About the Science Education and Public Outreach Forums (Forums) and Working Groups

There are four Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Science Education and Public Outreach Forums (Forums), one for each SMD Division – Astrophysics, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science. Each Forum works closely with their Science Division Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) Lead.

The Forums and Science Division E/PO Leads work with SMD’s E/PO Lead and Program Officer through the Science Education and Public Outreach Forum Coordinating Committee (SEPOF-CC). The SEPOF-CC also includes the audience-based Working Group Leads. The SEPOF-CC works to ensure coherence and coordination across SMD E/PO portfolio and to help SMD work with internal, external, and NASA-wide initiatives.

The Forum is charged by SMD with supporting community members in their E/PO efforts. Community members are defined as those who conduct E/PO activities using SMD content, expertise, and facilities – such as E/PO for Earth and Space Science (EPOESS) grantees, missions, and networks – and those interested in doing so.

The Forums are charged with organizing the efforts of SMD E/PO mission and granted programs into a coordinated effort that will increase the overall coherence of SMD E/PO program leading to more effective, sustainable, and efficient utilization of SMD science discoveries and learning experiences, by:

  • Engaging and developing SMD E/PO community and external science and education communities
  • Assisting SMD in analyzing and organizing the portfolio of SMD E/PO products and project activities
  • Promoting the coordination of E/PO efforts both inside and outside of NASA SMD

What this means is that the Forums will work with the community and SMD to help with:

  • Communications to/from/between HQ and the Community (news, information, opportunities)
  • Collaborations (community work space, conference presence, thematic approaches, cross-forum activities)
  • Connections (audience-based Working Groups, one-stop shop of SMD resources and opportunities, engaging SMD scientists and new partners)
  • Advancing our practice (professional development opportunities, Working Groups)
  • Supporting YOU (assistance with reporting, product review, context for sustainability, etc.)
  • Supporting SMD (gathering data, portfolio analysis, etc.)

Audience-based Working Groups and Implementation Teams further support the community, Forum, and SMD.

Working Groups: There are four audience-based Working Groups: higher education, K-12 education, informal education, and outreach. Each Working Group includes one member of each Forum team and four to six members external to the SMD E/PO community that represent the specific audience. They are charged with helping SMD and the community better understand the needs of the audiences and how to leverage community efforts to meet those needs.

Implementation Teams: There are three Implementation Teams: Reporting, Web and Social Media, and Product and Activity Cataloging and Analysis. Each has one member from each Forum Team. They are charged with developing tools and expertise in these areas and using them to support the community and SMD.

Annual Highlights of Forum Efforts