Press Release

NASA Selects Proposals to Enhance Science Education and Outreach

By SpaceRef Editor
June 25, 2009
Filed under , ,
NASA Selects Proposals to Enhance Science Education and Outreach

WASHINGTON — NASA has selected four organizations to share approximately $18 million over five years for education and public outreach activities to help inspire the next generation of science leaders and explorers. The cooperative agreements support the astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary and Earth divisions of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, which is providing the funding for the activities.

“NASA seeks to work with the best of the nation’s science and educational communities to help champion and elevate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Paul Hertz, chief scientist of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Stimulating and informative activities, along with experiences created and executed by experts, inspire our future scientists. This provides a productive return on the public’s investment for future scientific research.”

These activities contribute to NASA’s overall education and outreach efforts through development and dissemination of new educational and outreach products that use the directorate’s science discoveries. The agreements provide opportunities for students and educators, citizen scientists and the public to engage in authentic experiences working with NASA and research communities. Activities will include comprehensive public awareness and engagement plans coordinated with NASA, the selected proposers and other institutions nationwide.

Selected proposals are:

“Astrophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum,” Denise Smith, principal investigator, Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

Planetary Science Education and Public Outreach Forum: “Extending the Coherence and Reach of NASA Planetary Science and SMD Education and Public Outreach,” Stephanie Shipp, principal investigator, Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, a division of the University Space Research Association

Heliophysics Science Education and Public Outreach Forum: “A Forum to Support Excellence in Heliophysics Education and Public Outreach through Sustained Collaboration,” Bryan Mendez, principal investigator, University of California, Berkeley

Earth Science Education and Public Outreach Forum: “Building a Cohesive and Effective Community,” Theresa Schwerin, principal investigator, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in Arlington, Va.

Each selected proposer will receive approximately $850,000 per year. Further funding will be provided after NASA review and subsequent approval of progress reports.

This opportunity was open to U.S. organizations, including NASA centers, industry, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, federally funded research and development centers, and other government agencies. Fourteen proposals were received in response to the January 2009 announcement. A peer review panel of education and public outreach professionals evaluated each proposal.

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has a diverse portfolio of education and public outreach investments and activities in higher education, elementary and secondary education, informal education, and outreach. For information about NASA science programs and activities, visit:

For information about NASA’s Education programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.