Teachers in Space, Inc.

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Rachael Manzer – Principal Investigator


Rachael Manzer is a middle school teacher at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Windsor, Connecticut.  She has been involved in K-12 STEM Education for just over 20 years.Over the course of her career she has received numerous national accolades including the A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Teacher of the Year Award given by the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Region #1 Magnet School Teacher of the Year given by Magnet Schools of America, National Aerospace Educator of the Year given by the Civil Air Patrol, National Educator Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Space Educator Award from the National Space Club, and two separate NASA Group  Achievement Awards.   Rachael Manzer is very active in STEM education in her home state. She serves on the board for both the Connecticut Science Teachers Association and the Connecticut Technology Engineering Association.  She has received several state awards including CSTA Science Educator Fellowship Award for “exemplary teaching and service to state science organizations” and CSTA Excellence in Science Teaching Award given to teachers who epitomize the highest ideals of the teaching profession.  Rachael Manzer will have the opportunity to achieve her dream of flying into space.  She is one of seven teachers selected to fly into space on commercial spacecraft through the Teacher’s in Space Program.  During the summer and school vacations, you may find Rachael Manzer flying in high performance aerobatic airplanes, working in a neutral buoyancy pool, or taking a ride on the Zero-G plane all in preparation and training for her trip into space.  She will be able to use her experience, skills and talents to blaze the trail for educators across the nation explore space, thus exciting a new generation of young adults about space exploration and pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


What do you think of when you hear the phrase Zinc Whiskers? At first you may think that they have something to do with cats, but Zinc Whiskers are actually metal filaments that form or ‘grow’ off of metal solders. Zinc Whiskers are not widely known. They are very important to electronic part manufacturers because Zinc Whiskers can cause electrical failures. Our experiment investigates the detachment of Zinc Whiskers in an aircraft due to flight induced stresses.