Press Release

NSF Partners with NBC Learn to Bring Science to Life for Nation’s Students

By SpaceRef Editor
December 20, 2010
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Partnership will make available high-quality educational resources cost-free

Partnership seeks to inspire young people to become next generation of scientists and engineers.

In an innovative partnership, NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are teaming up to bring science to life for students across the country. This collaboration between two of the nation’s leading supporters of science in the classroom aims to further the understanding of science by providing engaging, high-quality educational resources to teachers cost-free.

Partially funded by NSF, the joint projects break down complex scientific laws and principles by matching them to well-known, everyday objects or activities–from the chemistry behind cheeseburgers and soap, to the physics of football and Olympic ice-skating.

Under this partnership, NBC Learn–the educational arm of NBC News–oversees all production of the learning packages and contributes unique video from NBC News that includes historic news coverage, documentary materials and current news broadcasts. Made available on, the NBC News franchise also offers primary source materials, lesson plans and classroom planning resources from other content partners.

Meanwhile, NSF provides access to NSF-sponsored scientists who contribute to the NBC Learn videos through video interviews or by providing background knowledge on the various scientific topics.

“NSF is an invaluable partner both in business development and science expertise,” said Soraya Gage, executive producer of NBC Learn. “Their support has enabled NBC Learn to produce thoughtful and creative content and we hope to grow this relationship even further in 2011.”

“We’re delighted with this very important partnership with NBC Learn,” said Jeff Nesbit, director of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. “We think this kind of programming that links science to daily activities and popular culture is exactly the right prescription for inspiring young people to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Producing a number of popular science series in 2010, NBC Learn and NSF look forward to more joint projects in 2011. A list of previous and upcoming projects is outlined below:

2010 Projects

“Science of the Winter Olympics”–Launched in April of 2010, “Science of the Winter Olympics” is a 16-part video series that explores the science behind individual Olympic events, including downhill and aerial skiing, speed skating and figure skating, curling and hockey, and ski jumping, bobsledding and snowboarding.

“Science of NFL Football”–Launched in September 2010, “Science of NFL Football” is an informative 10-part video series that explores the science behind America’s most beloved sport.

2011 Projects

ChemNow: A Yearlong Commitment to Chemistry–timed to coincide with the International Year of Chemistry, the ChemNow series will concentrate on the presence and function of chemistry in everyday life and in the world around us. The series is scheduled to launch in early January 2011.

Changing Planet–From Bermuda’s tropical seas to the Arctic Ocean, this 12-part series looks at places around the world where scientists are observing the dramatic impacts of climate change. The series is scheduled to launch in late January 2011.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF (703) 292-8070
Meghan Pianta, NBC News (212) 664-2364

SpaceRef staff editor.