In response to mounting studies and statistics showing billions of dollars in annual U.S. spending on K-12 STEM education, and at the same time worsening gaps in the preparation of our next generation science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, workforce, the President issued a directive in 2007 mandating a review of all federally funded K-12 STEM initiatives. As a result, the National Research Council, or NRC, has conducted a review and critique of each federal agency's investments in K-12 STEM education.
In the NRC's final report on NASA's K-12 educational investments, entitled NASA's Elementary and Secondary Education Program: Review and Critique (2008), the NRC stated the following: "The committee commends SEMAA for its focus on underserved and underrepresented populations of students and on inspiring their interest in science and engineering ... SEMAA is an excellent project for reaching the intended participants (historically underserved and underrepresented K-12 youth in STEM)."
In addition to these endorsements, the NRC recommended that SEMAA assess the cost-effectiveness of the Aerospace Education Laboratories and develop a plan to periodically update the SEMAA curriculum enhancement activities to reflect the latest NASA science and engineering activity. The NASA SEMAA leadership has developed and begun implementing a plan to address the NRC's recommendations.
"The project has developed a number of good strategies for reaching students and their families and has worked hard at raising matching funds to leverage the dollars provided by NASA..."
NASA's Elementary and Secondary Education Program: Review and Critique (2008)