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.
Urban Surface Temperatures and the Urban Heat Island Effects is a comprehensive unit for students grades 9-12. Throughout this unit, students learn how climate is changing in urban settings and produce mitigation solutions for city environmental concerns. Students explore climate simulation models and global temperature profiles; learn about remote sensing and investigate instruments on climate satellites; analyze remote sensing imagery and understand the urban heat island effect; collect...
Blue Carbon: Bringing Field Research and ArcGIS Mapping to the High School Classroom is a comprehensive unit plan for students in grades 9-12 that provides students with background information on the importance of salt marshes as ecosystems by studying blue carbon, the carbon that is stored largely in sediment linked to coastal waters. Students design an experiment to probe for depth at a local saltmarsh or tidal freshwater marsh and utilize ArcGIS to map local wetlands, compare and...
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 @ 2:00pm EST (7:00pm UTC). Continuing with your Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign Projects: Looking more in-depth at online tools, story mapping, and the NASA GLOBE Observer trees and land cover tools for student research projects, including student research on lime trees in Croatia. The Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign will continue Phase II of Year 3 by bringing teachers and students together with the common goal of discussing and...Download
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' annual Astronomy Days will be virtual this year, with seven days of astronomical programming! Join NCMNS, the Raleigh Astronomy Club, and NASA Langley Research Center to discover the big picture of the universe. There's something for space enthusiasts of all ages! Visit the official event website for full details, including all programs and member benefits: bit.ly/AstronomyDays2020
There will be three presentations using
Astronomy Online: Secrets of Saturn
Virtual family-friendly program from American Museum of Natural History
January 8, 2021, 1 pm EST
Why do our planets form a disk around the Sun? The NASA Cassini mission revealed that Saturn is a natural laboratory for investigating this question and even helped to demonstrate how new solar systems form around far-away stars.
Find out about Cassini’s discoveries with American Museum of Natural History Curator Denton Ebel and planetary...
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 @ 2:00pm EST (7:00pm UTC). Getting Started with your Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Projects: An open forum webinar with students, educators, and the Trees Campaign core team. With the first four months of the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign focusing on the science (Tree Height, Greenings, Carbon Cycle, and Land Cover), we will now focus on how to take that science and create student research projects. We will hear from several students...Download
Virtual Programs with NASA Scientists were conducted to create memorable experiences, by providing opportunities for patrons to “meet” and engage in meaningful two-way discussions with scientists. Initial evaluation (surveys, polls, interviews) found that the programs benefited the library staff, scientists, and patrons.Download Attachments
On September 26, 2020, hundreds of thousands of people around the world participated in International Observe the Moon Night, an annual worldwide public engagement program that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to planetary science and exploration.
- 3,775 events and observers registered worldwide (doubled 2019 registration)
- moon.nasa.gov went from #39 to #14 among NASA's most-visited websites for September
- @NASAMoon shared content...
We are excited to invite you and your students to join a GLOBE IVSS (International Virtual Science Symposium) Webinar on "Developing Good Research Questions", with Jillian Anderson and Wade Phillips, high school science teachers at the Lexington School for the Deaf.
Jillian is also a CCRI Educator Ambassador, and we're delighted that both her and Wade will be sharing effective tips to help prepare students to participate in GLOBE's 2021 IVSS!
This webinar will be presented in English...
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 3:00pm ET (8:00pm UTC, 9:00pm CET). Trees: The Lungs of the Earth. Trees are the lungs of our planet. Through photosynthesis they take up carbon dioxide and water and produce oxygen, a process that plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle. Come hear Dr. Erika Podest, a research scientist with the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California USA, discuss the carbon cycle, the role of trees in it, and how...Download
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 @ 2:00pm EST (7:00pm UTC). Trees are Land Cover! Did you that all the trees that you see in your local environment are all part of the local land cover? Land cover data helps us understand how much of or what part of local regions to global locations are covered by landforms, trees and forests, wetlands, impervious surfaces, agriculture, and other land and water types. This webinar will feature Peder Nelson, Researcher and Instructor and GLOBE Observer Land Cover...Download
On October 15, 2020, NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Scientists Dr. Ann Nguyen and Dr. Nicole Lunning shared an overview of the OSIRIS-REx mission at Bennu and a preview of the TAG (Touch-And-Go) event which occurred on October 20th.
The live event reached ~503 students and ~84 educators with an additional ~650 students and ~270 educators registered to watch the archive. Participants were from 35 states, Washington DC, Mexico, Spain, and...Download
On October 3, 2019, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) scientist John Gruener shared his career path to NASA, including his inspiration as a young boy visiting a NASA center, as well as excitement about exploring the Moon. The interactive presentation shared information about the past, present, and future exploration of the Moon and highlighted lunar science and the upcoming International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN).
~110 live participants and ~380 archive...Download
Keeping Watch on Planet Earth
Live Webcast: October 15, 2020, 4 pm EDT
Set a reminder and tune in on YouTube: https://youtu.be/p0LI9LS7o-Q
Since its beginning, NASA has been watching Earth’s weather, atmospheric conditions, land use, and, over time, climate.
Join American Museum of Natural History’s Director of Astrovisualization Carter Emmart for a live flight to view Earth as seen by satellites, and how its ecological system is divided into major life zones.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 @ 9:00am EDT (1:00pm UTC, 3:00pm CET): Educators and Students Aligning Greenings and Tree Height: A Collaboration Between the European Phenology Campaign and the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign.
This webinar will highlight the collaboration between both campaigns, with a focus on taking tree height measurements/observations at the same time participants take greenings (green up/green down) measurements. The leads for the European Phenology...Download
On August 25, 2020, NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Scientist, Dr. Cindy Evans, shared her experiences searching for Meteorites in Antarctica as well as how these rocks from space contribute to ongoing research about our early solar system.
The event, facilitated by the Night Sky Network, reached ~420 live participants. Participants were from 93 different amateur astronomy clubs.Download
On June 9, 2020, NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Mars Scientist, Dr. Elizabeth Rampe, shared an overview of the Curiosity Rover and a preview of the Mars 2020 Mission.
The event reached ~160 live participants and 110+ archived participants across 43 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, and South Africa. Numerous Science Activation partner audiences were reached including classroom teachers connected with ASU Infiniscope, Solar System...Download
On April 24 & 29, 2020, Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) scientists Andrea Meado & Andy Britton shared how NASA & the world observe Earth from space using astronaut images.
April 24: reached ~111 live and ~136+ archived participants across 30 states, Mexico, and Haiti; April 29: reached ~55 live participants and 54+ archived participants across 29 states, Puerto Rico, and France. Numerous Science Activation partner audiences were reached including classroom teachers,...Download
On March 11, 2020, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Deputy Apollo Curator, Dr. Juliane Gross, shared details about how lunar sample investigations, including ANGSA & the recently opened core sample, studies of other Apollo samples & meteorites continue to contribute to knowledge about the Moon.
The event reached ~485 student and educator live participants and 504+ archived participants across 18 states. Numerous Science Activation partner audiences were reached...Download
On January 28, 2020, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) meteorite processor, Curtis Calva, shared an overview of the work he does in NASA's Antarctic Meteorite Curation Laboratory. The event reached ~317 live participants and 400+ archived participants across 17 states and Mexico. Participants include classroom students and educators ranging from grades 3-12, in addition to a number of Solar System Ambassadors.
Feedback: "I liked hearing Curtis' story about what he...Download
On December 17, 2019, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) team member Ben Feist shared the Apollo in Real Time website. This site brings together audio, transcripts, video, and imagery enabling the public to experience Apollo missions as they occurred ~50 years ago. This event reached ~115 participants across 25 states and Mexico.
Numerous Science Activation Team Member target audiences including Solar System Ambassadors, Librarians, Museum Alliance folks, Night Sky...Download
As educators, we are expected to implement an educational framework built on the belief that “all means all,” but we are faced with very political and public rhetoric that sends a different message. In this session, join Mirko Chardin and Katie Novak as they share how UDL can be leveraged as a foundation for equity when we are willing to name and eliminate barriers that have created inequitable, exclusionary, and oppressive systems. We need to transform schools and ensure that students and...
Astronomy Online: Solar Storms
Friday, October 2, 2020, 1 pm EDT
What risks do solar storms pose for astronauts in space?
Join Carter Emmart, the American Museum of Natural History's Director of Astrovisualization, and Leila Mays, deputy director of the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at NASA Goddard, to explore how scientists protect astronauts from space weather and why our Sun’s dynamic activity affects human space travel.
Bring your questions for our presenters and...
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 @ 2:00pm EDT (6:00pm UTC; 8:00pm CEST): New Jersey Pinelands: The Nation's First National Preservation Area. Congress created the Pinelands National Reserve (PNR) through the passage of the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978. Mr. John Moore, Executive Director at the Institute for Earth Observations at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, will discuss how the PNR is listed as the first National Reserve in the nation. Discussion on the PNR being approximately 1.1 million...Download
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 @ 2:00pm EDT (6:00pm UTC): Kicking Off Year 3 With Tree Height Research Using Satellites and Ground-Based Instruments: The importance of tree and vegetation research to help us understand our changing planet. Join us for the Trees Around the GLOBE Student Research Campaign with the first of our featured science talks for Year 3 of the campaign. Dr. Nancy Glenn, a researcher from Boise State University, the University of New South Wales and an ICESat-2 Mission...Download