Sheri Klug Boonstra

Sheri Klug Boonstra
Contact Information
Organization: School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU Mars Space Flight Facility
ASU Mars Space Flight Facility
Moeur Bldg. Rm. 131, P.O. Box 876305
201 E. Orange Mall
Tempe, AZ 85287-6305
Phone Number: (480) 965-5514
Social Media:
Twitter: @ASUMars
Facebook: Mars Education ASU

Sheri Klug Boonstra is a STEM educator and has worked for over two decades within NASA education and technical flight projects. Currently, she is the Director of Stragegic Partnerships within ASU's Center for Education through eXploration (ETX). ETX is a component of Arizona State University's NASA SMD Eduction/ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration's project - Exploration Connection. ETX provides adaptive learning learning experiences using NASA content and data.

Ms. Klug Boonstra is also the Director of the ASU Mars Education Program, and as such, she has deep K-20 experience in designing PBLs using NASA data, helping educators implement authentic science experiences in informal and formal settings, and providing field experiences with science and engineering experts for educators.  The ASU Mars Education Program's primary role is to create NRC Framework/NGSS aligned and designed STEM education materials that engage K-20 students and promote learning through authentic STEM experiences that include problem/project-based learning and deep inquiry activities. She has provided long-term educator professional development for K-20 formal and informal educators that enables educators to implement science experiences for students that relate to the real world. The Mars Student Imaging Project has won national acclaim for helping students experience science firsthand.

In addition to directing the the ASU Mars Education Program, Ms. Klug Boonstra also served as the formal education lead for NASA's Mars Public Engagement Team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The ASU Mars Education Program at Arizona State University, in collaboration with JPL, led the formal education outreach efforts to K-20 teachers and students for all NASA’s missions to Mars. The ASU Mars Education Program also provides hands-on, inquiry-based professional development for K-20 in-service and pre-service educators across the United States, developes experiential research programs for students (e.g., the national award-winning Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP)) and creates and coordinates Earth/Mars-related national field trips for teachers. The ASU Mars Education Program emphasizes classroom and educator connectivity with NASA scientists and engineers.

Ms. Boonstra has also been the E/PO lead for the Astrobiology Team at ASU. She was a member of the NASA's Science Mission Directorate Science Education and Public Outreach Forum Team.

From 2008 to 2010, Sheri Klug Boonstra was the USRA Director and NASA Project Administrator of the NASA's nationally-scoped Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP) located at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. As such, she managed a distributed national team that placed over 345 competitively selected undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) interns at 10 NASA Centers and 2 NASA Research Centers annually. She was the USRA lead for building and promoting connectivity between NASA national education projects (pre-college and higher education) and USRP to strengthen NASA pipeline, provide educational guidance to align USRP with the university community's needs while meeting NASA's goals of a STEM workforce goals. She was involved in planning and conducting reviews of educational research and overseeing the USRP project evaluation for NASA.

Ms. Klug Boonstra served as the Education and Public Outreach representative on the Solar System Exploration Subcommittee for NASA Headquarters for 3 years and was a member of the Lunar and Planetary Institute Science Council for the Universities Space Research Association for 3 years. Ms. Klug Boonstra has a Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree in Earth Science Education, was a NASA Space Grant Fellow and has experience teaching science spanning grades K through 12. 

As a NASA Principal Investigator, Ms. Klug Boostra has been awarded over $26 million dollars in education grant money, and been instrumental in obtaining another $15 million dollars for US education programs. Ms. Klug Boonstra has earned 4 NASA Group Achievement awards numerous awards from other national and state entities. She served as a member of the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation Chairman's Advisory Council, is a member of the AAAS/Journal Science "Science in the Classroom" Advisory Board, and is on the Advisory Board for Space Center Houston.

In the JPL Mars Yard with Curiosity's prototype.
In the JPL Mars Yard with Curiosity's prototype.
Professional Information
Primary Forum:Planetary Science
My SMD Projects:

Formal Education Lead - NASA Mars Public Engagement Team (2007 - 2010, 2010 - 2015)

Mars Science Laboratory, Mars Reconnaissnace Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Odyssey, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder

Director, Arizona State University Mars Education Program  (1998 - 2007, 2010 - present)

PI, Project Administrator NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (2007 - 2010)

E/PO Lead, ASU Astrobiology Team - NASA Astrobiology Institute (2013 - 2015)

E/PO Lead, ASU Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Team (2012 - 2014)

Planetary Science Forum - K-12 Working Group Team (2011 - 2014) 

Planetary Science Forum - Data in the Classroom Working Group (2001 - 2007)

Solar System Exploration Subcommittee E/PO Representative - NASA HQ (2002 - 2005)

My Professional Societies:

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Geological Society of America (GSA)

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA)


My Publications (journals, blogs, products):

Swann, J.L., Boonstra, D.W., Manfredi, L., Klug Boonstra, S., Weeks, S. (Nov. 2015) Astrobiobound! Tying Science and Engineering Design Together. NSTA Science Scope.

Klug Boonstra, S., Swann, J.L., Zippay, J.A., Boonstra, D.W., Manfredi, L. (2015). Bringing Authentic STEM Experiences to K-14 Students: Astrobiobound! The Search for Life in the Solar System, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Klug Boonstra, S., Swann, J.L., Manfredi, L., Zippay, J.A., Boonstra, D. W. (2014) Astrobiobound! Search for Life in the Solar System: Scientists and Engineers Bringing their Challenges to K-12 Students, AGU Fall Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Klug Boonstra, S., Christensen, P.R., Swann, J.L., Manfredi, L., Zippay, J.A. (2013). Lessons Learned from the Mars Student Imaging Projectd: Elements for Success in Creating an Authentic Research Experience for K-12 Students. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Klug Boonstra, S., Swann, J.L., Manfredi, L., Zippay, J.A., Christensen, P.R. (2012). Promoting 21st Century Skills in the Classroom Through the Use of Authentic Student Research. AGU Fall Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Klug, S., Zippay, A., Dansberry, B. (2009) Undergraduate Student Research Program: Workforce Development Report.

Klug, S. L., Watt, K., Valderrama, P., Wurman, G., Viotti, M. (2004, December). Coupling Immersive Experiences with the Use of Mission Data to Encourage Students’ Interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math:  Examplesfrom the Mars Exploration Program.  American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Klug, S. L., Valderrama, P., Viotti, M., Watt, K. (2004, June). Hands-on Mars: Encouraging Student Interest in Science, Math, and Technology Through Authentic Research.  Chicago 2004:  A workshop to foster broader participation in NASA space science missions and research programs, Chicago, IL.

Klug, S. L. (2004, March). Utilizing Mars Data in Education:  Delivering Standards-based Content by Exposing Educators and Students to Authentic Scientific Opportunities and Curriculum. Poster session presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Klug, S. L., Hammon, V. 2003, October). NASA Solar System Nights: Bringing the Wonders of the Solar System to Rural Communities Nationwide. Poster session presented at the national 4-H Conference, Nofolk, VA.                    

Klug, S. L., Christensen, P. R., Watt, K., Valderrama, P., Watt, S. (2003, March). Encouraging Student Interest in Science, Math, and Technology Using an Authentic Research Model:  First Year Results from the Mars Student Imaging Project. Poster session presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Klug, S. L., Christensen, P. R.  (2001, March). Involving Students in Active Planetary Research During the 2001 Mars Odyssey Mission: The THEMIS Student Imaging Project.  Poster session presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Klug, S. L, Christensen, P. R. (2000, March). ASU Mars K-12 Education and Outreach Program: Using the Broad-based Educational and Public Interest in Mars Exploration to Simulate Science Learning in a Variety of Settings. Poster session presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference,  Houston, TX.

Klug, S. L., Christensen, P. R. (1999, March. Using Space Education to Bridge Worlds And Generations: The ASU Mars K-12 Education Outreach Program. Poster session presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Arvidson, R., Bowman, J.D., Dunham, C. D., Anderson, R. A., Backes, P., Baumgartner, J., Bell, J., Dworetzky, S., Klug, S., Peck, N., Sherman, D., Squyres, S., Tuttle, D., Waldron, A. (2000, March). Students Participate in Mars Sample Return Rover Field Tests. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 81, No 11. p113-117.

Klug, S. (1999, May) Red Planet Connection, Vol.3, No.3. Editor.

Klug, S. (1998, December). Red Planet Connection, Vol.3, No.2. Editor.

Klug, S. (1998, October). Red Planet Connection, Vol.3, No.1. Editor.

Klug, S. (1996, Feb. 1).  Seeing Mars Pathfinder at JPL: A Childhood Dream Realized. TES NEWS, 5, 3.

Klug, S. (1996, January 9). Igniting Interest in Educators and Students: Focus on Mars Pathfinder.  EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 77, No.2, p.10

Klug, S. (1995). Unlocking the Challenges in our Future by Igniting Interest in Our Educators and Students Using Space-related Education: Focus on the Mars Pathfinder Mission. Golombek, M.P., Edgett, K.S., and Rice, J.W. Jr. (Eds.), Mars Pathfinder landing site workshop II:Characteristics of the Ares Vallis region and field trips in the Channeled Scabland (LPI Tech. Rpt.95-01, Part 2, pp. 24-25). Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, 47 pp.