The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics's Utah section has named a Brighton High School science teacher Educator of the Year.

John Barainca also was among 1,000 candidates to compete for the Christa McAuliffe Award for aerospace education, named for the teacher who perished in the shuttle Challenger disaster.Barainca was a candidate for a shuttle mission. Now 52 years old, his chances for flying aboard the orbiter are slim.

But the educator helps his students soar in his "Star Lab," which simulates space travel.