A national science education initiative that engages entire communities—students, teachers, families, and the public—using education programs in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration that inspire and educate.
Many of the links in the program summary below are to the official Journey through the Universe website.
Journey through the Universe embraces a Learning Community Model for science education. In each community: school visits by a National Team of scientists and engineers providing an authentic view of the nature of science to thousands of students—one classroom at a time; professional development for potentially hundreds of educators on powerful compendia of grade K-12 lessons; programs designed for family learning and for the public; world-class exhibitions; and distance learning opportunities, together with conceptually powerful experiences delivered via the web, all provide multiple and mutually leveraged pathways for student learning.
Communities small and large can use the content and programming resources available to create a customized Journey through the Universe program that reflects their strategic needs in STEM education; can be delivered systemically across an entire school district; and is designed to be sustainable. Programming is delivered by a National Team of engineers and scientists, and master science educators, from the Center and research and education organizations across the nation.
“The evaluations from the teachers’ workshops and classroom visits were outstanding. We have high school students who now dream of careers far beyond the norm for our area. Some day, due to this program, we will have outstanding scientists and engineers from this [region of the country] working at NASA. As with throwing a stone in a pond and watching the ripple effects, the influence of this project has been tremendous in our community. NASA developed a whole set of believers in space science and backers for education and exploration.”
Key Program Objectives:
• Provide students an understanding that science is a process of inquiry undertaken by ordinary people that dare to ask questions of their world
• Provide students an opportunity to meet with and learn from scientists and engineers who can serve as heroes and role models
• Provide students conceptual understanding in science content directly relevant to the curriculum
• Provide training for teachers on lessons that foster science as inquiry in the classroom, and that can be seamlessly embedded in the curriculum
• Provide opportunities for family learning, and in content relevant to the curriculum
• Engage an entire community in the joys of learning, using science as the interdisciplinary vehicle
• Help establish a Local Team of lead science educators
• Assist school districts in implementing systemic and sustainable change in STEM education
• Help school districts build a program addressing their strategic needs in STEM education
• 200,000 students in 1,550 schools visited by over 100 Visiting Researchers
• Visiting Researchers represented 25 research organizations, including 7 NASA Centers
• 34,000 attendees at family and public programs
• 3,600 grade K-12 educators trained
Other Journey through the Universe pages of interest:
• An Example of Sustainable Community Engagement–The Big Island of Hawai’i
• Testimonials from Education Leadership in Under-served Communities
• Achievements at the Community Level
• Pedagogical Approach
• National Standards, NCLB, and Focus on Under-served Communities
• Assessment Protocols and Downloadable Assessment Reports
• Building for Sustainability
How to Participate:
Contact us to learn how Journey through the Universe can be brought to your community.
Journey through the Universe has been supported by a number of grants from NASA, including: NAG5-8477 ($602 K), NAG5-12219 ($770 K), NAG5-7764 ($854 K), NNG04GJ52G ($127 K); and NNG-06GD83G ($165 K); and by grants and contracts from corporations and foundations. Center Director Dr. Jeff Goldstein has been Principal Investigator and Lead Contractor on these Awards