Defense Media Network

NASA and Academia

Today, more than 850 Space Grant network affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies belong to consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The consortia fund fellowships and scholarships for students pursuing STEM careers, enhance curriculum and faculty development, and administer pre-college and public service education projects in their states.

NASA has used Space Grant resources for a number of strategic programs and goals, including:

  • Summer of Innovation (SoI) – used by the agency to implement:

– 2010 pilot (4,700 students and 436 educators engaged)

– 2011 National Awardees partnered with Space Grant consortia in Indiana, Texas, and Nebraska

– mini-grant 2011 and 2012 awards facilitated by the Space Grant Foundation

  • NASA Explorer Schools – provide mentoring and professional development for students and educators, assistance with sustainability plans, and mentoring and involvement in family and outreach activities
  • Aerospace Education Service Project (AESP) – mini-grant project to deliver curriculum toolkits
  • Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research and Education Experiences (INSPIRE) – two-week on-campus, residential experience for rising 11th-grade students
  • Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment – Space Grant hosted the first GLOBE workshops and helped lead statewide implementation of U.S. Partners
  • Linking Leaders – Space Grant Directors took a leadership role to convene and facilitate interactions between state-based STEM stakeholders and state-based NASA assets
  • Implementing partner for state-based mission directorate initiatives:

– SMD International Year of Astronomy and Space Science Student Ambassadors Programs

– SMD Internships (Pilot Effort 2011)

– ESMD Space Grant Innovative Projects

– ESMD Senior Design Course Development

– ESMD Faculty Workshop and Fellowship

– ESMD Systems Engineering Education Initiative

– ESMD eXploration Habitat (X-HAB) Academic Innovation Challenge

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J.R. Wilson has been a full-time freelance writer, focusing primarily on aerospace, defense and high...