Professor helps secure NASA grant for Lamar first-graders

Release Date: 7/21/2014

University of the Ozarks Associate Professor of Physics Dr. Salomón Itzá has teamed with teachers from the Lamar (Ark.) School District to secure a space science grant that will benefit the school's first-graders.

Itzá and Lamar first-grade teachers Deanna Bates, Amy Hamlett and Brandy Freyaldenhoven received a NASA-Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) grant to develop their project title, "A Journey through the Solar System." The Lamar first-graders will explore the stars, planets, sun and moon through hands-on manipulatives, posters, and books to gain a general knowledge of our galaxy. 

Dr. Salomón Itzá

Dr. Salomón Itzá will work with teachers at Lamar on a project to teach first-graders about our solar system.

Itzá will assist the teachers with the use of telescopes and other astronomy equipment. The culmination of the project will be a stargazing night at the Lamar Elementary School, open to members of the community, on a night to be announced.

"I enjoy working with schools in our area and I felt like this might be a great opportunity for the school," Itzá said. "I met with three great teachers at Lamar Elementary School and asked if they would be willing to work on a grant. Without hesitation they got to work on it. We were very excited when we received news that the grant was approved."

Itzá also acknowledged Dr. Hudson, director of the Arkansas Space Grant, Ms. Schyler Cannatella, education and outreach coordinator, and the ASGC board, which is comprised of faculty members from colleges and universities in Arkansas.