The New Millennium Program (NMP) integrates project and mission content into existing educational delivery systems and focuses on inspiring under-represented minorities to get involved and stay involved in science. NMP's education and public outreach (EPO) plan upholds NASA's guidelines and standards for providing materials and resources to educators, students, and the general public. NMP's outreach is accomplished through publicly-accessible websites (such as this one) for each project and through its educational website for elementary school-age children, the Space Place, which is available in both English and Spanish.
The Space Place creates unique educational products that demonstrate the principles behind technology and science in space exploration. These products are reviewed by scientists and engineers for technical accuracy and by four teacher-advisors for grade-level appropriateness. The Space Place products include:
- interactive games and puzzles
- animation that show how things (such as orbits, the electromagnetic spectrum, transmitters) work
- amazing facts, such as "Who is the King of the Ice Dwarfs?"
- simple explanations (with text, images, and voice) by astrophysicist, Dr. Marc Rayman
- fun hands-on projects
- cool subjects: stars/galaxies/black holes, Earth and the moon, planets and the Solar System, laws of the Universe, and space technology
- live interviews with scientists and engineers, like Dr. Kip Thorne
To deliver its products, NMP's Space Place partners with educational, community, and national organizations. Through its partnership with the International Technology Education Association (ITEA), the Space Place brings science and technology concepts to classrooms world-wide by contributing classroom activity articles to ITEA's educator journal, The Technology Teacher. The Space Place also contributes a regular column for each issue of ITEA's quarterly journal, Technology & Children. Additionally, the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) publishes a Space Place column in both English and Spanish in each of its bi-monthly journals, NABE News. Articles and activities for all three publications are developed in support of ITEA's "Standards for Technological Literacy."
After a period of time The Technology Teacher articles and activities are made available to all teachers (and everyone), as Adobe Acrobat downloadable files (.pdf), from the site's "Teacher's Corner" link. Most of these activities can be adapted for grades 4-8 and some may be of interest to grades 9-12. This link also provides printable images of space and Earth plus a downloadable file (.pdf) of links to math-related articles and activities.
For NMP's community and national partners, Club Space Place provides posters, lithographs, stickers, and quarterly guides for NASA-mission-related structured activities. On the community level, these partners include museums, libraries, planetariums, zoos, and aquariums in 50 states. National partners include a number of organizations dedicated to the education and well-being of children and youth, such as the:
- YWCA, a young women's association
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- Civil Air Patrol
- 4-H Aerospace Education Program
The Space Place also has nearly 200 amateur astronomy club partners, who receive an original monthly column for their newsletters. Plus, Space Place now has a lending library of space-related videos for loan, at no charge beyond postage, to partnering clubs. The Space Place also provides help with Girl scouting and Cub scouting badge achievement by mapping its activities to various badge requirements on different levels. Additionally, the Space Place provides a place for budding artists, future scientists and engineers, contest winners, and young people with visions for the new millennium to be "seen" and "heard."
Currently 14 large city daily newspapers (seven English and seven Spanish), with a combined circulation of around 2.5 million, carry regular science and technology columns contributed by the Space Place in their children's section.
There's something for everyone on the Space Place, so be sure to visit. And, check this site often for updates on Space Technology 5's (ST5) progress. Learn about ST5's educational and public outreach activities by proceeding to the next page for details.