Summer of Innovation


Summer of Innovation ProjectAbout NASA SoI

The SoI (Summer of Innovation) pilot, a NASA initiative as part of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign, has contracted Paragon TEC to engage thousands of middle school teachers and students by providing intensive, stimulating mathematics and science‐based experiences during the summer of 2010. SoI is designed to improve STEM teaching and learning in partnership with federal agencies, philanthropic institutions, universities, industry, museums, nonprofit organizations, and states and localities. NASA's goal is to increase the number of future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, with an emphasis on broadening participation of low‐income, minority students. After the completion of the summer project an analysis will be conducted to determine the best practices to build capacity to implement a comprehensive SoI project in the summer of 2011 and beyond. The Agency's intent is that the 2010 SoI pilot project will demonstrate success of the concept and utilize the best practices to implement future SoI projects on a national scale.

Organizing MaterialsLead Educator & Intern Training

18 hours of Professional Development in the areas of Rocketry, Meteorology, Aviation, and Robotics.

Organizing Materials and Supplies

Members of Team 597 put in over 100 hours of volunteer service planning, organizing, and distributing various materials and supplies to Lead Educators and classrooms.

Student Recruitment

Team 597 members & other support personnel mailed out over 2000 recruitment letters, made over a 1000 phone calls, made presentations at local churches, Boys & Girls Clubs, and local middle schools.

The Units

During their time in the SoI program, students learned a variety of different STEM related subjects.

Girl working with a project

Rocketry Unit - Students learned principles of rocketry such as Newton's 1st Law of Motion, Newton's 2nd Law of Motion, Newton's 3rd Law of Motion, Gravity, Velocity, Acceleration, Payload, Thrust, Mass, Forces, and other scientific concepts.

Meteorology Unit - Students learned principles of Convection, Density, Solar Radiation, Thermal, Barometer, High and Low Pressures, Cloud Condensation Nuclei, Precipitation, Water Cycle, Anemometer, Wind Direction, Bio-remediation, Wind Vane, Oil Spills and other meteorological concepts.

Aviation Unit - Students learned about the Forces of Flight, Basic Aerodynamics, Airfoils, Center of Gravity, Inertia, Newton's Laws of Motion, Wings, Yaw, Pitch, Roll, Bernoulli's Principle and many more concepts of aviation.


Dianne Watson being interviewedSplash Down!

A culmination of 10 weeks of preparation and hard work by students, Interns and Lead Educators. The Foshay NASA SoI Program was honored by local and national VIPs also received local media coverage from several news stations.


VIPs and Attendees August 5 & August 20, 2010

  • National Aeronautics Space Administration
  • Paragon TEC, Inc. - Gail Dolman-Smith, CEO & President
  • United States House of Representatives - The Honorable Diane Watson
  • The City of Los Angeles Mayor - Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent - Ramon Cortines
  • NASA, Manager of Elementary and Secondary Education - David Seidel
  • LAUSD Board District 1 Marguerite LaMotte
  • LAUSD Board District 2 Monica Garcia
  • Local District 7 Dr. George McKenna III, Superintendent
  • Foshay Learning Center Principal - Yvonne Edwards
  • NASA SOI Foshay Site Coordinator - Darryl Newhouse
  • Foshay Teachers
  • Foshay Interns
  • Foshay Robotics Team 597
  • And of course the Parents!
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