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Students gather at BYU-Idaho from all over the world to receive a high-value education where they can gain meaningful experience both inside and outside the classroom.

This semester, five students pursuing degrees in education received a grant from the NASA Minority University Research and Education Project, giving them the chance to participate in a five-day workshop conference at the NASA Center in Moffett Field, California. This will be the first time a group from BYU-Idaho will attend the conference. Danny Gutierrez, a senior majoring in elementary education with a science endorsement, will be among the five who participate.

"I'm so excited! The opportunity to work with NASA educators and have this experience and professional development is really great," Gutierrez said. "I plan to go in with a desire to learn and an open view to do everything they ask of me."

More than 500 students from around the country will participate in the conference taking place this summer. Attendees will participate in student-centered classroom activities, workshops, and seminars that will focus on stem research instruction.

Ehren Haderlie, a faculty member in the Department of Biology, will be joining the students at the conference. He shared his feelings about the positive opportunities this will provide them now and in the future. 

"I went through an undergraduate program in education, and I never had opportunities like this." Haderlie said. "It makes me realize the huge impact this can have on inspiring teachers and students. It's exciting to see this kind of opportunity be available to students because they might not be able to do something like this again." 

Other education majors joining Haderlie and Gutierrez this summer include Natalie Macbeth, Sophia Davis, Ashlee Arnold, and Grace John. Gutierrez said teaching experiences like this are what he's appreciated most during his time here. 

"I've been given the best opportunities when professors seek for insightful education," Gutierrez said. "Where it's not so much about lecturing and textbooks. When they make it meaningful and practical, we are engaged and explore and do more beyond the lessons. I'm just so excited for this."