GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — NC Space Grant announced the third annual class of the North Carolina Space Education Ambassadors program for this year.

NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., collaborates with NCSEA to provide professional development to those interested in pursuing an education in STEM, giving ambassadors an opportunity to incorporate space education in their schools and communities.

Dachelle Gupton of Greenville, Jade Pontbriand of Winterville and Jessica Krachenfels of Jacksonville are among the newest additions to the program.

Gupton is a STEM Coordinator at Wellcome Middle School.

“Space education is important to the next generation of STEM leaders because it sparks their interest and allows students to want to be more involved with science, specifically Space Education/NASA which is critical to the advancement of Space Education,” Gupton said.

Pontbriand said that she looks forward to learning alongside her students and peers.

“I am excited to gain advanced knowledge of space exploration, lab techniques, career opportunities, and STEM connections that I can share within my district, school, and class,” said Pontbriand.

Pontbriand is an Earth Science, Physical Science and Chemistry teacher at South Central High School.

Krachenfels is an advanced academic program and services teacher at DeLalio Elementary School in Jacksonville.

“Sheer exposure to educational materials and experiences at an early age fosters not only individual growth and development but propels our communities forward,” Krachenfels said. “Now that we have a Space Force, the military-connected students which I serve have an increased interest in space education. In addition, talking early and often about college and career readiness is essential in goal setting and achievement.” 

Visit the NC Space Grant news page for more information about NCSEA and a statewide listing of ambassadors.