Thoughts on STEM From NASA Ambassador David Lockett

Thoughts on STEM From NASA Ambassador David Lockett

Thoughts on STEM From NASA Ambassador David Lockett

David Lockett, STEM teacher and Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator, gets to play in the world of STEM in ways that some of us only dream of: as a NASA Solar System Ambassador. David will be moderating next week’s #Tynkerchat. Here’s a little more about David:      

David Lockett is a middle school STEM teacher, whose interest in STEM and astronomy started when he attended Fisk University. As a result of that interest, he founded a non-profit that focused on innovative methods to bring science, technology, engineering and math education to all students. Over the past few years, he attended NASA Socials for the Orion First Flight Launch, the OLYMPEX campaign, and the New Horizons mission. His efforts integrating STEM and astronomy were recognized with a Congressional STEM proclamation. His mission is to provide unique learning opportunities and assist students with developing an understanding our universe. You can reach him on Twitter at @davidjlockett

This week, David connected with us on some STEM topics about coding, space, and beyond:

Being a NASA Solar System Ambassador sounds really cool! Is the path to “working in space” more realistic to students these days? How do we encourage that?
NASA has many engaging new programs that bring the excitement of space exploration to children. Students in all grades can participate in a variety of exciting physical and hands-on activities to encourage students to “train like an astronaut.” From coding projects like “Zero Robotics” to solar eclipse projects, you can enable each child to become our next generation of astronauts, botanists, coders, and engineers.

If coding doesn’t lead to a job in space, what kind of skills can it foster?
Coding can foster a plethora of skills and career paths like independent learning, programming skills, critical thinking, step-by-step logic processing, and mathematical concepts.
It’s been said that coding is the “language of technology.” Should we replace World Languages with coding?
Yes, because literature and anecdotal evidence show that modern students struggle to come to terms with programming. Fostering students’ confidence in becoming independent learners is paramount. Students are accustomed to independence and a maker mentality, while being given very close support, thus changing learning style requirements.
States like Florida and Virginia are working to make Computer Science mandatory across the state. Is this a good idea? 
Yes. Computer Science empowers students to become creators and makers at a young age. We need access to real-world learning experiences that promote growth. That’s why the Computer Science pathway is essential.
If you want to inspire a student to code, what’s your go-to strategy?
My go-to strategy for students that want to code is to first explore. Play video games, design a website, participate in app design challenges. Sharing what you’ve learned, having fun, and learning from each challenge is essential. 


Thanks again David! We’ll look for you on Twitter at @davidjlockett

Join David as he moderates #Tynkerchat for us this Monday. 

Join #TynkerChat here!

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Daniel Rezac is the Education Community Manager at Tynker. He's been a science teacher, a technology coach, STEAM Coordinator, and school Tech Director working with students from Pre-K to adults. Feel free to reach out to him at daniel [at]

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