NASA Selects Education Projects to Help Expand STEM Participation

WASHINGTON, December 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – NASA has selected a diverse group of projects from museums, science centers, library systems and other informal education organizations across the country as anchors of the education community informal by NASA.

The projects all received Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) community anchoring awards. The designation as a community anchor recognizes an institution as a local community resource. These projects will bring space exploration to traditionally underserved areas and expand student participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

“NASA has bold, long-term goals, so reaching students where they are and creating opportunities for them to experience those feelings of discovery and trust that STEM engagement is really everything is extremely important. “, said Mike Kincaid, NASA Associate Administrator for STEM Engagement. “The Community Anchor Awards will help us reach a diverse audience while sharing and supporting NASA’s missions and future plans.”

These institutions serve the community’s needs related to STEM engagement by utilizing and sharing NASA’s STEM engagement learning resources and opportunities. The designation includes funding to support organizations’ proposals to strengthen their local STEM impact.

The selected institutions and their project proposals are:

  • Alaska Challenger Center for Space Science Technology Incorporated, Kenai, Alaska
    Food Security and Sustainability at Home and in Space: It’s More Similar Than You Think – A Community Food Security and Sustainability Program for the Kenai Peninsula
  • Mystic Seaport Museum Inc., Mystique, Connecticut
    Offer STEM programs to high school students in underserved communities in the East and Southern Connecticut
  • Junior College Paducah Inc., Paducah, Kentucky
    Challenger STEM Squad
  • Red River Stem Inc (Sci-Port Discovery Center), Shreveport, Louisiana
    Development of interdisciplinary skills through aeronautical programming from NASA
  • Challenger Learning Center Maine, Bangor, Maine
    From Maine to Mars: a virtual journey into space
  • Hope College, Holland, Michigan
    Connecting Student Data to NASA Data: A Survey of Authentic Air Quality Data for Better Student Self-Efficiency
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
    An Expanding Universe: Bringing NASA’s ViewSpace to the Fargo-Moorhead Region
  • University of Montana, Missoula
    NASA remote sensing experiments with from Montana Rural and tribal communities
  • Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina
    Rockets and robots
  • Gateway To Science Center Inc., Bismarck, North Dakota
    Engage rural and tribal families in North Dakota with NASA space technology
  • Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey
    Behind the Telescope: Building Girls’ Confidence in STEM Through Hands-on Astronomy Awareness
  • Liberty Science Center Inc., Jersey City, New Jersey
    NASA Nights at Liberty Science Center
  • Nova77 rod workshop, Henderson, Nevada
    Engaging Youth in NASA Space Imagery
  • Maritime Children’s Museum at Port Jefferson (Long Island Explorium), Port Jefferson, New York
    Seeking the wisdom of the stars to help understand planet Earth
  • Broome County Kopernik Corporation Inc. (Kopernik Observatory), Vestal, New York
    Prepare, go and explore
  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio, Macedonia, Ohio
    Roaming the Red Planet: Connecting Girl Scouts to NASA
  • Saint Francis University, Loretto, Pennsylvania
    Mobile interactive exhibition on space science and engineering for rural areas: from the Earth to the moon
  • Fab Lab El Paso, El Paso, Texas
    PASOFinders program
  • City of Houston Public Libraries, Houston
    Houston Public Libraries Astro-Dome: Connecting Young People to the Universe
  • South Texas Astronomical Society, Olmito, Texas
    Generation Artemis
  • Alamo Community University district, San Antonio, Texas
    The Fiesta del Sol

The agency assigns a total of approximately $ 520,000 for projects of one to two years which will serve:

  • Diverse populations, including students from groups traditionally under-represented in STEM
  • Urban and rural areas with low economic opportunities
  • Tribal communities
  • New Americans and refugees.

The scope of the selected projects will span 16 states, serving communities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the countryside Alaska, and many other underserved areas in between.

The leaders of the selected projects will form the inaugural group of a NASA Informal Learning Cohort, organized by the NASA Museum and the Alliance for Informal Education. The program will allow them to develop their skills in implementing NASA-themed activities, further develop their ideas, facilitate teams and mobilize stakeholder perspectives for support.

The agency’s STEM engagement office created the awards to build and nurture connections between local communities and the agency’s most exciting missions and milestones. NASA is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to explore STEM fields, opportunities and careers. While providing schools, teachers and parents with resources to inspire students in their lives, the office prioritizes serving students through extracurricular enrichment activities.


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