West Oso Independent School District STEM teacher Christina Campos has been teaching at West Oso for five years and has been involved in the science, technology, engineering and math department for 15 years.
However, this year is different.
She applied for the Liftoff NASA workshop in Houston this summer and is the only teacher in the Coastal Bend to be selected to participate.
Growing up and in her early teaching years, she loved participating in the science fair. Her love for STEM only grew.
Her passion for teaching and love for her students goes beyond the classroom. Campos said she spends her time writing grants and finding opportunities for new STEM clubs, summer camps and partnerships.
"I grew up in this area and I grew up with the same background as my students. I know how important it is to bring back my expertise to my students," Campos said.
Her students said she left an astronomical impact on them.
"Everyday she pushes us to be better. I have the best experience here," West Oso 7th grader Chad Aguilar said. "Every time there’s a field trip, I get to have that experience there. I get to meet her friends, professors and mentors."
Campos said she hopes to use her own experience growing up to help guide her students.
"I want my students to think beyond the classroom, think beyond their neighborhood, what they’re facing now and their situation. If I can meet astronauts, they can too. I was a high school drop out and a teen mom and I went back to school to pursue my education. I share my story with them that way they can excel," Campos said.
Campos is preparing for lift off by creating a lesson plan to share at the NASA workshop. She will also be working with the Corpus Christi mayor to find items that represent the city to share with other educators at the workshop.
She hopes that other teachers in the Coastal Bend will apply for the Liftoff program so they can continue to expand their knowledge to all students.
The Liftoff workshop will be a week long and will include field investigations and presentations by NASA scientists and engineers.
Campos will be blasting off this July and hopes to bring back an experience that will encourage her students to shoot for the stars.