Marshall Space Flight Center Academic Affairs Office
NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center strive to help maintain a strong American education system, nurturing students' interest in the fields of mathematics and science from elementary school through their college years, and encouraging young people to consider careers in engineering and the aerospace industry. NASA also forges strong ties with the nation's academic centers of excellence and the educators who anchor the field of learning. The agency's main goals are to inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to engage the public in shaping and sharing the experience of exploration and discovery.
Customers in the educational community include students and educators at all levels (K-12, undergraduate and graduate), both formal and informal. Marshall has a five-state service region as the educational community it directly supports. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Iowa.
Elementary and Secondary Education
The Elementary and Secondary Education team provides K-12 educators with tools, experiences and opportunities to further their education and participate in unique NASA learning experiences to enhance their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and inspire pursuit of STEM careers. The team supports the role of educational institutions, which provide the framework to unite students, families and educators for educational improvement.
The Higher Education team focuses on supporting institutions of higher education to strengthen their research capabilities and provide opportunities that attract and prepare increasing numbers of students for NASA-related careers. The research conducted by the institutions will contribute to the research needs of NASA's mission directorates. The student projects serve as a major link in the student pipeline for addressing NASA's Human Capital Strategies by helping to "build, sustain and effectively deploy the skilled, knowledgeable, diverse and high-performing workforce needed to meet the current and emerging needs of government and its citizens."
Education Technology and Products
The Education Technology and Products team is responsible for the development of technology applications, products and services, and implementation of technology-enriched infrastructure. The team facilitates appropriate and effective technology-based applications to enhance the educational process for formal and informal education.
The Informal Education team educates students, teachers and the public on specific science, technology, engineering and mathematics content areas. The team strives to expand the nation's future STEM workforce. Projects within Informal Education produce supplemental educational materials that are standards-based and support staff and facilitators trained or qualified in STEM education. The team works actively with participants to further enhance their understanding and develop content based on educational standards and/or learning objectives to supplement and enrich an experience or activity.
Minority University Research and Education
Minority University Research and Education engages underrepresented populations through a wide variety of initiatives. Multi-year grants are awarded to engage minority institutions, faculty and students in research pertinent to NASA missions. This effort focuses on retaining underrepresented and underserved students in a STEM discipline through completion of undergraduate or graduate degrees and entry into the scientific and technical workforce.