Space Foundation for their active promotion of space and science education. The new Teacher Liaisons will serve as advocates for space-themed education and will use Space Foundation-provided training and resources to further integrate space principles into the classroom. The Space Foundation Teacher Liaison program has more than 270 active participants, including those in 2013. The teachers are selected by a panel comprising experienced Teacher Liaisons and representatives from the space industry and the military.
"It is truly rewarding being at NASA because the agency not only stimulates scientific and technological endeavors, but understands and acts on the human dimension, and knows that from diversity and creativity new frontiers are possible," Oemig said. "The Teacher Liaison program provides a platform for me to reach out and stress the relevance of space education and champion equity among students and educators alike."
Paulo taught eighth grade physical science in the Las Cruces Public Schools District at Zia Middle School in Las Cruces, N.M., for seven years. He also has taught an integrated elective class introducing students to engineering design. Oemig has been the adviser and coach to after-school programs such as Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement; Science Olympiad; New Mexico Best Robotics; Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically); and Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Achievement (SEMAA).
Oemig also participated in the GK-12 DISSECT (DIScover SciEnce through Computational Thinking) project, mentoring science graduate students to develop collaboratively educational modules and increase interest in STEM-related fields in middle school students.
Prior to moving to the United States, Oemig earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in Argentina at the National School of Technical Education No. 1, where he also was an organic chemistry teaching assistant. At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, he earned a Bachelor of Science in physical anthropology. Looking to bridge physical and cultural anthropology, Oemig attended New Mexico State University, where he completed his Master of Arts in cultural anthropology. Oemig considers himself an educational anthropologist and an advocate for underrepresented students.
The 2013 Teacher Liaisons will be publicly recognized at the Space Foundation's 29th National Space Symposium, to be held April 8-11 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In addition to the recognition activities, the 2013 Teacher Liaisons will participate in workshops and education programs at the Space Symposium. Following the Space Symposium, they can take advantage of specialized training and instruction throughout the year at Space Foundation and NASA workshops. They are also invited to exclusive STEM professional development experiences with optional continuing education credit, plus special space-oriented student programs created just for Teacher Liaisons.
The Space Foundation is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs that bring space into the classroom and major industry events, including the National Space Symposium, all in support of its mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.
Provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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