When Michael Rapp isn’t busy protecting the College of Education’s computer network, he spends his time observing the cosmos and sharing his love of astronomy with science teachers from the Science Teaching Equity Project (STEP). On Saturday, October 20th, Rapp was the featured guest speaker at STEP’s annual Astronomy Day event, which is hosted by Houston Museum of Natural Science in Sugarland and the George Observatory. Over fifty elementary science teachers from across Houston attended his talk on solar astronomy.
"While planning the event, we learned that Michael Rapp is an amateur astronomer and invited him to speak," said Coleen LaBorde, STEP Project Manger. "Many teachers shared how much they enjoyed and appreciated Michael’s talk. The STEP faculty and staff want to thank Michael for his leadership and support!"
Rapp knows the most important task of a science teacher is to instill a sense of curiosity and wonder about the universe we inhabit. "I try to take the excitement I have about astronomy and present ways that teachers can relate the wonders of the universe in a memorable and fun way to their students."
The Science Teaching Equity Project (STEP) hosts events at local venues to expose teachers to local resources. STEP provides long-term, sustained professional development opportunities to in-service K12 science teachers working in high need schools throughout the greater Houston area. Training activities focus on enhancing teachers’ science content knowledge and instructional skills to increasing student achievement. STEP is supported by grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board's Teacher Quality Grant Program and the Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (TRC).