helping young students ‘discover’ science

The Science Enhancement Program, known as SciAct, is a collaborative network of competitively selected teams across the country. It brings together NASA science experts and their expertise with community leaders, scientists and engineers from the agency to work together on science, stimulate new thinking and promote deeper exploration of our world and beyond.

According to NASA, the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has selected nine new grantees, or 21 individuals, to join the network and receive an extension to the next phase of the program. They will support disciplines such as earth science, astrophysics, planetary science and heliophysics, with total funding for this research of approximately $36 million.

Kristen Erickson, director of science and partnerships at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., said, “Through innovative partnerships and networks, we enable students of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the development of knowledge.

new winners

  1. NASA Neural University Network (N3): Sonoma State University, Lynn Kominski
  2. STEM Pathways for Native Americans: Combining Indigenous knowledge of the earth and sky with traditional STEM programming through the Native Earth and Sky Program (NENS): Oklahoma State University, Catherine Gardner-Wendy.
  3. Air science student activation for MSI (SaSa): Ames Research Center, Charles Gateby.
  4. Telling the space story with NASA data (CosmicDS): Harvard University, Alyssa Goodman
  5. SciAct STEM Ecosystems to expand participation in authentic STEM learning: Connecting subject matter experts, communities and students of all ages (SciAct STEM Ecosystems): Arizona State University, Ray Ostman.
  6. Heroes of Planetary Resources and Content (ReaCH): University Association for Space Studies, Andy Shaner.
  7. NASA Community College Network (NCCN): SETI Institute, Simon Steele
  8. NASA Community of Practice in Education (SCOPE): Arizona State University, Minakshi (Mini) Wadhwa
  9. Eclipse of the Citizen Science Project (ES: CSP): ARISA L.L.C. Lab, Henry Winter.

Involve students on the autism spectrum in the STEM program.

NASA has awarded Sonoma State University (SSU) $4.96 million to develop and implement the NASA Neural Network Program.

According to SBU’s Information Center, the program aims to increase the number of autistic and other students with neurological disabilities in informal STEM education. The Neurodiversity Network will use specialized training modules to help students with autism acquire the social and technical skills needed to succeed in STEM careers.

Professor Lynn Kominski, director of STEM Education at SSU, noted that “NASA has done a lot for all other populations, but this award is important because research has shown how autistic students can be so talented in STEM.”

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Frequently asked questions

How can I help my child with science?

10 tips to support children’s science learning | NAEYC

How do you introduce a child to science?

“Encourage curiosity and ask questions about what science is,” says Barclay. “Let them have ideas, and they’ll be curious about what’s going on in everyday life.” An introduction to science not only promotes a child’s logical development, but also instills compassion and understanding of the natural world.

What can young students gain from studying science?

Children should learn science because: Science helps children develop important life skills, such as the ability to communicate, stay organized and focused, and even form their own opinions based on observations. Science also helps children develop their senses and general awareness.

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