Education Payload Operations-Educator (EPO-Educator) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Education Payload Operations - Educator (EPO - Educator) will use video and still photography to capture data of experiment activities on-orbit. Students also will be designing and completing ground-based investigations developed by the NASA Education Office, focusing on grades K-12. The activities will support the educator astronaut in their mission on orbit. An educator astronaut is a full-time astronaut who has experience teaching in K-12 classrooms.
Science Results for Everyone
Students invade the Moon! In a simulated way, that is. Nearly 1 million students in grades K through 12 designed, built, and evaluated a plant growth chamber for future missions to the Moon. These ground-based activities supported an educator astronaut (a full-time astronaut with teaching experience) conducting an investigation growing cinnamon basil seeds on the space station. Students observed the experiment via video and still photography, which is available on the NASA website ( NASA’s Educator Astronaut Program inspires students to consider engineering, science, technology and mathematics as future career paths. It includes developing teacher activities and creating lesson plans.

The following content was provided by Jonathan Neubauer, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Jonathan Neubauer, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

Information Pending

Information Pending

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Education (EDU)

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2007 - October 2007

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Expedition 14 will be the first mission for EPO-Educator.

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • EPO-Educator is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The EPO-Educator payload supports the Educator Astronauts—full time astronauts with experience teaching in K-12 classrooms—in their mission in orbit. The Educator Astronaut Program (EAP) is one of NASA's pathfinder education initiatives. The main objective of the EAP is inspiring students to look at engineering, science, technology and mathematics as future career paths.

EPO-Educator uses investigations that are focused on inquiry-based learning. These investigations are performed by students in ground-based studies. Students are also involved in design challenges that are directly tied to the investigation. Part of this payload is developing activities for teachers, creating lesson plans for students K-12 and providing a website that will contain the data collection information.

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Space Applications
The participation of the students in the design processes for the EPO-Educator activities is preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Earth Applications
Using a new approach in the classroom on space flight, science, and mathematics will capture the imagination of students. Allowing students to participate in activities that directly involve NASA will inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
EPO-Educator will use video and still photography to capture data of payload activities on orbit. Part of this payload will take place in ground-base investigations that are designed and completed by students.
The Educator Astronaut will perform on-orbit educational activities that will be provided to teachers and students in the form of video for classroom use.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Through the EPO-Educator investigation, nearly 1 million students in grades K-12 have participated in the NASA Engineering Design Challenge Lunar Plant Growth Chamber. This engineering design challenge asks students to design, build and evaluate a plant growth chamber for future missions to the Moon. Students learn about the engineering design process and how to conduct a scientific experiment. In conjunction with the engineering design challenge, approximately 10 million cinnamon basil seeds were flown in space. As part of a comprehensive suite of education activities, the seeds are being delivered to students and educators across the country.

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Related Websites
Get involved with EPO-Educator

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image Educator Astronaut, Barbara Morgan, at Anne Beers Elementary School (a NASA Explorer School) in Washington, D.C. The students were participationg in a simulation which prompted them to use their math and science skills to help a space ship lost in space find it's way back to Earth. Image courtesy of Bill Ingalls/NASA.
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image NASA Image: JSC2007E03712_250 - Barbara Morgan, educator astronaut, is pictured during a demonstration at Space Center Houston with children.
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image NASA Image: JSC2007E03811_250 - Educator astronaut Barbara Morgan speaks with students during Space Center Houston's "Meet an Astronaut Day" on January 19, 2007.
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