At a Glance
- Spaceflight R&D is inspiring a new generation to continue the quest for scientific exploration, educating the future leaders and decision makers of our country and the world.
- Achievements in ISS R&D provide a compelling resource for project-based learning and for using modern breakthroughs to illustrate traditional science concepts.
- To learn more about specific initiatives and the ISS National Lab's educational partnerships, visit Space Station Explorers.
Today’s children are growing up in a technologically savvy world that we could not have imagined even 20 years ago. To keep our students competitive in tomorrow’s dynamic marketplace, we must motivate and inspire today’s youth to pursue careers that will ensure our country can continue to thrive in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries that drive the international economy. This need has sparked a revolution in the U.S. education system, with our government pushing for educational approaches that will arm students with the career-related skills and knowledge they need to excel.
The ISS National Lab supports advanced R&D that will ultimately improve human knowledge and quality of life on Earth—but it is also unique and exciting. Achievements in space-based scientific research and technology development thus hold an amazing power to inspire students. Space-science learning tools support our national education goals by:
- Creatively illustrating traditional classroom concepts and complementing existing curricula
- Providing opportunities for inquiry-driven, project-based learning
- Promoting development of 21st-century learning skills (which include health and environmental literacy, global awareness of international cooperation and achievement, and creativity and innovation)
- Helping districts, schools, and educators meet our nation’s demand for increased emphasis on STEM education
- Combating the growing trend for students to lose interest and self-confidence in the sciences as they move into middle and high school
- Modernizing curricula by adding the appeal of cutting-edge scientific advances—in the exciting environment of space
The ISS National Lab’s continually growing education portfolio fosters STEM literacy, promotes the ISS as a valuable learning platform to the education community and the American public, and represents a strong investment in creating a STEM-prepared workforce. In support of these STEM priorities, the ISS National Lab education portfolio encompasses both the ISS National Lab initiatives and the diverse initiatives of a variety of partner programs, including:
- Learning opportunities that transition the ISS National Lab’s cutting-edge research into real-world settings for K-12 students
- High-interest, hands-on, problem-based learning K-12 programs
- Attracting under-represented populations in STEM fields, such as women and minorities
- Teacher professional development training in STEM-related areas
- Student internships in industry and research
- Teacher fellowships in industry and research
- Network of private sector organizations and world-class academic research institutions willing to support STEM education
To learn more about specific initiatives and the ISS National Lab’s educational partnerships, visit Space Station Explorers.