ASAP Teacher Highlight - Nancy Parra-Quinlan

Since Arizona is a hub for the aerospace industry, I work towards fostering student interest in aerospace concepts and careers. I am working on lessons to teach the basics of aerospace; the physics, the history, and the innovations. I am using the ASAP program to help me find new hands-on ways to show my students how awesome flight and space are. We use flight simulators, wind tunnels, and hope to build model aircraft. Our class also constructs and launches model rockets and experiments with propulsion.

A big part of my program focuses on careers in aviation. We have guest speakers from all aspects of aerospace, from engineers to pilots to air traffic controllers. The opportunities students have to meet and talk to people in the industry help them see a future path they were not aware existed. Some of my students have gone on to get their pilot’s license and others are majoring in aerospace engineering at various universities.

My students also have the opportunity to attend the Aerospace Academy, a two-week camp where we study flight and space. We go on field trips, have guest speakers, do hands-on activities, and launch model rockets. My goal with ASAP is to expose students to new STEM careers and pathways.

Project Stats

Teacher Name: Nancy Parra-Quinlan 
School: Kino Junior High School 
District: Mesa Unified School District 
Grade Level: Middle 
Subject Area: STEM/CTE
Number of Students Involved: 180
Name of Project: SIMI- The STEM Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation

Photo Gallery

Smiling teacher standing in field holding model airplane Teacher posing next to robot in front of display Teacher posing for photo in astronaut suit Teacher posing in front of portrait of JFK

Results – (anticipated or actual) 

The goal of the project is to get my students real life experience with flight and space. If they can explain the force of flight, axes of an aircraft, explain Newton’s Laws, and talk about Bernoulli’s principle of lift they can start to look at a future that involves these concepts. Many of my students do not have family members who have careers in aerospace. Few of them have college graduates in their home. They are able to picture themselves doing jobs with all levels of education, from vocational school to college. Students know that the jobs available are numerous and attainable. The military is also an integral part of our journey. We have worked with the Air Force, the Space Force, and Civil Air Patrol to look for paths to a successful future. 

ASAP Teacher Highlights

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