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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

Youth and Public Engagement
Undergraduate Student Experiences
Working with Diverse Audiences

AirMOSS E/PO is an Education project for the K-12 students, teachers, informal education community, and the general public. The AirMOSS E/PO team will provide such services as  web-based applications and resources. The objective of AirMOSS E/PO activities is to inform and/or increase the public’s understanding of the global carbon cycle, especially how the exchange of carbon dioxide between the land and the atmosphere affects global climate; and how NASA airborne science instruments contribute to this body of knowledge, while encouraging students to pursue the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science Outreach

These are Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Education events for the public. They usually are part of a larger event; our contribution is connected thematically around the topics of solar system science and astromaterials. These might include sample displays, hands-on activities, and "meet the scientists" opportunities.

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/Solar System Science Outreach

These are Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Education events for the public. They usually are part of a larger event; our contribution is connected thematically around the topics of solar system science focusing on lunar and meteorite science. These might include sample displays, hands-on activities, and "meet the scientists" opportunities.

Astromaterials: Story Mining and Sharing in Informal Education Settings

This is an ARES education activity to mine and share the stories of past and recent solar system exploration missions and the Antarctic meteorite research program. These stories will be used to connect informal audiences to the excitement of scientific discovery experienced by the people in space science research. It includes finding the stories, developing concise, well-told stories using the raw data, and sharing the stories through podcasts. 

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: Saturn Observing Campaign

Professional and amateur astronomers plus interested members of the public invited to join the Saturn Observation Campaign. A section of the mission website is dedicated to mission resources and educational material. Planetary observing tips are available as well. 

What: Conduct three or more observing programs or observing events each year, including partnering with local libraries, astronomy clubs or science centers. Members are required to report events on the mission web site. 

 Observation Campaign members will be able to participate in telecon training sessions conducted from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Material from these training sessions are available for use in member presentations to their communities and during star parties.

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.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Education and Outreach Program

Chandra provides a multifaceted Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program encompassing press relations, public outreach and education that reaches a large and diverse audience of national and international scope. Chandra’s program plays a key role in NASA’s EPO portfolio, synthesizing and disseminating results from NASA’s exploration of the high-energy Universe into a broad suite of programs and activities focused on increasing science literacy and contributing to science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) education. 

CloudSat provides educator professional development for informal educators, specifically the Solar System Ambassadors (SSAs), and content-based curriculum to Girl Scouts. CloudSat scientists train the SSAs so that they can convey CloudSat-related information to the general public across the nation; and the CloudSat team also supports the development of new Girl Scout “Earth Science” Patches for Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes. The objective of the CloudSat informal education programs is to provide a NASA mission-connected pathway to help learners better understand the nature of clouds and their role in Earth's atmospheric system.
Discovery and New Frontiers "Exo's Discovery" educational interactive on the Discovery and New Frontiers web sites

"Exo's Discovery" is an online interactive learning game. Learners of all ages have an opportunity to explore and learn about our solar system with an alien named Exo who needs help.  Users travel through the solar system in a visually engaging way searching for H20, CO2, and olivine, learning about the planets and small bodies, and the missions that have explored them.

Discovery and New Frontiers: "Small Worlds" section on the Discovery web site

Small Worlds is a section that was added to the Discovery Program website to convey a wealth of information about the many Discovery missions focused on asteroids and comets, why we explore, how we explore, what we have learned, and the importance of this knowledge.  The information is conveyed through text, images, jingles, and an audio feature called Image Impact. 

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: NASA Space Science Days

NASA Space Science Days (NSSD) is a science education outreach collaboration that includes NASA-JSC, Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate (ARES), the Discovery and New Frontiers Education Program, and The University of Texas at Brownsville, and Texas Southmost College.  The purpose is to encourage future generations to strive for excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teams of presenters share 10-15 hands-on science activities throughout the one-day event. Students move through a series of activities and speakers as they actively engage in the thematic science content. The NSSD events are sponsored by an EPOESS grant, PI Charlie Galindo-ARES-JSC.

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: online quarterly newsletter

DNF has produced an online quarterly newsletter since 1999.  The newsletter features significant mission events, interviews with mission personnel, current status and E/PO highlights for all the missions.

Discovery and New Frontiers: Public Events

Public events take place in a variety of venues that attract adults and students and provide an opportunity to bring information about NASA, space exploration, and the missions to raise awareness, heighten curiosity, inform and inspire. In FY2012, D/NF funded and coordinated a NASA booth at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, aimed at engaging students in STEM activities and helping them see themselves as scientists and engineers. Attendance was 26,000. The event included a live performance of Space School Musical by 65 students from local afterschool programs.

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.

Discovery and New Frontiers: web sites

D/NF has two websites that provide current and historical information about the programs and the missions. The websites serve as the primary outreach tool to provide a wide array of information to the public, teachers, students, and mission personnel. The web sites are kept up to date with current news and ongoing updates.  The New Frontiers site was redesigned and updated with new content in FY'12.

EPOXI - Maryland Day

2012 marks the 14th annual MD Day, an annual open house for the University of Maryland (College Park). Colleges and departments are encouraged to "show-off" their research and educational programs via informal hands-on activities. EPOXI team members will be participating again demonstrating the mechanics of transiting exoplanets and building dry ice comets.

EPOXI web site

EPOXI Mission website includes up-to-date resources and information of thematic comet content and mission specific multimedia and educational materials. Secondary pages include details about the mission, science & technology; multimedia gallery; formal and informal education content. The homepage includes features, mission status, media releases, and team bios. Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter) were added in mid FY10. Site included a blog for encounter (FY11).

EPOXI: Amateur Observers' Program

The Amateur Observers' Program (AOP) is a web resource that provides information and resources for beginner, intermediate, and advanced amateur astronomers. The site provides guidance for the public to locate and share images of small solar system bodies (comets and asteroids). Amateurs from around the world use the site as a resource connected to mission events.  Funds are for site maintenance and public events at amateur venues (clubs, star parties).

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.

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.

Hubble’s Magnificent Universe

This traveling exhibit, dedicated to the Hubble Space Telescope’s imagery, provides an opportunity for visitors to contemplate the symbiotic relationship of art and scientific exploration. The exhibit was created through a unique collaboration between the Walters Art Museum, the Johns Hopkins University, and scientists and other experts at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Standards-based support materials are available for host institutions.

InSight Mission Public Outreach

InSight's public website and visualization development once mission selected. Begin development of comparative seismometry application for mobile devices, and developing scientist talks which will be used for Educate 1-2-3 InSight speaker program and E/PO on the road materials for traveling technical and science staff. Mission social media outreach sites being populated with content.

Juno: Education and Public Outreach through the Explore! Library Program
LPI will train librarians in rural states to use the Juno Explore! module of activities, and in solar system content, in collaboration with Juno scientists and education specialists. The librarians, in turn, will be prepared to conduct children's and family programs in  their own communities.  Funds support workshop delivery. 
Juno: JPL Outreach
Juno Outreach is handled at JPL, including the Juno NASA portal site, as well as Eyes on the Solar System,  Amateur Astronomy efforts.
Juno: Jupiter Observing Campaign

Professional and amateur astronomers plus interested members of the public invited to join the Jupiter Observation Campaign. A section of the mission website is dedicated to mission resources and educational material. Planetary observing tips are available as well.

Conduct three or more observing programs or observing events each year, including partnering with local libraries, astronomy clubs or science centers. Members are required to report events on the mission web site. Members are encouraged to send in their images to the website.

Observation Campaign members will be able to participate in telecon training sessions conducted from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Materials from these training sessions are available for use in member presentations to their communities and during star parties.

Juno: Podcast What's Up

The first podcast was in April 2007, and it has nearly 4 million downloads since its debut. Podcasts are available on NASA, NASA IYA, JPL, Solar System, and mission websites. They can also be downloaded 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. Since Jupiter shows up in September, that is when we would highlight Juno.

LADEE: Observation Campaign

The LADEE Observation Campaign encourages citizen science and participatory exploration involvement in LADEE mission science. Participants make and record telescopic observations of meteoroid impacts on the lunar surface, or visual/video counts of terrestrial meteors to provide data that can be correlated with LADEE science instrument observations. The cache and publicity of a NASA lunar mission is used to increase public awareness of and interest in existing observation programs run by the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, the American Meteor Society, and the International Meteor Organization, resulting in increased participation in these programs and providing potentially valuable sources of data for the mission.

LADEE: Public Outreach Presentations

While LADEE supports a number of public outreach events hosted (and reported in the data call) by other missions/programs (see notes), these represent public outreach events not reported elsewhere. Members of the public attending these outreach events are introduced to how our understanding of the Moon is changing dramatically based on results from a new generation of robotic explorers, how LADEE will further advance our understanding of the Moon, and how they  can directly participate in NASA lunar science and exploration through programs such as Moon Zoo and the LADEE Observation Campaign. In conducting these discussions, LADEE EPO supports public outreach events conducted by a number of partners including the NASA Speakers Bureau, the NASA Ames Visitor Center, and the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast.

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: Outreach

This area supports the NASA Strategic Plan "Outreach to Stakeholders," and typically focuses per that document on public information and outreach related to NASA's Mars and Mars mission efforts, as well as cross-themed messages within SMD and between it and other Divisions (e.g., human exploration of Mars efforts by ESMD).  Included are pass-through events such as exhibits and public talks (including support for scientist/engineer involvement); web support, including content and visualizations for Mars content areas of the NASA website (mirrored on JPL/Mars websites); citizen science interactives and participatory exploration, and HD video that captures historical moments for integration into external documentarian use (e.g., NOVA, Discovery, etc.)and other  E/PO and NASA public affairs products.

Mars Exploration Program: Mars Museum Visualization Alliance Project-

This alliance brings real-time, high-definition  imagery and other content to museums, science centers, and planetaria  and to  the wider audiences they serve (created by Mars, it was elevated to an agency level as the NASA Museum Alliance and expanded to include other missions and activities).   The intent is to create increasingly experiential programming that allows the public to participate in discovery as it happens and to come to know Mars as a familiar place, utilizing the big-screen and dome infrastructures at partner institutions, as well as models, in order to reach communities nationwide.  In the process, informal educators at museums have regular professional development opportunities to interact with Mars scientists and engineers so that they  can interpret current science and engineering taking place on Mars for their visitors (through the provided visualizations). 

Mars Exploration Program: MSL Curiosity: Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Professional Development for National Park Service Interpreters

Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Professional Development for National Park Service Interpreters: The SAM E/PO team reaches out to NPS interpreters who are part of the Earth to Sky network via Webinars to educate them about SAM and MSL, to help them draw linkages between Gale Crater and their own Park, and to share activities and resources that could be adapted for use in most Parks.

Mars Exploration Program: MSL Curiosity: Sample Analysis at Mars E/PO Website

Sample Analysis at Mars E/PO Website: The SAM E/PO team, in collaboration with the SAM science team, maintains a website to provide information on SAM and MSL, access to current news, SAM science results, and E/PO resources such as the Curiosity landing site activity developed by the SAM team and SAM-related multimedia products.

Mars Exploration Program: MSL Curiosity: Sample Analysis at Mars Outreach Events

Sample Analysis at Mars outreach events: SAM scientists, engineers, and E/PO team members regularly participate in large public outreach events that reach hundreds to thousands of people.

Music and Astronomy

Since 2009 the Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (MAUS) program has brought astronomy to 50,000 music lovers (800 - 5000 participants per event) throughout Long Island at classical, folk, pop/rock, opera, Caribbean, or county-western concerts in parks assisted by local astronomy clubs (55 events; 28 parks, 83% free, most festivals had low-cost admission and free admission for children). The Long Island based astronomy club, the Amateur Observers' Society of New York , is a partner with MAUS and has assisted with 48 of the MAUS events. MAUS also had events at the Central Park Jazz, Newport Folk, Ravinia music, the Tanglewood Music festivals and the Bethel Woods Center for 
the Arts (location of the 1969 Woodstock Festival).

NAI: Are We Alone? Radio Show (SI)

This project provides support for an ongoing public radio show.  Its purpose is to explore questions of humanity's place in the universe, especially as it relates to topics in astrobiology and SETI research.  The radio show airs on 30+ radio stations nationwide, most of them are NPR affiliates, and a podcast of the show is downloaded by over a million unique listeners every year.

NAI: Astrobiology at Music Festivals (WISC)

This project exposes the public in non-traditional settings to astrobiology research and information.  It's purpose is to raise awareness about astrobiology with members of the general public who wouldn't normally seek out science content.  An "Astrobiology in Your Backyard" booth was set up a three different music festivals in the Madison, Wisconsin area in Summer, 2011 in which tardigrades, micro-meteorites, lichens, and stromatolite fossils served as launching-off points to engage the public in learning about astrobiology research.

NAI: Astrobiology Citizen Science (PSU)

This project engages citizen scientists in a study of microbial diversity in distributed domestic water heaters.  It's purpose is to look at the genetic differences from isolates of similar microbes from across the globe to understand the degree to which populations of microbes are isolated and whether this isolation suggests an allopatric speciation model for prokaryotes. Two-three interested households per state in the US will complete a questionnaire and submit samples back to labs at Penn State where the data will be compiled and analyzed.  

NAI: Astrobiology Documentary Film (MSU)

This project develops and distributes video resources for the general public.  Via partnership with Montana State's Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program, a one-hour documentary film is being produced that takes a personal look at scientists around the U.S. working with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) to understand the origin of life. Once the film is completed in late 2011, the program will be distributed via a national outlet such as National Geographic, the Discovery Channel or PBS.

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: Astrobiology Planetarium Show (GaTech)

This project creates a new, small-dome planetarium show for Houston-area school districts.  It's purpose is to engage students in astrobiology science, especially extreme life.  Via a partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, the show is being developed and will be deployed locally to hundreds of schools via their fleet of traveling planetarium domes.

NAI: Beyond the Edge of the Sea Exhibit (PSU)

This project is an art exhibit displayed in science centers and/or art museums nationwide.  Its purpose is to display and interpret original works by a science illustrator who, in collaboration with a scientist, has visited and documented hydrothermal vent ecosystems via travel in the deep-sea submersible Alvin.  The traveling exhibit was featured at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for most of 2011, and significant leveraging of the exhibit into workshops and a girl's career day called "Expanding Your Horizons" was accomplished at UW.   

NAI: Biosignatures Exhibit (WISC)

This project delivers astrobiology information to the general public.  Its purpose is to excite and engage the public in an interactive debate experience featuring scientists in an informal education setting.  Future presentations in this series will be podcast and made publically available.

NAI: Clash of the Titans (Titan)

This project delivers astrobiology information to the general public.  Its purpose is to excite and engage the public in an interactive debate experience featuring scientists in an informal education setting.  Future presentations in this series will be podcast and made publically available.

NAI: Deep Sea Vents Kiosk and Poster (CIW)

This is a free-standing kiosk resource for informal education settings, and an accompanying poster.  The purpose is to provide information on astrobiology research on hydrothermal vents to a broad audience.  Museums and science centers coordinate with NAI to exhibit the interactive kiosk in their venue.  The kiosk was displayed at Penn State and the Maryland Science Center in 2011.

NAI: Exploration Day at Penn State (PSU)

This event is a one-day, hands-on, interactive STEM science fair hosted in collaboration with the PA Space Grant Consortium and other Penn State partners. The purpose of the event is to provide information about NASA research to a diverse and wide audience. The event includes more than 50 exhibits with more than 250 volunteers, and had more than 2000 in attendance in 2011. NASA materials, especially those related to astrobiology, are given out.

NAI: From Earth to the Solar System (Central)

In celebration of NASA's Year of the Solar System, this project makes a curated collection of images related to astrobiology and solar system exploration available to educational organizations worldwide.  It's purpose is to raise awareness of NASA's planetary and astrobiologcial exploration via the viewing of beautiful, artistic imagery mostly from spacecraft.  In a free-choice public outreach manner, organizations download the high-res images from a website and create their own exhibit.  To date, over sixty independent exhibitions have been mounted, from Egypt to Hawai'i.

NAI: Icy Worlds Trading Cards (Icy)

This project will produce a new set of informal education materials.  The purpose is to share information about the icy moons of the outer solar system and their relevance to the search for life beyond Earth.  The product will be in the form of a set of trading cards, and will be available in 2012.

NAI: Online videos and poster artwork of deep sea vents

This project provides online access to video and poster content from the Deep Sea Vents kiosk. This project ensures that the high-quality materials developed for the kiosk to improve understanding of Astrobiology is readily available to members of the general public, both nationally and internationally. A link to this material will be available from the NAI education web site at 

NAI: Titan "Live" Digital Planetarium Show (JPL)

This project is the development of a "live" digital planetarium show.  Its purpose is to create a modular, flexible, exportable show that other high resolution, full-dome theatres which employ the Uniview system can use.  Visuals and narration blend with live music for an exciting experience which attracts an audience beyond the normal planetarium-going public.  The show has been prototyped and piloted, and a final, exportable package is planned for 2012.

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: Howard B. Owens Science Center - (3.1.35)

Howard B. Owens Science Center is completing the finishing touches to the New Horizons planetarium show. This interactive planetarium program will follow the New Horizons mission from launch to arrival at Pluto, allowing participants to investigate the science questions posed by the mission team. Once the spacecraft reaches Pluto, the program will be updated to include actual science data.

New Horizons: Maine Solar System Model - (3.1.30)

The New Horizons spacecraft (in model form) continues to sail through the world's largest complete solar system model. This project places the New Horizons spacecraft in the context of the solar system through use of the recently completed Maine Solar System Model (MSSM). The MSSM is the world's largest complete solar system model, with a scale of 1:93,000,000 and a Pluto–Sun distance of 40 miles.

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: Mission Web Site - (2.3.27)

New Horizons’ Web site is a one-stop Pluto mission shop. It features the latest news on the mission, including  a popular Principal Investigator’s blog. Major features include an Overview section; sections on Science, Mission, Spacecraft, and Education; a News Center; an image and video Gallery; and Web Links. APL creates all of the mission animations and visualizations in both high-definition and standard-definition formats. These animations, created for multiple uses, have been integrated into the Passport to Pluto documentary program and placed on the mission Web site. They also are made available to media outlets and to museums and science centers.

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 - Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM) participation at public events

Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon participation at public events: In FY11, Dynamic Response of the Environment at the Moon (DREAM) participation at public events included Maryland Day at UMD and Explore@NASA Goddard (Goddard's Open House).  In FY12, DREAM plans to also participate in Maryland Day along with International Observe the Moon Night.  At each event, the public will participate in an experiment that simulates tribocharging of astronauts and dust adherence on the lunar surface while learning about the Moon and DREAM science content and interacting with scientists.

NLSI - International Observe the Moon Night

This is a collaborative effort between various NASA Missions. NLSI plans to spend an estimate budget of $35K. However, this estimated figure might change.

NLSI - Lunar Traveling Exhibits and Online Gallery (LPI/JSC-ARES)

The LPI/JSC NLSI team is creating a series of library exhibits to share NLSI and NASA lunar science and exploration with the general public through a nation-wide network of librarians, as well as SMD and NASA networks.

NLSI - Moon Zoo - Citizen Science

This project is a collaboration with the Moon Zoo effort, a citizen science project where the general public analyzes features on the surface on the Moon.  This enables people to contribute to lunar science and educates and inspires them, using resources on the website.  Anyone can participate by going to and creating an account, and then analyzing data.

NLSI - Podcasts

The project is a collaboration with Astrosphere and part of the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcasts. It will be composed of a Monthly "10 minutes" podcast for a full year.

NLSI Ambassador Public Talks

A series of lectures to various different audiences (from middle school students to adults) about NASA's lunar science and exploration programs as well as EPO resources. These talks would be visually augmented by NASA lunar imagery such as high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface, the latest lunar science visualizations, as well as by animations of current and future lunar missions. 

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: Elementary School Planetarium Program Explaining Lunar Science

Create an adult planetarium show highlighting science that can be done from the moon.

NLSI: Elementary School Planetarium Program Explaining Lunar Science

Public events associated with the Lunar and Solar eclipses that were visible to North America.  For the handful of Lunar eclipses between 2009-2012 we had nearly 1000 people in attendance for each event.  Then for the Solar Eclipse of 2012 we had nearly 10,000 people in the Football Stadium at the University of Colorado to view it.  Our event was broadcast on NBC national news.

NLSI: International Observe the Moon Night-Boulder, CO

Set up telescopes on the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall in Boulder, CO.  Handed out flyers describing NASA Lunar Science and let people look through telescopes.  Night was pretty cloudy but still got "peeks" at the moon and people liked looking through telescopes.

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.

Ocean Subsurface Topography (Jason-1, OSTM/Jason-2, and Jason-3)

Ocean Surface Topography (Jason-1, OSTM/Jason-2) E/PO is an Education project for K-12 students and teachers. The OST E/PO team provides such services as classroom demonstrations, specialized JPL visits/tours, web resources, and distance learning events; and in conjunction with partner organizations and in-service training for teachers. The objective of OST E/PO is to provide students, and their teachers with information on the role of satellite altimeters in understanding the global ocean, while encouraging students to pursue the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

OSIRIS-REx Fly me to an Asteroid! name collection program

Fly me to an Asteroid! (working title), run jointly with The Planetary Society, solicits names of individuals for etching onto a chip to fly on the spacecraft. The purpose of this project is to collect names from the public, etch the names onto a chip, place the chip in the sample return capsule for a trip to and from the asteroid, engage the public in the mission and increase interest in asteroids and science. TPS will collect names from entrants, Lockheed Martin will lead efforts to etch the names and handle the physical chip, and the mission will coordinate efforts and publicize the activity.

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

Visit to the Exhibit: OSIRIS-REx hosts the OSIRIS-REx Presents Great Balls of Fire! exhibit at the University of Arizona, include additional exhibit materials related to the mission, and run the OSIRIS-REx Presents Asteroid Academy! school field trips to the exhibit. The exhibit and field trips will take place during the fall months of 2012 with OSIRIS-REx Ambassadors facilitating school field trips (grades 5-8) for underserved audiences. Evaluation of the exhibit, audience feedback, etc. is for use in developing traveling exhibit for 2016-2023.

OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroids! citizen science observing program

Target Asteroids! Is a citizen science project which engages amateur astronomers in observations of potential asteroid spacecraft targets. The purpose is to collect data (e.g., astrometry and photometry) on asteroid targets to better characterize them as well as engage amateurs in the mission and encourage interest in STEM education and careers. OSIRIS-REx team members work with amateur astronomy groups to provide guidance, monitoring and collection of data.

OSIRIS-REx Website

This project develops a mission website. The purpose is to provide a portal for the public to engage with the mission and is a coordinated effort with other internet outlets such as the Facebook page and Twitter. E/PO staff and other team members work together to create content for OSIRIS-REx internet presence.

OSIRIS-REx: Name that Asteroid! contest

Name that Asteroid!, run jointly with The Planetary Society, solicits names for the OSIRIS-REx mission target asteroid, (101955) 1999 RQ36. The purpose of the project is to name 1999 RQ36, engage the public in the mission and increase interest in asteroids and science. TPS will collect names from entrants, a committee will select a name and recommend the name to the Minor Planet Center, which makes final determination.

Planck Education and Public Outreach Program

The Planck Mission education and outreach projects focus on three main areas:

  1. Developing curricula and supplementary materials in the form of lecture notes and simulations for use in undergraduate (university and community college) education;
  2. Developing outreach materials in the form of interactive displays for museums and science centers and videos for distribution on the internet (YouTube);
  3. Citizen science projects in which global citizens can contribute directly to cosmology research that benefits the Planck Mission and allows individuals to become stakeholders in the data analysis and mission results.
Rosetta - Venus Transit/Sun Earth Day

The ROSETTA education and public outreach (E/PO) program supports NASA Sun-Earth-Day events tied to phenomenon through actual scientific experience.  The objective of the ROSETTA E/PO is to educate students about; Activities to increase public engagement in improving science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education in the United States.

Rosetta Website Education Page

The Rosetta Project is working on an educational experience through the web page that brings students from different cultures and areas of the world together to learn about comets and asteroids as a group via the internet.  Rosetta is an international mission between ESA and NASA.

S'COOL - Student Cloud Observations OnLine: Terra, Aqua, and NPP

S’COOL is a Web-based project for K12 students and educators, and citizen scientists. S’COOL involves students in authentic science with NASA, through sky observations which serve as ground truth for the CERES instruments in orbit. The objective of S’COOL is to engage students actively in NASA Earth science research.


The SAGE III on ISS Education and Public Outreach program shares the excitement of the SAGE III on ISS mission (planned launch 2014) highlighting its pathfinder qualities, its legacy and role in climate study continuity, and its partnerships with the ISS, other NASA centers, and international collaborators. The program uses formal and informal education approaches to engage students, teachers, and the public in atmospheric science topics including ozone and aerosols, engineering, and technology. The program also strengthens NASA's future workforce by contributing to STEM education initiatives and by attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines. The E/PO activities consist of a diverse range of programs and events that leverage ongoing activities and partnerships across NASA Earth Science missions and other agency educational and outreach programs including GLOBE and MY NASA DATA, as well as create new avenues for reaching target audiences.

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 Telescope Star Parties

During the summer months, the Space Telescope Science Institute hosts star parties for Baltimore-area families in partnership with local astronomy clubs.  Star parties feature science presentations along with an array of fun and interesting activities, such as WorldWide Telescope, hands-on activities related to light and color, visits to a portable planetarium, and night sky viewing opportunities provided via amateur telescopes and the Maryland Space Grant Observatory.

Stardust NExT Website

The Stardust-NExT website includes up-to-date resources and information of thematic comet content and mission specific multimedia and educational materials. Secondary pages include details of mission, science, technology, multimedia, education, community and "get involved" pages. The homepage includes features, timelines and links to where is the spacecraft is now, mission status reports, media releases and scientist/engineer interviews.

Stardust NExT: "Comet Cratering" at JPL Open House

Stardust-NExT, EPOXI, and Rosetta mission will combine resources at the annual JPL Open House event. Exhibit will feature a "Comet Cratering" activity, models of asteroids, meteorite collection, spacecraft models and science data. Personnel from all missions will be on-hand to talk with public.

Stardust NExT: Building Informal Educator Capacity: DoDEA

Dawn, Stardust-NExT and EPOXI E/PO leveraged mission materials to offer OST science teachers professional development and curricular support to help them integrate space science involving small bodies into their programs through the DoDEA Space Science Extravaganza in May, 2012.Teachers will engage their students in high-interest, hands-on activities that highlight mission science and enhance learning about comets, asteroids, and the origins of the solar system. In FY13, we will be emphasizing Google+ Hangout sessions to engage learners of all ages. The E/PO team will collaborate with Dawn scientists and engineers to bring emerging science to the public backed by activities that support concept development.

Stardust NExT: Comet Outreach Events

In February, 2011 Stardust spacecraft will encounter comet Tempel 1. In support of this event a number of outreach events are planned at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as New York/Cornell and several other sites around the country, TBD.

Stardust NExT: Small Bodies Podcast

Podcast did not occur and was cancelled due to mission conflict in FY10 plan. Current no plans to reschedule in FY11.

Stardust NExT: Solar System Night Boards

Reprint: Combines the same data used on Solar System Night Boards and will introduce the Stardust-NExT and EPOXI websites in preparation for encounter in Nov. 2010 and February 2011.

Stardust NExT: Solar System Night Poster
Collaboration with Dawn, EPOXI, and Rosetta.
Stardust-NExT Encounter Events

Working closely with the NASA/JPL Ambassadors Program, Solar System Educator network, Museum Alliance Network and Space Place Networks Encounter events will be organized around the country at informal science centers and museums. Stardust-NExT will connect informal educators with related resources for each event including scientists, speakers, animation, educators. Events will be as detailed as having mission personal on-site or virtually, Twitter postings, and/or Skype teleconferences into a said location hosting a comet related event.

Stardust-NExT Inspiring People

Scientists, engineers, administrators, educators and students working with NASA tell their personal stories of inspiration on the challenges in their careers, education requirements, and exciting highlights of working with/for NASA. By showing "real life" people in real life experiences we hope to engage the public and students into considering a future career or involvement in aerospace, science and technology.

Stardust-NExT: "Eyes on the Solar System" - Stardust

"Eyes on the Solar System" is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time.

Stardust-NExT: Comet Interactive

Comet Interactive was designed to introduce all levels of user to comets. Information includes overview of comets in a 3:41 second video documentary provided to the mission by; Comet Life Cycle section where user can view the changes which occur as a comet as it travels on its orbit; Comet Anatomy section which demonstrates the various components of a comet; and a Comet Specifications section highlighting Comets Borrelly, Wild 2, Tempel 1, 67P, and Hartley. This section shows detailed fact about the comets including known composition, orbit, characteristic, and NASA's mission (both past and present) that have gathered scientific data.

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.