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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
Cassini: Products for informal: Cassini-Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission (CHARM) for Informal Educators

CHARM-Cassini Huygens Analysis and Results of the Mission – monthly telecons with talks, PowerPoint or video supports NASA Nationwide: A Consortium of Formal and Informal Education Networks will be hosted on NASA Nationwide website archive

Training telecons and materials for networks including Solar System Ambassadors, museum alliance, Night Sky Network, Space Place etc.

Dawn Mission: i C Ceres

The Dawn Mission E/C is planning to commemorate the arrival of the spacecraft at dwarf planet Ceres with a festival called i C Ceres. We plan to hold a flagship event in collaboration with NASA JPL on the Caltech Campus with both family-oriented activities and special speakers for a variety of audiences May 9, 2015.  Events throughout that weekend will be encouraged all over the country and the world, utilizing materials, special online presentations and resources highlighted on the Dawn website. A map of events will inspire broad engagement with the mission.

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 Concept Maps: Mini-Atlas of Heliophysics Literacy

This document outlines three sets of concepts to form a “Mini-Atlas of Heliophysics Literacy” in order to: 1) provide a way for Heliophysics Education and Public Outreach professionals to understand how their formal education (including higher education) and informal education products tie to general overarching Heliophysics concepts, and 2) provide a way for educators or curriculum designers to tie Heliophysics concepts together with related science concepts. The AAAS Atlas of Science Literacy strand maps have been used as templates for several of the Heliophysics concept maps. One main difference, however, between the AAAS Atlas of Science Literacy strand maps and the Heliophysics Mini-Atlas is that the strand maps only cover concepts for grades K-12.  The Mini-Atlas of Heliophysics Literacy includes K-12 concepts and those that extend to higher education.

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.

MMS: Launch Party Resources

The online ‘Educators Launch Kit’ will include Launch Party ideas, activities, and links to mission content, videos and social media pages. When available the page will also contain information on how to connect to the live launch. From these pages, users will be invited to join the MMS Magnetic Space Café. This collaborative website used by NASA's Science Education and Public Outreach Forum will provide an online space where educators and the general public come to chat, receive E/PO updates and ask questions. After launch, the Launch Party Kit will be modified to be an MMS Mission Party kit.

MMS: Media and Education Technology Incubation (METI) Lab

MMS will work closely with Heliophysics E/PO lead, Alex Young, to develop a Media and Eduaitonal Techlology Incubation (METI) lab. This lab will be operate as a ‘think-tank’ space to assist internal personnel from Heliopysics and Planetary in the development of mission outreach ideas and opportunities related to cutting edge technologies including 2D/3D printing, model building, chroma key use and mobile media. The evaluation will include surveys at the end of workshops to show the effect on teachers’ knowledge and intent to use, and a follow up survey nine months later on actual implementation.

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: Social Media

The MMS social media program is intended to communicate the science of MMS, as well as Heliospheric and STEM-related information to the general public and education professionals in an educational, fun and engaging way.

MOU American Camp Association

A memorandum of understanding between NASA and the American Camp Association went into effect November 30, 2012. It is the intent of NASA to provide printed and Internet-accessible material and information to be disseminated to youth utilizing the ACA capabilities. Through this partnership, NASA will:

  • broaden the STEM-related educational resources that are available to the camp community,
  • promote ACA and ACA-resources to broader audiences,
  • enhance professional development opportunities for camp professionals.

This cross-forum effort is being led by the Planetary Science Forum.

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.

Rosetta Poster for AGU
Poster presentation at AGU to discuss the U.S. Rosetta Native Initiative
SDO Project Suite

The SDO Project Suite is an NGSS-aligned curriculum that integrates new and adapts existing solar and space weather resources, which can be completed as a coherent unit or as individual lessons. The SDO Project Suite consists of a series of four student-led Solar Modules, with real-world application, that provide an interactive exploration of Solar Science:

Module 1: Introduction to the structure and features of the Sun.

Module 2: Investigates how and why the Sun is studied via the electromagnetic spectrum and magnetism.

Module 3: Explores the significance of solar activity and the effects of space weather on Earth.

Module 4: Student collaboration to design, create, and curate a 3-D Solar Exhibit summative assessment

Solar Dynamics Observatory - Conference support

Exploration Station is a program of activities organized by the various American Geophysical Union (AGU) sections and focus groups. Many AGU section and focus group members work for organizations with well-developed education and public outreach programs. Exploration Station is an opportunity for these organizations to bring their exhibits and hands-on activities to the AGU Fall Meeting and interact with the public in San Francisco.

This event is four hours long, free, and open to the public. Participants make their way through an average of 20-30 exhibits offering a variety of easy, family friendly, hands-on activities and an opportunity to interact one-on-one with scientists, engineers, and education specialists.

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.