NASA and the Summer of Innovation

By Keith Cowing
December 30, 2009
Filed under
NASA and the Summer of Innovation

President Obama will soon unveil a large, interesting educational event targeted for the summer of 2010. Titled “Summer of Innovation” this project is aimed at reaching 1 million students and working to raise their STEM skills through a variety of activities. The lead person at NASA on this effort is White House Fellow Nicole Campbell.

The cost of this project is still uncertain – numbers as high as $200 million were discussed internally at one point. Much of the work would apparently be channeled through/paid for by Americorps. The latest version of this project would entail NASA taking much of the lead along with the Department of Education. Each NASA center would be asked to dedicate one person to this activity. The most recent version of the plan would limit this activity to only 5 states. As to how the 5 states will be selected – that remains uncertain.

These uncertainties aside, it will be interesting to see how prominence for NASA in such a high visibilty event will affect the public’s preception of NASA’s value to the public. One would hope and expect that it would be overwhelmingly positive.

2009 Highlights: NASA Finds Water on Moon, Launches Planet Search, NASA ARC

“New initiatives in 2010 will set the stage for a robust year in education and outreach. “Educate to Innovate,” a federal challenge to improve education and NASA’s Summer of Innovation aspire to reach one million students through enrichment programs to keep kids on track and inspire our next generation of explorers.”

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.