PHARR - Four Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA) science educators have been selected to participate in NASA’s Lift-Off returning alumni program, The Next Giant Leap, in South Palm Beach, Florida this summer. The trip to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral will feature presentations and activities from scientists and engineers alike.

“We’ve met the most amazing people, astronauts, doctors, actors, engineers (and) scientists,” said Susana Ramirez, PSJA elementary science coordinator. “It’s been amazing.”

The returning participants, also include: Austin Middle School Teacher Janie Leal, Carman Elementary Teacher Michael Sweet and Chavez Elementary Teacher Celena Miller. The educators will work with teachers across the nation to collaborate on curriculum and learn more about programming robots, using 3D printers and will even experience flight simulators.

According to Sweet, his experience has been transferred over to his students, as his lessons are more credible after speaking and working with professionals in the space field.

“The students are excited,” said Sweet, fifth grade teacher. "We get to take pictures and it's different because we can be there with the background than if we're just pulling it off the internet."

The NASA workshop will mainly highlight space exploration to be geared toward STEM education that educators can bring back to their students.

“Since we do teach space exploration and space and earth science in the middle schools … it was a good way to get lessons that came from NASA and a great way to make more teacher connections,” said Janie Leal, eighth grade science teacher.

The program will take place from July 27-31.