• Give scientists at science centers guaranteed research time but not guaranteed observation time.

  • Have a visiting scientist program.

Data and Archiving

Science centers can best process, store, and disseminate their data if they

  • Provide rapid (<24 hr) response to requests for data that have been calibrated and archived.

  • Support common analysis software and protocols that can be used by all the science centers.

  • Maintain mission expertise at the archive centers for the long-term support of active users.

  • Ensure that standards for access to all astronomical data archives are coordinated by an entity such as the National Virtual Observatory and that the infrastructure, including formats and analysis tools, is accessible and sustainable.

Education and Public Outreach

Science centers can best communicate their results to the public if they

  • Involve staff scientists and investigators in education and public outreach (EPO) activities.

  • Coordinate EPO efforts of smaller missions with EPO systems of the large NASA astronomy science centers.

  • Develop classroom resources that

    • Are designed iteratively through field testing and evaluation in actual classrooms.

    • Include hands-on activities when possible.

    • Support standards-based curricula.

    • Are packaged with protocols for measuring learning effectiveness.

    • Are accessible and cross-linked so that teachers can easily find them.

    • Include teacher support (e.g., Web-based teacher guides, training for master teachers).

ence centers need to develop a coherent strategy for K-12 education if their educational activities are to have a greater impact.

Recommendation 3. NASA should ensure that NASA astronomy science centers cooperate among themselves and with other agencies to develop strategies and plans for

  • Developing common protocols and formats for proposal entry;

  • Developing a universal infrastructure for data formats and metadata, archiving, and retrieval and analysis tools; and

  • Providing curriculum materials and professional development programs for K-12 teachers.

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