Physics Secondary Education Major Michaela Moon Awarded NASA Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship

BOONE, N.C. — Michaela Moon, senior physics secondary education major from Pfafftown, is the recipient of a 2023-24 STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship. Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the scholarship is administered by the North Carolina Space Grant.

The scholarship program is offered to undergraduate students at the junior or senior level enrolled in STEM-related teacher education degree programs – known as pre-service teachers. The program is designed to meet multiple objectives: First, these scholarships promote science education in the K-12 classroom, focusing on improving pre-­college perceptions and interests in science, science education and science careers. Second, they assist in teachers’ preparation for entering K-12 science classrooms. Lastly, the program equips future teachers with NASA content and tools to use in the classroom.

As part of the program, the pre-service teachers will participate in a welcome webinar that provides them with an overview of NASA resources, complete four virtual NASA professional development webinars, and complete two NASA lessons and participate in two share-a-thon webinar sessions to discuss best practices and cross-curricular connections.

"I am so thankful for the opportunity to receive this award! This scholarship will help me cover tuition and my cost of living while I student teach in the Spring. I am thrilled to be able to work with NASA to further my skills as an educator, and share my passion for physics and learning with my students!" shared Moon, who will complete her student teaching assignment in Wake County.

Following graduation from Ronald Wilson Reagan High School, Moon came to Appalachian State in 2020. She has been a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Corps, a group of outstanding students selected to be ambassadors for the College, since 2021. Moon expects to graduate in May 2024. Upon graduation, she hopes to secure a full-time position teaching high school physics and/or mathematics.


About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian State University offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls more than 2,000 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at

By Lauren Andersen
December 6, 2023

Michaela Moon, senior physics secondary education major from Pfafftown, is the recipient of a 2023-24 STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship.
Published: Dec 6, 2023 9:40am