MERIDIAN -- Come this fall, Idaho teacher and retired astronaut Barbara Morgan will have her name on a new magnet school in the Meridian School District: The Barbara Morgan STEM Academy.

But with more than just her name on the building, which she admits embarrasses her a little bit, Morgan plans to leave her mark there by helping shape the curriculum.

She says her goal now is to keep helping kids get interested in fields that involve the STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. She hopes the elementary school will help get kids pointed in that direction early.

Typically kids don't learn about engineering until they get to college, and then it's too late if they haven't been exposed to it. So to expose kids to how you think of designing things and how you go through that process. To get them exposed early makes a difference. It just opens up more opportunities for them, Morgan said.

The Barbara Morgan STEM Academy will be in the building that used to be Linder Elementary. It's currently being renovated to open for the 2013-14 school year.

Morgan finds it especially important that the kids will get specialized education in a publicly-funded school.

I think it's up to every public school to provide not the minimum education for our children, but the maximum education for our children, so the maximum opportunities. And that means really getting engaged in every thing: The science, the technology, the engineering, the mathematics, the rich literature, art, music, Morgan said.

Total enrollment will be nearly 500. The district says they do still have just a few spaces available in certain grades. To learn more, click here.

Read or Share this story: