First Name

Deborah

Last Name

Huffman

Bio

Early in her teaching career, participation in an aerospace education workshop inspired Debi to earn her private pilot’s certificate. Today she continues to fly, and has taught aerospace classes to thousands of students at Fernbank Science Center over a period of nineteen years. It was the interests of her students that extended Debi’s grasp to include engineering through robotics. In 2004, her Model Rocketry team decided to compete in BEST Robotics, which is continued today. The students added FIRST Robotics to their involvement in 2011. The founding students established themselves as the “LINKSters”, Linking Ideas and Networking Kids with Science. In 2004, the LINKSters began Science Night Out for elementary and middle school students as their primary outreach and fundraising activity. SNO continues to be a mainstay for the LINKSters and one of Fernbank’s most popular public programs. The LINKSters also host First LEGO League workshops for rookie teams and an FLL Qualifier for DeKalb County teams. Active in several professional organizations related to aerospace, Debi serves on boards and advisory boards to promote STEM education and student opportunities. She helps students with scholarships and activities that promote their career interests. Debi is a recipient of the 2007 EAA Major Achievement Award, the Frank G. Brewer Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the advancement of youth in aerospace activities, the 2003 Aero Club of Atlanta member of the Year award, 2009 Fernbank Science Center Teacher of the Year, 2010 Epps Award for outstanding aviation achievement, 2011 Frank G. Brewer Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award for the Southeast Region of Civil Air Patrol, 2013 Woodie flowers Regional Finalist, 2012 Glenn Allen BEST Mentor Award, and the 2013 BEST Mentor Regional Award. Debi is dedicated to inspiring students to work hard and follow their passions. Noteworthy is one student, Colonel Eric Boe, who achieved his goal of becoming an Air Force Test Pilot and a NASA astronaut, successfully piloting two Space Shuttle missions.