Project Description

NASA Innovations in Climate Education
[Educators Grades K-Higher Education]
[Available: Nationally]

NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, is designed to improve the quality of the nation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and enhance students’ and teachers’ literacy about global climate and Earth system change, from elementary grades to lifelong learners. The project is motivated by recommendations made in the National Research Council report "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond." This Earth decadal study identifies responding to our changing planet as one of the greatest and most important intellectual challenges facing humanity. The study specifies that both the acquisition of new knowledge about the Earth system and the use of Earth observation data are equally important in meeting the complex challenges of global change.

The NICE project also considers the recommendations put forth in the National Academies report "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future." "Rising Above the Gathering Storm" proposes four broad recommendations to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper and be secure in the global community of the 21st century.
  • Increase the U.S. talent pool by vastly improving K-12 science and mathematics.
  • Sustain and strengthen the nation's traditional commitment to long-term basic research.
  • Make the United States the most attractive setting in which to study and perform research.
  • Ensure that the United States is the premiere place in the world to innovate.
The NICE project strengthens the skills of teachers and provides innovative science research and learning opportunities for students, two of the actions recommended in the report. The NICE project annually solicits proposals for innovative education activities that support the goals of the project. NASA is taking a leading role to inspire interest in STEM as few other organizations can through its unique mission, workforce, facilities, research and innovations. The agency also is taking a leading role to make significant impacts in engaging underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM.

The specific goals of the NICE project are to use NASA's unique contributions to climate and Earth system science, through collaboration with community colleges, minority serving institutions, and school systems to do the following:
  • Increase the number of underrepresented and underserved students prepared to teach climate change content within STEM subjects.
  • Increase the number of underrepresented and underserved undergraduate students prepared for employment and/or to enter graduate school in technical fields relevant to global climate change.
  • Advance the understanding of how to teach global climate change concepts effectively.
Seventy-one NICE projects, located at organizations across the United States, have been awarded funds thus far through NICE and its predecessor projects -- NASA's Global Climate Change Education and Innovations in Global Climate Change Education -- for developing innovative and engaging ways to better educate students and the public on the science surrounding climate.

For information regarding open opportunities, please visit the NSPIRES website. Go to  → and click on Solicitations and then on Open Solicitations. In FY11, this solicitation was part of an omnibus education solicitation called Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS.

NASA Innovations in Climate Education
›  View website  →

NASA Contacts
Lin Chambers, NICE Project Scientist
NASA Langley Research Center
Mail Stop 420
Hampton, VA 23681-2199
Phone: 757-864-4371
Fax: 757-864-7996

Sharon Welch, NICE Project Manager
NASA Langley Research Center
Mail Stop 400
Hampton, VA 23681-2199
Phone: 757-864-6611
Fax: 757-876-9178

Additional Contact Information
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