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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

CoSTEM 1:
STEM
Instruction
CoSTEM 2:
Youth and Public Engagement
CoSTEM 3:
Undergraduate Student Experiences
CoSTEM 4:
Working with Diverse Audiences
CoSTEM 5:
Graduate
Education
AirMOSS

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. http://airmoss.jpl.nasa.gov/

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

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

 

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 (http://teachspacescience.org). 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.
Discovery and New Frontiers: Mentor Training for NASA Space Science Days

Thematic training for college student-mentors preparing to lead a Discovery Program focused NASA Space Science Day event. The NSSD events are sponsored by an EPOESS grant to Charlie Galindo-ARES-JSC. The workshop offers mission content, hands-on experience with classroom activities, and strategies for implementing.

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. http://www.marylandday.umd.edu/

Five Stars Pathway - Afterschool Program at Girls Inc.

Led by Multiverse at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, Five Stars Pathway: Engaging Girls in Science through Multigenerational Mentors project is developing heliophysics curriculum targeting middle school girls to be implemented in Girls Inc. afterschool programs nationwide. 

 

Five Stars Pathway - Curriculum Resources for Afterschool

Led by Multiverse at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, Five Stars Pathway: Engaging Girls in Science through Multigenerational Mentors project is developing heliophysics curriculum targeting middle school girls to be implemented in Girls Inc. afterschool programs nationwide. 

Five Stars Pathway - Training for Afterschool Program Providers

Led by Multiverse at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, Five Stars Pathway: Engaging Girls in Science through Multigenerational Mentors project is developing heliophysics curriculum targeting middle school girls to be implemented in Girls Inc. afterschool programs nationwide. 

GRAIL: Earth and Space Science Collaborations

E/PO GRAIL MoonKAM. An essential part of the E/PO MoonKAM program is student collaboration.  The E/PO MoonKAM Mission Control Center (MOC) will coexist with and utilize the NASA EarthKAM MOC facility already in place and functional at UCSD. From FY09 through FY2013 UCSD undergraduate students will work with SRS supervisors and GRAIL scientists to design and implement the MoonKAM Mission Operations.www.GRAILMoonKAM.com

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 National Undergrad Student Competition

This project is a yearly nationwide undergraduate student team competition to design and build spectrographs. It is targeted at under-represented students.

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.

LADEE: Navajo Tech Model Building

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

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: 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 http://smdepo.org/project/6063

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 REU at Penn State (Icy)

This project hosts summer undergraduate interns at the NAI's Penn State University team.  It's purpose is to provide an in-depth research experience for undergraduates with astrobiology researchers at PSU. The program occurs at Penn State University for 10 weeks during the summer session. The students participate in independent research under the guidance of one or more astrobiologists, a field trip to NASA and astrobiology-related sites around Washington, D.C., weekly seminars, laboratory tours, stargazing opportunities, discussion group, and a research symposium. Five interns were hosted by PSU faculty in the Summer of 2011.

NAI: Astrobiology REU at Penn State (Icy)

This project hosts summer undergraduate interns at the NAI's Penn State University team.  It's purpose is to provide an in-depth research experience for undergraduates with astrobiology researchers at PSU. The program occurs at Penn State University for 10 weeks during the summer session. The students participate in independent research under the guidance of one or more astrobiologists, a field trip to NASA and astrobiology-related sites around Washington, D.C., weekly seminars, laboratory tours, stargazing opportunities, discussion group, and a research symposium. Five interns were hosted by PSU faculty in the Summer of 2011.

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: Summer Interns at JPL (Icy)

This project hosts summer undergraduate interns at the NAI's Icy Worlds Team at JPL.  It's purpose is to provide an in-depth research experience for undergraduates with astrobiology researchers at JPL.  Ten interns were hosted by four faculty in the Summer of 2011.

NAI: Support to Undergraduate Conference at LPSC (Central)

This project supports undergrads from across the US to participate in the 2011 LPSC Undergraduate Conference.  Its purpose is to expose undergrads to the scientific conference environment and mentor them to pursue careers in science.  This NAI funding supports the larger project funded by EPOESS.

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

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

NLSI: NASA Academy NLSI Fellowship

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

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.

Planck Mission in Virtual Reality

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

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

See http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~jatila/Planck-Mission-Sim/ to download the simulation and manual.

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 Dynamics Observatory HMI Instrument - Data In the Classroom

This program involves development and facilitation of a laboratory activity for community college physics and astronomy students to give them an opportunity to analyze data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory mission. Professors and teachers at a local community college are involved in an SDO partnership to develop the lab exercise. The students at the community college are first year non-science majors coming from a diverse urban environment.

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.

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.

Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) Solicitation: NNH15ZDA010C

Through a pilot cooperative agreement notice or CAN the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) awarded more than $8 million through the competitively selected Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) to 47 teams of undergraduate students to conduct hands-on flight research. 8 SMD cooperative agreements shared $550,000 in total with award sizes ranging from $50,000-$100,000. Space Grant awards averaged $200,000 for each of 39 cooperative agreements. In addition, SMD and Space Grant are paying the cost of government-furnished launch and other services described in the 2015 USIP CAN NNH15ZDA010C available at: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={FABD5D3A-878E-A99F-5D05-87AAD356CC9E}&path=closedPast

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), in Wallops Island, Virginia, leads technical and scientific reviews for the 47 teams planning to fly on suborbital and orbital vehicle platforms, such as CubeSats, aircraft, sounding rockets, and balloons. In addition, USIP CubeSats are part of the larger NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative or CSLI managed by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. CSLI provides opportunities for small satellite payloads built by universities, high schools and non-profit organizations to fly on upcoming launches. For more CSLI information visit: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CubeSats_initiative

Prior to the collaborative CAN NNH15ZDA010C pilot that involves WFF, HEO and Space Grant, SMD did a proof-of-concept CAN numbered NNH13ZDA004N that resulted in 10 awards. A copy of the first USIP CAN and the selection abstracts can be downloaded from:  https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={0C22969D-FD8F-1AEB-CBFB-5DAACA749452}&path=closedPast

CAN NNH15ZDA010C's 47 project titles and list of awarded higher education institutions can found at:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-selects-proposals-for-student-flight-research-opportunities

The 39 Space Grant funded abstracts are located at:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/space_grant_2015_usip_proposal_abstracts_final.pdf

The 8 SMD-funded abstracts are in a PDF that may be downloaded from the section of this page entitled:

 

 

Van Allen Probes: Pre-Service Teacher Workshop

The Van Allen Probes Pre-Service Teacher Workshops provide professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate pre-service teachers attending HBCUs.  The training engages students by providing a more in-depth experience that focuses on the Van Allen Probes mission.  The objective is to improve K-12 educator awareness and understanding of the Sun’s influence on Earth and near-Earth space through the study of Earth’s radiation belts.  Students interact with scientists and engineers, and are introduced to mission-related activities and resources.  The goal is for the pre-service teachers to learn how to incorporate activities and resources into their classroom lesson plans to motivate their students to pursue STEM studies and careers. 

The workshops target traditionally underserved populations with the intent of increasing diversity in space science.  Students participate in hands-on activities and classroom lessons, and then develop individual plans for implementing in their classroom.  NASA resources for teachers across curriculums are provided, as well as links to educator resources.