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Harmony School of Innovation – El Paso teacher, Henry Salgado, is one of only 28 high school science teachers that has been selected by the SETI institute as a 2020 NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador (AAA) and will fly on NASA‘s SOFIA. The teachers selected represent 13 states with only four teachers from Texas and Mr. Salgado is the only teacher selected from El Paso, Tx.

AAA is a professional development program for high school science teachers designed to improve science teaching and increase student learning and STEM engagement. Training includes a week-long immersion experience at NASA‘s Armstrong Flight Research Center Hangar with participation in research flights on NASA‘s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The program culminates in classroom delivery of a SOFIA science-oriented curriculum module.

The SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified to carry a 100 inch reflecting telescope that can fly into the stratosphere at 38,000 – 45,000 feet, which is about 99% above Earth’s infrared-blocking atmosphere allowing astronomers the ability to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes. SOFIA is made possible through a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
“I am honored to have been chosen to be a part of this once in a lifetime program and represent Harmony Public Schools and the El Paso community,” Salgado said. “I can not wait to attend this training and conduct research experiments that will later turn into classroom modules for my students. I hope to inspire others and show them that they too can accomplish anything they set their mind to.”