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 and engineering. NMP's education and public outreach 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 Web sites (such as this one) for each mission and through its informally educational Web site, The Space Place, available in both English and Spanish.
The Space Place Web site includes many modules (pages) that demonstrate the principles behind technology and science in space exploration. These modules are reviewed by scientists and engineers for technical accuracy and by teacher-advisors for grade-level appropriateness. The Space Place includes:
Interactive games and puzzles.
Animated demonstrations, such as how orbits work.
Amazing facts, such as "Slinky® in Space," about the ST8 SAILMAST experiment.
Fascinating questions sent in by Space Place museum and planetarium partners with answers (text and voice) by JPL astrophysicist, Dr. Marc Rayman, who answers such weighty questions as "Why does the Earth rotate?" and "If the Sun became a black hole, would the Earth get pulled inside?"
Fun projects (things to make, such as a Robot Puzzle or a Starfinder).
Cool subjects: stars/galaxies/black holes, Earth and the moon, planets and the solar system, laws of the Universe, and space technology.
Cartoon "talk shows," guest starring real NASA 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), NMP's education and public outreach program (also dubbed "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 program also contributes a regular column for each issue of ITEA's quarterly journal, Technology & Children. Articles and activities for are developed in support of ITEA's "Standards for Technological Literacy" and the educational standards published by the National Science Teachers' Association (NSTA).
Previously published articles from The Technology Teacher are made available to all teachers (and everyone), as Adobe Reader downloadable files (.pdf) from The Space Place Web site's "Teacher's Corner." Most of these activities can be adapted for grades 4-8 and some may be of interest to grades 9-12. This educators' page also provides printable images of space and Earth, plus a downloadable file (.pdf) of links to math-related articles and activities on the site.
For NMP's nearly 300 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 over 200 amateur astronomy club partners, who receive an original monthly column for their newsletters. Plus, Space Place has a lending library of space-related videos for loan, at no charge beyond postage, to partnering astronomy clubs. The Space Place also provides help Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts achieve badges by mapping its Web 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.
Many U.S. newspapers carry monthly science and technology columns written by the Space Place team especially for elementary age children.
There's something for everyone on The Space Place, so be sure to visit. And, check this site often for updates on Space Technology 8's progress. Learn about ST8's educational and public outreach activities by proceeding to the next page for details.