- Feb 15th, 2020
Woman teaching students about mysteries of space honoured by Space Centre Houston
HOUSTON: She has been teaching students science and explaining the mysteries of space to them for more than 20 years. For her work as an educator Sharon Eggleston, a former project manager at American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies company Lockheed Martin from Brunswick, Maine, in the US, has been awarded the distinguished Cherri Brinley Outstanding Educator Award at Space Center Houston’s 26th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC).
Words of praise came for Eggleston from Daniel Newmyer, vice president of education at Space Centre Houston. He said “Sharon is dedicated to encouraging science and space exploration learning throughout her community. She inspires youth with innovative curriculum based in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to spark an interest in young explorers pursuing careers in those fields.”
Eggleston began her career with Lockheed Martin as a file clerk at a Maine naval shipyard who went on to become a senior project engineer of the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers programme. During this time, she earned an associate’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and supported her husband’s deployments with the Navy. She later earned a master’s degree in business education, graduating with highest honors at SNHU and won the Outstanding Student of Science and Gold Key awards for academic excellence.
She first introduced space exploration programs in her local community in the late 1990s, including Space Day Maine, an education initiative dedicated to increasing students’ awareness of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing an opportunity to learn from science and space experts. The programme brings together more than 40 presenters to teach more than five thousand students around the United States and Canada. Her career also includes serving as a professor at SNHU and as chairperson of the Maine STEM Council, leading a pilot programme for middle and high school students that borrows curriculum from NASA’s Astrobiology Programme.
Cherri Brinley, the award’s namesake, was a 14-year SEEC veteran and Houston-area educator who motivated fellow educators and students to pursue space exploration learning, even as she battled with terminal cancer. The award recognises leaders in education who encourage students to pursue careers in the STEM workforce.
Like Brinley, Eggleston embodies SEEC’s commitment to encourage people of all ages to join the STEM pathway and be an active part of future space exploration.
“Sharon espouses grit and determination,” said aerospace educator and 25-year SEEC attendee Brian Ewenson, who nominated the educator from Maine. “She shows an exceptional giving spirit in her voluntary actions.”
Eggleston was one of more than 600 educators from 12 countries who travelled to Houston to fulfill the pathway to STEM. An international convening on space and science learning, SEEC is a three-day hands-on learning experience based in STEM focusing on future missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. The conference inspires educators to develop cross-cultural collaborations to benefit their students and contribute to real scientific research.