As the fifth year of the program began, SEMAA students were invited to attend the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France. This is a consortium of 13 universities from 9 countries, including the United States, France, Canada, and Germany. The program has its own curriculum and its own assessment standards. This program is unique in that SEMAA is the only program in the world that offers the ISU curriculum, which is designed to provide students with the fundamental mathematics and science skills necessary to be successful in a future career in space exploration. SEMAA is currently one of only five programs at ISU that offer an undergraduate degree in space studies. Students from the United States, Europe, and Asia attend the program. The program has been very successful in preparing students for the challenges of the future. In the 2002/2003 academic year, more than a third of all SEMAA students chose to pursue a career in space exploration.
Education can be a major determinant of the probability that a child will become a mathematician or a scientist. In order to promote the transition from primary to secondary school education that is capable of fostering the emergence of these scientific careers, the authors analyzed the results of the first German school-based mathematics and science curriculum reform in over 70 years and compared them to corresponding data from an earlier and more traditional mathematics and science program from the previous school year. Despite the curriculum change, significantly more of the children who completed the primary school program chose a mathematical or a scientific career in comparison to the children who received the more traditional curriculum. The authors argue that the German reform of their primary school curriculum thus resulted in a more adequate transition to secondary school education. Although the effects of the reform on the transition to secondary school education will not be experienced for at least another three years, the trends are promising. From a policy perspective, the authors suggest that Germany serves as a modern model of a nation-wide comprehensive school reform that can serve as a model for other countries. 827ec27edc