Guam – Earlier this month, Marita Sablan Beard a former resident of Guam currently living and teaching in California, flew aboard the flying Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. The program will gather further scientific data regarding the formation of stars, planets, and super-massive black holes. Beard, a graduate of California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, is one of six classroom educators nationwide selected to work aboard the flying observatory.
Beard’s heart and mind remain committed to her active Chamorro heritage. In her classroom, she teaches students Chamorro greetings to break the ice and lay the foundation for Earth Science discussions related to the Marianas Trench, island arc, and subduction zones.
In a letter to Congresswoman Bordallo concerning Mrs. Beard’s exceptional career in education and continued dedication to Guam, Vice Speaker Cruz stated, “I would greatly appreciate it if you could facilitate a sponsorship through NASA and the Office of Insular Affairs of the Department of Interior to allow Mrs. Beard to travel to Guam with her family to tour Guam’s schools to discuss physics, astronomy, and her career. In her capacity as a scientist and teacher from Guam, I feel the inspiration that she will provide students and teachers is invaluable.”
In her response letter, Congresswoman Bordallo stated, “As a prominent scientist of Chamorro descent, Mrs. Sablan is an inspiration for all the people of Guam. As such, having her visit students on Guam would be beneficial and I will work with Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta, of the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, as well as NASA officials to determine the feasibility of allowing Mrs. Beard to share her experiences on Guam.”