Pre-Service Teacher Institute - PSTI

NASA Ames Research Center Pre-ServiceTeacher Institute (PSTI)
Program Dates: June 19 – July 2, 2013
Application Deadline: April 5, 2013

Image of AMES 2009 PSTI participants.
Program Description

The NASA Ames Research Center Pre-Service Teacher Institute (PSTI) is a two-week summer residential program for college students who are preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school. Fresno State administers the institute through a Cooperative Agreement funded by Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD).

The program is designed to increase pre-service teachers’ skills in teaching mathematics and science, while integrating technology into the curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning (PBL) space exploration theme. The participants will be assigned to an Institute Flight Team. Using the skills they have learned, the PSTI Participants will develop a lesson to teach to a 4th grade class from a local school.

To participate in the NASA Ames Research Center’s PSTI Program, candidates must attend one of the member universities (see Member University list)

A Financial Support Package is provided to all participants

  • $500 Stipend (for those who completely fulfill all requirements of the two week PSTI Institute)
  • Transportation to NASA Ames Research Center from city of residence (up to $500 for students coming from out of state)
  • Double occupancy dorm rooms are provided
  • Daily meal allowance
  • College credit (3 units) available to PSTI participants by Fresno State upon successful completion of the program

Program Objectives

  • Model and promote the use of scientific inquiry through problem-based learning
  • Enhance the knowledge of pre-service teachers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using content from NASA's Directorates
  • Promote enthusiasm and self-confidence for teaching science and mathematics in grades K-8
  • Increase skills in teaching mathematics and science while incorporating technology into the curriculum.
  • Provide pre-service teachers with a variety of alternative instructional strategies.


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Enrolled full time at a member university (see Member University list)
  • Elementary Education or Liberal Studies Major (K-8 prospective teacher)
  • Rising college junior or senior or graduate student not yet certified to teach
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher
  • Completion of at least one college level mathematics and one science course with a grade of "B" or better
  • Commitment to participate for the full two-weeks of the institute
  • No previous participation in a NASA Pre-service Teacher Institute (at Ames or any other Center)

Program Sponsor
Funding provided by NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), through NASA Ames Research Center and California State University, Fresno

NASA Ames PSTI Application:

• Ames PSTI Application (PDF)

PSTI Recommendation (PDF)

Interest in PSTI Application (Online)