Lessons from an astronaut: “We have to teach students how to fail”

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Lessons from an astronaut: "We have to teach students how to fail"


  Last updated June 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm


An astronaut is challenging students and teachers to change education to embrace failure – and enhance success.

Why This Matters: We’re beating the fun out of learning.

Charles Camarda was involved in NASA’s return from one of their biggest failures – the loss of the Columbia space shuttle. As an astronaut and engineer, he saw how failure happened. Camarda then helped find a solution, and then flew on the first NASA mission to space after the disaster.

Deeper: Columbia: NASA blew it

Still working as a Senior Advisor for NASA, he created and runs the EPIC Challenge, an education program which teaches students creativity, problem solving, and most importantly – how to fail. And it does that using real-world challenges and solutions.

By teaching students that there is only one answer, we risk beating the fun out of learning. Instead he says we need to embrace failure, and teach students how to fail in the right way. That way we’ll teach them a better way to find better answers.

EPIC engages & inspires students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) “We’re solving EPIC PROBLEMS.”

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