Iuzzolino-Paquin

BRUNSWICK — Karen Iuzzolino-Paquin, a middle school science teacher at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, has been selected as one of five teachers across the nation to participate in the Teachers in Space Human Flight Program.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, Karen will join educators from New Jersey, New York, and Texas in a microgravity flight provided by Zero Gravity Corporation (Zero-G) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The teachers will compare the performance of miniaturized builds of classroom experiments in multiple gravity simulations; collect data on their heart rate, ECG, blood oxygen, breathing, and other human vital signs; and become familiar with the Zero-G experiment environment to establish and test training protocols for these flights.

The purpose of TIS’ Human Flight Program is to prepare teachers for participation in actual spaceflight activities which will inform their work with students. With the training and resources from these Zero-G flights, teachers will be better qualified to work with their students in designing and building flight-ready experiments that can be flown on multiple launch platforms.

“Adding human flight to our program is one more phenomenal first for Teachers in Space this year,” said President Elizabeth Kennick. “We’ve been helping teachers build and fly high altitude and space experiments since 2012. Now we’re putting teachers on those flights with their classroom experiments with Zero-G. Helping teachers understand and experience real space activities now is the key to student engagement and success in the space industry.” 

Teachers in Space is a non-profit organization focused on stimulating student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by offering teachers extraordinary space science experiences and industry connections. The organization held a special workshop for Maine educators last summer in Brunswick.