Status Report

NASA Special Notice: Plan for prioritizing teacher training, integrating existing math, science and engineering education intiatives; and exploring op

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2004
Filed under , ,

NASA Special Notice: Plan for prioritizing teacher training, integrating existing math, science and engineering education intiatives; and exploring options for creating a virtual space academy

General Information

Document Type: Special Notice
Solicitation Number: NASA-SNOTE-040819-002
Posted Date: Aug 19, 2004
Original Response Date:
Current Response Date:
Original Archive Date: Aug 19, 2005
Current Archive Date: Aug 19, 2005
Classification Code: B — Special studies and analysis – not R&D
Naics Code: 611710 — Educational Support Services

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters Acquisition Branch, Code 210.H, Greenbelt, MD 20771


Request for Information on Commission Recommendation 8-1 The President’s Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy forwarded its report ‘A Journey to Inspire, Innovate and Discover’ to the President on June 4, 2004. In that report, the Commission made a number of recommendations concerning the future missions and structure of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The report can be viewed electronically at  

In recommendation 8 – 1, the Commission recommends that the federal government work with America’s education community and state and local political leaders to produce an action plan that leverages the Vision for Space Exploration in support of the nation’s commitment to improve math, science, and engineering education. To do so, that plan should:    

— increase the priority of teacher training;    

— provide for better integration of existing math, science, and engineering education initiatives across governments, industries, and professional organizations; and,    

— explore options to create a university-based ‘virtual space academy’ for training the next generation technical work force.    

The Commission wrote that the challenge before us is to leverage the journey to the space frontier to engage learners of all ages and interests. The commission said that NASA should enlist the cooperation of the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to maximize the impact of space-related programs in education. Collectively these organizations, working with state and local political leaders, can establish a more aggressive approach for encouraging youth to enter math, science, and engineering professions, according to the Commission’s findings.    

The Commission believes that expanded formal K-12 education efforts by industry, universities, and professional associations are needed, and that NASA should strive to integrate its educational efforts with those of these other interested stakeholders. In order for the vision to be as inclusive as possible, education programs need to target and recruit under-represented populations in the fields of math, science, and engineering.    

In addition, the Commission cited the insufficient methods for students to acquire hands-on experience in the scientific and technical disciplines necessary for space commerce and exploration. They called for an alliance between NASA and universities to create a ‘virtual’ space academy, the goals of which would be:

1) to provide tangible experiences that prepare students for a future in a space-related field, and

2) to bridge the divide between engineering and science training. The academy would be funded by NASA, but would take advantage of the programs and practices already in place in America’s universities.    

NASA is very interested in receiving thoughtful comments and ideas from all sources regarding this recommendation of the Commission. Upon receiving these responses, NASA will share the information received with the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.    

NASA is also seeking ideas on establishing an institute for the study of space exploration policy. This institute would collect a number of interdisciplinary skills from science, engineering, public management and public policy, among others. This new entity would be a resource that could synergistically apply its various expertise to significant     space policy matters. Responses to this call for comments and ideas may lead to a decision to compete study contracts, feasibility studies or other follow-on work to implement this recommendation.    

Questions concerning this RFI may be submitted via email no later than September 1, 2004, 5:00 PM EDT to Responses to this RFI should be sent to Dr. Clifford Houston at the address shown below. Responses are due September 20, 2004. Respondents shall provide an electronic submission to the email address given above in addition to the hard copy submission to the address below. Responses are limited to 20 pages. An executive summary shall be included as a part of your 20 page response.    

Responses may be sent to: 

Dr. Clifford W. Houston    
Deputy Associate Administrator for Education    
Office of Education   
NASA Headquarters 
    300 E Street S.W.  
   Washington, D.C. 20546   

This document is for information and planning purposes. This document is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response. Respondents will not be notified of the results.

Original Point of Contact

L W Bailets, Procurement Analyst, Phone (202) 358-0435, Fax (202) 358-3082, Email Email your questions to L W Bailets at

Current Point of Contact

L W Bailets, Procurement Analyst, Phone (202) 358-0435, Fax (202) 358-3082, Email Email your questions to L W Bailets at

SpaceRef staff editor.