Local STEM teacher reached out by NASA
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, also known as SOFIA, will become a flying classroom for one local high school teacher.
You can't deny Adam Unlu's love for science. His classroom at Harmony School of Excellence displays just how passionate he is for the STEM field.
"So far I have completed a solar car with my students and one of my students drove it from Dallas all the way to California."
Along with his students he has also created a Power Wheel car modified for a child with disabilities. He's also created gadgets and prosthetic hands using a 3D printer.
These classroom projects caught the eye of those who keep an eye on space, NASA. Mr. Unlu has been selected as one of the 2020 NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors.
"We are gonna do some research with NASA and some scientists."
As one of 28 science teacher selected from across the nation, Unlu will head to California for a week-long immersion experience at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center Hangar 703.
There, he will get on board NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy where all the selected teachers will receive training in astrophysics and planetary science content.
Unlu says this experience is not just a win for him, but for all his students as well.
"They are super happy, too. But like 10 of them asked if they can go too. They want to see how it works."
After their flight opportunities, the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors will take what they learn back to their classrooms to promote science literacy.
The SETI Institute provides them with a two-week physical science curriculum.
"We are gonna see how that works, how astronauts use the technology."
Unlu says he wants to use this experience to expand his astronomy lessons in the classrooms but to also inspire his students to shoot for the stars.
"Maybe one of them wants to be an astronaut or do science with NASA, and I hope this opens their future."
Mister Unlu will head to California for the program at the beginning of June.
The teachers selected represent 13 states, with four of them coming from Texas.