NASA Future Aerospace Engineers and Mathematicians Academy (FAMA) Central Texas Minority Youth
NASA Future Aerospace Engineers and Mathematicians Academy (FAMA) Central Texas Minority Youth program is a partnership between Texas State University and four regional school districts in San Marcos (SMCISD), Lockhart (LISD), Seguin (SISD) and Hays (HCISD) that will provide integrated year-round STEM programming to economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented student populations.
FAMA Program Elements:
Building the interest, skills and knowledge necessary for K-12 students to pursue STEM careers by engaging them in authentic STEM experiences built around NASA mission content drives the FAMA Central Texas Minority Youth program, which focuses on the following elements:
The summer program is a no-cost week-long camp offered by grade level for students from 4th to 8th grades. The STEM Saturday programs are offered to students during the school year covering a variety of NASA themes and STEM content. In total, students receive 36 hours of instruction.
Connecting to the Larger STEM Ecosystem: Educators and Schools NASA Backpack Program
Educators at participating elementary schools rotate backpacks filled with NASA STEM activities for students to complete with their families. Introducing NASA resources and activities in the backpack program allows sharing of STEM home experiences in the classroom. Participating educators receive focused professional development throughout the year. The NASA Backpack Program includes Spanish-translated materials.
Technology-rich Environments and Experiences.
The FAMA mobile technology labs brings emerging technologies to historically underrepresented students in their community and schools, addressing transportation barriers for participation in STEM learning activities. Technology experiences are integrated throughout the FAMA Program.
Engaging Families: Family and Community Outreach
The family and community outreach activities invite families to become involved in their child’s education in a comfortable, familiar, and bilingual setting to strengthen STEM education.
Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices
It is critically important that educators recognize the individuality of each student as cultural beings. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) creates a bridge between students’ multiple cultures (home, self-identity, community) and learning. The FAMA program uses CRT practices in all activities and sessions.
The FAMA Project is a two-year research project awarded a STEM engagement grant in 2018 from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) Aerospace Academy (MAA).
Leveraging the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research’s experience as a previously awarded MAA grant recipient, we have designed and enhanced the previously funded FAMA program to build upon strong partnerships and extend the successful NASA-based program elements to additional high-needs communities and school districts.
The mission of the NASA's Office of STEM Engagement is to advance high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education across the United States. NASA provides financial assistance (grants and cooperative agreements) to the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Hispanic-Serving Institutions; Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions; Tribal Colleges and Universities; American Indian and Alaskan Native-Serving Institutions; Predominantly Black Institutions; and eligible community colleges