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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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 Project Overview

Since 2013, NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has undergone a significant restructuring of science education-related activities and the National Academies have been instrumental towards advancing those efforts. NASA Science is moving away from mission-by-mission products and services towards aggregating efforts into science-based disciplines. SMD's vision for science education-related activities is:

To share the story, the science, and the adventure of NASA's scientific explorations of our home planet, the solar system, and the universe beyond, through stimulating and informative activities and experiences created by experts, delivered effectively and efficiently to learners of many backgrounds via proven conduits, thus providing a return on the public's investment in NASA's scientific research.

In addition to inspiration and excitement, SMD brings unique assets to the national education environment. These assets include exciting science and engineering content, access to engaging subject matter experts (SMEs) and professionals who can "translate" complicated SMD content for lay audiences, and real-life participatory and experiential opportunities to support learning.

SMD aims to increase the overall coherence of its portfolio in order to achieve more effective, sustainable, and efficient utilization of SMD science discoveries and learning experiences and to meet overall SMD science objectives. Fundamental to achieving this outcome is to enable NASA scientists and engineers to engage more effectively and efficiently in the learning environment with learners of all ages. In 2016, SMD awarded 27 institutions to receive cooperative agreements through its Science Activation (SciAct) program. However, when NASA-SMD conducted an evaluation during this competition, experts noted many critical gaps in programs’ capacity to meet SMD’s stated objectives, suggesting a need for more strategic attention.


April 8-9, 2019: Washington, DC - Agenda 

NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC)
Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

NASA Science Activation: Presentation to National Academies Assessment Committee
Kristen Erickson, NASA

NASA Space Science Education Consortium
Alex Young, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Presentation to National Academies Committee to Assess Science Activation
Denise Smith, STScI

May 20-21, 2019: Washington, DC - Agenda

Aligning Institutional Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Priorities with Grant Making Practices
Julie Johnson, National Science Foundation

Bringing the Universe to America's Classrooms: Overview of Evaluation Study
Martin Storksdieck, Oregon State University
Rachel Connolly, WGBH

Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) 
Eric R. Banilower, Horizon Research 
Robert M. Winglee, University of Washington

July 18-19, 2019: Woods Hole, MA - This meeting will be closed in it's entirety 

Committee Information

Margaret Honey (Chair), New York Hall of Science
Neta Bahcall, Princeton University
Bronwyn Bevan, University of Washington
Wendy Gram, Consultant
Rogers Hall, Peabody College / Vanderbilt University
Abigail Jurist Levy, Education Development Center
Cathryn A. Manduca, Carleton College
Rafi Santo, New York University
Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center
Mark Showalter, SETI Institute
Susan Sullivan, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kent Wallace, Fisk University
Ming-Ying Wei, Retired
Julie Yu, Exploratorium


Staff Information

Kenne Dibner, Study Director
Tiffany Taylor, Associate Program Officer
Jessica Covington, Senior Program Assistant
Heidi Schweingruber, Director, BOSE


Mailing Address


Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001





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