COBB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Twenty-eight high school teachers across the country were chosen by NASA to study earth and space through a high powered telescope. Two Cobb County teachers were among those selected, and now they're bringing back their experience to their students.
Berkil Alexander and Philip Matthews teach physics and astronomy at Kennesaw Mountain High School, but now, NASA is putting these two teachers into an interstellar classroom. They've been selected out of thousands of teachers across the country to work with NASA on S.O.F.I.A.
"The Stratopheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy," said Matthews. "So it's a 737 that's outfitted with a telescope."
"There's different types of things we can study, from plants to nebulae to other galaxies," said Berkil Alexander.
The teachers will meet with NASA scientists online over the next several months studying S.O.F.I.A.
"I'm really excited to learn and then share this with my students and the district about how science is alive and active," said Matthews.
This also gives the students a look into NASA that's never been given to high schoolers before.
"I'll be able to network with astronomers there, and there are scientists there, many have offered to do skype sessions with my class," said Alexander. "I can't imagine having the opportunity in high school."
"We always tell our students that science is real, it's current, it's changing, but unless they see that, it's really hard for them to make that connection," said Matthews.
At the end of the program, the teachers will board S.O.F.I.A. and take two 12-hour flights on the plane.
These are flights that scientists spend years working for, and flights the two teachers couldn't be more excited for:
"To be able to share that with my students is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Matthews.