Key NASA Resources for Informal Educators
Not everyone thinks STEM is for them. Yet, it’s hard to find someone not interested in at least one aspect of NASA’s work – after all, it covers everything from our own planet to the farthest reaches of the universe! NASA offers countless ways for learners of all ages to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in ways that interest them. This post highlights key NASA resources for educators, to help you serve your diverse audiences.
NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) is committed to inspiring students and supporting the educators and caregivers who guide them. Its projects, activities, and funding opportunities are all geared toward immersing students in NASA’s work, enhancing STEM literacy, and inspiring the next generation to explore.
Of particular interest to the library community is OSTEM’s Next Gen STEM project, which reaches the K-12 and informal education audience and innovates new ways to reach those who are historically underrepresented and underserved in STEM.
The links above are a great starting place for anyone – including parents – interested in finding NASA content for students.
FOR LIBRARY STAFF
For professional educators, whether formal or informal, check out NASA CONNECTS. It’s an online community of practice specifically for educators that provides access to NASA content, resources, and opportunities. Professionals in STEM education can easily find NASA resources, ask questions, share lessons learned, and connect with peers and NASA experts. One time (free) registration is required.
CONNECTS is also the new home of NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance, a group made up of informal educators, staff and leadership. Membership is of course free, and allows access to a library of curriculum and activities, multimedia, planetarium resources, professional development, marketing, and networking platforms, and direct access to NASA experts. MIE Alliance also hosts live webinars on a variety of topics geared specifically towards informal education and STEM engagement. The MIE Alliance team email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org is glad to answer your NASA questions any time, whether you’re a member or not!
If you need help signing up, step-by-step registration guidance is available or reach out to the MIE Alliance team with any questions.
FOR LIBRARY INSTITUTIONS
NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) is a competitive award program that enables non-profit museums, libraries, and youth-serving organizations to propose NASA mission-inspired STEM projects for K-12 students and their learning support systems of families and educators. (Being part of CONNECTS or the Museum & Informal Education Alliance will ensure you’re alerted when TEAM II funding opportunities are announced!)
Exploring the links above will lead you to many great resources for your patrons. But, just to make sure you don’t miss them, here are a few key links to bookmark on your public computers!
- https://www.nasa.gov/ (Or, in Spanish https://www.nasa.gov/es/)
- https://plus.nasa.gov/ free streaming content from across NASA (Or, in Spanish https://plus.nasa.gov/topics/espanol/ )
- https://eyes.nasa.gov/ immersive, real-time 3D data visualizations
- https://www.nasa.gov/calliefirst/ (Or, in Spanish: https://www.nasa.gov/primeramujer/)
- https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ (Or, in Spanish https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sp/)
- https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/ for info on North America’s total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024