Nasa education communication strategy
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nasa education communication strategy
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
For the past 15 years, the number of
American college students earning science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) degrees has continued to decrease.
By 2010, it is projected the national demand
for STEM employees will rise by 10 percent.
The Education Communication Strategy
identifies the steps NASA will take to
enhance and increase public understanding
and awareness of NASA’s education
programs and opportunities.
We hope this information will motivate and
inspire you to seek opportunities and use
the resources available to pursue more
Engage, Inspire . . .
the next generation of
explorers and innovators.
Table of Contents
Message from the Assistant
Administrator for Education 1
I. NASA’s Education Program 2
II. NASA 2007 Strategic Plan 3
III. NASA Education Strategic
Communication Objectives 4
IV. Key Messages and Themes 5
V. Education Approach 6
VI. Education Infrastructure and
Resource Tools 8
VII. NASA Key Interfaces 9
VIII. Strategic Alliances 10
IX. Key Administration and
Education Partners 12
Message from the Assistant Administrator for Education
his year, NASA celebrates 50 years of exploring various frontiers that have led to new horizons of opportunity. As NASA implements the Vision for Space Exploration, carrying humans back to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond, NASA Education is working to lay the groundwork that will make this ongoing journey possible.
The Vision calls for a program of exploration that will continue for decades, requiring the dedication and ingenuity not only of the scientists and engineers of today but of generations to come. To ensure those future explorers will be ready to continue the journey, NASA is working with one of its most vital partners—educators.
NASA recognizes the importance of educators’ contributions in making our work possible, and we are dedicated to supporting them in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (also referred to as STEM). NASA provides formal and informal educators unique resources and development opportunities to strengthen the overall teaching of STEM subjects. In the summer of 2007, Mission Specialist Barbara R. Morgan captured students’ imaginations as an Educator Astronaut who flew in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on an assembly mission to the International Space Station. In the summer of 2008, Educator Astronauts Ricky Arnold and Joe Acaba will fly on board STS-119 and perform spacewalks to build the International Space Station. NASA is planning several exciting education activities around the mission.
NASA Education also aims to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty and to build strategic partnerships and linkages between formal and informal education providers that promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA’s mission.
The Office of Education will promote education as an integral component of every major NASA research and development mission. NASA, with industry and university engineers and scientists, will share knowledge and experience with students and educators as they study Earth and the universe using the latest aerospace research methods.
These efforts are accomplished through col- laboration among NASA’s Office of Education, Mission Directorates, and Field Centers; other Federal agencies engaged in education activities; and various public and private partners. NASA Education is committed to providing opportunities for all students to explore and experience unique space and aeronautics content, interact with innovative engineers and scientists, and see state-of- the-art facilities. The Agency remains steadfast in our commitment to engage underrepresented and underserved communities of students, educators, and researchers in our education programs.
As NASA Administrator Michael Griffin explained, “The greatest contribution that NASA makes in educating the next generation of Americans is by providing worthy endeavors for which students will be inspired to study difficult subjects like math, science, and engineering, because they too share the dream of exploring the cosmos.”
Dr. Joyce L. Winterton
NASA Assistant Administrator for Education NASA Education Communication Strategy 1
I. NASA’s Education Program
NASA’s journeys into air and space have deepened humankind’s
understanding of the universe, advanced technology breakthroughs,
enhanced air travel safety and security, and expanded the frontiers of
scientific research. These accomplishments share a common genesis:
education. As the United States begins the second century of flight, the
Nation must maintain its commitment to excellence in STEM education to
ensure that the next generation of Americans can accept the full measure
of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future. NASA will continue
the Agency’s tradition of investing in the Nation’s education programs
and supporting the country’s educators who play a key role in preparing,
inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today
who will be the workforce of tomorrow.
In 2008 and beyond, NASA will continue to pursue
three major education goals:
NASA and the
NASA will identify and develop the critical skills and
capabilities needed in aeronautics, Earth and space
science, and space operations to ensure achievement
of the Vision for Space Exploration. To help meet
this demand, NASA will continue contributing to
the development of the Nation’s science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of
the future through a diverse portfolio of education
initiatives that target America’s students at all levels,
especially those in traditionally underserved and
students in STEM
NASA will pursue the minds, imaginations, and
career ambitions of America’s young people. The
Agency will focus on engaging and retaining students
in STEM education programs to encourage their
pursuit of educational disciplines critical to NASA’s
future in aeronautics, Earth and space science, and
space operations and for participation in engineering,
scientific, and technical missions.
NASA will build strategic partnerships and linkages
between STEM formal and informal education
providers. Through hands-on interactive educational
activities, NASA will engage students, educators,
families, the general public, and all Agency
stakeholders to increase Americans’ science and
II. NASA Strategic Plan
In 2004, the President charged NASA with planning and implementing an exploration
program to achieve the Vision for Space Exploration. This Vision commits America
to a journey of discovery and exploration with new and exciting plans to return
astronauts to the Moon and voyage to Mars and beyond while continuing to engage
in groundbreaking space science and pioneering advances in innovation, creativity,
and technology. Through partnerships and international cooperation, NASA has the
tremendous opportunity to lead the way toward the dawn of a new space age.
To achieve the Vision, the Agency requires a skilled and diverse workforce with
sufficient depth and breadth. Our education investments are an important component
to ensuring an appropriate workforce for the Nation’s aeronautics, Earth and space
science, and space operations activities.
NASA delivers a comprehensive Agency education portfolio implemented by the Office of
Education, the Mission Directorates, and the NASA Field Centers. Through the portfolio,
NASA contributes to our Nation’s efforts in achieving excellence in STEM education.
Education Implementation Framework
The NASA Education Implementation Framework is a management tool to
monitor participant movement through education activities, with each level
leading to the next. Also, the framework provides a single, coordinated,
programmatic look at the NASA education portfolio to achieve the three
NASA Education Communication Strategy 3
III. NASA Education Strategic
NASA Education targets four strategic communication objectives:
• Seek and maximize educational opportunities to increase
and maintain public awareness of exploration and discovery
through activities, materials, and events;
• Build awareness with students, educators, and the public on
the diverse range of career opportunities related to NASA’s
• Engage students and sustain their interest in science, technol-ogy,
engineering, and mathematics education; and
• Collaborate with and engage educators to enhance their
knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and
The overarching challenge by NASA Education in crafting a Communication
Strategy in support of NASA’s Vision is responding to the question,
“How do we use what we are doing in education to build
support for exploration?”
The NASA education program’s contribution to the Agency’s
Communication Strategy is to enable students, educators, families,
communities, and the general public to “Experience NASA’s Exploration
Message.” NASA’s Education Communication Strategy will place
primary focus on development of an experiential campaign that will
provide opportunities at successive levels of involvement: inspire,
engage, educate, and employ.
Five attributes of an experiential campaign, along with customer focus
and customizing strategy, will be used to guide the Communication
• The experiential campaign will clearly deliver a meaningful
benefit to the customer.
• The experiential campaign will be predicated on one-on-one
personal interaction between NASA Education and
• The experiential campaign will be based on engaging people
in memorable ways.
• The experiential campaign’s goal is to succeed in using
innovative approaches and tactics to reach out to customers
in creative and compelling ways.
• Three types of customer interface instrumental to an experi-ential
campaign include: (a) face-to-face, (b) personal-but-distant,
and (c) electronic.
IV. Key Messages and Themes
NASA explores for answers that power our future.
NASA relies on a well-educated workforce to carry out missions of
scientific discovery that improve life on Earth.
NASA’s education program will provide the tools, resources, and
excitement to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines.
This contributes to a stronger, more innovative, and more competitive
NASA is widely recognized and highly regarded worldwide for its
programs and unprecedented accomplishments in the fields of science,
aeronautics, aerospace, and technology. This recognition is attributed to
effective communications by our employees and through state-of-the-art
products. NASA will seek to expand teachers’, students’, and the general
public’s specific understanding and knowledge of NASA’s programs and
opportunities. NASA’s education partnership strategy includes a targeted
effort to develop new linkages with the education community, Federal
agencies, industry, and the non-profit sector.
Space exploration goals inspire present and new generations to explore,
learn, and build a better future. Space exploration engages and inspires
the public and encourages students to pursue studies in challenging, high-tech
fields. In addition, space exploration satisfies our curiosity; advances
our knowledge; and answers fundamental questions about the history
of Earth, the solar system, and the universe. Going to the Moon and to
Mars will be a stunning achievement and an enduring legacy to future
generations of our desire to explore, learn, and progress.
Coordinated strategic communications is an essential element in our
ability to build a national consensus that supports the NASA mission.
NASA Strategic Communications, Mission Directorates, and NASA Field
Centers are all working together to facilitate effective communications
with all constituencies by ensuring synergy and focus on NASA’s com-munication
initiatives. NASA will continue to develop educational tools
and experiences that inspire, educate, and motivate.
“Let us think of education as the means
of developing our greatest abilities, because
in each of us there is a private hope
and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated
into benefit for everyone and greater
strength for our nation.”
—John F. Kennedy
NASA Education Communication Strategy 5
V. Education Approach
During the calendar year, NASA Education will seek to develop one
National Education Campaign and several Mini-Education Campaigns
in direct collaboration with the Mission Directorates; Field Centers;
and Mission Support Offices, including Public Affairs, Legislative,
Communications Planning, and External Relations.
Building upon the past, the Agency proposes a series of planned education
campaigns that engages the customer with NASA. The campaigns
take NASA’s Vision, mission, and products out of their traditional
communication venues to engage customers or key stakeholders in a
unique, out-of-the-box way that is credible and relevant. Other targets
of opportunities, Vision toolkits, and the “Inside NASA Education
Portal” will complement the campaigns.
The success to this approach is built on joint collaborations between the
offices within Strategic Communications and by engaging other NASA
key interfaces and education partners in the planning and operations
(see sections VII and IX).
National Education Campaign
The purpose of the National Education Campaign is to build a
comprehensive education initiative that engages diverse audiences
with tailored and various modes of interaction. The campaign will
improve integration and coordination of NASA at three distinct and
interrelated levels: (a) Agency, (b) Center, and (c) Program/Project. The
National Education Campaign will be organized around phases, with
specific milestones of events, activities, and products to occur under
The intended outcomes for the campaign are to:
1. Lead the Agency in development, design, implementation,
and evaluation of a major education campaign.
2. Support NASA Mission Directorates’ efforts to provide
the public and education communities with information,
experiences in support of math and science literacy, and
the tools to enhance the lifelong learning process.
3. Create a “user-friendly” and valuable experience for cus-tomers
to do business with NASA.
“Dreams are like stars . . .
you may never touch them, but if you
follow them they will lead you
to your destiny.”
Mini-Education Campaigns run for shorter durations of time than the
National Education Campaign. They are driven by Mission Directorate
or Center events/milestones and draw upon a consistent set of approved
messages and products. Mini-Education Campaigns involve a strategic
series of events, activities, or encounters that seek customer involvement
in a positive experience. The intended outcome of Mini-Education
Campaigns is to enable the customer to become an advocate for NASA’s
mission and understand its value to increase Americans’ science and
Two sample events that could be leveraged as Mini-Education Campaigns
are the Marshall Space Flight Center Great Moonbuggy Race and the
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)
An Education Toolkit has been developed and distributed for use at NASA
events, workshops, NASA Visitor Centers, Digital Learning Network, etc.
The Education Toolkit includes multimedia, print, and other communi-cation
resources to support National and Mini-Education Campaigns.
Distribution will include, but not be limited to, Center Education Offices,
Mission Directorate Education and Outreach Networks, Educator Resource
Center Networks (ERCN), Central Operation of Resources for Educators
(CORE), and Space Grant member institutions.
Inside NASA Education Tab
The maintenance of internal communications is crucial to the strategy.
Under the Inside NASA architecture, a tab labeled “Education” has been
created. Specific categories of information and tools, such as a Calendar
of Events and discussion boards, were developed, and the site is updated
on a regular basis. This site is intended to support the Communication
Strategy by offering NASA education personnel and others interested in
education with a primary source for reviewing, downloading, and sharing
documents, best practices, presentations, information on partnerships, etc.
NASA Education Communication Strategy 7
VI. Education Infrastructure
and Resource Tools
The NASA Education Communication Strategy will target efforts in the
• Developing common procedures, capabilities, and tools to ensure
that education programs and products capture the essence of NASA’s
mission and are exciting and relevant to our constituencies.
• Building technology infrastructure to support delivery of and increase
access to NASA content, programs, and projects to students, educa-tors,
and the public.
• Utilizing technology tools and products to appropriately insert the
Vision for Space Exploration and messages into NASA education
programs; leveraging technology infrastructures to deliver explora-tion-
related content to audiences; and partnering with Mission
Directorates, cross-cutting organizations, and program offices to
create rich, effective learning experiences and connections for a
range of audiences.
The NASA infrastructure, resources, and tools that are available, evaluated,
and updated as needed are identified below.
• NASA Portal (sections for kids, students, and educators): Includes
Education Home Page, Center and Mission Directorate education sites
• NASA TV: Public and education channels
• Inside NASA Education Tab: Improving communication and
• Digital Learning Network
National and Regional Resource Sites
• Central Operations of Resources for Educators
(CORE): CORE is a worldwide distribution center
for NASA’s educational multimedia materials. http://
• Educator Resource Center Network (ERCN): The
ERCNs are regional sites that provide educators with
NASA education materials and training.
NASA produces printed educational materials that are also available
electronically and meet 508 and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
VII. NASA Key Interfaces
Mission Directorates (Aeronautics Research [ARMD], Exploration
Systems [ESMD], Science [SMD], and Space Operations [SOMD])
are responsible for embedding education components into their research
and development programs and flight missions, for administering the
discipline/content-specific activities for which they provide funding,
and for ensuring meaningful collaboration between the NASA science/
engineering community and the education community. Each Mission
Directorate supports the NASA education portfolio by providing
discipline-specific content, funding, and human resources to plan and
implement educational programs, products, and services.
Center Education Offices are responsible for implementing NASA education
programs, projects, and activities for both the Mission Directorates and the
Office of Education, as well as planning and implementing education programs
that are unique to their Centers. The Center Education Offices provide expertise
in state standards and requirements in their area of geographic responsibility
for K–12 education and provide valuable field-based input into education
program planning. Center Education Offices work closely with their regional
customer base in support of systemic reform initiatives in formal education,
assist with the generation and communication of knowledge for their unique
research and technology development requirements by involving colleges and
universities across the country, and establish linkages with informal education
networks in support of Agency and national STEM education initiatives.
Working with the Office of External Relations, NASA Education has
international relationships through an international committee and rules
of engagement for international cooperation.
The Office of Strategic Communications includes three other entities,
listed below, along with the NASA Education Office. Each entity has
identified a niche and expertise to be tapped by NASA Education in
enhancing and implementing its Communication Strategy. Conversely,
NASA Education will collaborate with these offices to support their target
areas where and when contributions and actions by NASA Education are
relevant, meaningful, and beneficial.
• Office of Communication Planning: Focuses on devel-oping
long-term communication strategies and plans for
increasing public awareness and understanding of NASA’s
missions and goals.
• Public Affairs Office: Focuses its Strategic Communication
efforts on increasing outreach to the media and public through
special events, conferences, and exhibitions surrounding NASA
mission activities and expanding reach and programming capabi-lities
of NASA TV to touch a wider and more diverse population.
• Office of Legislative Affairs: Focuses on outreach efforts,
including expanding and maintaining NASA’s congressional
relationships, with renewed focus on congressional leadership
and key caucuses and special outreach efforts to rank and file
members not serving on NASA committees of jurisdiction.
NASA Education Communication Strategy 9
VIII. Strategic Alliances
The opportunities for strategic alliances are immeasurable. All partners
share common goals to inspire the Nation’s youth to pursue careers in
STEM and to improve scientific literacy. Previous experience shows
that exciting and compelling space programs ignite a yearning in our
children to explore the universe. Therefore, NASA encourages strategic
partnerships and alliances that fully utilize NASA content, people, and
facilities in order to improve STEM education and thereby increase the
supply of well-trained STEM workers.
The Office of Strategic Communications, Mission Directorates, and
NASA Centers, working with the Office of Chief Counsel, have
successfully negotiated multiple strategic partnerships—Space Act
Agreements and Memoranda of Understandings. The power of such
internal collaborations has strengthened the relationship between
offices and terms of agreements and, in the end, has provided greater
return to NASA’s investment into the negotiated partnership. There are
ongoing efforts to improve communications; minimize duplication; and
help link resources, programs, and infrastructure for maximum benefit
and value to NASA.
Existing strategic alliances provide an immediate springboard as unfunded
collaborators to produce, market, and distribute educational information
through a focused National Education Campaign about NASA’s projects
and programs. Several examples of existing alliances include:
• Science Rocks!
NASA and Honeywell launched the 2006 tour of their award-winning
FMA Live! science educational program. The innovative, traveling hip-hop
science concert reached nearly 20,000 students in 45 schools during
its 14-week, 27-city tour across the United States. The program content
addresses critical curriculum objectives to help students understand
Newtonian concepts and improve their performance in the sciences.
• Exxon Mobil/Harris Foundation/NASA Partnership
Former astronaut Bernard Harris, the first African-American astronaut
to walk in space, in partnership with NASA and Exxon Mobil, sponsored
a 2-week academic and residential camp for middle school students.
The purpose of the camp was to enhance education in STEM fields
by providing a variety of hands-on laboratory experiments, projects,
field excursions, and classes taught by high school teachers, university
professors, and professionals in STEM fields.
• Northrop Grumman/NASA Partnership
The NASA and Northrop Grumman Partnership sponsored the 14th
annual Great Moonbuggy Race. The moonbuggy race is an applied,
hands-on engineering challenge for high school and university/college
students that relates to NASA’s exploration mission while inspiring
students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics. Students work in classrooms, garages, and shops all across
the country trying to figure out the best way to design, build, and race
a human-powered buggy capable of traveling around a half-mile track
• NASA Explorer Schools (NES)
Thirty-three schools joined the NES program in 2006, adding to the
existing 185 schools. The programs represent 50 of the most creative,
forward-thinking, results-driven Government programs at the state, local,
tribal, and Federal levels. Community participation continues to increase
as citizens have taken pride in NASA’s visible presence and area businesses
team up with NASA Explorer Schools and local governments.
• Delta Researcher Schools (DRS): Rockets and Robots
The Delta Researcher Schools project participants are Dutch educators
in Netherlands’ Delta Researcher Schools project. The DRS was named
after the mission of Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers and focuses on
children between the ages of 9 and 12. Like NES, the DRS project uses
the excitement of space flight, the International Space Station, and other
international cooperative projects to inspire students’ interest in STEM.
Strategic alliances multiply the impact of NASA’s education programs
by leveraging knowledge, identifying additional target audiences and
organizations, and sharing program resources. NASA looks forward to
establishing strategic alliances with new partners.
NASA Education Communication Strategy 11
IX. Key Administration and
Since NASA’s creation, the Agency has taken on challenging missions
because diverse external partners from industry, academia, other
Federal agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and international
stakeholders have supported the Agency and shared in NASA’s work.
The Space Act inspired these partnerships, and the Vision for Space
Exploration is no less explicit in requiring innovative partnerships and
NASA’s education program and its pathfinder initiatives have attracted
continuous and growing interest by legislative, industry, academic,
community, and professional education organizations. Individually
and collectively, these groups provide NASA with the opportunity
to raise the visibility, scope, and depth of reach with NASA’s educa-tional
NASA will maintain and expand partnership arrangements to meet the
Agency’s increasingly complex and diverse needs. NASA Education will
continue to engage in, as well as expand, partnership arrangements with
key administration and education partners. Partners are drawn from public
schools, community colleges, and public and private universities.
one mind at a time.
Special thanks . . .
to the following NASA employees who contributed to the development of the
Education Communication Strategy:
• Alotta Taylor, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters;
• Roger Hathaway, Education Office, Langley Research Center;
• Susan White, Education Office, Johnson Space Center;
• Sonya Alexander, Office of Public Affairs, NASA Headquarters;
• Carla Rosenberg, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters;
• Dr. Shelly Canright, Office of Education, NASA Headquarters;
• Cindy Robinson, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters;
• Tammy Rowan, Education Office, Marshall Space Flight Center;
• Janelle Turner, Innovative Partnerships, NASA Headquarters;
• Barbara Zelon, Space Flight Awareness, Johnson Space Center; and
• The NASA Education Coordinating Committee.
NASA values the comments
and recommendations of our
partners, employees, and the
contractor community. For
further information regarding
NASA education programs,
please contact the Center and
education official closest to
Joyce Winterton, Ph.D.
Bernice Alston, Ed.D.
Deputy Assistant Administrator
James L. Stofan
Deputy Assistant Administrator
for Education Programs Integration
NASA Headquarters Mission
Aeronautics Mission Directorate
Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
Yvonne J. Pendleton, Ph.D.
Science Mission Directorate
Space Operations Mission Directorate
NASA Field Center Contacts
Christine M. Ivie
Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA
Miriam Rodon, Ph.D. (acting)
Dryden Flight Research Center
Jo Ann Charleston
Glenn Research Center
Robert Gabrys, Ph.D.
Goddard Space Flight Center
Parvin Kassaie, Ph.D.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Susan M. White
Johnson Space Center
Greg Buckingham, Ed.D.
Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Langley Research Center
Marshall Space Flight Center
Katie V. Wallace (acting)
Stennis Space Center
Stennis Space Center, MS
For More Information
For more information, please visit www.nasa.gov.
The NASA Portal is the single point of entry to NASA public content
and the most popular government site on the Web. It serves as the
gateway for information regarding content, programs, and services
offered by NASA for the general public and, specifically, for the
Visit www.nasa.gov to find out more information about NASA’s
mission, research, and activities; NASA Education strategy and
programs; and NASA Mission Directorates and Field Centers.