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Audience: Informal

Informal Educators

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) plays an essential role in inspiring the next generation of explorers. The discoveries and new knowledge from our missions and research programs engage and excite peoples’ imaginations about science and exploration. Here museum and science center educators, librarians, after-school providers and other informal educators will find information about educational resources, programs, events, and opportunities.

NASA Wavelength is a searchable database that contains a wealth of SMD educational products for the informal learning environment.

NASA’s Museum Alliance community brings current NASA science and technology to museum visitors. NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors and Night Sky Network Amateur Astronomy Clubs volunteer networks offer speakers for programs and events.

If you would like to be part of SMD’s E/PO Community, please contact the SMD Education Forum that most closely aligns with your interests; contacts are listed at the top of the People Tab.

NASA LaRC Science Directorate Education supported OSACB and the NASA centennial event at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center (PFAC) on Saturday April 8th, 2017, in Newport News, VA. The Science Directorate booth featured the NASA GLOBE Observer app, in which users could contribute sky and cloud observations to NASA and GLOBE databases and access satellite flyover times and corresponding satellite imagery directly within the app.

Supporting interactive activities included GLOBE elementary sky...


The Festus Public Library (Festus, MO), Monmouth Public Library (Monmouth, OR), and Valley of the Tetons Library (Driggs, ID) hosted public programs to view a virtual presentation by Lou Mayo, Program Manager of the Heliophysics Education Consortium, in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Distance Learning Team. Community leaders received eclipse information and asked questions to help them plan their events. This effort is part of the NASA@ My Library...


Working through Difficult Concepts in the Explore Science: Earth and Space ToolkitNISE Network online workshop

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2pm - 3pm EDT / 11am - 12pm PDT

Sign up to join this online workshop:

Visitors bring different experiences and knowledge to the activity table, which sometimes helps and sometimes adds confusion to their learning. In this online workshop, learn how to identify common patterns of thinking (including misconceptions, preconceived notions and vernacular...

Please find included the Quad Chart for the AREN Project -- March, 2017


JOIN GLOBE Mission EARTH Webinar #12 / Teachers Sharing their Best Practices on Implementing GLOBE into the Classroom

The following GLOBE Mission EARTH teachers will share their stories:

Maureen Wickenheiser, St. Patrick Elementary School, Monroe, MI

Connie Atkisson, Thirkell Elementary-Middle School, Detroit, MI

Melody Tsapranis, Navarre Elementary School and

Debbie Mille, Waite High Schools, Toledo Public Schools, Toledo, OH

Agnes Summerly, Webster Avenue Elementary...

Christine Shupla Christine Shupla

NASA Eclipse and Science at Camps

March 8, 2017 - 8:33 AM CST

Education specialists from planetary science, Earth science, and heliophysics shared NASA eclipse and STEM resources at the 2017 National American Camp Association (ACA) conference on Feb. 22-24, 2017 in Albuquerque. Over 1300 camp programmers attended the conference.

  • ACA members include Boy and Girl Scouts, YMCA, 4H, and a variety of other camp programmers committed to delivering lessons in community, character-building, and skill development.

  • Approximately 85 camp leaders...


The Science Behind the Earth and Space Toolkit: The Changing Earth

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
2pm - 3pm EDT / 11am - 12pm PDT

The NISE Network runs a series of free online workshops focused on helping partners share their work and learn from others in the Network. The aim of the online workshops is to increase the number of professional development opportunities...

The Science Behind the Earth and Space Toolkit: Astrobiology - Searching for Life

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
2pm - 3pm EDT / 11am - 12pm PDT

The NISE Network runs a series of free online workshops focused on helping partners share their work and learn from others in the Network. The aim of the online workshops is to increase the number of professional development opportunities available to our partners and create more channels for Network partners to learn from each other directly.

Please find attached the AREN Project Quad Chart for February, 2017


Monthly project status update attached.


The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) Explore Science: Earth & Space 2017 digital toolkit is now available for download.

Explore Science: Earth & Space logo

In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network has assembled a new set of engaging, hands-on Earth and space science experiences with connections to science, technology, and society.  

Toolkit Audience & Content


  • Activities are designed for use in children’s museums, science centers, science museums, public planetariums and...

NASA Langley's Science Eductaion Team collaborated with the Office of Education on their new Earth Digital Badge - exploring the role of cloud types in the Earth’s Energy Budget.  Through the online training, teachers and students become part of the GLOBE Program and make citizen science cloud observations.

NASA Langley's Office of Edcuation developed these badges to celebrate Langley's Centennial. Two other badges are also available: Journey to Mars how drag is used to land the...


I am pleased to announce that Rice University, under partial NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium support, has commissioned Don Davis to create fulldome animations of the geometry of solar and lunar eclipses.   

Previews of these animations can be seen at:

To get on our email list for additional information and links to more eclipse tips and tricks, please sign up at

To get higher...

Carolyn  Ng Carolyn Ng

New EPO Opening

January 5, 2017 - 10:05 AM CST

There is a new Science Education and Public Engagement position at NASA/GSFC:

It's a junior position. Salary range is $45-55K, depending upon experience.  

I was recently reading the October, 2016 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  


In this issue, I read the the editorial, "From the Editor's Desk."  The editorial was titled, "Tying It All Together With Earth Science," and it was written by Patty McGinnis.  In the editorial she emphasizes how the teaching and learning of Earth and Space Science is more crucial today, than...



For immediate release:


Real People Behind Hidden Figures, Stars Join NASA to Mark Anniversary, Celebration of Diversity

NASA will kick off a yearlong centennial celebration for its Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, with events Thursday, Dec. 1 highlighting the critical work done by the African American women of Langley’s West Computing Unit, a story told in the book and upcoming movie Hidden Figures.

The day will begin with an education...

NASA’s Digital Learning Network Presents: ‘Hidden Figures’ Virtual Event

You might think you know NASA’s story, but there’s always a story behind the story. Did you know the first computers were people? That in the early days of spaceflight, there were women (including minorities) working to make sure that the United States was able to successfully launch humans into space and breaking social barriers at the same time?

Join NASA experts, director Ted Melfi, and Octavia Spencer, who...

You are invited to join our next Mars MAVEN webinar, on November 30 (1pm HT, 3pm ADT, 4pm PDT, 5pm MDT, 6pm CDT, 7pm EDT):  The MAVEN Mission and Mars' Auroras.

The NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) has been studying Mars’ climate evolution since September 2014, particularly the loss of its atmosphere to space due to interactions with the sun and the solar wind.  Among its discoveries, MAVEN has observed auroras in unexpected locations in the Martian...

AREN Presentation - NASA SMD STEM Science Activation Baseline Meeting -- November 15, 2016 -- Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center -- Leesburg, VA

Claire Raftery Claire Raftery

Live eclipse webcast TODAY

November 10, 2016 - 10:42 AM CST

The National Solar Observatory is beginning a series of monthly webcasts in the lead up to the eclipse. Each month will cover 3 topics:

1. Solar spotlight - an introduction to solar science

2. Eclipse tips - a demo of an activity 

3. Straight from the scientist - a presentation from a solar expert. 

Join us TODAY for our first live Eclipse-cast on YouTube at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern. We will be introducing the Sun by the Numbers, demoing a fun arts and crafts activity that...

Open position to join NASA Langley's Science Education team in Hampton, VA.  Poistion with contractor SSAI, apply online.

Associate Outreach Coordinator
Reference #: 16-1975
Open Date: 11/8/2016
Location: Hampton, VA
US Citizenship Required: No

Attached are the introductory slides from the NISE Network / Science Museum of Minnesota  October 2016 in-person project meeting held in Saint Paul, MN that Kristen Erickson mentioned on the October 26th call and asked us to share with the SMD EPO community. 

We are happy to share these introductory slides with you. A PDF of the introductory slides are attached.


You can always learn more about the NISE Network by visiting our website at

You can learn more about...


Below are links to a variety of professional development materials created by the NISE Network over the past eleven years.  The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) is a national community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of current science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). is an online digital library of public educational products and tools designed for educators and...

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) is pleased to offer 250 free Explore Science: Earth & Space 2017 toolkits to new and existing eligible partners in the US.  In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network has assembled a new set of engaging, hands-on Earth and space science experiences with connections to science, technology, and society.  In addition to the physical toolkits, all digital materials will be available online for free download in February 2017.

A total of...