NASA STEM Engagement Overview:

NASA STEM Engagement News:

NASA Development and Engagement Branch:

ATTENTION: Parents, Care Givers, and Teachers: Engage the learning process for the young persons in your care with the following:

ENGAGE is a resource designed for high school and undergraduate science teachers to improve science literacy and the use of science writing as narrative nonfiction resources.” ENGAGE is a resource presently under development by the American Geophysical Union. It’s a great resource for students, too! Check it out here, and here for an example of materials relating to “Layers of Climate Change.”

Math, Mentorship, Motherhood: Behind the Scenes with NASA Engineers:  Do you have a (grand)child that is interested in Space? Help “bend the twig” with them by checking out this link with them:!

PUNCH-y Outreach: NASA has a Small Mission program designed to address specific scientific questions with relatively low-cost missions. One of them is PUNCH, the Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere, four suitcase-size satellites that will produce continuous images of the entire inner Solar System in order to better understand the link between the solar corona and the solar wind. Since the solar wind can adversely affect power transmission grids, Earth satellites, and other important infrastructure, better understanding of it is quite important. The PUNCH program has one of the best and most thorough public outreach programs I’ve ever seen, so check it out for yourself at:!

Teachable Moments are a great way to engage learning interest, no matter if you are a teacher or a care giver. JPL has a wonderful set of assets than can help you pique the interest of others and engage them to learn more about a variety of Space-related topics, all inspired by the latest happenings at NASA. This is great resource for teachers and learners! Please be sure to check it out, and spread the word about it to like-minded friends, relatives, and students: The most recently-posted Teachable Moment is still: “How InSight Revealed the Heart of Mars,” with sections on How It Worked, What We Discovered, Why It’s Important, Teach It, and Explore More.

NASA’s recent “Teachable Moment” concerns the unusual asteroid named Psyche, notable because it is composed primarily of metal, not rock. It’s thought to be a remnant of the core of an asteroidal body large enough to have undergone differentiation (where the metals in it sank to form a core, while the lighter rocky material formed a mantle). Psyche is quite large, about a sixth the size of our Moon! Since our deepest drilling to date doesn’t even reach the upper mantle, planetary scientists really want to study Psyche as an example of what Earth’s own core might be like. Plus, Psyche likely contains a LOT of valuable metals (although the mining and transport costs would literally be astronomical!). NASA is planning a mission, also named Psyche, to visit the asteroid. The Psyche spacecraft is undergoing final stages of manufacture, looking for a launch as early as October. Transit time to cover the two-plus billion miles to Psyche will be on the order of six years.

The thought of a metal asteroid is quite engaging, and therefore makes it a perfect teachable moment to stimulate student learning. For more information about that angle on Psyche, see:

An earlier Item of the Week dealt with the nature and importance of asteroids, including Psyche, in more detail. It was done in time for Asteroid Day, 2021, and you can see it here:

NASA’s Eyes: NASA created software over a decade ago that would help users visualize aspects of various Solar System objects. When I worked with NASA’s Outreach programming a dozen years ago, the representatives of the software showcasing their new products to the public was always the busiest person in the room. For good reason; the Eyes On software was amazing!

It still is. NASA has put all of the previous “Eyes On XYZ” apps under one easy-to-navigate site: The richness and utility of this software is almost impossible to exaggerate. It’s easy to navigate, and is a font of information on the Sun, the Earth, the rest of the Solar System, Exoplanets, and more! The site includes “Solar System Tours,” such as Voyager, Cassini, New Horizons, Dawn, and more. The site also has access to apps about the Deep Space Network, Curiosity, Earth Now, and more. Check it out, especially with a young person interested in Solar System exploration and Astronomy!

Careers at NASA: If a young person you know shows an interest in astronomy and Space exploration, one tool you can use to help nurture their education would be to review the NASA Featured Careers page at: It could give them, and you, a taste of what they need to do at the appropriate time to be able to work for NASA or its partners. I loved it!

The Staying Power of Apollo: A major communications company is presently running an ad campaign about their latest-generation service, using Apollo imagery and key phrases. Note that the events the ad is built upon are over 60 years old. The children of the target audience are the same as their grandparents were during the Moon landings. Such is the (staying) power of Apollo as the icon of high tech. Those of us in the Space education/popularization biz are fortunate to have such powerful images/memes at our disposal. Let’s use them wisely, and often!

Engagement Spotlight: NASA’s Aeronautics Research group has page of K-12 educational resources pertaining to aeronautics: . Check it out! There are all kinds STEM activities and learning opportunities.

A great website for you to visit that will help you engage your charges with the excitement of Space exploration is NASA’s SpacePlace. Check it out at:

I ran across NASA’s Solar System Math webpage while researching the recent Item about the discovery of Ceres. It’s suitable for pre-algebra students. Check it out at:!

Check out the NOVA Labs programming with your family, especially the Exoplanet Lab (here). Have your (grand)kids play lead scientist for the NOVA Space Center’s Galactic Resettlement team. For more information, see: Other science-themed labs are available, too!

The Lunar and Planetary Institute also provides a lot of engaging Space-related educational materials, activities, and events. See their website at:

See the AIAA’s Aerospace Micro-Lesson on the Early Apollo Program (grades 9-12): [Please Share!]