Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
10/20/15  1:27 pm
Commenter: Dr. Charles J. Camarda, NASA

Proposed Engineering Endorsement - 8VAC20-23-330

I am Dr. Charles Camarda, Sr. Advisor for Engineering Development at NASA's Langley Research Center (LaRC).  I began my career as a research engineer at LaRC in 1974 with an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.  I conducted research analysis, design, and testing in high-speed/hypersonic vehicle structures and thermal protection systems received my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University in 1980 and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1990.  I was a technical branch head for the Thermal Structures Branch for five years prior to my departure to NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) after being selected for the 16th Astronaut Class in 1996.  I flew one Space Shuttle Mission, STS-114 Return-to-Flight following the Columbia disaster and became the Director for Engineering at JSC following my mission.  I served a detail assignment to NYU Polytechnic for tw years where I taught several engineering design courses and led an effort to infuse creativity and innovation into the engineering curriculum there.  While at NYU, I also taught several engineering design courses with students form over 40 local high schools in the New York/New Jersey areas.  I am currently the Sr. Advisor for Engineering Development at NASA LaRC.

In 2007 I worked with the Govenor's Panel on education in the state of Virginia to develop an engineering program of study in high schools in the state of Virginia.  I have also been working these past 5 years while at NASA to develop integrated programs of study in engineering design by connecting students in college, high school, and middle school and the faculty and educators withsubject matter experts (SMEs) in industry, academia, and the government.  I am also on the educational boards of several museums, universities and non-profit organizations.  I believe it is time we connect students with engineering at an early age and believe it is a natural way to connect the scientific principals they are currently studying with the physical laws which form the basis for engineering study.  To me, engineering helps excite and motivate young learners by allowing them to experience the "right-side" of their brain and the joy of creative discovery and pproblem solving.  Understand the rigorous mathematical principles which relates the theoretical understanding of the physical world around us requires, at the very least, an engineering undergraduate degree.  Engineering requires the mathmatical and numerical understanding to accuately model and represent physical behavior (fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, electrical flow, etc.) and to experimentally test and validate theroetical/numerical models.  This is understandig=ng, and thus the ability to teach this understanding, is impossible without a prior degree in engineering.

I agree with the recommendations as stated in 8VAC20-23-330 and recommend that engineering educators in the State of Virginia have a degree in engineering from an accredited institution.