About the Summer of Innovation
In January 2010, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator Charles F. Bolden announced the Summer of Innovation as NASA’s response to a national need for improvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. This new NASA project is designed to improve the skills and enhance the engagement of American students in STEM. NASA piloted the Summer of Innovation, or SoI, during the summer of 2010 and will launch it nationwide this summer.
This solicitation-driven project supports student interest in STEM by strengthening the capacity of community- and school-based organizations that inspire and engage middle school students in STEM content during the summer. SoI then continues to support follow-on and extended learning efforts designed to keep students involved in NASA-themed STEM activities during the academic year.
The project will expand both the breadth and depth of school- and community-based partners’ ability to provide meaningful, educational and exciting STEM experiences to students in grades 4-9 who traditionally have been underrepresented in STEM fields. SoI will leverage NASA funding, content, and brand association in partnership with proven school- and community-based summer and extended learning STEM organizations to support projects that are seeking to strengthen current STEM education.
NASA has refined its approach for the Summer of Innovation in 2011 to facilitate the alignment of summer and extended learning programming with the formal education community by aligning summer content offerings with the local needs of schools and providing sustained professional development to certified educators in support of more effective content delivery. SoI will seek to build the capabilities of those summer and extended-learning STEM program models that are viable for replication or scalability of student interventions.
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
- 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
- Support the infusion of NASA themes and resources in summer and extended learning
- Facilitate the alignment of summer and extended learning programming with the formal education community to support coordinated and sustained engagement in STEM content