2
NASA’s Education Programs

As noted in Chapter 1, NASA has a long history of education programs, dating back to its authorization in 1958. The original authorizing legislation gives the agency responsibility for effectively sharing knowledge of the atmosphere and space with the public and ensuring that the United States remains a leader in aeronautics and space science technology. The agency’s commitment to promoting science education is further supported by its responsibility as a federal agency to safeguard the public’s investment in science and engineering.

NASA brings a number of unique assets to support its work in science education, including state-of-the-art facilities and awe-inspiring missions; enthusiastic and knowledgeable astronauts, scientists, and engineers; and a wealth of images, data, and scientific findings from nearly five decades of space missions. These assets are unparalleled national resources that provide students and teachers with opportunities to engage with modern science and engineering advancements, as well as the nature of scientific discovery. NASA’s resources are particularly well suited to inspiring and motivating young people. Missions involving human space flight, as well as missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and Mars Exploration Rovers, have the ability to capture young people’s attention in ways that are visceral and powerful (Hopkins, 2007a). These missions and resources strongly support NASA’s role as a resource for the motivational and content aspects of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

This chapter provides an overview of both the recent history of NASA’s education programs and its current approach to K-12 STEM education. It highlights the major endeavors developed and implemented in the agency’s



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2 NASA’s Education Programs A s noted in Chapter 1, NASA has a long history of education pro- grams, dating back to its authorization in 1958. The original authorizing legislation gives the agency responsibility for effectively sharing knowledge of the atmosphere and space with the public and ensur- ing that the United States remains a leader in aeronautics and space science technology. The agency’s commitment to promoting science education is further supported by its responsibility as a federal agency to safeguard the public’s investment in science and engineering. NASA brings a number of unique assets to support its work in science education, including state-of-the-art facilities and awe-inspiring missions; enthusiastic and knowledgeable astronauts, scientists, and engineers; and a wealth of images, data, and scientific findings from nearly five decades of space missions. These assets are unparalleled national resources that provide students and teachers with opportunities to engage with modern science and engineering advancements, as well as the nature of scientific discovery. NASA’s resources are particularly well suited to inspiring and motivating young people. Missions involving human space flight, as well as missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and Mars Exploration Rovers, have the ability to capture young people’s attention in ways that are visceral and powerful (Hopkins, 2007a). These missions and resources strongly support NASA’s role as a resource for the motivational and content aspects of K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This chapter provides an overview of both the recent history of NASA’s education programs and its current approach to K-12 STEM education. It highlights the major endeavors developed and implemented in the agency’s 

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM Office of Education and touches on work in the science mission directorate and centers. Changes in program goals, management, and funding are also described. For this report, recent history refers primarily to the period from the beginning of the agency’s education strategy in 1992 to 2005, when a new NASA administrator began a reorganization of the education programs. The current approach covers events that occurred between 2005 and the writing of this report during the summer of 2007. It is important to note that because changes occurred while the committee was still at work it was difficult to capture a precise description of the agency’s current education programs and projects. RECENT HISTORY: 1992–2005 From the late 1970s through the early 2000s, NASA’s education pro- grams consisted of a suite of projects managed by several offices. Projects that targeted national audiences were managed by the Office of Education at NASA headquarters and implemented by the education directors at the NASA centers, who also designed and carried out a variety of regional and local projects. Projects in the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) were managed by the Office of Equal Opportunity Pro- grams at NASA headquarters, and implemented by the equal opportunity officers at the NASA centers. Some relatively independent projects were designed and implemented by NASA science and engineering organizations or their missions. For K-12 projects, there were two main NASA units that funded and managed projects: the headquarters Office of Education and the science and technology enterprises, later renamed mission directorates.1 The projects under each of these two main units were funded through different mecha- nisms and operated somewhat independently of each other. The Office of Education receives federal funding for specific projects in its portfolio, while the science and technology enterprises designate a certain level of funding from their mission or research budgets to support related education activi- ties. Consequently, K-12 education projects across the agency tended to evolve as a diverse portfolio of often disconnected activities. 1 Many of the MUREP projects also served K-12 students and teachers, but since they are implemented through grants to minority universities, they are considered by NASA to be higher education projects. MUREP activities were thus not considered to be within the scope of the agency’s K-12 education projects for this study.

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS Defining Goals and Objectives In 1992, in response to mandates from the Federal Coordinating Coun- cil for Science, Engineering and Technology (FCCSET) and NASA’s appro- priation legislation for fiscal 1992 and 1993, NASA published its first agencywide education strategy. This strategy asserted that “it is NASA’s policy to use its inspiring mission, its unique facilities, and its specialized workforce to conduct and facilitate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education programs and activities” (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1992, p. 5), and that the authority for this policy was derived from the agency’s original legislation in 1958. In K-12 education, the stated objective was to use NASA’s mission to enhance the content, knowledge, skill, and experience of teachers; to cap- ture the interest of students; and to channel that interest into related career paths through the demonstration of the application of science, mathematics, technology, and related subject matter. These broad goals for NASA’s edu- cation programs have remained largely unchanged as NASA’s education strategies have been revised. But while the goals have remained relatively stable, there have been substantial shifts in the organization and administration of NASA’s K-12 education activities. There have also been shifts in the emphasis placed on specific objectives and the strategies for achieving those objectives: Box 2-1 shows some of the changes and major milestones. These shifts complicate the task of assessing the impact of NASA’s work in K-12 education activi- ties over time. BOX 2-1 NASA Education Program: History of Key Changes ~1962 The Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) is established. 1992 Dan S. Golden is named administrator of NASA; the agency publishes its first agencywide education strategy. 1993 The Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) is established. 1994 The NASA education portfolio is reviewed by the National Research Council; a new agencywide strategic plan designates education as an agencywide goal. 1995 The first space science education strategy is published, calling for involve- ment of scientists in education. continued

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM BOX 2-1 Continued 1996 A new agencywide strategic plan establishes education as an agency- wide contribution to its five national priorities. An implementation plan for space science education strategy is pub- lished; it emphasizes scientists working in high-leverage partnerships with educators. 1997 The space science education program is implemented; it requires every space science mission to use 1–2 percent of its resources on education. 1999 The NASA Implementation Plan for Education 1999–2003 is published. 2001 Sean O’Keefe is named administrator of NASA. 2002 The NASA Office of Education is elevated to “enterprise” status in the agency. Adena Williams Loston is named NASA’s associate administrator for education. 2003 A new agencywide strategic plan focuses the education enterprise goals on inspiring and motivating students to pursue science, technology, engi- neering, and mathematics careers and engaging the public in the experi- ence of exploration and discovery. The plan calls for common goals and coordination across all NASA education programs. The Office of Education reduces the number of education programs in its portfolio as a result of an internal review. The NASA Explorer Schools (NES) project (with the Digital Learning Network as a component) is established. The NASA Education Flight Projects is established, giving a new name and home for ongoing activities. 2004 An agencywide reorganization is implemented, as suggested by the President’s Commission on Implementation of the U.S. Space Exploration Policy, under which the four mission directorates and an Office of Educa- tion were established; space science and earth science are merged in a new Science Mission Directorate. The NASA Educator Astronaut Project (EAP) is established. 2005 Michael Griffin is named administrator of NASA. Angela Diaz is named NASA’s assistant administrator for education. 2006 A new agencywide strategic plan is released, recasting the headquarters Office of Education as part of the Strategic Communications Office. The plan defines a set of goals for education programs throughout NASA. The management of Office of Education projects moves from headquar- ters to individual NASA centers. John Hairston is named NASA’s acting assistant administrator for educa- tion (June). Joyce Winterton is named NASA’s assistant administrator for education (October). 2007 A request for proposals (RFP) for the management of AESP is released. 2008 The Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience (INSPIRE) is scheduled to begin.

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS During the tenure of Administrator Sean O’Keefe, December 2001– February 2005, the headquarters Office of Education was elevated from part of the Human Resources and Education Office to enterprise status. This move made the headquarters Office of Education comparable, orga- nizationally, to the Space Science, Earth Science, Biological and Physical Research, Aerospace Technology, and Space Flight Enterprises (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003a). In 2002, Administrator O’Keefe named Dr. Adena Williams Loston to the position of associate administrator for education. Authority for oversee- ing and managing national or multiregional education programs, and for a common strategy for education projects in the science and technology enter- prises and NASA centers became centralized in the Education Enterprise managed by Dr. Loston. During the period that the office had enterprise status (2002–2004), all elements of NASA were expected to work together as “one NASA” to achieve the agency’s ten goals (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003b, p. 8). The Education Enterprise and education programs in the science and technology enterprises were directed to help NASA in its mission to inspire the next generation of explorers, by inspiring and motivating students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and by engaging the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery. There were seven specific objectives under goals 6 and 7 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003b, pp. A13–14): 1. Improve student proficiency in STEM subjects by creating a culture of achievement, using educational programs, products, and services based on NASA’s unique missions, discoveries, and innovations. 2. Motivate K-12+ students from diverse communities to pursue sci- ence and math courses and, ultimately, college degrees in STEM disciplines. 3. Enhance STEM instruction with the unique teaching tools and experiences that only NASA can provide, and that are compelling to educators and students. 4. Improve the capacity of higher education to provide for NASA, and the nation’s, future science and technology workforce requirements. 5. Improve the capacity of science centers, museums, and other insti- tutions, through the development of partnerships, with the goal of translating and delivering engaging NASA content. 6. Improve science literacy by engaging the public in NASA missions and discoveries, and in the resulting benefits, through such avenues as public programming, community outreach, mass media, and the Internet.

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM 7. Increase public awareness and understanding of how research and innovations in aerospace technology affect and improve the quality of life. From November 2002 to June 2003, during the O’Keefe administra- tion, 104 of the projects in the Education Enterprise, of which 48 were ele- mentary and secondary level projects, were subjected to an internal NASA review. The review made an assessment of the degree to which each project in the Education Enterprise was aligned with NASA’s education objec- tives. That review, as well as subsequent reviews, helped reduce the gaps in NASA’s program pipeline, winnow out the lower-ranked programs, and encourage programs ranked simply as “good,” to strive for “excellence.” The Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA), NASA Explorer Schools (NES), Educator Astronaut Project (EAP), and Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) were among the projects that received excellent and good ratings in those reviews. Education Projects in the Science and Technology Enterprises Most of the education projects in the science and technology enterprises were located in the Office of Space Science (OSS) and the Office of Earth Science (OES). These programs evolved somewhat independently of the programs in the Education Enterprise, but they represented a substantial portion of NASA’s overall activity in K-12 education. For example, in fiscal 2003, the last year for which OSS published data, OSS reported sponsor- ship of more than 5,000 discrete events and the development of more than 50 new space science educational materials or resources (National Aero- nautics and Space Administration, 2004a, p. 1). The OSS strategic plan (National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion, 1995) and implementation plan (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1996) that guided the program were created in 1994–1996 through a series of planning activities that relied heavily on external experts in science education working under the guidance of the NASA Space Sci- ence Advisory Committee. The OSS funded four education projects: Initia- tive to Develop Education through Astronomy and Space Science (IDEAS), Mission Education and Public Outreach (EPO), education and public out- reach supplements, and forums and broker/facilitators. Each program was contracted and funded differently, as described below. The IDEAS grant project was an independent education and public outreach grant program not directly attached to a science research pro- gram. It provided start-up funding (ranging from $20,000 to $50,000) to explore innovative, creative ways to integrate astronomy and space sci- ence in U.S. education and public outreach venues, through partnerships

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS between astronomers and space scientists and formal and informal educa- tion professionals. The OSS Mission education and public outreach efforts were the prod- uct of a 1994 mandate that all NASA space science missions and research programs commit 1–2 percent of their resources to education and public outreach. Each mission was required to have an EPO program that empha- sized direct involvement of the mission in carrying out EPO projects and mandated that all such activities be done in partnership with professional educators. Each mission also required that projects be leveraged to reach the maximum possible audience. Mission proposals were required to have an EPO component that was reviewed on the basis of those criteria, and that influenced the final decision regarding selection of the mission for funding. Individual scientists funded by OSS for research could also apply for education and outreach supplements to develop and implement additional education projects. Proposals were awarded on a competitive basis; these projects were funded for smaller amounts than those that were part of the main mission education and outreach project. To encourage and coordinate these activities, a support network com- prising four theme-oriented education forums and seven regional broker- facilitators was established. The forums coordinated the efforts of individual space science missions, and the broker/facilitators assisted space scientists in becoming involved in education through the creation of partnerships with educators. In contrast with the OSS program, the OES education program was a historically more modest and traditional suite of activities and resource materials (about 50–75 activities per year during 2001–2005), developed by NASA or by individual grantees through an open solicitation. These open solicitations funded projects in K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and informal science education. Funding of K-12 projects led to the develop- ment of such programs as the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Project and Earth Systems Science Education Alliance (ESSEA). The GLOBE Project is a partnership between NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of State and draws on the various resources of the three agencies to engage primary and second- ary students in hands-on data collection and analysis of the environment and the earth system. ESSEA is national program aimed at improving the knowledge, skills, and resources of K-12 earth systems science educators through online courses. Education Projects in the NASA Centers During this time period (1992–2005), the NASA centers played a central role in the implementation of agency-level education projects and also led

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM the development of a small number of center-specific education projects. The primary responsibility of the centers was to implement national pro- grams in a specified geographical region. At the precollege level, the edu- cation director at each center was (and continues to be) responsible for a specific geographic region, in order to ensure education staff members at the centers were familiar with and responsive to state and local education issues. The education staff was instructed to work closely with local and state education officers to support systemic reform initiatives in formal education, assist with the generation and communication of knowledge through the higher education infrastructure, and establish linkages with informal education networks in support of the agency’s national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics initiatives (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2003a, p. 32). Summary The recent history of NASA’s K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education is characterized by the wide number and variety of programs, projects, and activities, each implemented by different managers in different parts of the agency (e.g., the headquarters Office of Education, the center education offices, the mission education offices, the Human Resources Offices at the centers and at headquarters, and the Equal Oppor- tunity Offices at the centers and at headquarters), as well as by universities and laboratories affiliated with NASA missions. Recognizing that a more coherent system was needed, NASA has made an ongoing effort to pull these disparate parts of the education program together. However, the strategy for creating a more coherent education pro- gram has shifted with changes in administration in the agency. For example, since 2000, the education programs have been organized to align to three different agencywide strategic plans. By 2004, the number of enterprise- level program managers had grown to eight, with the addition of the Safety and Mission Assurance Enterprise and the Exploration Systems Enterprise. During the same year, the report of the President’s Commission on Imple- mentation of the U.S. Space Exploration Policy (President’s Commission on Moon, Mars, and Beyond, 2004) recommended that NASA transform itself into a more focused and effectively integrated organization to implement the national space vision. That report led to a new plan for NASA’s organization, which restruc- tured the agency’s strategic enterprises into four mission directorates, reduced the number of functions reporting directly to the NASA adminis- trator, and retained an Office of Education with responsibility for oversee- ing all education activities in NASA. A detailed description of these changes and their impact is provided in the following section.

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS CURRENT APPROACH In April 2005, NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin began his tenure with implementation of a new organizational structure and strate- gic plan for the agency. The new structure was guided by a post-Columbia review panel that recommended the integration of NASA’s numerous offices and enterprises so that a smaller and more cohesive number of groups reported to the administrator. In the new organizational structure (see Figure 2-1), the headquarters Office of Education became a part of the Strategic Communications Office, along with external relations, legislative affairs, and public affairs. The new structure included four mission direc- torates (formerly science and technology enterprises): Exploration Systems Directorate, Space Operations Directorate, Science Directorate, and Aero- nautics Research Directorate. The various projects previously managed by the headquarters Office of Education, while still officially Office of Educa- tion projects, would be managed instead by one of the NASA centers. Education Strategic Coordination Framework In 2006, in an effort to align with the new agencywide organiza- tional structure and strategic plan, the headquarters Office of Education developed the “education strategic coordination framework” (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006a). The framework states that NASA “is taking a leading role to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as few other organizations can through its unique mission, workforce, facilities, research, and innovations” (p. 3). It is significant that in this document, NASA cites not only the Space Act as an imperative for its involvement in education, but also imperatives derived from the report Rising Above the Gathering Storm (National Research Council, 2007a) These imperatives closely echo the Space Act: (1) increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 science and mathematics education; (2) sustain and strengthen the Nation’s tradi- tional commitment to long-term basic research; (3) make the United States the most attractive setting in which to study and perform research; and (4) ensure that the United States is the premiere place in the world to innovate. (p. 3) NASA’s current goals in education, as laid out in the framework, address issues in workforce development, formal education, and informal education (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006a): • Strengthen NASA and the Nation’s future workforce—NASA will iden- tify and develop the critical skills and capabilities needed to ensure achievement of the Vision for Space Exploration. To help meet the

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0 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chief Safety and Mission Assurance Chief of Staff Office of the Administrator Program Analysis and Evaluation Administrator Inspector General Deputy Administrator Chief Engineer Associate Administrator NASA Advisory Groups Program and Institutional Integration Mission Directorates Mission Support Offices Aeronautics Research Chief Financial Officer Exploration Systems Chief Information Officer Science General Counsel Space Operations Integrated Enterprise Management Program Innovative Partnership Program NASA Centers External Relations Ames Research Center Dryden Flight Research Center Chief Health and Medical Officer Glenn Research Center Institutions and Management Diversity and Equal Opportunity* Goddard Space Flight Center Human Capital Management Infrastructure and Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory Internal Controls and Management Systems Johnson Space Center Procurement Security and Program Protection Small Business Programs* Kennedy Space Center NASA Shared Services Center Langley Research Center Strategic Communications Marshall Space Flight Center Communications Planning Education Stennis Space Center Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Public Affairs * In accordance with law, the offices of Diversity and Equal Opportunity and Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization maintain reporting relationships to the Deputy Administrator and Administrator. FIGURE 2-1 NASA organizational chart. SOURCE: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007. 2-1 R01199 NASA's Elementary

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS demand, NASA will continue contributing to the development of the Nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future through a diverse portfolio of education ini- tiatives that target America’s students at all levels, especially those in traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities. • Attract and retain students in STEM disciplines—NASA will focus on engaging and retaining students in STEM education projects to encour- age their pursuit of educational disciplines and careers critical to NASA’s future engineering, scientific, and technical missions. • Engage Americans in NASA’s mission—NASA will build strategic part- nerships and linkages between STEM formal and informal education providers. Through hands-on, interactive educational activities, NASA will engage students, educators, families, the general public, and all Agency stakeholders to increase Americans’ science and technology literacy. (p. 4) These goals, as well as the motivations that NASA cites for its overall involvement in education, are all consistent with national policy and the role this panel believes NASA should be playing in K-12 education. They are also consistent with the work of the Academic Competitiveness Council and its 2008 Planning Guidance for Math and Science Education Programs (U.S. Department of Education, 2007a). Organization of Education Projects All education programs in the headquarters Office of Education, the mission directorates, and the centers are expected to achieve at least one of the following three overarching outcomes: Outcome : Contribute to the development of the STEM workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s strategic goals, through a port- folio of investments. Outcome : Attract and retain students in STEM disciplines through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty. Outcome : Build strategic partnerships and linkages between STEM formal and informal education providers that promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA’s mission. To accomplish these outcomes, the framework describes a progressive series of stages, depicted as a pyramid, through which participants in NASA’s

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS Accountability Assistant Administrator for Education Chair Policy Cross- • Strategic Goals/ Agency Objectives / Education Coordinating Committee Outcomes • Office of Education • Consultation • Coordination • Mission Directorates • Cognizance • Centers • Assessment • Functional Offices Framework Workforce Data Principles Needs Content Office of ARMD, ESMD, Performance Data • Performance Goals HQ • Direction Education SOMD, SMD • Funding • Evaluation • Reporting Funding/ Reporting Program Requirements Implementation • Program/ Project Center Education Offices Managementand Execution Centers and • Performance Data External • Evaluation Programs / Activities Partners • Reporting Projects FIGURE 2-3 NASA education strategic coordination framework. SOURCE: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006a, p. 10. fig 2-3 cation, the ECC, the Office of Education, the mission directorates, and the new center education offices. The Assistant Administrator for Education The assistant administrator for education has two major roles, as well as related responsibilities. First, the person leads the headquarters Office of Education and manages all of the related responsibilities. Second, as the chair of the ECC, the assistant administrator is responsible for the overall planning, coordination, and integration of NASA’s education portfolio. The Education Coordinating Committee The education strategic coordination framework describes the ECC as a “collaborative structure to strategically manage the implementation of numerous programs, projects and activities in a distributed system”

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006a, p. 9). It comprises the assistant administrator for education, the deputy assistant administrator of education, the executive secretary to the committee, the mission direc- torate education leads, the education office directors of the centers, and representatives from various other NASA offices. The group is tasked with providing an overarching agency structure in which issues can be discussed to guide the decision making of the assistant administrator for education. In addition, it is intended to integrate the diverse education projects across the agency into a coordinated portfolio; maintain awareness of all education projects and major milestones, evalu- ations, reviews, and investment plans; and establish evaluation criteria and review evaluation results. The Office of Education plans to convene the group on a monthly basis or as requested by the assistant administrator. The Headquarters Office of Education The headquarters Office of Education administers national education programs, performs institutional management tasks (e.g., ensures compli- ance with U.S. Office of Management and Budget and internal regulations, manages external inquiries), coordinates the implementation of the NASA education strategic framework approach, provides national partnership net- works and infrastructure for dissemination, represents the agency externally, coordinates the evaluation and assessment of the agency education portfolio, and reports results to the ECC. The Mission Directorates The mission directorates embed education activities within their research and development programs and flight missions, ensure meaningful collaboration between the NASA science and engineering community and the education community, coordinate their programs with the headquarters Office of Education and the centers, ensure program evaluation using ECC criteria, and provide data to the central agency education database. The mission directorates may also develop education related partnerships spe- cific to their disciplines and needs, including discipline-specific interactions with other federal agencies. The Center Education Offices The education offices in the ten NASA field centers (which include the Jet Propulsion Lab) are responsible for working with formal and infor- mal education institutions and for involving colleges and universities to support the generation and communication of new scientific knowledge

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS and advancements in engineering. The offices implement NASA educa- tion programs, projects, and activities for the mission directorates and the headquarters Office of Education, plan and implement center-funded education programs, provide expertise in defining K-12 state standards and requirements in their geographic area of responsibility, disseminate valuable field-based input for education program planning, and maintain records of all programs funded in their region. They report administratively to center management and functionally to the headquarters Office of Education. The K‑12 Education Portfolio In the education strategic coordination framework, the K-12 educa- tion portfolio consists of the headquarters Office of Education projects, including the seven core projects that are the focus of this review, as well as mission directorate and center projects. All K-12 projects are intended to focus primarily on attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines (outcome 2 in the strategic frame- work). These projects cover the two middle stages of involvement in the pyramid: engage and educate (see Table 2-1). Engage activities are defined as activities that incorporate participant interaction with NASA science and engineering content. Educate activities are defined as activities that focus educational support through supplementary classroom and after-school activities that promote new knowledge and skill acquisition. K-12 projects are divided into four major categories: educator professional development of short duration, educator professional development of long duration (NASA defines long duration as more than two days), curricular support resources, and student involvement. Activities in each of the categories have been developed or funded by the headquarters Office of Education, the mis- sion directorates, and the center education offices. Elementary and Secondary Education Program The headquarters Office of Education projects are organized into five programs: elementary and secondary education, higher education, informal education, e-Education, and the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP). Projects in the Elementary and Secondary Education Pro- gram and the Higher Education Program address multiple education issues and populations at specific K-12 grade levels and at higher education levels. The Informal Education Program and e-Education Program provide educa- tion services for various age groups and populations through specific venues (e.g., museums and the Internet). MUREP addresses educational issues of underserved and underrepresented students at both K-12 and higher educa- tion levels, through activities undertaken by minority universities.

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM TABLE 2-1 NASA Education Portfolio Activity Categories Activity Outcome Description Educator Engage Provide short duration professional development and Professional training opportunities to educators equipping them with Development— the skills and knowledge to attract and retain students in Short Duration STEM disciplines. Educator Educate Provide long-duration and/or sustained professional Professional development training opportunities to educators Development— that result in deeper content understanding and/or Long Duration competence and confidence in teaching STEM disciplines. Curricular Engage Provide curricular support resources that use NASA Support themes and content to inform students about STEM Resources career opportunities and communicate information about NASA mission activities. Curricular Educate Provide curricular support resources that use NASA Support themes and content to enhance student skills and Resources proficiency in STEM disciplines. Student Engage Provide K-12 students with authentic first-hand Involvement opportunities to participate in NASA mission activities K-12 thus inspiring interest in STEM disciplines and careers. Family Engage Provide opportunities for family involvement in K-12 Involvement student learning in STEM areas. SOURCE: Internal Use Draft Elementary and Secondary Education Program Plan (June 21, 2006) and personal communication from Shelly Canright, outcome manager, Elementary and Secondary and e-Education Programs. Overall, the majority of K-12 projects in the headquarters Office of Education are in the Elementary and Secondary Education Program, with a small number K-12 projects in the Informal Education Program, the e-Education Program, and MUREP. As noted in Chapter 1, this committee’s study was focused primarily on the projects in the Elementary and Second- ary Program. In that program, as described in Chapter 1, the headquarters Office of Education has developed seven core projects: the Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP), the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aero- space Academy (SEMAA), the NASA Explorer Schools (NES), the Digital Learning Network (DLN, a component of NES), the Educator Astronaut Project (EAP), the Education Flight Projects (EFP), and the Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experi-

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS ence (INSPIRE). The projects include both formal and informal education activities designed for a wide variety of audiences (teachers, students, and families) and goals. They are congressionally funded and managed by centers with oversight from the headquarters Office of Education. The budget for each project is determined each year as part of the President’s budget. The headquarters Office of Education received $162 million in fiscal 2006, $29 million of which was directed to the Elementary and Secondary Program. Table 2-2 presents the most accurate available data on the headquarters Office of Education project budgets from fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2008. As the table illustrates, there has been a general decline in education funding across the Office of Education Pro- grams, from $201 million in fiscal 2003 to $162 million in fiscal 2006, with three exceptions in 2004 (elementary and secondary, higher educa- tion, and informal education) and in 2006 for informal education. The budget request for 2007 funding for the headquarters Office of Education Program was comparable to 2006; the total 2008 budget request dropped substantially, to $121.9 million. It is also noteworthy that congressionally directed appropriations (ear- marks) account for a significant percentage of the Office of Education’s total budget. In 2006, the total was $57.8 million (36%), an increase from only $3 million in 1996. More than one-half of the directed appropriations in fiscal 2006 were directed to the Informal Education Program: $32 mil- lion of the total $34 million budget, fully 93 percent. Without an increase in the headquarters Office of Education budget, congressionally directed appropriations limit the office’s ability to allocate resources on the basis of an overall strategy for the Elementary and Secondary Program or the merits and needs of individual projects. Mission Directorate Education Projects The K-12 education projects in the mission directorates are not accounted for in the budget information discussed above. Most of these projects produce curriculum enhancement products, support professional development for teachers, or engage students in mission-related research activities. The investment in education by the mission directorates is meant to supplement what is done in the headquarters Office of Education, and there are some connections between the two sets of projects. For example, each year the mission directorates inform AESP officials of the materials that are available and of recent advances in their fields. The level of investment in education activities varies across the four mission directorates. The Science Mission Directorate (SMD)—which was created from the merger of the former Office of Space Science (OSS) and the Office of Earth Science (OES)—manages the majority of mission director-

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TABLE 2-2 Office of Education Funding by Program and Project for Fiscal 2003–2008 (in thousands)  Fiscal Budget Budget Request Programs and Projects 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Elementary and Secondary NASA Educator Astronaut (NEA) $60 $2,000 $1,776 $2,476 $2,900 $2,700 Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) 8,728 6,272 2,191 3,791 6,300 5,300 Interdisciplinary National Program Incorporating Research 2,466 3,193 3,306 0 3,900 3,700 and Education Experiences (INSPIRE)a NASA Explorer Schools (NES)b 1,267 12,654 11,729 9,500 14,100 12,300 Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy 6,642 4,935 4,360 4,845 4,200 4,000 (SEMAA)c NASA Student Involvement Program 639 1,235 34 0 0 0 Flight Projects 1,810 1,170 2,037 0 2,000 1,100 Small Programs 987 1,005 266 0 0 0 Education Program Support 5,898 16,606 7,015 225 0 0 Congressionally Directed Appropriations (site specific) 3,123 4,390 8,283 7,200 NA NA Corporate G&Ad/Institutional Investments/Center M&Oe 980 2,359 5,447 1,244 — — Subtotal $32,600 $55,819 $46,444 $29,281 $33,400 $29,300 Higher Education Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Researchc $7,221 $9,350 $11,522 $12,340 $10,000 $10,000 Science and Technology Scholarship Project NA 3,029 1,134 0 0 0 National Space Grant and College Fellowship Programc 23,778 24,920 26,201 29,806 28,800 29,000 Undergraduate Student Researchers Project 0 0 616 0 3,700 3,700 Graduate Student Researchers Project 7,388 6,168 4,040 4,875 8,700 8,700 NASA Faculty Fellowship Project 3,164 3,325 0 0 0 0 Congressionally Directed Appropriations (site specific) 28,184 27,089 14,283 17,856 NA NA Corporate G&Ad/Institutional Investments/Center M&Oe 2,926 4,942 3,839 4,295 — — Subtotal $72,661 $78,823 $61,634 $69,172 $53,200 $52,500

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e-Education Learning Technologies Project $3,507 $2,025 $2,328 $1,482 $2,900 $1,900 NASA Education Technology Services 98 986 1,499 1,485 1,900 1,400 Classroom of the Futurec 2,559 1,500 1,500 1,858 2,000 2,100 Small Programs 1,831 661 1,101 1,537 1,700 60 Congressionally Directed Appropriations (site specific) 2,999 3,456 496 1,252 NA NA Corporate G&Ad/Institutional Investments/Center M&Oe 556 576 1,442 524 — — Subtotal $11,550 $9,204 $8,367 $8,138 $8,500 $5,500 Informal Education NASA Explorer Institutes $400 $1,646 $1,944 $484 $2,400 $1,700 Congressionally Directed Appropriations (site specific) 6,048 10,673 10,912 31,567 NA NA Corporate G&Ad/Institutional Investments/Center M&Oe 587 883 319 1,941 — — Subtotal $7,035 $13,202 $13,174 $33,992 $2,400 $1,700 MUREP Saturday Academies $8,232 $970 $970 $0 $0 $0 Network Resources Training Sites 2,453 2,450 458 325 0 0 Model Institutions of Excellence 1,758 2,400 2,064 0 0 0 Partnerships Awards for Integration of Research 2,200 900 900 681 0 0 Institutional Research Awards 7,040 1,000 0 0 0 0 University Research Center 10,200 22,288 14,263 8,390 18,200 14,700 Faculty Awards for Research 4,225 3,537 2,779 995 1,800 4,400 Earth Science Collaboration 475 630 400 0 0 0 Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award 10,428 3,500 2,349 987 2,500 2,500 Space Science Collaboration 2,759 3,665 3,330 0 0 0 Math, Science Teacher and Curriculum Enhancement 93 1,995 533 0 0 0 Program Tribal Colleges and Universities 2,138 1,400 1,371 886 1,900 1,700 NASA Science and Technology Institute for Minority 991 727 1,194 558 1,200 1,100 Institutions (was Research Academy)  continued

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TABLE 2-2 Continued 0 Fiscal Budget Budget Request Programs and Projects 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 MUREP (continued) Undergraduate Scholars 8,100 7,495 3,532 1,969 0 0 Jenkins Post-doctoral Fellowship Project 1,069 2,800 2,531 1,974 2,600 2,600 NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Project 4,225 2,500 2,375 1,974 2,500 2,500 Pre-college Achievement of Excellence 100 1,189 0 0 0 0 Texas Project Proyecto Access 879 1,000 0 0 0 0 Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology NA NA NA 0 0 1,900 Small Programs 6,810 7,019 2,819 1,465 200 1,500 Congressionally Directed Appropriations (site specific) 0 0 0 0 NA NA Corporate G&Ad/Institutional Investments/Center M&Oe 3,253 5,893 7,424 1,569 — — Subtotal $77,428 $73,358 $49,293 $21,773 $34,440 $32,900 Total $201,275 $230,405 $178,913 $162,356 $161,800 $121,900 NOTES: Amounts here do not reflect revised strategy for addressing full-cost recovery (i.e., full-cost simplification) which was implemented begin- ning in fiscal 2007. See also note to Table 3-1. aThrough fiscal 2005 this project was the Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Project (SHARP). bThrough fiscal 2006, this program was part of MUREP; the change was done to more appropriately align the project with the function program area addressed, elementary and secondary education. cIncludes congressionally directed appropriations. dGeneral and administrative costs. eManagement and operational costs. SOURCES: Combined from multiple sources including personal communication, Malcom Phelps, director, Research and Evaluation, NASA Office of Education; National Aeronautics and Space Administration President’s FY 2006 Budget Request; and National Aeronautics and Space Adminis- tration President’s FY 2007 Budget Request. Available: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/142458main_FY07_budget_full.pdf and FY 06: http://www.nasa. gov/pdf/107486main_FY06_high.pdf [accessed November 2007].

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS ate K-12 projects. The SMD has continued the former OSS public outreach tradition of mandating that all funded missions include a suite of related education activities done in partnership with professional educators. The education component of all mission and research proposals continues to be an integral part of the proposal review and selection process. SMD has also continued the OSS tradition of offering the opportunity for scientists who have been awarded individual science research grants to propose supplemental education funding, and the OES tradition of offering open solicitations for SMD-related science education projects. The other mission directorates have much smaller K-12 education efforts. The Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate manages the set of educational programs previously offered by the former Office of Aeronau- tics. Their website lists a set of 12 educational publications or web-based resources for K-12 students and teachers. The websites of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and the Space Operations Mission Directorate do not show any specific education activities, largely because the Explora- tion Systems Mission Directorate is relatively new and has yet to develop an education program, and the Space Operations Directorate has histori- cally not been expected to contribute to NASA’s role in education because it has been perceived as an operations organization rather than a mission or research organization. It is important to keep these components in the picture because they offer another view of NASA’s role in STEM education. For example, the Space Operations Directorate is an organization with much expertise in applied technology that could support education projects focused on engineering and technology. An approximation of the total amount of education funding by the mission directorates was derived from work commissioned by the Office of Education from the Institutes for Global Environment Strategies. The executive summary for this report cautions that “the purpose of budget information reported through this data call was to develop an approxima- tion of the NASA’s funding within activity types, and should not be inter- preted as a precise budget costs report” (Schwerin, 2006, p. 3). The report estimates that the mission directorate education projects received $83 mil- lion in fiscal 2006, approximately $35 million of which supported K-12 education activities. SMD has the largest education project budget among the mission directorates: nearly three-fourths of the total K-12 mission project funding (about $25 million).2 This is nearly equal to the funding for the headquarters Office of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Program ($29 million). As noted above, all SMD science missions must reserve a percentage of funds for education projects in its budget. As of the time this 2 M. Wei (Education and Public Outreach Lead for the Science Mission Directorate) personal communication, May 7, 2007.

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 NASA’S ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAM report was written, it was 0.25–0.50 percent, decreased from the 1–2 per- cent that was previously required under OSS. Funds are awarded through a competitive process either as an aspect of a proposal for a mission or as a proposal for an independent education activity.3 Center Education Projects The NASA centers develop and implement a small number of projects, which are funded with the centers’ discretionary funds, through outside sponsors, or from the headquarters Offices of Education and the mission directorates. Only a small percentage of these programs are targeted at K-12 students. For example, NASA supports the participation of high school teams in For Interest and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics competitions, and the centers provide the needed funding and mentorship for local teams of high school students to participate. As part of the recent change in management structure, responsibility for implementation of existing projects was competed across centers. Each center created a proposal that was reviewed by division heads, senior lead- ership, and assistant administrators within the agency, as well as by external experts. Recommendations from these four groups were taken into consid- eration in awarding project implementation responsibilities for each pro- gram. As a result, each project is currently managed by the center that was judged to have the most appropriate expertise and resources available. SUMMARY Throughout its history, NASA’s many and varied education programs and projects have been initiated and implemented by a variety of offices at the headquarters and center levels. During 2001–2005, Administrator O’Keefe centralized management, first as the Education Enterprise and later as the Office of Education, with programs and projects implemented by headquarters staff. Since 2005, the approach of Administrator Griffin has been to reduce the headquarters staff and place the managerial responsibili- ties for NASA’s elementary and secondary projects at the NASA centers, with each center having the lead responsibility for a particular education project. This change in the management of the headquarters Office of Edu- cation projects reflects the agencywide restructuring effort that has moved direct project management from headquarters to the centers. However, the headquarters Office of Education still retains responsibility for ensuring coherence and coordination among all NASA education projects. 3 M. Wei (Education and Public Outreach Lead for the Science Mission Directorate) and L. Cooper, personal communication, May 7, 2007.

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 NASA’S EDUCATION PROGRAMS Under the 2006 education strategic coordination framework, the headquarters Office of Education assumes a planning, coordination, and compliance role as a support office under the chief of strategic communica- tions. The office is specifically tasked to “draw on content from across the Agency,” and to provide “national partnership networks and infrastructure to disseminate NASA education content and activities developed by the Mission Directorates, Centers, and education partners” (NASA, 2006a, p. 8). The mission directorates and center education offices currently play a major role in the current K-12 education portfolio. The mission director- ates are responsible for including education components in their research and development programs and flight missions, implementing the content- specific activities for which they provide funding, collaborating between the NASA science and engineering community and the education community, and providing performance data to the headquarters Office of Education. The center education offices are responsible for implementing NASA educa- tion projects, as well as planning and implementing center-funded education programs. The headquarters Office of Education is trying to operate effectively while coping with fluctuations in organization and funding. However, the ongoing nature and frequency of such fluctuations has made it difficult for the agency to properly assess project quality or to develop long-term strategy and plans for evaluation.