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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 SMD Education and Communications Activity Overviews and Impacts

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.

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science Professional Development

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science Professional Development
These workshops and trainings for elementary and secondary 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 Education/Solar System Science Student Opportunities

Astromaterials Education/Solar System Science Student Opportunities
These are events for K-12 students developed thematically around the topics of solar system science and astromaterials. These are hands-on, experiential learning opportunities designed to extend solar system science knowledge and to inspire students to learn more. These are usually offered within an existing event. 

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.

Astromaterials: Lunar and Meteorite Sample/Solar System Science Student Opportunities

Lunar and Meteorite Sample/Solar System Science Student Opportunities
These are events for K-12 students developed thematically around the topics of solar system science focusing on lunar and meteorite science. These are hands-on, experiential learning opportunities designed to extend solar system science knowledge and to inspire students to learn more. These are usually offered within an existing event. 

Astromaterials: Lunar/Meteorite Sample Education Disk Certification Training

Lunar/Meteorite Sample Education Disk Certification Training
These workshops and trainings for elementary and secondary educators are developed thematically around the topics of solar system science. Participants are certified to borrow the sample education disks and prepared to share the science appropriately with K-12 audiences. These are usually offered within a conference or larger professional development event. Standard content of solar system science is shared thematically preparing the educators to use the sample education disks effectively as they meet their curricular needs. The content is delivered through speakers, multimedia, and hands-on activities. 


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.   <>
Dawn Teacher Resources

Material development for FY 2012 will include Solar System Origins module and accompanying interactives including the stand alone activity "Active Accretion" and "Active Phase Changes." For FY 2012, this will include formatting, posting, internal and product review and subsequent revisions of the Solar Systems Origins module and the initial development of the Data Analysis module. Content module on Dawn instruments: Framing Cameras, Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector, and Gravity Science. Module includes multiple teacher guides, student activities, interactive simulations, and PowerPoint presentations as resources. The materials in this module will introduce students to the ways that scientists, engineers, and technologists “in the real world” design instrumentation that utilize the interactions between different frequencies/wavelengths of the EMR and matter to make scientific measurements and analyze data. FY 2011 Funds are for development of the module and interactive simulations. FY 2012 funds are for revisions for NASA Product Review and preparation for pilot testing.

DAWN: Piloting Dawn's Instrumentation curricular materials

In FY 2012, Dawn science, engineering and education team members presented new science findings and activities as well as background information to a variety of student audiences in formal education settings. Here, students participated in a pilot of new materials connected to Dawn's Instrumentation.

Dawn: Small Bodies Thematic Teacher Workshops

For FY 2011: Includes 1) Day-long teacher workshop in Denver CO.  2) Day long workshop for Florida Science Supervisors.  3) Five simultaneous workshops in February 2011 based on results of EPOXI and in anticipation of Stardust NExT and Dawn.  For FY 2012, the Dawn mission will provide educator workshops about some of the findings at Vesta and a review of Stardust NExT and EPOXI educational materials. Venues to include the Colorado Science Conference and the School Science and Mathematics National Conference. The purpose of the workshops is to educate teachers on the content of comets, asteroids, the EPOXI and Stardust-NExT and Dawn mission encounters and the educational resources appropriate for classroom use. The project brings together formal and informal educators  to connect with scientists, engineers, and thematic NASA resources and exhibits and offers the additional benefit of networking.

Dawn: Student Opportunities

In FY 2011, Stardust NExT organized a district wide NASA event in Cheyenne Wyoming modeled after similar activities conducted by NASA's Discovery Program office. A team of scientists and educators visited students in grades 6-12. An evening star party and the local observatory opened the event to students, parents and families.

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: "Vision of Discovery" Educator Workshop

"Vision of Discovery" Professional Development is a 5 hour workshop for teachers held in four locations simultaneously.  Using a thematic design, this workshop connects the Discovery and New Frontiers missions’ science and technology with the curriculum needs of classroom teachers. The workshop offers prominent mission scientists giving presentations and hands-on experience with classroom activities. The speaker presentations can be viewed via the Internet in real-time and in the archive.

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: 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: Thematic Educator Workshops

DNF thematic educator workshops are a series of workshops in a variety of venues for teachers in grades 4-12.  The workshops bring standards-aligned, engaging, hands-on activities based on mission science goals and results to educators. DNF program and project scientists and education specialists train teachers at local, regional, and national conferences and events.

Discovery and New Frontiers: Unlocking the Mysteries Educator Workshops

Unlocking the Mysteries Professional Development is a 3 hour workshop for in-service and pre-service teachers.  Using a thematic design, this workshop connects the Discovery and New Frontiers missions’ science and technology with the curriculum needs of the classroom teachers. The workshop offers mission content and hands-on experience with classroom activities.

Discovery New Frontiers Thematic Educator Workshops

1) In Nov. 2011 (FY 2012), McREL supported a NASA educator workshop in Rainsville, AL. 2) McREL coordinated and facilitated Vision of Discovery (FY 2012), a Discovery Program/New Frontiers Year of the Solar System (YSS)  event. The 4-6 hour workshop was held in four locations across the country: JPL, APL, JSC, and Oregon. It involved collaboration with the E/PO staff of many D/NF Program missions (Dawn, MESSENGER, New Horizons), the Discovery and New Frontiers Programs, the NASA Digital Learning Network, and NASA AESP providers. The event was held on  Saturday  March 10, 2012. A third annual workshop is being planned for March 2013.

GEONS (Geomagnetic Event Observation Network by Students)

The THEMIS Education and Public Outreach team established ground-based magnetometer stations in the proximity of rural schools in traditionally under-served, underrepresented communities. Teachers at these schools were trained in how to use the magentometer data with their students. The network of these teachers, students, and magnetometers together with other students who participate using the web is called the Geomagnetic Event Observation Network by Students (GEONS).

Heliophysics Community of Practice for Formal Educators

The Heliophysics Community of Practice for Formal Educators is a multi-mission effort led by THEMIS-ARTEMIS E/PO and supported by the Van Allen Probes E/PO, IBEX E/PO and the Heliophysics Forum. The Community of Practice provides professional development opportunities for middle and high school teachers across the country to learn more about current heliophysics research and incorporate it into their classroom. 

Heliophysics Educator Ambassador Program

The Heliophysics Educator Ambassador (HEA) program is a collaborative, multi-mission effort that provides professional development and resources to middle and high school science teachers who then train other teachers at local, regional and/or national workshops, conference and meetings. The NASA Heliophysics missions collaborating on the HEA program are: THEMIS-ARTEMIS, IBEX, Van Allen Probes, SDO, MMS, Voyager, RHESSI, STEREO, TIMED, AIM and ICON.

High School Intern Program

 STEM Enhancement in Earth Science, or SEES, is a nationally competitive summer intern program for students in grades 10 and 11. NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research, or UT/CSR, have joined forces to provide this opportunity for high school students to increase their understanding of and interest in STEM careers.

Scientists and engineers at UT/CSR are conducting NASA-supported research in astronomy, remote sensing and space geodetic techniques to help understand Earth systems, natural hazards and climate science. The SEES project provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Participants will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.

InSight Mission Formal Education

InSight's formal-education program features comparative planetology initiatives with our E/PO partners IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), SCEC (Southern California Earthquake Center) and NASA's SpaceMath for standards based math resources. This year begins development of Preassessment, Standards-focused curriculum, near-real-time data classroom delivery methods, earthquake analysis tools and professional development.

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.

IRIS Spectroscopy Educator Workshops

The IRIS E/PO team will conduct a series of workshops instructing middle and high school teachers how to incorporate spectroscopy into their classes.

IRIS Summer Opportunities for Undergrads

Stanford, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), and NASA/Ames jointly host students in summer research opportunities by leveraging on Stanford’s highly-successful Summer Research College (SRC), a ten-week program currently available to undergraduate Stanford physics majors. The IRIS team extends this program to incorporate promising non-Stanford undergraduates recruited from 2- and 4-year colleges, especially those at institutions where students would not otherwise have the opportunity to become involved in a research program. Students in the IRIS National Science and Engineering Student Competition are particularly encouraged to apply.

By leveraging on an existing successful program, and bridging the gap between opportunities such as the NASA Quest Challenges and the summer school opportunities available to space science graduate students, our SRC Extension offers a diverse collection of undergraduates an introduction to the topic of heliophysics and the opportunity to gain valuable research experience early in their careers.

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: Educator Workshops

While LADEE supports a number of workshops hosted (and reported in the data call) by other missions/programs (see notes), these represent workshops not reported elsewhere. Educators attending these workshops 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 and there students can directly participate in NASA lunar science and exploration through programs such as Moon Zoo the LADEE Observation Campaign. In conducting these discussions, LADEE EPO supports workshops conducted by a number of partners including Lunar Quest, AESP, Cornell University, and the National Science Teachers Association.

LRO: Lunar Student Imaging Project

The Lunar Student Imaging Project (LSIP) is an inquiry-based program that enables K-12 students to learn about lunar science and develop proposals to acquire and analyze data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument.  

LRO: Lunar Workshops for Educators

This activity is a workshop for educators of grades 6-12 to learn about lunar science and exploration and how to incorporate LRO data into their classrooms. Participants in the workshop attend a week-long workshop at Goddard Space Flight Center in July 2010 and are given follow-up professional development using distance learning technologies.

LRO: Mini-RF ARENA - Lunar Simulation

Mini-RF has developed a beta Lunar Simulation on the instrument and its findings at the Moon. The goal is to provide middle and high school students with a mission specific gaming-like experience that will be used to augment existing math and science curriculums. It also folds in the existing educational products developed for the Mini-RF instrument and the LRO mission. This is based on the ARENA (Augmented Reality Environment at APL), a 3-D modeling and simulation facility at APL that supports a number of Department of Defense and NASA missions.

LRO: Student Planetary Investigators

The Student Planetary Investigators (PI) program engages high school students with data from the Mini-RF instrument which is focusing on mapping the lunar poles, searching for water ice and demonstrating new communications technologies.  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.

LRO/Mini-RF:  Student Data Team (High School)

The Student Planetary Investigators (PI) program engages high school students with data from the Mini-RF instrument which is focusing on mapping the lunar poles, searching for water ice and demonstrating new communications technologies.  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.

MAVEN: Space Science Teachers Summit

MAVEN mission formal E/PO is a comprehensive program targeting K-12 teachers and students. The program involves product development and professional development workshops, including MAVEN Educator Ambassador Project, Space Science Teachers Summit, and Red Planet, and management and evaluation for the aforementioned activities. The objective of the MAVEN mission EPO program is to engage multiple audiences in the quest to understand Mars’ long-term atmospheric losses, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MMS: Cyber Cafe

The Cyber Café is an online collaborative space where a new way of social and experiential learning can take place. Working with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and their existing network of professionals, the resources in the MMS and Space Weather Action Center (SWAC) programs are used to engage educators from around the world in monthly topics that are relevant to the classroom, school and/or professional arenas. Café participants tackle key curricular and training areas in education specifically related to MMS STEM content. At the end of each 6-week Café, participants produce educational artifacts (webinars, curricula, etc.) that are used and shared in a variety of learning environments.

MMS: EPO Website

The E/PO section of the MMS website is specifically designed for number of MMS E/PO audiences and hosts a growing collection of lesson plans, activities, games, Interactives, podcasts, video clips and social media links, while highlighting the contributions, accomplishments and career paths of mission personnel. The MMS social media team works closely with the GSFC Office of Communications and NASA’s existing social media networks to reach the target audiences.

MMS: Models (Paper Bookmark/Activity, Card, LEGO, Life-size)

Students can use these models to make and even stronger connection between engineering and mathematics while highlighting the importance of the MMS mission. On the models page, students can see a video of the LEGO model, make their own, make a paper model, or work on MMS card models. The MMS bookmark can be folded into a 3D model. It also has web resources and QR codes.

MMS: NASA EDGE (Video Mission Updates/Career Interviews)

NASA EDGE is an unscripted, non-traditional video podcast or vodcast designed to highlight all things NASA in a unique and fun way. Built in the framework of sports talk radio (i.e. Mike and Mike in the Morning - ESPN Radio), NASA EDGE has generated a positive buzz for NASA in a way in which young teens and adults can relate. Produced vodcast segments will focus on a particular components of the MMS mission. For example, one segment might focus on the science instruments and another on the engineering design of the MMS satellite. In addition, the team will produced a series of 5min MMs career-based video clips that are promoted on the MMS YouTube channel, website and social media venues. In March 2015, NASA EDGE will produce a live webcast from the MMS launch site.

MMS: Space Weather Action Center (MAGNETOSPHERE)

This program encourages students to design, assemble and use an 'easy to make' learning center called a Space Weather Action Centers (SWAC) .These centers provide a focused environment where students can monitor and report the progress of a solar storm or focus on data input from individual missions like MMS . As part of the SWAC setup, each center includes one computer with internet access to current and archived NASA data. Student flip charts offer 'Step by Step' instructions needed to quickly retrieve and transfer data to specified data collection sheets. Additional directions are provided to help students transform all of the newly acquired information into regularly scheduled news reports.

MMS will work with the CCMC at Goddard Space Flight Center to revise the MAGNETOPHERE section of the program to better reflect mission based science. For more project information, see

MMS: Student and Teacher Computational Thinking Resources for NASA's MMS Mission

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will partnet with the MMS mission to develop 3 resources related to the MMS Mission and student learning around the magnetosphere, space weather, and data manipulation.

The first resource will repurpose the previously created iBook for teachers, a companion to the student MMS Transmedia book (TBook), into other e-formats such as mobi and epub so they are accessible across the spectrum of e-readers in Kindle, Nook, and Android e-formats. While the TBook, developed by David Slykhuis and Troy Cline, focuses on experiments that help students understand the foundational scientific principles of the magnetosphere and engineering principles of the MMS satellite design, the companion resource currently is in iBook format, a mobile e-book with multimedia embedded. ISTE will make this same iBook resource available in other e-reader formats (see above) that provide an instructional guide for teachers to align these activities to both ISTE Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, and demonstrate how to modify TBook activities for students based on their age, background, and experience.

The second resource will be a Computational Thinking Student Activity e-book that teaches students how to collect data sets, analyze the information, and present their findings to create authentic, real-world application activities, known as citizen science, that can be applied to data streams coming down from the MMS mission or other related activities.

The third resource will be a companion teacher guide iBook that provides an instructional guide on how to teach students with the Computational Thinking Student Activity e-book, which again, will align to Next Generation Science Standards and the ISTE Standards; and digital age tools that teachers can use with the Computational Thinking Student Activity book to create meaningful interpretations of the data streaming from the MMS mission or similar types of activities and encouraging students to post their findings through social media channels. 

MMS: Student TransMedia Book (iMaginetic Space)

The Student Transmedia Book (T-Book) is a digital age storybook designed to help students learn about the NASA’s MMS mission through a variety of inquiry and engineering based experiences. A T-book, is a standard print book that serves as a nexus for all of the physical objects and digital resources necessary for its telling. A T-book exists in both a physical and digital space, which facilitates the seamless transition between the two states. It includes experiment instructions, data collection tables, reflection activities, QR codes linking to MMS content all while encouraging the use of digital fabrication.

MMS: Take the MMS Challenge

This is a challenge-based activity set designed to have students explore and research the Magnetospheric MultiScale Mission (MMS). Students will explore the purpose and relevance of the mission as well as the scientific methodologies. Activities include application of the scientific method, problem solving strategies, research, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Links to resources and appropriate web 2.0 tools are provided through a shared livebinder at

MMS: Teacher iBook (iMaginetic Space)

The “Educators’ iBook Companion” is a mobile resource for the iPad embedded with self-paced professional development tools, information, and resources for educators. The iBook authors created rich learning content embedded with text, audio, and video that is well suited for complex concepts or demonstrations. This digital age teacher’s guide embeds: dynamic, interactive MMS content from NASA’s Space Weather Action network website (pending permission from NASA); lesson and experiment extensions that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the NETS; and self-paced professional development for teachers seeking to enhance their digital age teaching skills.

NAI: Astrobiology in the Masters of Science in Science Education Program (MSU)

This program supports in-service teachers in their work towards a Masters of Science degree in Science Education at Montana State University.  Two courses were supported in the program this year, Life in Extreme Environments and Thermal Biology in Yellowstone National Park. The courses provide science content information and authentic research experiences for practicing science instructors at the middle, secondary, and college levels.

NAI: Astrobiology Laboratory Institute for Instructors (UH)

This project provides professional development in astrobiology for teachers in Hawai'i and from the mainland US.  Its purpose is to increase awareness of astrobiology science and use of astrobiology classroom materials.  Teachers participate in a week-long workshop including lecture, lab, and field studies.

NAI: Astrobiology Teachers Academy (RPI)

This is a week-long, in-depth, summer learning experience for high school science teachers in New York State.  Its purpose is to increase content knowledge for teachers and support them to develop unique lesson plans in astrobiology for their classroom.  This is a multi-year interaction which incorporates teacher mentors from prior years into each summer's workshop, and provides sustained contact for teachers with the scientist faculty and each other throughout the academic year.

NAI: Astrobiology Workshops for Educators at Penn State (PSU)

This project provides professional development in astrobiology for teachers from across the US at Penn State University.  Two workshops were supported in Summer, 2011: Earth's History: Uncovering Clues of the Past‚ and Astrobiology: The Interdisciplinary Search for Life in the Cosmos.  The purpose is to expose teachers to the latest in astrobiology research, NASA missions, and classroom materials.

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: 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.

New Horizons: "Educator Cadre" Teacher Training Team

The Educator Cadre program – working in partnership with the NASA Solar System Educator Program (SSEP) – develops middle and high school teachers who represent New Horizons and serve as an important resource for solar system exploration programs across the country. Through New Horizons Teacher Training Workshops, we developed a cadre of skilled master teachers who now represent the mission; these workshops comply with National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) benchmarks and standards. Workshop activities are structured according to principles of professional development, in full alignment with national standards. Thus, both pedagogical and scientific content are addressed, and effective instructional strategies are modeled. This formal education effort also includes a curriculum and lesson plan component.

NLSI - Workshops for K-12 teachers I

3 separate workshops, for teachers of grades 1-5, 6-8, and high school. Teachers received and practiced age-appropriate astronomy activities with a focus on lunar science. They built inexpensive "galileoscope" telescopes. Cooperation with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, which was meeting in Boulder, CO in 2010, increased teacher attendance. Nearly all teachers who applied were accepted. Scholarships were supported by NASA and ASP. Teacher assessment forms quite positive.

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: 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: 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: 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.

NLSI: Summer Science Project (SwRI/LPI)

SSP is a program in which high-achieving high school students participate in a six week summer experience and work with space scientists to track asteroids. The program is designed to keep these students in the pipeline for careers in the science disciplines.  SwRI's NLSI team is collaborating with SSP to a) develop two-day lunar research projects that involve computer modeling and b) to implement these projects with the students during the summer.  Funds support involvement of students in the program, with an emphasis on working with SSP to recruit underserved and underrepresented students.  

NLSI: Summer Student Internship Program

The NLSI Summer Student Intern is a grade 10-14 student support program. The program provides a 10 weeks summer research experience for grade 10-14 students. The purpose of the program is to increase the U.S. talent pool of lunar scientists by providing high school and two year college students an opportunity to spend a summer working on lunar science research with lunar scientist from the NLSI and attracting them to pursue graduate level studies in lunar science.

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.

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.

SMAP Mission EPO

SMAP provides Educator Professional Development opportunities for K-12 educators through our partner network and the regional NASA centers. The professional development opportunities will be offered to all K-12 educators who are interested in incorporating the latest soil moisture and freeze-thaw science and technology in the classroom. The objective of SMAP is to offered the latest advances in remote sensing science and technology to support the existing science standards in the classroom.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - NEAT program

This program trains graduate students, with help of a Physics Education Research specialist, to present NASA-developed classroom activities to K-12 teachers, and to coach the teachers how to use those activities in their classrooms.  Program facilitators adopt and/or adapt activities from the existing, extensive catalogue of NASA-developed & -approved activities.  At the request of the teachers, program facilitators deliver the training/coaching sessions at their schools, with no cost to the teachers.  Participating K-12 teachers get 2 continuing education credits from the State of Montana.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - Solar Science Fair

What is the Solar Science Fair?
The Solar Science Fair is a semester-long project for students ages 13-18 as well as classrooms and the general public. Participants are expected to create original projects using solar data. There will be many opportunities to ask solar scientists questions about your project or about what they do at NASA.

How will the projects be judged?
All projects will be judged based on the use of the scientific method, use of solar data, creativity and the clarity of the presentation. Each project will be judged by a panel of three judges individually and given a score for each of the sections and also an overall score.  The winners in each category will based on the cumulative score of the subsections and the overall project.

Solar Dynamics Observatory - SPOT Program

The Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) provides FREE presentations about current NASA missions to Montana schools, youth programs, and community groups. The office at Montana State University in Bozeman sends presenters to schools and communities across the state.

The interactive SPOT presentations utilize slides, videos, animations and an inquisitive approach to relay the excitement of new discoveries in space science. NASA research and careers here in Montana are highlighted in each show. Presentations can be done in a classroom or assembly setting, as long as a screen or blank wall and an electrical outlet are available. Each show lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Solar System Ambassador Master Teachers

Solar System Master Teachers (SSAMT) are master teacher volunteers who train educators in their states in the use of NASA's STEM educational materials.  Training for SSAMTs on NASA/JPL educational products is accomplished by webinars with downloadable web-based materials.  SSAMTs were formerly known as Solar System Educators before becoming a Solar System Ambassador specialty subgroup.

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 Forensics

NASA's Space Forensics project takes students in formal and informal education settings through astronomy problem-solving narratives that parallel crime scene forensics. Each standards-aligned Space Forensics case fuses STEM and literacy, using mystery narratives and hands-on activities to take students through the process of scientific problem-solving. This approach tells the story of "doing science" and meets educators' needs for resources that encourage reading, writing, and speaking outside of the English Language Arts classroom.

Space Weather Action Center

Imagine being able to monitor the progress of an entire solar storm from the time it erupts from our sun until it sweeps past our small planet effecting enormous changes in our magnetic field. Now imagine being able to do all of this from your classroom-based Space Weather Action Center (S.W.A.C.)! By following the basic steps in the Instructional Guide your class will soon be on its way to accessing, analyzing and recording NASA satellite and observatory data. You will also want to download the 'step-by-step' Educator's Setup Guide where you will find a variety of recommendations and diagrams showing you how to construct a fully functional SWAC inside your classroom while keeping potential limitations on classroom space and technology in mind.

Once established your class will be ready to move into the second cross-disciplinary phase of the program where they will transform their journal data into real S.W.A.C. news reports! We've made this phase easy by providing an adaptable SWAC script! All they have to do is fill in the missing pieces based on the data collected in their student journals. In the S.W.A.C. Setup Guide we have suggested several very inexpensive alternative methods by which you can produce multimedia Space Weather Action Reports.

Download the student Flip Charts and Data Collection Sheets from the Downloadable Materials page. Each Flip Chart offers 'Step by Step' instructions on how to quickly retrieve and transfer data to specified Data Collection Sheets. We have divided all of the Space Weather Action Center resources into four 'color-coded' categories: Sunspot Regions (orange), Storm Signals (green), Magnetosphere (blue) and Aurora (purple). The same color code scheme is used in the flipchart, the data collection sheets and on the Live Data and Tutorials webpage. You can always know which section you're in with one quick glance!

For those educators wishing to incorporate SWAC as a classroom learning experience, we have also provided an Instructional Guide and a Flip chart Guide.

Each SWAC contains the following elements:

  • Computer (Internet Access Required)
  • Instructional Flip Charts (Assembly Required)
  • Data Collection Clipboards or Notebooks (Assembly Required)
  • SWAC Display Board or Bulletin Board (Assembly Required)

Students are encouraged to design their action centers with readily available art supplies and downloadable NASA imagery. This artistic approach instills a sense of student ownership and establishes NASA as a visual point of interest in the classroom environment.

Use the introductory steps provided in the Flip Charts to quickly access and retrieve space weather data. Each Flip Chart is directly linked to specific Data Collection Sheets that will allow you to quickly record and analyze the necessary sets of data. You will find that the data collection sheets follow the same sequence and color coding as the flip charts: Sunspot Regions (orange), Storm Signals (green), Magnetosphere (Blue), Auroras (Purple).

Once you have created your SWAC your class will be ready to move into the second cross-disciplinary phase of the program: creating real SWAC news reports! We've made this phase easy by providing your students with a sample script! All they have to do is fill in the missing pieces based on the data collected in their student journals.

Now it's lights, camera, action! You are finally ready to turn your script into a multimedia broadcast complete with current NASA data and dazzling graphics! If your school isn't equipped with a broadcasting studio, don't worry! We've suggested several very inexpensive methods by which you and your class can produce professional looking Space Weather Action Reports.

The SWAC website is an extremely robust "one stop shopping' learning tool complete with step-by-step tutorials on how to interpret live or 'near real time' space weather data from 10 missions and 36 instruments. All of the data links required to make your space weather observations are located on a single webpage called Space Weather Data. Beside each of the 'live data' links you will also find 'tutorial' links containing easy to read tutorials that that will help you when interpreting the data. You can always find your place by returning to this page!

Student Planetary Investigators (PI)

The Student PI program provides high school and undergraduate students with authentic research experiences in the classroom using NASA data. The program is free, open to students and their teachers nationwide, is conducted via distance learning technologies and is designed to provide maximum flexibility for student teams. Live classroom sessions are mostly conducted during after school hours and sessions are archived for teams that wish to watch at alternate times. Students communicate directly with science team members and peers through an online bulletin board system. Currently students may choose to work with curriculum and data sets from Mercury, Mars, or the Moon as they work toward developing their own hypotheses and research projects. Student capstone projects include the presentation of original research projects to fellow student researchers and NASA scientists across the country.

Total Solar Eclipse: Live from the U.S.A

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the U.S.A. The glorious sight of the fully eclipsed sun will be visible along a 60-mile-wide path arching from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions of people are expected to travel to this “path of totality” to watch as the moon entirely covers the face of the sun.

People in the rest of the country will experience a partial eclipse. For those who can’t make it to the path, the Exploratorium, with our NASA partners, will be filming the event from two different locations and sharing it with the world by live stream. Audiences can join us on this website, by mobile phone, or at special events in the museum and other institutions across the globe.

Van Allen Probes: Maryland Science Center Partnership

SpaceLink at the Maryland Science Center is an informal education and public outreach partner for the Van Allen Probes mission. An instructional PowerPoint was produced for distribution to informal educators at museums, science centers and planetariums across the U.S. with the purpose of providing content information about the Van Allen Probes mission and science objectives, and to help educators in communicating the mission to their audiences. 

Material and activities focusing on the Van Allen Probes mission were provided by the Maryland Science Center to support the pre-launch educator workshop.  The Center’s observatory hosted special event days featuring the Van Allen Probes mission and the current solar maximum (e.g., Solar Plasma Fest); safe solar viewing by several means (white light and hydrogenalpha filtered telescopes and a Sun Spotter) as well as Sun-related activities were provided.  To interact directly with the public, Van Allen Probes mission scientists and E/PO specialists supported the events. The Solar System Exploration Wall, designed and fabricated by the Maryland Science Center and located in the Davis Planetarium queue space, features NASA exploration of the solar system and Sun-Earth connections.  Interactive exhibits are included in the queue area, one activity challenges visitors to arrange the planets in order and size.  Large panel monitors are being programmed with images relating to the Van Allen Probes, with both stills and video.  A spacecraft search activity will encourage visitors to find various spacecraft displayed on the wall mural. 

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”.