Veena Naik picked out a rather unique outfit for her first day at school this year — a space suit.

A teacher at the National Academy of Science, Basaveshwaranagar, Ms. Veena returned from a learning programme at the U.S. Space and Rocket Centre on the first day of the academic year and reported to school an hour after her flight landed. She received a standing ovation from her class 10 students.

Ms. Veena was one of 210 middle school teachers from across the world who attended the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy programme this year. “We were part of a unique learning experience formatted in a manner such that teachers can inspire students to pursue the sciences and maths,” she said.

The programme gave her insight into various aspects of space exploration, including high performance jet simulation, interactive flight dynamics programmes, and land and water survival training.

Ms. Veena is now preparing to incorporate space science into her teaching for classes 1 to 10.

“I am also making a presentation to my colleagues who wish to know more about my experience and what I learnt on the programme,” she said. She says she also collected educational resource material from her peers on the programme, who in turn picked up some Vedic mathematics from her.

“I feel privileged to have been part of this experience. When my students and colleagues applauded my achievement, I wondered how overwhelming it must be to have actually returned from space,” she said.

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