Government Elearning! Magazine

FALL 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Page 30 of 52

30 Fall 2015 Government Elearning! Learning! 100 "NASA's journeys into air and space have deepened humankind's understand- ing of the universe, advanced technology breakthroughs, enhanced air travel safety and security, and expanded the frontiers of scientifc research," the federal space program's mission statement says. "Tese accomplishments share a common gen- esis: education. As the United States begins the second century of fight, the nation must maintain its commitment to excellence in science, technology, engi- neering and mathematics (STEM) educa- tion to ensure that the next generation of Americans can accept the full measure of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future." Because of its energetic and insightful approach to STEM education, NASA has been named one of the top Learning! 100 organizations in the nation. NASA plans to continue its tradition of investing in the nation's education programs and supporting the country's educators "who play a key role in prepar- ing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the workforce of tomorrow." Its three major education goals are: >> Strengthening NASA and the nation's future workforce >> Attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines >> Engaging Americans in NASA's mis- sion NASA's education program strives to "inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineer- ing, and mathematics" by supporting education in the nation's schools and to "engage the public in shaping and shar- ing the experience of exploration and discovery" by supporting informal educa- tion and public outreach eforts. NASA's commitment to education places special emphasis on these goals by increasing elementary and secondary education participation in NASA projects; enhanc- ing higher education capability in STEM disciplines; increasing participation by under-represented and under-served communities; expanding electronic education; and expanding NASA's par- ticipation with the informal education community. NASA's Ofce of Education supports education at all levels, with linkages to NASA research as a central part of its focus. Te majority of NASA support to higher education is delivered through the NASA Mission Directorates, which coordinate projects for students, faculty and institutions that broaden the base of those who compete for NASA research awards. According to NASA, these initia- tives help create and sustain the scientifc and engineering workforce of the future. NASA's STEM education is directed primarily at educators and students from pre-K through college, along with a spe- cial "Kids' Club" interactive website. Education opportunities for educators include activities like a Ceres "Bright Spot" mystery poll, a "Geography from Space" trivia contest, and teacher profes- sional development programs at the Na- tional AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center in Pennsylvania. For students, lectures with live online webcasts have become a prime mode of learning. A small sample: "Birth of Plan- ets," "Te Juno Mission to Jupiter" and "Journey to the Center of Mars," A series of "challenges" also acquaints youngsters and teens with science and technology. In the future, "the Ofce of Education will continue to emphasize sharing the results of NASA missions and research programs with wider audiences by using science discoveries and research applica- tions as vehicles to improve teaching and learning at all levels," the respected orga- nization concludes. NASA is a three-time Learning! 100 winner. NASA Using Space Exploration to Reach STEM Students, Pre-K Through College AREA OF EXCELLENCE C U LT U R E NASA's Ofce of Education supports education at all levels, with linkages to NASA research as a central part of its focus.

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