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Summer of Innovation
June 21, 2013

[Educators Grades 4-9]
[Available: Nationally]

The Summer of Innovation is designed to foster the high-quality engagement of students in summer and after-school programming. NASA aims to assist schools and organizations to inspire and support youth by involving them in exciting and challenging learning opportunities centered on NASA’s unique mission of research and discovery.

The Summer of Innovation focuses its efforts on elevating student interest and improving teacher confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by:


  • Leveraging the excitement of NASA's mission to provide intensive STEM activities and support to schools and community organizations.
  • Providing inquiry-based, experiential content that allows students to explore STEM topics while reinforcing skills taught in formal education settings (four unique thematic units for use in programming, accounting for almost 300 hours of activities and teacher professional development activities).
  • Encouraging and formalizing connections between school districts and traditional summer and after-school providers.
  • Collaborating with a variety of partners to successfully deliver the Summer of Innovation to the nation.

The Summer of Innovation is a solicitation-driven model with discrete implementation profiles designed to test and reward what works in informal STEM education. SoI’s Award profiles are:

  • National Awards: Awards that support major initiatives to build the capacity of high-quality or promising projects targeted at underserved and underrepresented populations to either take to successful efforts to scale or incorporate NASA content into STEM education programs.
  • Center Awards: Awards that support NASA centers’ abilities to build capacity through collaborations with individual organizations or consortiums to develop and implement innovative strategies that can benefit from the use of NASA resources, facilities and opportunities for the sustained engagement of underserved and underrepresented students in summer and extended learning settings.
  • Mini-Grant Awards: Awards that engage small and nontraditional audiences in SoI content through programming for students and teachers.

Advance excellence in summer and extended learning for underrepresented and underserved middle school students to inspire them toward future STEM pursuits.

Strengthen efforts by providers that engage underrepresented and underserved middle school students in STEM learning by using exciting and rigorous NASA-based instructional resources, experiences and support tailored to local needs.

Objective 1: Support the infusion of NASA themes and resources in summer and extended learning.

Objective 2: Facilitate the alignment of summer and extended programming with the formal education community to support coordinated and sustained engagement in STEM content.

Objective 3: Build the capacity of community- and school-based organizations to engage underserved and underrepresented students in high-quality STEM content in summer and extended learning experiences tailored to meet local needs.

NASA Contact
NASA Summer of Innovation
NASA’s Glenn Research Center
21000 Brookpark Road MS 8-1
Cleveland, OH 44130
Phone: 216-433-8333

Additional NASA Contacts
NASA SoI Center Representatives

Summer of Innovation
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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator