The Martians in Your Classroom

Rachael Mann and Stephen Sandford
The Martians in Your Classroom

The careers of the future are out of this world—literally!

The first person to step foot on the red planet has already been born and could be a student in a classroom, a kid in your neighborhood, or a child in your own home. We are preparing the next generation for jobs that do not exist and for career paths that may not be in our communities, our countries, or even on our planet.

Education has always been about the future. As the very nature and location of work changes, education must evolve as well. In this age of disruption and iteration, education leaders cannot rely on the way things have been done in the past. We have to propel change and reimagine what is possible for today’s students.

The Martians in Your Classroom reveals the urgent need for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and career and technical education (CTE) in every learning space. You will learn how the study of space stimulates young people with an interest in science and technology. You’ll also learn the important roles educators as well as business and political leaders play in advancing STEM in schools.

Proposing an international endeavor, educator Rachael Mann and former Director of Space Technology Exploration at NASA Stephen Sandford challenge us all to revive learning and quite literally save humanity.

About the Authors

Rachael Mann

Rachael Mann

Author and speaker Rachael Mann spent 14 years as a high school career and technical education teacher before founding #TeachLikeTED that provides teachers, students, and leaders with tools for presentation literacy. Formerly the Network to Transform Teaching and STEM professional learning director for Northern Arizona University and the state director for Educators Rising Arizona, Rachael’s aim is to broaden the conversation around education reform and is a founding member of the Council on the Future of Education. She is a Google Certified Educator with a master’s in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. She resides in Phoenix and enjoys hiking, tennis and good eats.

Stephen Sandford

Stephen Sandford

Stephen P. Sandford is systems engineering director at Stinger, Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. working on satellite repair, asteroid utilization technologies and space policy formulation. He is the former director for Space Technology and Exploration at NASA’s Langley Research Center, where he led engineers, researchers and mission architects to create high payoff, cross-cutting space technologies to meet the toughest human exploration challenges. Planning and advocating for the Center’s aerospace expertise and facilities, as well as program implementation were all under Stephen’s purview. Over an aerospace career spanning 28 years, Stephen has worked closely with teams from every NASA center to develop remote sensing systems and flight test vehicles to enable Earth science research, noel space technologies and planetary and human exploration, including successful flight tests of inflatable reentry systems, the Ares 1-X vehicle and Pad Abort test for the Orion Launch Abort System. Among Stephen’s numerous awards are two NASA honor award medals. Phi Beta Kappa, he earned a B.S. in physics at Randolph Macon, a M.S. in electrical engineering at University of Virginia and a M.S. in optical science at University of Arizona. He resides in York County, Virginia and enjoys reading, backpacking, volleyball, cycling and running. Sandford is also the co-author of The Gravity Well.

What People are Saying

Mann and Sandford remind us that, to make our teaching relevant and exciting to students, we ‘must address the big issue of exploring and inhabiting the next frontiers of Space. To do so, we have to look up.’ When we look up to Space, it’s hard not to feel a sense of wonder. With this essential guide, they bring to life Ray Bradbury’s dictum: ‘It is good to renew one’s wonder…Space travel has again made children of us all.’  —Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Executive Director and Founder, 100Kin10

Mann and Sandford fuel a twin-turbo rocket onto a different planet regarding their claim about where education was and where it needs to go. Their Launchpad reflections offer practical applications and intuitive, orbital expertise that any classroom can adopt. The Martians in Your Classroom is not only about STEM, STEAM, or what you want to call your own modern version of educating students. It is simply a call to action for new-age thinking, not old-school, status quo instruction…Grab this book to begin or continue your creative work with kids because they are counting on you!  —Rick Jetter, PhD, founder of Pushing Boundaries Consulting, LLC, national education consultant, speaker, and author of six books, including Let Them Speak! and Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank

The Martians in Your Classroom take a powerfully unique spin on STEM in our schools and leaves educators feeling inspired and well equipped to toss out the overprescribed and over-standardized learning conditions many of our students endure.  —Trevor MacKenzie, author of Inquiry Mindset and Dive into Inquiry

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