Open Menu Close Menu

STEM Education

New NASA Program Supports Community Space and STEM Projects

Billionaires with rocket ships aren't the only ones with dreams of bringing space travel to the masses. NASA itself has designated 21 different organizations as anchor resources for space education in their communities. Universities, science centers, libraries, museums and other formal and informal education organizations across the country, designated as "NASA Informal Education Community Anchors," will develop projects to expand opportunities for STEM education.

NASA's goal with the program is to bring space exploration to more students in all kinds of neighborhoods. The designation includes funding to support local STEM impact.

The agency is awarding total of about $520,000 for one- to two-year projects that will serve:

  • Diverse populations, including students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields;
  • Urban and rural areas with low economic opportunity;
  • Tribal communities; and
  • New Americans and refugees.

Leaders of the projects will form the inaugural group of a NASA Informal Education Learning Cohort, organized by the NASA Museum & Informal Education Alliance. Through their participation, these individuals will have opportunities to develop their skills in engaging the community, facilitating teamwork and implementing NASA-themed activities.

Among the selected institutions are:

"NASA has bold, long-term goals, so it's critically important that we reach students where they are, and create opportunities for them to experience those feelings of discovery and confidence that STEM engagement is really all about," said Mike Kincaid, NASA's associate administrator for STEM engagement, in a statement. "The Community Anchor Awards will help us reach a diverse audience while sharing and supporting NASA's missions and future plans."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

comments powered by Disqus