Education and Public Outreach Partners
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) seeks to "advance science and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." To fulfill this mission, the AAAS has adopted the following goals:
- Foster communication among scientists, engineers and the public Enhance international cooperation in science and its applicationsPromote the responsible conduct and use of science and technology Foster education in science and technology for everyone Enhance the science and technology workforce and infrastructure Increase public understanding and appreciation of science and technology
- Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise
In the MESSENGER education and public outreach effort, AAAS will provide leadership for the overall design of educational products, as well as quality control and assessment, and will develop a "plain language" book on the exploration of the solar system.
Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1902 as an organization for scientific discovery. Since then, Carnegie scientists have pioneered many fields. The Institution is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has six departments around the country devoted to research in plant biology, developmental biology, earth and planetary sciences, astronomy and global ecology.
Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) and First Light are education and outreach programs of the Carnegie Insitution of Washington. First Light was founded in 1989 as part of Carnegie's commitment to scientific literacy and education, bringing local schoolchildren to the Institution to experience hands-on inquiry-based science and field trips. CASE evolved from First Light in 1993 as a professional development program for elementary school teachers. Through its Summer Institutes and evening courses, CASE has trained over 900 teachers in effective standards-based strategies for the teaching of science, mathematics and technology, including integration across the curriculum. The CASE teaching methodologies are field-tested in First Light classes. Teaching materials developed by CASE are also part of public awareness projects sponsored by NASA, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Teachers Association. CASE is a partner in developing, piloting and assessing MESSENGER Education Modules.
Created with NASA support, Montana State University's Center for Educational Resources (CERES) has as its goal the creation of online classroom and professional development resources for K-12 teachers seeking to explore space science. CERES products include a library of web-based astronomy teaching materials that are aligned with the NRC's National Science Education Standards and make maximum use of exciting NASA resources, data, and images. For K-12 teachers who wish to expand their own understanding of space science, CERES has developed three graduate-credit courses that are offered over the Internet. Within the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach effort, CERES is charged with construction of the Education portion of the mission's website, as well as integrating MESSENGER materials into the its online professional development courses for teachers.
Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a not-for-profit education organization created in 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Dedicated to continuing the educational spirit of that mission, Challenger Center develops Learning Centers and other educational programs to engage students in science, mathematics, and technology education. The international network of Challenger Learning Centers and Challenger Center's award-winning classroom and teacher training programs all use the excitement of space exploration to create positive learning experiences that raise students' expectations of success and help them develop critical communication, decision-making, team-building, and collaborative skills.
As a participant in the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach Program, Challenger Center oversees the MESSENGER Educator Fellowship Program. The program, tasked with disseminating information about the MESSENGER mission, utilizes a national group of master science teachers-- called MESSENGER Educator Fellows--to conduct educator workshops. The Fellows are expected to train up to 27,000 teachers over the mission's lifetime using specially created classroom materials called MESSENGER Education Modules.
These standards-based preK-to-12th grade educational materials, consisting of lessons with embedded inquiry-based activities, cover topics in comparative planetary science, solar system studies through history, and the process of designing, constructing, and sending a spacecraft to another planet. Challenger Center is developing the MESSENGER Education Modules for grade levels 5-8 and 9-12. The organization will also be extending the reach of the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach Program's teacher training initiative by conducting educator workshops through its Journey through the Universe program. Journey through the Universe reaches out to underserved and rural communities across the nation, and provides science-based programs for teachers, students, and families. For more information about Challenger Center or the Journey through the Universe program, visit www.challenger.org or www.challenger.org/journey.
To help train the next generation of NASA'’s minority scientists and engineers, NASA created the Minority University-Space Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN). MU-SPIN was started in 1990 by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs and has remained a highly effective tool as it has continually grown and evolved over the past decade. The program serves America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal Colleges. In the MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach effort, MU-SPIN is involved in organizing workshops for teachers and teacher/trainers who will implement the MESSENGER education materials in schools nationwide.
The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world. It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight. NASM is working to develop museum exhibit materials connected to the MESSENGER mission - materials that will be on long-term display for the enormous national audience that visits the Museum yearly.