NASA: Driving STEM education

By Brittany Hill

Business Chief takes a closer look at how NASA is contributing to drive STEM education in the United States.

This week, NASA selected four informal education organisations - under its Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) program - to promote STEM learning and inspire a new generation of explorers.

What is the TEAM II program?

The Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) program, provides students with the opportunity to engage with NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach. The program strives to reach populations that historically have been underrepresented in STEM professions.

In addition, US$3.5mn will be awarded through cooperative agreements, to further provide opportunities for interaction.

Who are the four informal education organisations?

Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Minneapolis

Established in 1872, the Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium is the official natural history museum and planetarium in Minneapolis.

What will it provide for the program?

  • A planetarium show and activity kit on long-duration spaceflight, highlight career opportunities.

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh

Established in 1895, Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh strives to “serve as a catalyst and source of growth and knowledge; offer a home to thinking and inquisitive children and adults; act as a collector, guardian, and interactive presenter of cultural and scientific treasures and ideas; and support the community by attracting visitors and promoting economic development.”

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What will it provide for the program?

  • Dynamic programs for schools and museums where participants can act as team members of NASA.

EcoExploratorio, Museo de Ciencias de Puerto Rico, San Juan

Is an independent initiative of science and technology education. Those that are a part of the initiative include, scientists, researchers, teachers, children, university students and everyday people. The EcoExploratorio, Museo de Ciencias de Puerto Rico strives to be the center of gravity for STEM education in Puerto Rico.

What will it provide for the program?

  • STEM experiences around NASA’s Moon to Mars

  • NASA Summer Exhibition 

  • STEM Interactive Learning Center

Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul

Founded in 1907, the Science Museum of Minnesota strives to inspire learning, inform policy and improve lives with the help of science. 

What will it provide for the program?

  • Museum exhibits for visitors to construct their own habitats for successful living on Mars.

“These cooperative agreements will enable the recipients’ efforts to focus on the most up-to-date information from NASA,” said Beverly Girten, director of institutional engagement in NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. “This will help connect students to the current missions and programs, such as Artemis, and inspire the next generation of space explorers.”

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