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The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Communications portfolio includes products, events, and programs aligned with priority areas identified by the federal Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (CoSTEM). This portfolio of activities engages audiences in the story, the science, and the adventure of NASA's scientific explorations of our home planet, the solar system, and the universe beyond.

This Projects Tab contains links to individual project descriptions, including overviews, audiences served, reports, evaluation information, contact information, websites, and other features, organized by CoSTEM goals. The list of projects can be narrowed using the filters on the left sidebar. Click on a project’s name to view details. View activities that have been completed.

These projects are applicable to Youth and Public Engagement

These projects are applicable to Undergraduate Student Experiences

These projects are applicable to Working with Diverse Audiences

Youth and Public Engagement
Undergraduate Student Experiences
Working with Diverse Audiences
Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA)

The Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors project aims to measurably enhance student STEM achievement & engagement in selected school districts via professional development for teachers consisting of: (1) astrophysics & planetary science content & pedagogy delivered via webinars & in-person workshops; (2) a week-long STEM immersion experience at NASA’s science research aircraft facility in Palmdale, California, including participation in research flights on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA); (3) follow-through involving continuing webinars fostering connections with astrophysics & planetary science subject matter experts. AAA impact on student STEM learning & engagement is evaluated by WestEd.

Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment

The overarching goals of this program are to exploit NASA’s unique position to provide top-notch training and education and to engage and motivate youth to follow STEM careers while simultaneously increasing public awareness and public support for NASA’s earth science activities and missions. While the ATTREX EPO effort is envisioned as an excellence program that favors quality over quantity, we envision the integration of a science, engineering and aeronautics curriculum that can be easily adapted to target different levels of education and skills.


Aquarius Communications and Public Engagement (CPE) provides content on salinity, ocean circulation, the water cycle and climate for educational purposes. The content is made available through in-person (e.g., workshops, presentations at conferences) and online events (e.g., webinars).

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science For University Mentors and Facilitators/Pre-Service Educators

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science For University Mentors and Facilitators/Pre-Service Educators
These are workshops and trainings for college students developed thematically around the topics of solar system science and astromaterials. The participants are prepared to share the science appropriately with K-12 audiences by extending their knowledge and giving them a hands-on experience with classroom activities. These are usually offered within a conference or larger professional development event. The standard content of solar system science and astromaterials is shared thematically to address the audiences’ needs or requests. The content is delivered through speakers, video, and hands-on activities. 


Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science: Informal Professional Development

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science: Informal Professional Development
These workshops and trainings for informal educators are developed thematically around the topics of solar system science and astromaterials. The participants are prepared to share the science appropriately with K-12 audiences by extending their knowledge and giving them hands-on experience with classroom activities. These are usually offered within a conference or larger professional development event. The standard content of solar system science and astromaterials is shared thematically to address the audiences’ needs or requests. The content is delivered through speakers, multimedia, and hands-on activities. 

Astromaterials: Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program Security Training Video Development

Astromaterials: Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program Security Training Video Development
The development of the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program Security Training Video will provide a key training tool for the certification workshops conducted by Authorized Certifiers.  This activity will update the video by using high definition filming and revising the content to reflect protocol and procedure changes. The new video will be used by the Authorized Certifiers to train educators on security and use expectations when borrowing the lunar and meteorite sample disks.  Using input from NASA Centers, AESP specialists, and other educators,  the new video script and storyboard were developed by JSC staff.

Astromaterials: Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program Website Development

Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program Website Development
This activity will develop and maintain a webpage to support the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Education Disk Program. Certified borrowers of the disks can use this page to initiate borrowing the disks and reference teaching materials. Non-certified educators will be instructed how and where to receive the necessary training to borrow the disks. Once the page is designed and published, it will be maintained as part of the ARES website.

Aura Mission
Aura develops and maintains print and online content for use at informal education events (e.g., local community events) and to be used by informal educators at their institutions (e.g., museum programs). This effort entails developing, testing, and revising as appropriate informal education materials – hands-on activities, fact sheets, web content – and making these materials available via the Aura website and kits that can be checked out by local educators and scientists. The objective of this content is to engage students and educators (outside the classroom), and the general public about science related to Aura’s mission questions and content applicable other NASA Earth Science missions.

CALIPSO provides educator professional development for K-12 teachers.  Professional development opportunities are delivered both in-person and virtually through collaborations with The GLOBE Program, MY NASA DATA, and S’COOL.  The objective of the professional development activities is to inform teachers understanding and build their confidence and capacity to teach about topics related to clouds and aerosols.

Cassini: Ring world III-The Final Odyssey
The original Ring World planetarium show in a DVD format received an  “outstanding rating” from the NASA Education Review ( In addition  the Ring World Planetarium Show won a Tally award in 2004. It has also shown nationally and internationally to hundreds of planetariums in multiple languages plus a version for schools in English, Spanish and Letterbox for hearing impaired, and in Podcast (or “vodkas”) available for download.  This will be an update and final Ring world done for Cassini.
Cassini: Scientist for a Day
Cassini Scientist for a Day (CSFAD) - CSFAD is a semi-annual Saturn essay contest for U.S. students in grades 5-12.  Students research Saturn and its rings and moons, and write a coherent argument for their selection to be imaged by the Cassini spacecraft.  Essays are submitted online and judged by Cassini team members, and winners participate in teleconferences with Cassini scientists.   <>
Cassini: Titan Educational Wall sheet

Educational wall sheet with comparative planetology lessons and Titan/Earth comparison Images  /  .20 personnel time, doc review for 508, science writer to write and review, printing costs.

Cassini: What's Up Podcasts Supporting Museums, Amateur Astronomers and International Year of Astronomy
A two-minute monthly JPL podcast about a night sky view and its NASA connection geared to amateur astronomers, museum community, public
First podcast April 2007, nearly 4 million downloads since its debut
Podcasts available on NASA, NASA IYA, JPL, Solar System, mission websites
Download automatically via iTunes (the most popular format)
The focus is always determined by what is A) going on in the night sky and B) mission events we can tie in.

DISCOVER-AQ is an EPD/SE project for middle/high school grades. It leverages the content and locales of an intensive series of airborne flight campaigns, through the GLOBE program, to engage educators and their students in NASA research. The objective of DISCOVER-AQ E/PO is to involve K-12 teachers and students in NASA Earth science activities.

Discovery and New Frontiers: "Art & the Cosmic Connection"

"Art & the Cosmic Connection" is a curriculum that uses beautiful and compelling NASA images of planets, moons, and small bodies to help students understand and analyze what they see using the elements of art - shape, line, color, value, texture. After viewing images, students choose one image to draw with pastels, honing observation skills as they learn to look and look to learn. The activity is demonstrated in educator workshops and done with students during classroom visits.

Discovery and New Frontiers: "Space Thrills" Wall Sheet

Space Thrills! is a wall sheet intended for educators of students in grades K-4.  It is designed to be visually interesting to arouse curiosity about exploring our solar system and to teach about our solar system using language arts.  It is distributed to classrooms through the ERCs, at conferences, and workshops. 

Discovery and New Frontiers: "Unlocking Mysteries of the Solar System" DVD and Activity Guide

"Unlocking Mysteries of the Solar System" is a video overview of the Discovery Program that describes the science objectives and results of the missions.  Previously an educator guide was developed to lead students through a series of activities to learn about the missions and then design their own space mission.  This new effort is to adapt the formal classroom activity for use in out-of-school time with revised language and more hands-on activities for younger students.

Discovery and New Frontiers: "Unlocking Mysteries of the Solar System" DVD and Educator Guide

"Unlocking Mysteries of the Solar System" is a video overview of the Discovery Program and missions with an accompanying educator guide.  The video describes the science objectives and results of the missions, and the educator guide leads students through a series of activities to learn about the mission and then design their own space mission.  Portions of the video are shown at workshops and the activity is demonstrated to teachers who work in groups to design a mission. 

Discovery and New Frontiers: Classroom Visits

Classroom visits by NASA scientists and educators bring a sense of excitement and interest in STEM. In FY 2012, Stardust-NExT, Dawn and EPOXI participated in three-day event in Rainsville, Alabama, coordinated by NASA's Discovery Program with 8 NASA scientists and educators visiting 1,200 students in grades 4-12 at Plainview School, which had been severely damaged from a massive tornado the previous spring. The presentations, hands-on activities and discussions help students see a place for themselves at NASA, while also  bringing new activities for teachers.

Discovery and New Frontiers: Classroom Visits

Conduct visits to schools with presentations, discussions, and hands-on activities.

Discovery and New Frontiers: National Afterschool Association Annual Conference

The annual National Afterschool Association convention attracts a wide range of out-of-school time educators. NASA's participation allows scientists and educator specialists to bring engaging science content to build informal educator skills. NASA participants offer workshops and staff an exhibit booth where they interact with informal educators and recommend teaching materials for use in their programs. 

Discovery and New Frontiers: Space School Musical

Space School Musical is a play that introduces the solar system to students while integrating science with performing arts, physical education, music, social themes and leadership opportunities. Aimed at upper elementary and middle school students, the play teaches solar system science in a fun and engaging way.  Designed for easy and successful replication, the package includes a DVD of the play performed by high school students, a CD with the songs, and a CD-ROM with teacher tips, an activity guide, manual on how to produce the play, and lyrics. More than 60 trainings from 2-5 hours on using the musical to teach students about space science have been conducted since FY'12.

Discovery and New Frontiers: Support for the Solar System Ambassador/Educator Programs

DNF provides funds to support for the SSA/SSEP networks of volunteers and educators who bring mission science to their communities and students.  DNF funds cover mission participation in the program and distribution of handout materials to participants.  DNF funds help support a part-time student who works for the two programs. 

Discovery and New Frontiers: Thematic Workshops for Informal Educators

DNF thematic workshops for informal educators are a series of workshops designed specially for informal educators.  The workshops bring engaging, hands-on science activities adapted specifically for use in out-of-school time venues such as museums, science centers, afterschool programs.  DNF partners with education specialists to train informal educators at local, regional, and national conferences and events.

Earth to Sky Partnership: Building Climate Literacy for Informal Educators

Earth to Sky (ETS) is an interagency partnership between NASA, the National Park Service (NPS) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), that enables and encourages informal educators to access and use relevant NASA science, data, and educational and outreach products in their work.


The purpose of the Fermi E/PO program is to increase student and public understanding of the science of the high-energy Universe, through inspiring, engaging and educational activities linked to the mission’s science objectives. The E/PO program has additional more general goals, including increasing the diversity of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pipeline, and increasing public awareness and understanding of Fermi science and technology. Fermi’s multi-faceted E/PO program includes elements in each major outcome category:

Frontier Fields: Pushing the Limits of the Hubble Space Telescope

This Wordpress blog follows the science of the ongoing Frontier Fields program.  Hubble is embarking on the Frontier Fields program to image 12 new deep fields. With help from NASA’s other Great Observatories, the Frontier Fields program will provide a sneak peek at the first billion years of the universe.

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)
The GPM Master Teacher program involves having a small pilot group of 3 middle school teachers develop and implement Earth/Space Science lessons with middle school students. Teachers will use existing NASA resources to develop lesson plans and then implement them as a part of a quasi-experimental study to attempt to gauge the impact of replacing existing curriculum with curriculum that includes NASA resources. This project has been designed to gauge the impact of using alternative lesson plans, which include NASA resources,on the acquisition of content on middle school students, and we will also develop both lesson plans and activities which will be sent to SMD Product Review.

GLOBE is an international program that encourages and supports students, teachers, informal educators, and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of their local environment, sharing results over the internet. The objective of GLOBE is to promote the teaching and learning of science, enhance environmental literacy and stewardship, and promote scientific discovery.

GLOBE at Langley
GLOBE at Langley focuses on EPD for regional K-12 teachers. GLOBE at Langley offers a variety of educator professional development workshops. The objective of GLOBE at Langley is to revitalize the GLOBE program in southeastern Virginia, and eventually the whole state.

The GLOBE Mission EARTH (GME) is embedding NASA assets into the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program and integrating it into the grades K-20 science and STEM curricula. GME is leveraging existing partnerships and networks and supported through state departments of education, as  a systemic, effective, and sustainable approach to meeting NASA’s science education objectives. 


The GRACE higher ed program provides summer research experiences, short workshops, seminars to early career scientists, pre-service education faculty and students underrepresented in Earth and Space Science. The project is carried out through SMD missions and competitively selected awardees working in partnership with higher education institutions. The objective is to deepen their understanding of SMD science and technology so they are better prepared to contribute to the STEM workforce and training of future educators.

Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is the home of the Hubble Space Telescope and the future James Webb Space Telescope. E/PO programs for the Hubble and Webb space telescopes are designed to bring the wonders of the universe to the general public and the formal and informal education communities, and engage our target audiences in the adventure of scientific discovery.

Hubble Hangouts

Hubble Hangouts are weekly live online talks using Google+'s video hangout feature. Hubble Hangouts feature a panel of astronomers discussing the astronomical topic of the day. Viewers are encouraged to participate by asking questions in the comments sections of YouTube and Google+, or on Twitter.  Hangouts are subsequently posted to YouTube for future viewing.

Juno: EACA Developing Juno Education Materials
Developing, in conjunction with a curriculum specialist, of Juno middle school lessons on Jupiter's Atmosphere, Magnetosphere, Interior and Origins. Lessons development process include a curriculum summit with Juno educators, EPO professionals and science team members. 
Kepler Education and Public Outreach Program

Most of the products of Kepler E/PO and the resources we use in our presentations and teacher workshops are freely available on the Kepler website (  These include:



Computer Interactives:

Planetarium shows:

Presentation archive:

The Arts:

Media Galleries:

LADEE: Challenger Center LADEE Activity

The Challenger Center LADEE activity is a collaboration between the Challenger Learning Centers and LADEE to include LADEE content in the Challenger Center's updated Mission Moon program. Students participating in the lunar mission will be introduced to the fundamentals of the lunar atmosphere and how it is studied. LADEE EPO is providing scientific and multimedia content adapted from the AEE LADEE activity as the Challenger center implements its new Mission Moon program.

LADEE: Navajo Tech Model Building

The Navajo Tech Model Building activity is a collaboration between LADEE and the Computer Aided Design and Modeling Program at Navajo Technical College. Students in the program learn to produce solid 3-D models of the LADEE spacecraft for use by the LADEE mission and its EPO programs. The faculty of Navajo Tech provides students with instruction on equipment, materials, software, and techniques for model building while LADEE provides spacecraft CAD files, a lunar science overview, and mission briefing.

Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)
The Landsat Education and Public Outreach program uses a variety of mechanisms to provide NASA content and professional development for educators and learners in both classrooms and informal contexts such as museums and parks. Landsat EPO produces online content and in-person professional development workshops, often through partnerships, to train educators on how to integrate Landsat science, engineering, and mathematics into their programs, with an emphasis on how to use Landsat data. The objective of Landsat EPO is to inspire the public and to help learners of all ages to appreciate and use Landsat resources.
Mars Exploration Program: Informal Educator Professional Development

Informal educator workshops, trainings, and personal connections support access to current Mars-related science, engineering, and educational content, as well as interactions with scientists and engineers.  The purpose is to "train the trainers" for leaders of youth programs and networks (including Mars support for Solar System Ambassadors) and to provide museum and out-of-school staff with professional development opportunities.  Training can occur both on-site with partners or through distance learning.

Mars Exploration Program: Mars Curricular Support

This activity covers reproduction and distribution of previously NASA-approved materials (e.g., Earth/Mars comparison poster).  All else in online and downloadable. The purpose is to support dissemination of classroom materials to K-12 educators.

Mars Exploration Program: Mars Robotics

Connected closely with Mars engineering efforts, Mars Robotics is one of three content "threads" for formal education listed in the Mars Exploration Program Public Engagement Plane, and supports national programs in robotics such as FIRST (9-12) and FIRST/LEGO League (6-8).   The purpose of this effort is to provide mentorship and role models in order to inspire students to acquire technical skills, as well as to assist in the implementation of regional and national competitions.  This effort supports engineering and E/PO staff participation.

Mars Exploration Program: Mars Student Imaging & Analysis

Connected closely with Mars scientific efforts, Mars Student Imaging and Analysis is one of three content "threads" for formal education listed in the Mars Exploration Program Public Engagement Plan, and is geared for K-12 students.  Activities include Mars Student Imaging Project (5-12), Mars Exploration Student Data Teams (9-12), and Mars High-School Student Interns(11-12).  These activities provide progressively deeper and more sophisticated opportunities for students, supporting a NASA pipeline infrastructure.  The Mars Student Imaging Project enables students (grades 5-14) to use a Mars orbital camera to image Mars for their original analysis.  The Mars Exploration Student Data Teams enable high-school classes to form online virtual teams to analyze Mars’ weather and other data in real-time and contribute their analyses to the mission.  Student Interns gives competitively selected high-school students a chance to work in JPL mission operations.

Mars Exploration Program: Mars through Arts, Letters & Humanities

Connected closely to both human and robotic exploration, Mars Science through the Arts, Letters, and Humanities is one of three content "threads" for formal education listed in the Mars Exploration Program Public Engagement Plan. This thread is meant to represent the earliest entry point into the pipeline, focused on elementary level, interdisciplinary activities that introduce Mars science and engineering.   This thread is also appropriate for pre-service teachers and students without strong STEM backgrounds.  Key activities include Imagine Mars, which brings  science, arts, and technology standards together as students consider what a future community on Mars would be like.

Mars Exploration Program: MRO/CRISM:  Student Data Team (High School)

The Mars Exploration Student Data Team (PI) program engages high school and undergraduate students with data from the CRISM instrument which is seeking traces of past and present water on the Martian surface. MESDT students have the opportunity to join the science team in the analysis of data from the CRISM instrument. The program provides students with authentic research experiences in the classroom, is conducted via distance learning technologies, and is designed to provide maximum flexibility for student teams.

Mars Exploration Program: MSL: Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Curiosity Landing Site Selection Activity

Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Curiosity Landing Site Selection Activity: This activity teaches middle school students about the process used to select a landing site for the Curiosity rover.  In so doing, the students learn basics about Mars geology and mission teamwork.


MY NASA DATA (MND) is a Web-based project for K12 students and educators. MND makes NASA Earth science data easily accessible for authentic learning in the K-12 classroom. The objective of MND is to engage K-12 students in STEM activities through the ability to explore the same data that scientists use.

NAI: Astrobiology Outreach Through the NASA Nationwide Consortium (WISC)

This project provides training for informal education volunteers working on behalf of NASA.  The purpose is to train the Solar System Ambassadors, SS Educators, and members of other NASA  Nationwide Consortium organizations in the use of astrobiology materials so they may use them in their outreach events.  Telecons and workshops are held to expose the volunteers to astrobiology science and educational materials. In 2011, Solar System Ambassadors held 269 Astrobiology events reaching a total of 321,000 people.  Solar System Educators hosted 31 Astrobiology educator workshops reaching a total of 1,565 teachers in the following states: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

NAI: Hawai'i Student Teacher Astronomy Research Program (UH)

This program provides hands-on research experiences for students and their teachers in Hawai'i.  Its purpose is to develop astronomy research skills in students in grades 7-11 so they can conduct Science Fair quality projects and pursue STEM majors in college.  After a week-long workshop in the summer, scientist mentors travel to student locations throughout the school year to provide help with the research, and students are supported to participate in science fairs.

NAI: Lassen National Park Astrobiology Internship Program (ARC)

This project is a year-long, rural high school student internship program.  Its purpose is to bring local, rural students into Lassen Volcanic National Park to collect environmental data at astrobiologically relevant field sites.  Scientists visit the students and their teacher to prepare them for the upcoming year of sampling, then students visit the Park several times per year to collect data on the hydrothermal features.  An expansion includes the installation of videoconferencing equipment in the school to facilitate more frequent interaction between students and scientists.

NAI: Life on the Edge Astrobiology Summer Camp (GaTech)

This project is a non-residential summer enrichment experience for high school students in the greater Atlanta area.  Its purpose is to provide an in-depth exposure to astrobiology science and research techniques.  In a simultaneous professional development effort, the camp's curriculum is developed and implemented by local high school teachers paired with Georgia Tech undergrads.

NAI: Montana Native American Outreach (MSU)

This project hosts three science days during the school year at three elementary schools in the St. Labre school system (nearly 100% Native American from the nearby Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations) in eastern Montana.  Its purpose is to expose elementary students underrepresented in STEM to astrobiology science and careers. Teachers and students conducted three pre-lessons, the science day, and a post-lesson to evaluate  the value of the interaction.  

NAI: Student-Teacher Astrobiology Researchers (CIW)

This project is a training program for high school students in Washington, DC.  Students are guided by scientists as they perform authentic research projects in a school setting.  Participants are selected annually to attend a 10 day summer institute then return to their schools to complete projects with teacher and scientist supervision.

NAI: Virtual Field Trips (ASU, MIT)

This project develops web-based, multimedia, interactive experiences for various kinds of learners.  Called Virtual Field Trips (VFTs), their purpose is to create an online environment which simulates a remote field research locale.  Several NAI teams are collaborating to create a suite of VFTs dealing with different areas of astrobiology research.  They will be field tested in various learning environments and the evaluation will be coordinated.

NASA All-Stars

NASA All-Stars is a summer STEM research experience for teams of students, teachers, and librarians from Chicago-area public, private, and parochial schools.  Assisted by program staff, four experienced teacher-mentors, and scientists from the Astronomy & Astrophysics Center, teams undertake authentic research projects using astronomical data as they discover astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum.  The program makes use of our Multiwavelength Astronomy website, which presents the history, science, tools, and impact of astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum, through story-based lessons told by scientists who are pioneers in their field.  The story-based lessons include personal accounts of scientists' early life, education, and career to highlight the various pathways into the scientific enterprise.  NASA All-Stars program elements include small-group, hands-on activities led by teacher-mentors, labs and demonstrations provided by scientists, Skype sessions with scientist-contributors the Multiwavelength Astronomy website, tours of campus and the University libraries, and presentations by college bridge and admissions staff.  Students who participate in the program receive a computing device for reading lessons, doing research, presenting their work, and blogging.  The blogging is an important component of the program for documenting students' experience.  Each student also receives a family membership to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

NASA Family Science Night

Family Science Night (FSN) is a curriculum in which middle- school-aged children and their families explore the importance of STEM in our daily lives by engaging in activities that make these concepts more practical and approachable. It covers a broad range of topics, from basic scientific processes to specific concepts such as the electromagnetic spectrum, the life cycles of stars, the reasons for Earth’s seasons, exploration of the Moon, and the ways in which we detect and study extrasolar planets.

NASA Nationwide (NNW)

NASA Nationwide (NNW) is the title given to this project that provides mission-created, professional development products and training for SSA and SSEP volunteers, along with 11 other NASA education and public outreach networks, AESP and the NASA and JPL Speakers Bureau members.  These materials and information may be used by NNW volunteers in their events, workshops and speaking engagements.  Coordinated by the SSA/SSEP project manager, the trainings feature both informal and formal education products and information.  Trainings are accomplished by telecon, with downloadable materials.  These materials, along with the telecon recording, edited transcript and supporting resources are archived on the NNW website for retention and use by the more than 25,000 volunteers and employees who are part of the NNW Consortium's member and affiliate groups.

New Horizons: Maryland Science Center

The Maryland Science Center’s SpaceLink is a New Horizons E/PO partner that falls into both formal and informal outreach arenas. New Horizons scientists and engineers regularly support SpaceLink’s flexible programming, seminars for educators, a menu of classroom programs on request, distance learning teacher presentations, and special live events to highlight mission milestones and space-related anniversaries. This allows the guest scientists and engineers to interact directly with the public. These events will also compliment the New Horizons’ mission and instrument exhibits that are permanently housed at the Maryland Science Center. At the Maryland Science Center, exhibits include a model of the New Horizons spacecraft, a mission banner, brochures and a computer station with mission information; live programs include “science celebrations” during mission milestones; educator workshops for local pre-service teachers; and annual mission updates for educators. The funds are for exhibit on NH, special event days such as Pluto Day and Space Day featuring NH, as well as accompanying teacher workshops as well as the development of Science on a Sphere short videos.

New Horizons: U.S. Space and Rocket Center

In an effort to educate U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) museum guests about New Horizons, a model of the solar system has been set up on the Center grounds with placards providing information about each planet. A New Horizons display is set up near Pluto to educate guests about the objectives of the mission.
This is to maintain the exhibit.

NLSI: Explore the Moon! Engaging Young Explorers in Library Programs Resource Development (SwRI/LPI)

Explore the Moon! is a library program in which a team of NLSI SwRI and LPI education specialists and scientists are creating hands-on inquiry based, standards-aligned modules of activities to be used in informal learning environment programs. The activities explore the lunar environment and relate to NLSI science and exploration. The module currently is in development with a completion target of summer 2010.  

NLSI: Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM) Lunar Extreme Program

DREAM's Lunar Extreme Program: The Lunar Extreme Program works with high school teachers and students via Webinar over the course of a semester to prepare them for participation in a week-long Lunar Extreme Workshop in June.  The Workshop will bring together high school teachers and students with members of the DREAM team to investigate extreme events, such as a lunar impact, and their effects on lunar dust, plasma, and the exosphere. 

NLSI: Explore the Moon! Engaging Young Explorers in Library Programs Librarian Training (SwRI/LPI)

Explore the Moon! is a library program in which a team of NLSI SwRI and LPI education specialists and scientists are training children's librarians in CO, WY, MT, ID, ND, and SD to engage their communities in NLSI science and exploration. The training encompasses content discussions, exploration of how to engage children in science,  the use of hands-on inquiry based resources, and network planning.  

NLSI: High School Lunar Research Projects

High School Lunar Research Projects pairs NASA scientists with students in a mentoring relationship.  High-school students undertake authentic data-rich lunar projects, related to NLSI science, to learn about the process of science and science careers. LPI and JSC NLSI members work with science teachers and high school counselors to mentor student teams. Funds support the development of projects, E/PO specialist support of high school teams and teachers, and travel for high school team to the NLSI Annual Forum to present their results. 

NLSI: Journey to the Universe

Journey through the Universe is a national science education initiative that engages entire communities - students, teachers, families, and the public - using education programs in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration to inspire and educate. The initiative engages communities in sustained science, math, and technology education, and is a celebration of exploration and the joys of learning.  The initiative includes local programming for thousands of students and families, grade K-12 lessons and curriculum support materials, grade K-12 educator training, and ongoing support from scientists and educators nationally in both science content and pedagogy for the classroom. The communities integrate these resources into their existing science, mathematics, and technology education programming in both formal and informal science education venues. The result of this partnership is programming that reflects the strengths and capabilities of the community, and provides access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable. Programming provided to each community includes a weeklong celebration of learning "Journey through the Universe Week" conducted by a National Team of researchers and engineers reflecting organizations from across the NASA communities. During that week, three major threads are provided:1- Family Science Events: A family science night will be held at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center, including planetarium shows, four guest lecturers, and free access to the exhibit area. 2-Classroom Visits: A National Team of researchers and engineers working on the frontier conduct Classroom Visits for 8,000 K-12 students. The researchers are gifted at communicating their passion for research and science to audience of all ages, providing students a personal interaction with explorers working on the space frontier, and providing a window on the lives of researchers and the process of science. 3- Educator Workshops: Training is provided for K-12 educators on Education Modules that are mapped to the National Science Education Standards. Each Module includes an Educational Unit at three (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) or four (K-2, 3-4, 5-8, 9-12) grade levels, and includes content overviews; inquiry-based, hands-on activities; assessment rubrics; and resource listings.

NLSI: Public Web Page Designed by High School Students (SwRI/LPI)

Students design a public web page for Southwest Research Institute.  NLSI project. High-school students build their understanding of lunar science - and lunar science careers - and translate the information for the public using traditional and new media. SwRI and LPI NLSI scientists and education specialists work with North High School high-school students to present accurate, interesting, and engaging lunar science and exploration content. Current efforts focus on inclusion of content and animations on the site to present the evolution of the Moon. Funds support E/PO specialist facilitation of the project, materials for the classroom.


The purpose of the NuSTAR E/PO program is to increase student and public understanding of the science of the high-energy Universe, through a multi-faceted education and outreach program that capitalizes on the synergy of existing high-energy astrophysics E/PO programs to support the mission’s objectives. Science content goals of the E/PO program are aligned with mission science goals and include: Facilitate understanding of the nature of collapsed objects; Develop awareness of the role of supernovae in creating the chemical elements ; Facilitate understanding of the physical properties of the extreme Universe. The E/PO program has additional more general goals, including increasing the diversity of students in the STEM pipeline, and increasing public awareness and understanding of the NuSTAR science and technology program. 

OSIRIS-REx Presents Great Balls of Fire! exhibit and OSIRIS-REx Presents Asteroid Academy! field trips

Materials for use in classroom for pre-visit: The OSIRIS-REx education and public outreach (E/PO) program includes field trip experiences for K-8 students. Low-income students can access the Great Balls of Fire! exhibit at a local science center through support provided by the OSIRIS-REx mission. The objective of the OSIRIS-REx K-12 E/PO effort is to motivate students to pursue the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through attendance at science center with classes and families. OSIRIS-REx created supplemental materials (PowerPoint) for teachers to use in their classrooms to prepare for the field trip experience.

Our Solar System Through the Eyes of Scientists K-6 science and language arts curriculum

Our Solar System - Through the Eyes of Scientists (TES) is a solar system thematic science and language arts based curriculum for students and teachers in grades 1-6.  Students read biographies of current NASA scientists and view scientists’ notebook pages, while learning about planetary features such as canyons, volcanoes, and ice.  Curriculum is distributed on CD-ROM and made available on the Solar System Exploration website.  Teacher professional development is included.  Major costs have been to get a science writer and three educators (80%) to rewrite most of lessons to keep internal voice of lessons coherent and consistent, plus 10%K for audio visual time to create videos of scientists to accompany lessons plus travel for three scientists and three E/PO personnel (10%) to a teacher workshop to beta test the product.  

Physics of the Cosmos and Cosmic Origins

The overall strategy of Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) and Cosmic Origins (COR) Education and Public Outreach is to infuse PCOS and COR science topics into established programs, as well as develop new projects to reach audiences from formal and informal education and the general public.

Planck Mission in Virtual Reality

With this interactive simulation you can follow Planck on its mission to map the microwave emissions of the universe, and 'fly' through a virtual solar system, or fly inside Planck and explore the inside of the satellite.

For PC's or Laptops running Windows XP or higher, or Linux

See to download the simulation and manual.

Rosetta Native American Initiative

The ROSETTA education and public outreach (E/PO) informal efforts include work with Native American Reservation Educators and Administrators to bring space and planetary science to Native American communities. The ROSETTA team is working with Reservation Educators and Administrators to bring together Tribal Elders and First Speakers to better understand the community needs and concerns in planetary and space science through language preservation. Rosetta Project Scientist and Education Lead continue to work with Native Americans using language to introduce STEM Education and activities in the classroom.  This fiscal year we will work closely with Reservation Educators and Administrators to bring together Tribal Elders and First Speakers to better understand the community needs and concerns in Planetary and Space Science through language preservation.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - Website

The Solar Dynamics Observatory public website is available at

Solar System Ambassadors (SSA)

Solar System Ambassadors (SSA) is the overarching title given to this project that works with outside volunteers to aid in accomplishing NASA's education and public outreach goals.  There are more than 500 SSAs from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia along with Americans living abroad in Canada and the Netherlands, who share the inspiring story of NASA's space exploration efforts with members of their local communities by conducting a variety of local events.   Results of these E/PO efforts are reported to the NASA OEPM system annually.  There are three elements within this project:  Solar System Ambassadors, Solar System Educators and NASA Nationwide. The budget noted for this project covers most elements therein.  Funding comes thematically from Solar System and Mars, with supplemental burden funding from JPL's Solar System & Technology Public Engagement Office.  A small amount of additional funding comes from the Discovery Mission Office.

Solar System Treks

Solar System Treks Project (SSTP) provides: 1. planetary data products that are georeferenced, 2. data services (web APIs) for data access, 3. tools (a set of web-based portals, mobile applications, VR goggles and touch table implementations) that support measurement and study of planetary terrain and facilitate 3D printing of surface terrain, 4. infrastructure/platform that support visualization, exploration and research of landscapes for planetary bodies and Earth.

Space Place website

The Space Place program includes web site for elementary school children as well as a museum display program and partnerships with amateur astronomy clubs and newspapers.  The Space Place web site makes SMD content accessible to a variety of audiences including elementary school age kids, Spanish speakers, amateur astronomers, and teachers.  The Space Place web site is available in both English and Spanish, in upper elementary language; the Space place museum display is in over 350 museums across the country, primarily in rural areas; the amateur astronomy column is in over 250 club newsletters; and teacher resources are available in a dedicated area of the web site and in the ITEA journal.  The Space Place can be found at

Space Place: Web Site, Museum Displays, and Columns

The Space Place program includes a web site for elementary school children as well as a museum display program and partnerships with amateur astronomy clubs and newspapers.  The Space Place web site makes SMD content accessible to a variety of audiences including elementary school age kids, Spanish speakers, amateur astronomers, and teachers.  The Space Place web site is available in both English and Spanish, in upper elementary language; the Space place museum display is in over 350 museums across the country, primarily in rural areas; the amateur astronomy column is in over 250 club newsletters; and teacher resources are available in a dedicated area of the web site and in the ITEA journal.  The Space Place can be found at

Stardust-NExT Comet Fun Fact Sheet

Developed by NASA's Space Place for the Stardust-NExT, EPOXI, and Rosetta Missions. Introduces elementary level facts about comets and NASA missions exploring them. Funds were used for development and print costs.

Stardust-NExT Informal Education Resources

Comet Characteristics Mystery Boxes is designed to engage students in a tactile experience that can enhance or assess the students’ knowledge using tactile experiences to model comet characteristics.

Tactile Astronomy

Tactile Astronomy supports efforts in bringing the wonders of the universe to everyone, regardless of their visual ability. This section of the Amazing Space website features "Images of the Month" — a collection of the latest Hubble images that can be printed in a tactile format.  The images are specifically designed to be downloaded and printed on a thermal paper expansion machine, thus allowing the visually impaired to feel what they cannot see. 

Van Allen Probes: Girl Power STEM Expo

Girl Power is an annual STEM expo for middle and high school girls exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics hosed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the event is free and open to the public.  The one day event is designed to attract and retain girls in STEM fields, stressing that women are making a difference, changing the world, and transforming the future.  Van Allen Probes E/PO staff, scientists and engineers host a booth at the event, and discuss the science and engineering of this Sun-Earth mission.  Girl Power features hands-on activities and challenges, cool demonstrations, workshops, and take-home material.  Girls have the opportunity to talk with professional women in STEM careers such as aerospace, computer science, electrical engineering, geology, information technology, and space mission engineering, cyber awareness; college and career presentations are provided.  Girl Power is in alignment with the goal of “developing and providing transformative STEM outreach opportunities that help prepare our future workforce to be problem solvers and thought leaders who have the ability to make critical contributions both locally and globally”.

Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery

This traveling exhibit was developed in collaboration with the American Library Association and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. It consists of six two-sided panels that include images and captions that highlight relevant, historical discoveries in astronomy. The exhibit is supported by a connected suite of standards-based educational resources. Also, each exhibit panel is available as a downloadable, poster-size file.

X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission - Newton

Synergistically combining resources from several other high-energy X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy missions, the XMM-Newton E/PO program from 2003-2010 was aligned with all three of NASA’s Education Outcomes. Outcome 1: We have contributed to the development of the STEM workforce by working with dozens of students at the community college and university levels in partnership with SSU’s new MESA Engineering program and similar programs at other local community colleges. We have also engaged dozens of high school and college students in authentic XMM-inspired research experiences through our Global Telescope Network. Outcome 2: We have attracted and worked to retain hundreds of underserved students in STEM disciplines through after-school programs in partnership with local schools, where we use NASA-approved products to enhance science and technology education. We have also trained thousands of K-12 teachers with our highly popular and NASA-approved formal educational products. Outcome 3: We have built strategic partnerships with informal education providers to promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA’s mission, inspiring tens of thousands of the public and young people through multi-media presentations, websites and the Night Sky Network and bringing exciting XMM-Newton mission science to diverse audiences.

Beginning in 2010, due to significant reductions in the XMM-Newton E/PO program budget, we have chosen to strategically focus our efforts on highly-leveraged and demonstrably successful activities, including the wide-reaching Astrophysics Educator Ambassador program, and our popular website Epo’s Chronicles. We have also continued to make major contributions working collaboratively through the Astrophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum (SEPOF) on identified high-need activities: the on-line educator professional development course “NASA’s Multiwavelength Universe” and the Astro 4 Girls program.