Queen Creek teacher wins Zero Gravity Corp.’s national science competition with help from her students

Nancy Foote, Sossaman Middle School’s conceptual physics teacher. (Submitted photo)

When Zero Gravity Corp. announced its nationwide “Mission: Microgravity” competition for educators, one Arizona teacher dared to go where few have gone before.

With a little ingenuity and assistance from her eighth-grade students, Nancy Foote, Sossaman Middle School’s conceptual physics teacher, was awarded the winner’s title and will be testing a variety of experiments on an upcoming weightless flight, according to a release.

As part of her prize package, the Queen Creek teacher will test the limits of gravity with a ride in the nation’s only weightless laboratory. As she explores a special flight pattern producing 30-second periods of microgravity, Ms. Foote will float like an astronaut while conducting hands-on experimentation and collecting data in-person, according to the release.

“I wanted my students to see how utterly amazing STEM is – and how amazing they are,” Ms. Foote said. “To know the ideas and curiosity in our classroom in Queen Creek has turned into this amazing flight experience makes me really proud to be their teacher.”

G-Force One, Zero Gravity Corp.’s specially modified Boeing 727. (Submitted photo)

For “Mission: Microgravity,” Zero Gravity Corp. asked science classes across the country to create a video showcasing a handheld, creative and thought-provoking experiment that can be conducted under microgravity conditions.

Ms. Foote and her curious students in the Higley Unified School District wanted to observe the effects of weightlessness on common devices found in nearly every physics classroom across the country. Their biggest question: How much does gravity impact a variety of physics tools? To find the answer, Ms. Foote is hoping equipment like Newton’s Yoyo, self-siphoning beads, jitter rings and more will help her and her students better understand the impact of gravity on the physics of everyday objects.

“When we saw Nancy’s video submission, we knew we found someone who appreciates the ability to challenge her students on a daily basis, all while keeping class fun,” Terese Brewster, CEO of Zero Gravity Corp., said in the release. “We are excited to help Nancy and her students learn more about Physics with our special weightless lab.”

With a bachelor of science degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a master of education degree from Arizona State University, Ms. Foote has emerged as a star educator in the Queen Creek area,, according to the release.

She has held several positions in the science industry, including working as a chemist for The Sherwin Williams Co. before moving to Arizona to begin her teaching career. For the past 30 years, the award-winning educator has encouraged countless students to explore the everyday application of science.

Zero Gravity Corp.’s “Mission: Microgravity” competition comes as the company continues to promote STEM research by students of all ages. G-Force One, Zero Gravity Corp.’s specially modified Boeing 727, provides a unique platform for student groups, universities, commercial companies and more to test research and equipment bound for the International Space Station and beyond, the release states.

Go to gozerog.com.

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