Mars Rover Celebration
Meet the instructors
Edgar Andrew Bering III is a Professor of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Houston. He holds degrees in physics from Harvard College (B.A.) and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D.), has spent 45 years as a research scientist and educator, and has published extensively.
He has made numerous expeditions to Antarctica, Alaska, and Northern Sweden, studying the earth's magnetosphere and the aurora. His magnetosphere work led to his involvement in the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) project, which seeks to create a plasma rocket for a future manned expedition to Mars.
Since 1990, Dr. Bering has also been involved in education and public outreach, seeking to inspire young students to pursue a career in science. In 2002 he created the UH Mars Rover Model Celebration for budding engineers in grades 3-8, which this past year involved more than 700 students, 60 teachers, 550 volunteers, and 1,000 parents.
He is the Chair of the AIAA STEM K-12 Outreach Committee for 2013-2014, and is leading the development of the AIAA Educator Academy Mars Rover Model curriculum module. He also coaches youth baseball, tutors kids in physics, and is an assistant scoutmaster.
Elana Slagle, Founder and Director of Starfish Education, is a consultant specializing in STEM education, technology integration, and curriculum development. Mrs. Slagle leverages over a decade of experience as a classroom teacher to work closely with teachers to integrate best practices and implement rigor in instruction. After leaving the classroom, Mrs. Slagle worked as a building administrator as well as an educational technology administrator for a local county.
In addition to teaching workshops to K-12 teachers and industry professionals, she also enjoys teaching both face-to-face and online graduate classes, webinars and conference sessions for teachers and outreach professionals. She works to assist teachers in improving STEM instruction through inquiry-based learning and to help them understand how to better integrate technology into their curriculum.
As a former K-12 classroom teacher and administrator, Mrs. Slagle is also an active member of AIAA and has served as the Chair for the STEM K-12 Outreach Committee. She has an undergraduate degree in English with minors in Science Technology and Technical Writing, and has earned a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.