About education at NASA
NASA’s journeys into air and space have deepened humankind’s understanding of the universe, advanced technology breakthroughs, enhanced air travel safety and security, and expanded the frontiers of scientific research. These accomplishments share a common genesis: education.
As the United States begins the second century of flight, the Nation must maintain its commitment to excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to ensure that the next generation of Americans can accept the full measure of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future.
NASA will continue the Agency’s tradition of investing in the Nation’s education programs and supporting the country’s educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the workforce of tomorrow.
In 2012 and beyond, NASA will continue to pursue three major education goals:
- Strengthening NASA and the Nation's future workforce
- Attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines
- Engaging Americans in NASA's mission
NASA Ames Research Center helps students, educators, and faculty explore and experience unique space and aeronautics content by implementing education opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines related to NASA’s overall mission.
Ames is taking a leading role in the effort to inspire interest in STEM through its mission, workforce, facilities, research, and innovations. Students, educators, and learners of all ages are able to participate in opportunities such as internships and cooperative education programs, scholarships and fellowships, summer research, team competitions, after school activities, professional development, design challenges and more.
Featured example: Ames Exploration Encounter
Can students take a field trip to NASA Ames?
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Ames Exploration Encounter is a unique educational program designed to inspire positive attitudes about science, technology, engineering and math for all students in the 4th through 6th grade.
Located in a renovated 6'x6' supersonic wind tunnel building at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California; the Ames Exploration Encounter makes math and science curriculum come alive. Students experience science in action and come to realize its connection to their lives in the four hands-on stations.
Featured example: Ames Educator Resource Center
How can teachers learn about NASA's discoveries?
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Ames Educator Resource Center (ERC) helps teachers learn about and use NASA's educational resources. The ERC provides educators with demonstrations of educational technologies and delivers professional development experiences throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
The ERC also provides training to student teachers using NASA instructional products. In addition, educators have the opportunity to preview, copy and receive NASA instructional products. The ERC provides services to educators across the Western United States.
Featured example: Ames Exploration Center
Who can visit NASA Ames?
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Anyone can visit Ames at its visitor facility, the Ames Exploration Center. It is a key facility for communicating with the public about of NASA’s missions and projects. Come to the Exploration Center and learn what we’re doing at Ames to benefit the United States.
Exhibits include a real moon rock retrieved by the crew of Apollo 15 from the Moon's Hadley-Apennine region; an immersive theater with a 14-foot tall by 36-foot wide screen; a Mercury Capsule that was launched on December 19, 1960 and attained an altitude of 130.7 statute miles; the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a world-class airborne observatory; the Kepler Mission - designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy and discover new planets orbiting near-by stars; and the Living and Working in Space exhibit about how microgravity research enhances our understanding of the universe.