A lifelong fascination with space travel and astronomy paid off for a Dawson County man when he was accepted last week to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project.
David Yenerall, a student teacher at North Georgia College & State University, will begin the yearlong fellowship in January. The online program is supplemented with onsite studies at various NASA facilities.
Created to allow teachers an opportunity to carry back to the classroom a greater understanding of NASA discoveries, the Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project aims to inspire a next generation of explorers, scientists, engineers and astronauts.
Yenerall, who has a master's in astronomy and is currently working toward his master's in secondary physics education, said he plans to teach physics and astronomy at the high school level once he completes the program.
"Through the program, educators learn how to deliver cutting-edge science into the classroom, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education," said Joyce Winterton, assistant administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This includes proven NASA and NASA-sponsored educational resources to meet specific learning goals."
The program provides workshops and online graduate courses with NASA content and materials with a focus toward students in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.
"I'm honored and looking very forward to the introduction on Jan. 20 to see the specifics of the program," Yenerall said.
Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Yenerall has lived in Dawsonville for the last five years.
He is active in the community as the Northeast Georgia Girl Scouts Council astronomer. He also teaches at Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville and serves as treasurer of the North Georgia Astronomers, which meet in Dahlonega at North Georgia College & State University.