Image: PSTI Logo Image: PSTI
Pre-Service Teacher Institute
Image: PSTI Logo

Member Institutions
- Alabama A&M University
- Alabama State University
- Albany State University
- Alcorn State University
- Arkansas Baptist College
- Bay Mills Community College
- Benedict College
- Benedict College ("Call Me Mister")
- Bennett College
- Bethune-Cookman
- Blackfeet Community College
- Bowie State University
- Bronx Community College - CUNY
- Cal State University - Fresno
- Cal State University - Los Angeles
- Cal State University - Northridge
- Central State University
- Cheyney University - PA
- City College of New York
- Claflin University
- Claflin University ("Call Me Mister")
- Clark Atlanta
- Clemson University
- Clemson University ("Call Me Mister")
- Coppin State University
- Delaware State
- Dillard University
- Dine College
- Dona Ana Branch Community College
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Eastern Oregon University
- El Camino Community College
- Elizabeth City State University
- Fayetteville State
- Fisk University
- Florida A & M
- Florida International University
- Florida Memorial College
- Fort Peck Community College
- Grambling State University
- Hampton University
- Harris-Stowe State College
- Haskell Indian Nations University
- Hawaii Pacific University
- Hostos Community College
- Howard University
- Huston Tillotson College
- Jackson State University
- Jarvis Christian
- Kean University
- Kentucky State
- Langston University
- Lemoyne-Owen
- Lincoln University
- Lincoln University - PA College
- Livingstone College
- Marygrove College - Detroit, MI
- Medgar Evers College - CUNY
- Miami-Dade Community College
- Miles College
- Mississippi Valley State University
- Morehead State University
- Morgan State
- Morris College
- Morris College ("Call Me Mister")
- Nevada State College
- New Jersey City University
- New Mexico Highlands University
- New Mexico State University
- Norfolk State University
- North Carolina A&T University
- North Carolina Central University
- Northeastern Illinois University
- Oakwood College
- Oglala Lakota College
- Our Lady of the Lake University
- Philander-Smith University (Ark)
- Prairie View A&M
- Rust College
- Salish Kootenai College
- Shaw University
- Si Tanka/Huron University
- Sinte Gleska University
- Sitting Bull College
- South Carolina State
- South Carolina State ("Call Me Mister")
- Southern University
- A & M College at Baton Rouge
- Spelman College
- St. Augustine's College (Raleigh)
- St. Mary's University
- St. Paul's College - VA
- Stillman College
- Talladega
- Tennessee State University
- Texas A&M (Corpus Christi)
- Texas A&M (Kingsville)
- Texas College
- Tougaloo College
- Towson University
- Turtle Mountain Community College
- Tuskegee University
- United Tribes Technical College
- University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- University of Delaware
- University of Maine
- University of Maryland/Eastern Shore
- University of Montana
- University of New Mexico - Albuquerque
- University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina @ Pembroke
- University of Oregon
- University of South Carolina
- University of Texas @ Brownsville
- University of Texas @ El Paso
- University of Texas @ San Antonio
- University of the District of Columbia
- Virginia State University
- Virginia Union University
- West Virginia State College
- West Virginia State University
- Winston Salem State University
- Xavier University (New Orleans)
Session for 2013:
July 14-26, 2013
Application Deadline: April 5, 2013

Program Description

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Jackson State University (NASA/JSU) Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a two-week residential institute held on the JSU campus in Jackson, Mississippi, for college students who are preparing to teach middle school.

The program is designed to increase students' skills in teaching mathematics and science, while incorporating technology in the curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning (PBL) aerospace theme. Each student is assigned to an Institute Flight Team. Students develop a lesson that they teach to children from a local school and will teach middle school when they return home.

Students must attend a designated member institution. Member institutions are listed at left.

A financial support package is provided to all participants.

  • Stipends of $500
  • Transportation from city of residence to Jackson-Evers International Airport or Jackson Bus/Train Station or Airport. Students must make their own travel arrangements.
  • Students traveling in excess of 400 miles from JSU may fly and will be reimbursed, for actual costs, up to $400 with receipts. (Students should investigate their State Air Travel Rates and reserve early.)
  • Students traveling less than 400 miles from JSU are expected to take ground transportation and will be reimbursed at a rate of 50 cents per mile up to $200 with receipts.
  • Double occupancy dorm rooms are provided at JSU.
  • Meals are provided.
  • Three-ring binder is provided for notes.
  • A book bag will be provided for carrying materials.

Program Sponsor

Funding provided by NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate, through John C. Stennis Space Center.

Program Objectives

  • To model and promote the use of scientific inquiry
  • To enhance pre-service elementary and intermediate school teachers' knowledge, skills and strategies for teaching mathematics and science
  • To promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science and mathematics for pre-service teachers of young children
  • To provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies
  • To provide pre-service teachers with an opportunity to use computers and other communication and education technologies

The program is designed to increase skills in teaching mathematics and science while incorporating technology into the curriculum. Participants will develop an electronic portfolio that contains resources gained during the program. Participants will present their portfolios to the PSTI faculty and staff at the close of the program.

Academic Program

Participants will be divided into four groups. Each group will be responsible for planning and presenting a portion of a lesson to a group of fourth through ninth graders from a local summer program on the second Thursday of the Institute.

The lesson will have a specific time frame and will begin and end according to the schedule. Further information will be provided by Dr. Heard.

This will be an intense and exciting two-week experience that should have a significant and long-lasting impact on each individual's professional career in education.

Lesson Plan Design

What is it that some teachers do in the classroom that makes them more effective than other teachers? Are there teaching behaviors that increase the likelihood that students will learn more of what is taught? These classes are designed to introduce some of those instructional behaviors and help design lessons that are exciting, fun to teach, and make a difference in what students learn.


What is integration? Mathematical equations are global and they connect with everything that we do.  Investigating hands-on materials with elementary students keeps them focused with excitement and wanting more.  This not only provides fun, but teaches National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards necessary for today's technological careers.  From graphing jellybeans to hands-on algebraic equations, we can all learn from each other the wonders of math and how we can apply it to our daily lives.


These classes will provide a variety of hands-on, discovery/ investigatory lessons, which are standards-based and developed around current themes relevant to many of NASA's missions.  Information focusing on both space and earth systems will be included.

Consideration will also be given to alternative means of evaluating the degree of student learning.

Students will have the opportunity to visit NASA Stennis Space Center.

Earth Science and Propulsion

The pre-service teachers will experience hands-on, minds-on and inquiry lessons related to Earth Science and Propulsion.  In doing so, the major components of this workshop will focus on the following:

  1. Background information about Earth Science and Propulsion.
  2. Explanations in grade-level appropriate language of the basic principles of Earth Science and Propulsion.
  3. Inquiry instruction that allows participants to generate ideas and ways to test those ideas.
  4. Real life information from tours to show the usefulness of Earth Science and Propulsion.
  5. Active participation in the cooperative and collaborative processes of problem solving.

The culminating activity will allow participants to brainstorm, with guided facilitation from the presenter, different teaching strategies that will help bridge the gap between the summer workshop experience and future classroom lessons.


The technology sessions will enable participants to effectively use technology as part of their final projects and presentations.

Participants will receive information and instruction in the following areas:

  1. Designing effective PowerPoint slides.
  2. Utilizing PowerPoint appropriately for maximum instruction.
  3. Utilizing Inspiration to help students read, write and process information.
  4. Utilizing Internet resources to enhance presentations.
  5. Creating a rubric to accompany a lesson plan.
  6. Downloading and using video clips for effective instructions.

Learning Activities

Most activities will occur at Jackson State University from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will include exposure to the following topics:

  • Remote Sensing
  • Visualization
  • Effective Lesson Plan Design
  • High Tech Equipment
  • Learning Styles
  • Mathematics and the Graphing Calculator
  • Principles of Flight
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Science: From Earth to the Stars
  • Simulated Flight
  • NASA Portal
  • The Computer for Lesson Plans and Email
  • Top-notch Space Scientists and Educators
  • Video Conferencing with NASA Centers
  • Teaching Children from a Local School

Directions to Jackson State University

From I-55 N take I-20 N Exit 92B toward Vicksburg / Yazoo City Exit, then merge left onto Exit 92C toward Vicksburg/Yazoo City Exit. Take North Terry Road Exit; take left on Raymond Road, and then right on Valley Street. Cross over Hwy. 80 on Valley Street and turn right on JR Lynch Street. Stay in the right lane and go through to the second roundabout and merge around to the guard booth.

From I-55 take the Pearl Street Exit 96A; keep right at the fork in the ramp. Go through downtown Jackson crossing over Gallatin Street. Stay in the right lane on Pearl Street and cross over Dalton Street (Blackburn School on corner). When you get to the roundabout at Prentiss take the full circle and go North on Prentiss until you get to the next roundabout and go around to the guard booth.

From I-20 W take the North Ellis Avenue Exit 42B and cross Hwy. 80. Go to JR Lynch Street and turn right. Stay in the right lane and go through to the third roundabout and merge around to the guard booth.

From I-20 E take the North Ellis Avenue Exit 42B and cross Hwy. 80. Go to JR Lynch Street and turn right. Stay in the right lane and go through to the third roundabout and merge around to the guard booth.

Participant Responsibilities and Requirements

What to Bring

  • The dormitory rooms at Jackson State University are equipped with two beds, Micro Fridge unit and hookups for telephones (local calls only), cable TV and computers.
  • Residents must provide their own linens for bed and bath, including pillows, mattress cover, sheets, bedspreads, blanket or quilt, and a laundry bag.
  • Other items the resident might consider bringing to the hall include an alarm clock, flashlight, telephone, an iron and an ironing board.

What to Wear

  • Proper dress is required of all participants during the two-week Institute.  Comfortable clothing, including jeans and sneakers, is allowed.  However, shorts, halters and tank tops (or any clothing that is revealing or exposing the midriffs), short skirts or dresses are not allowed.  Participants wearing improper clothing during the Institute may be asked to return to the dorm for proper attire.  Capri style pants are acceptable.
  • A light sweater will be needed inside on some days.  One professional (suit, shirt, & tie) outfit will be needed for the final banquet.
  • There are no official activities scheduled for the weekend.
  • Log onto for information about the area.

Rules and Regulations

ATTENDANCE/PUNCTUALITY: Students will attend all sessions.  It is imperative that everyone is on time for classes and NASA tours.  Many other people are also taking tours at NASA so it is important to be on time.  PSTI participants are expected to participate in all planned activities for the duration of the program.  All activities are required, not optional.

Chronic tardiness and absenteeism may result in termination from the Institute and forfeiture of travel reimbursement and stipend.  Participants must be on time for ALL ACTIVITIES and must abide by the rules of the NASA Center and Jackson State University.

CHARGES: Individuals will be charged for any loss/damage to the residential facilities and equipment.  There will be a $70 fee for lost/unreturned keys and a $30 fee for replacement of meal cards.

CHECKOUT/GUEST: Students will not be permitted to remain after the checkout date and no overnight guests are allowed.

FORMS: The Stipend Form is required to prepare a check of $500 for the participant. The Travel Reimbursement Form is required for reimbursement of travel expenses.

MATH MANIPULATIVES: Students will be able to borrow these materials for use in the dorm.  They will be checked out from, and returned to, Dr. Pamala Heard.

MEALS: Note meal times on the schedule for JSU.  The cafeteria is not always open.

MEDICAL: Students needing medical assistance will be taken to the JSU Medical Center, by a colleague, and will be required to pay/provide insurance information.  See area map.  Please keep ice in your freezer for scrapes/bruises, etc.

RESPECT: Students will be respectful of self and others at all times.  Late-night noise shall be confined to designated areas so those wishing to sleep may do so.


Candidate must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen (the program is not open to foreign nationals)
  • Be a K-8 prospective teacher
  • Be a full-time student at a member institution (see list at left)
  • Have an overall 2.5 Grade Point Average
  • Be a rising junior or senior, or a graduate student with no undergraduate degree in education
  • Have successfully completed at least one math or science class
  • Be present for the opening banquet on the first day
  • Be in continuous attendance for the two-week period
  • Have an e-mail address

Contact Person:

Dr. Pamala Heard
PO Box 17129
Jackson, MS  39217
Phone:  601-979-2662 or 601-979-2318
Fax:  601-979-4355

Application Procedures


Download and print the application form here. [Application in PDF Format]

Adobe Acrobat is required to open the application file. Click here to download the free Acrobat Reader from Adobe.

Please send the application form along with these requested materials to the address listed on application:

  • Non-refundable application fee of $30.00 (Check or Money order made out to: JSU Pre-Service Teacher Institute).
  • Two letters of recommendation. (One from a science or math teacher and one from an education teacher.)
  • A well-written essay on why you want to be a teacher, why you want to attend the Institute, and how you will share your learning from the Institute.
  • A current official sealed copy of your transcript.

Students must be a member of a designated university. See the Member Institutions list in the gray box on the left side of this page to see if your university is listed.

Completed Application packages should be sent to the following address:

Dr. Pamala Heard
PSTI Director
1400 JR Lynch Street
PO Box 17129
Jackson, MS 39217

You must show a current U.S. Driver's License upon arrival.


22.02.13 10:39

| Return to Stennis Education Web Site |