Narrow Results

7 activities

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 Graduate Education

Youth and Public Engagement
Undergraduate Student Experiences
Working with Diverse Audiences

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.

New Horizons: Student Dust Counter (SDC) Web Site - (2.3.22)

In addition to the students who created the instrument, the SDC’s own education and outreach team maintain a Web site that features the inside story of the instrument’s development and video interviews with team members. The SDC project is blazing a trail for future student-built instruments.  (

New Horizons: Student Dust Counter Instrument and Program (K-12 and Undergraduate)

The Student Dust Counter (SDC) is a 20-year homework assignment, but you won’t hear any complaints from the students handed the task. Designed by students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, SDC is detecting dust grains produced by collisions among asteroids, comets, and Kuiper Belt objects during New Horizons’ journey. It is the first science instrument on a NASA planetary mission to be designed, built, and “flown” by students.  With faculty supervision, the students also are distributing and archiving data from the instrument and lead a comprehensive education and outreach effort to bring their results and experiences to classrooms of all grades over the next decade.

NLSI: NASA Academy NLSI Fellowship

NLSI supported the NASA Ames Academy through support of a student in addition to support of their summer project of lunar dust and biological systems interactions.  The undergraduate or graduate students spends 10 weeks at NASA Ames working alongside an ARC scientist. They are exposed to research at three other NASA centers (KSC, DFRC, JPL) and a wide variety of other research and commercial institutions (e.g. Desert Research Institute, Space Systems Loral, SpaceX).  The summer additionally included leadership training, team building exercises and approximately 20 seminars in order to expand their horizons and expose them to the whole space community. 


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. 

Planetary Science Summer School

Planetary Science Summer School (PSSS).  PSSS prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants are highly qualified science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students with a strong interest in planetary exploration.  Through preparatory webinars and a one-week experience at JPL with Team X mentors, students develop a mission concept and present it to a "review board" of JPL scientists and engineers and NASA HQ executives.  Students learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork.  2 sessions of approximately 18 students each are held in the summer.