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Design Simulation Technologies, Inc. Provides Simulation Technology To NASA’S Aerospace Engineering Teacher Program

Canton, MI – DST (Design Simulation Technologies, Inc.; of Canton, MI, developer of the award-winning physics simulation technology, Interactive Physics™, announced it would support US middle and high school teachers participating in NASA’s Simulation-Based Aerospace Engineering Teacher Professional Development program.

NASA’S innovative summer internship program gives U.S. middle and high school teachers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with NASA’s latest aerospace engineering technologies. Teachers that complete the program will receive a license of Interactive Physics, a physics and math simulation technology aligned to NASA’s Aerospace Engineering Program. Interactive Physics makes it easy to observe, explore, discover, and simulate the physical world on a computer, an essential component to aerospace engineering education.

The ultimate goal of the program is to get students interested in aerospace engineering and computer simulation early in their education. The simulation technology underpinning Interactive Physics will enable students to achieve this goal.

“The greatest engineering accomplishments today are made possible because of modeling and simulation,” said Behzad Raiszadeh, technical manager for the modeling and simulation initiative at NASA Langley. “These highly qualified educators will see first hand how simulation is used to solve some of the most challenging NASA problems using the basic math and physics principles they themselves teach in school.”

Simulation-based aerospace engineering relies on computer models and simulations of aerospace structures, materials, atmospheric flight conditions and system operations to design improvements for the next generation of flight vehicles and systems, such as the air transportation system. Educators introduce students to computer modeling and simulation technology with Interactive Physics.

During the program, teachers worked alongside NASA mentors in various agency laboratories and had the opportunity to tour NASA facilities. In addition, they participated in NASA Education’s Digital Learning Network, became acquainted with other agency educational resources, attended speaking engagements, and developed lesson plans incorporating modeling and simulation concepts. The program is jointly sponsored by NASA’s Office of Education and Aeronautics Research Directorate.

Design Simulation Technologies is one of forty sponsors committing post-workshop support to the teachers, which includes Interactive Physics technology, Interactive Physics curriculum, instructional resources, support, and mentoring. After their internships, the teachers will implement the new technology, and lesson plans, to teach to students, and share with other teachers in their school districts, at conferences, and through online media.

“DST is very happy to support the educators who participated in this innovative program with our technology,” said Alan Wegienka, DST’s President. “Being able to bring scientific concepts to life and encouraging discovery learning and problem solving through hands-on simulation with Interactive Physics will allow students to experience some of the enjoyment and satisfaction that a career in engineering can offer”.

Four of the teachers from the 2010 pilot program presented modeling and simulation lesson plans at national conferences. Two of last year’s teachers are leading the Texas Modeling and Simulation workshop, and one of teachers was selected to be a prestigious Siemens STEM Institute Fellow.

The 2011 teachers are from nine states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas. Half of the teachers represent schools with a minority population exceeding 50%, enabling the program to reach an underserved student population.

The Interactive Physics donation will allow teachers to use a technology many schools cannot afford at this time. Steve Hall, a teacher at Hamady High School in Flint, MI says, “Our school is in an urban district in Flint, MI and I have worked without a budget for 8 years. This opportunity is a great resource I would never have otherwise.”

Four NASA centers participated in the program this year. Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.; and Langley Research Center hosted the workshops. Johnson Space Center in Houston is supporting a Hispanic community-level workshop in Kingsville, Texas. These centers employ extensive modeling and simulation tools to perform research and technology development.

Design Simulation Technologies develops, markets, and supports software products for both commercial and educational use. Students and educators use Interactive Physics to learn, and teach physics, and engineering principals. Professional engineers, including engineers at NASA, use these principals to build virtual models with products Working Model 2D, and SimWise 4D, a 3D motion and stress analysis application.

For more information about Interactive Physics, contact Nancy Fraser at, call 1-800-766-6615 ex 804, or from outside the US, 1-734-446-6935, or visit:

For more information, and a video about the project,visit:

To learn more about NASA’s education programs, visit:

For more information about the agency’s aeronautics research, visit:


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