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Earth Science Education and Public Outreach
NASA Earth science is in a unique position to inspire, engage and educate the public about Earth system science by administering Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) activities, which instill a passion for understanding and appreciating the complexity of the many aspects of the Earth system.
Inspiration of the next generation of Earth explorers begins at the K – 12 level. Nationally and internationally recognized programs serve to enhance our Nation's talent pool in the areas of STEM. By funding programs that allow students to conduct grade-level appropriate environmental research, develop microsets of Earth science data from NASA satellite missions, and investigate migratory patterns of land and marine animals using data relayed from satellite transmitters, the Education Program assures that young students are actively engaged in dynamic, relevant, highly technological Earth science activities. Additionally, the K – 12 Earth Systems Education Portfolio includes innovative educator professional development and classroom support materials as well as student summer intern activities and competitions.
Educational efforts at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral levels intentionally shift focus toward the anticipated employment of those students within the environmental research and applications community. The Earth System Science Fellowship Program (now a part of the new NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program (NESSF) and the New Investigator Program in Earth Science, designed to strengthen NASA's and the Nation's future workforce, are focused on training interdisciplinary Earth scientists.
Announcements for these opportunities are available from the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/ website.
Informal Education and Public Outreach
Beyond and outside formal settings, there exist other opportunities to educate the public. Because the public experiences the direct effects of weather, climate and natural hazards events (such as hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts), there is an inherent level of interest and engagement in the underlying science. Informal education institutes, such as museums and science centers, are supported with a variety of outstanding Earth science programs, many of which provide rapid access to the latest NASA imagery and serve to sustain public lifelong learning. These partnerships not only promote an awareness of NASA's resources, but also continue to support STEM literacy beyond formal education.
For more information about NASA’s Earth science education program visit: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/education/