The annual San Antonio Teacher Training Astronomy Academy (SATTAA) builds on the knowledge that children have an innate curiosity about, and fascination with, the world around them, including astronomy, rockets, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, and similar topics of scientific interest. They want to understand how things work; yet, somewhere during their school experience many become disenchanted with learning about scientific ideas and processes. 
Teachers are crucial mentors and guides to students, and are thus in a unique position to engender STEM enthusiasm into the youth. Providing high-quality TPD thus addresses a major point of leverage in contributing positively to STEM learning. In the case of astronomy education, it is troubling that most teaching of such secondary school courses is facilitated by teachers who do not have much background in astronomy. Between 2016-19, only 5.22-6.23% (Smith, 2020) of all new Texas science teacher certifications were specific to any form of physics content, which we use as proxy to astronomy content expertise. Out-of-field teaching of astronomy is the rule rather than exception in Texas schools.
SATTAA, a program for future and current STEM teachers, aims to provide opportunities to enhance content expertise towards more confident teaching of astronomy, while also providing pedagogical and technological tools and resources to make those classes fun and interesting. The goal is for SATTAA alumni to keep their students engaged with STEM learning and STEM careers. Fostering astronomy content knowledge is a core focus of the program, and is facilitated by astronomers engaged in astrophysics research and higher education. However, intertwining this content with productive pedagogies and technologies in secondary classrooms is of equal importance, and accomplished through team members with expertise in teacher preparation in general, and STEM education in particular.
We estimate our reach to local students using simple assumptions to be an annual impact of 7,500 students.
This work is done in a partnership with Professor Carmen Fies of UTSA and astronomy colleagues from around the world.  You can read more about SATTAA in our latest publication and here  You can click on the front page of our 2021 schedule below to obtain the full schedule.
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