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Draper middle school teacher selected as only Utahn to take part in NASA program

A Utah teacher standing in the middle of her students.

Given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a middle school teacher from Draper was selected to be a NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador.

Jennifer Muir, one of Draper Park Middle School’s 8th-grade science teachers, was the only Utahn chosen to take part in NASA’s program after a highly competitive application process resulted in just 24 teachers being selected across the nation.

The program in question will give educators the opportunity to join a pair of flights aboard SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. Said to be the world’s largest flying observatory by NASA, SOFIA is credited for discovering water on the moon’s surface.

Ms. Muir explained what she’ll be experiencing during the flight, saying that she and other educators will be taking pictures of different targets in the universe on a 10-hour night flight.

The two flights into the stratosphere will depart from southern California on Tuesday and Friday evening. According to Muir, the flights will fly up into Canadian airspace and then back down.

With her students in mind, Muir is hoping to bring back a wealth of knowledge to her students that can provide them more than what her course’s textbooks can offer.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.