Jeff Goldstein Bio for Workshop for DC Area Educators

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, NCESSE Center Director
Biography: Dr. Jeff Goldstein

Instructor: Professional Development for DC Area Grade 5-8 Educators, May 18 and June 1, 2013

Dr. Jeff Goldstein is a nationally recognized STEM educator, and the Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the U.S. (, and internationally, the Institute Director for the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education ( He is responsible for overseeing the creation and delivery of national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives with a focus on earth and space. These include programs for schools, families, and the public; professional development for grade K-12 educators; and exhibitions for museums and science centers. Initiatives are meant to provide a window on the nature of science and the lives of modern-day explorers, with special emphasis on not just what is known about Earth and space but how it has come to be known. The embraced educational paradigm is inspire … then educate.

Dr. Goldstein has received numerous awards for science education, including the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s 2005 Klumpke-Roberts Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Public Understanding and Appreciation of Astronomy, prior winners included Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan; and the 1995 Barry M. Goldwater Educator of the Year Award from the National Capital Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He blogs for the Huffington Post and writes Blog on the Universe.

Dr. Goldstein’s planetary science research includes the development of techniques for the measurement of global winds on other planets using large telescopes on Earth. His research has produced the first direct measurement of the global winds above the clouds on Venus, the first measurement of the global winds on Mars, and allowed determination of the magnitude and direction of winds in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon Titan.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Goldstein served as Executive VP for Space Science Education and Research at Challenger Center for Space Science Education (1996-2005). From 1989 to 1996 he was an astrophysicist in the Laboratory for Astrophysics at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, departing as acting chairman. Dr. Goldstein received his M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in physics from the City University of New York. He is also proud to have attended the Bronx High School of Science.


Biographical highlights relevant to the Professional Development on May 18, and June 1, 2013 –

• Jeff gave the Keynote Address at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in San Francisco, March 2011. His topic was STEM education for the 21st Century, and he addressed an audience of 6,000 science teachers. (Watch the 3-minute music video of his Keynote in the right column of this page.)

• Jeff gave the General Session address on the Next Generation Science Standards to 500 teachers at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Indianapolis, March 2012.

• Jeff created the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP;, a U.S. national STEM education program that engages hundreds of grade 5-12 students across each participating community in every facet of real research. SSEP is modeled on the Next Generation Science Standards, with students asked to be real researchers, and with experiences providing a seamless integration across STEM disciplines. Each community participating in SSEP conducts a local Flight Experiment Design Competition, with their student teams vying to fly an experiment in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station (ISS) in a real research mini-laboratory reserved just for their community. Mirroring how professional research is done, student teams across the community submit formal research proposals, which then go through a 2-step proposal review process to select the single flight experiment for the community.

• DCPS’s Capitol Hill Cluster has participated in two flight opportunities to date: SSEP Mission 1 to ISS, which flew a Stuart-Hobson Middle School experiment to ISS in October 2012, and which returned to Earth in November 2012; and SSEP Mission 3 to ISS with a DCPS experiment scheduled to fly to ISS in Fall 2013.

• Dr. Goldstein oversees the Voyage National Program ( He led the inter-organizational team that permanently installed the Voyage scale model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in front of the Smithsonian, and which has been replicated and installed in other cities. The exhibition celebrates our understanding of Earth’s place in greater space, and is used as an inquiry-based laboratory for solar system exploration. The professional development training on May 18 and June 1 will be addressing the grade 5-8 Voyage lessons on solar system science, using modeling as the vehicle for conceptual understanding.

• Jeff created and oversees Journey through the Universe (—a national science education initiative that engages entire communities—students, teachers, families, and the public. The program embraces a Learning Community Model for STEM education.

• DCPS was a Journey community site from 2000-2005. In October of each year, the Mayor declared Journey through the Universe Week across the City. The program engaged all DCPS 6th grade students, their teachers, and their families, with professional development workshops for 100+ teachers on a customized earth and space science curriculum requested by DCPS; 40-50 scientists and engineers from 15 metro-area research organizations visiting 7,000+ 6th graders in over 100 schools—one classroom at a time; and family and public programs at the National Air and Space Museum and high school sites across the city.

• Jeff created and oversees the Family Science Night ( program at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. A school field trip designed for family learning, Family Science Night is held after hours so that hundreds of students, parents, and teachers from Washington, DC, metro-area schools may have the museum to themselves. Attendees explore galleries, experience the universe through IMAX® films, and hear a presentation by a dynamic space scientist. The presentation is the program’s centerpiece, providing a very personal view of exploration on the space frontier. Now in its 20th year, DCPS schools have participated in multiple evenings over the history of the program.

Thank you so much for the great evening last night. I wanted to share this. I brought in my car a girl and her mom who live off of North Capitol Street. The mom was going to bring her daughter, take our buses to and from the museum then take two city buses to get home at 9:30 at night. On the way home the mom said it was the best evening she had ever spent. Her daughter was equally excited and talked about being a scientist. These are the types of families you are hoping to reach and inspire. Many of the families from Truesdell have never done anything like that so again, many thanks.
—Katherine Latterner, Principal Fillmore Arts Center, District of Columbia Public Schools

Dr. Jeff’s more formal bio