Overview of NASA's Education Program

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1. Introduction

In the 1990s, America is challenged with reforming its education system to improve the competitiveness of our nation in the world community. NASA's education vision is to promote excellence in America's education systems by providing access and engagement in NASA's exciting missions.

As a government agency whose basic product is the advancement of human knowledge, NASA hopes that the inspiration and intellectual excitement inherent in the Aeronautics and Space Program will enrich the study of social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and technology at all levels of education. NASA is committed to promoting excellence in education, supporting the teaching profession, and increasing awareness of the impact science, mathematics, and technology will have on the quality of life in the 21st century.

2. Overview

NASA's Education Program is guided by its Strategic Plan for Education and is carried out through its nine field centers and the Jet Propulsion Lab. Our science, mathematics, and technology education programs and activities (elementary, secondary, under graduate, graduate, and post doctoral) leverage our inspiring mission, unique facilities, and specialized workforce. For example, advanced information and communications technologies, such as those employed in our missions and research, can also enhance instructional capabilities, provide broader dissemination of information, and advance the communication of knowledge.

At the elementary and secondary levels, we seek to enhance the knowledge, skills, and experience of teachers and capture student interest in science, math, and technology through the demonstration of integrated applications of related subject matter.

At the higher education level, we provide undergraduate and graduate student incentives and opportunities and support faculty preparation and enhancement through programs featuring active participation in NASA research.

3. Program and Evaluation Framework (65KB Graphic)

Programs are grouped into six general categories:
(click on name to see the goal and objectives)

Teacher/ Faculty Preparation and Enhancement Programs are designed to provide opportunities for teachers and faculty to enhance knowledge and teaching skills through the use of NASA-related topics and research.

Curriculum Support & Dissemination Programs provide instructional materials based on NASA's unique mission and resources in the areas of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. These materials will, it is hoped, lead to increased student interest, involvement, and achievement.

Support for Systemic Change encourages organizational reform and systemic change through individual/collaborative efforts with a range of partnerships. Examples include the Space Grant College and Fellowship Program and the Aerospace Education Services Program.

Student Support Programs provide enrichment experiences and financial support for students in research or industrial settings (e.g. at NASA centers, higher education institutions, industry), in science, engineering, technology and mathematics, fostering careers in those fields.

Educational Technology Programs use advanced technologies for education including: Internet services, CD-ROM databases, live or taped video, computer software, multimedia systems, and virtual reality. This category also supports educational technology research and development and the development of multimedia instructional resources, databases, and dissemination systems.

Mission, Research & Development, and Operations Programs utilize the talent and resources of the higher education community in NASA programs that contribute to the development of new knowledge in support of the NASA mission. Examples include the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Program as well as elements of the Space Grant Program.

4.Authority for the Conduct of the NASA Education Program

Go To: | Education Homepage | NASA

Responsible NASA official: Frank C. Owens, Director, EducationDivision
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001, (202) 358-1110

Last Revised: December 11, 1998