Section 1

Support Informal Educators and Lifelong Learners


When scientists and engineers conduct research, they start with the best sources – published research and presentations by experts in your field. Informal educators take the same route, following the most rigorously tested best practices when developing products. And evaluations prove that learners more deeply engage with science when it is delivered or reviewed by experts. This is why the NASA’ Universe of Learning program forges these direct links: Your connections to learners increase the quality of their learning experiences.

When informal educators present the NASA’s Universe of Learning products, they frequently watch children’s eyes light up and are awash in questions. Learners’ reactions and engagement prove they are making connections with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content. Our team seeks to create these connections again and again, both in person and online. Connecting informal educators who help create and facilitate the NASA’s Universe of Learning projects and events directly to professionals who actively support NASA Astrophysics missions is at the core of our program. You are the best sources for helping us add direct links to current research, incorporate new science results into learning products, and ensure the science content is both accurate and current.

There are multiple ways you can contribute to NASA’s Universe of Learning as an expert. You may participate in in-person and online events and presentations, contribute to and review activities and products, or present the concepts behind your research to help science center and museum professionals develop innovative, highly engaging programming. When developing each of these opportunities, we pay close attention to the best practices in informal learning and prioritize the involvement of diverse experts who serve as role models to audiences that have been historically underrepresented in STEM.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE AS AN EXPERT

There are several ways scientists and engineers can contribute to NASA’s Universe of Learning projects and events.

PROVIDE AND REVIEW CONTENT:
Experts provide science content that relates to their research and review the products as they are developed. Our network of educators uses the new products and activities to engage their audiences about a range of science topics.

DIRECTLY CONNECT WITH AUDIENCES:
You can give a presentation to share information about one of your areas of expertise during an in-person or online event with members of the public as part of an informal learning center’s exhibit programming.

DEMONSTRATE YOUR SCIENCE:
Take it one step further by participating in a hands-on activity during live events, which are held both in person or online. These events also offer opportunities to share your science content and stories, and interact with youth and their families.

TALK ABOUT IT!
Participate in short videos to share background about a celestial object or topic. Multi-wavelength discussions are encouraged so audiences can learn how specific wavelengths of light allow us to understand more about the object.

HELP DEVELOP EXHIBITS AND PROGRAMMING:
Present concepts behind your research through instructive webinars and participate in lively discussions with science center and museum professionals. They will go on to develop programming appropriate to their visitors’ needs.

Additional Links


We also invite you to explore all the projects and events the NASA’s Universe of Learning team produces! Use the filter bar at the top of the Educational Resources and Events page linked below to find an activity that suits your audience, project type, or theme. Or, read summaries of our projects and learn what to follow throughout the year, like upcoming challenges or events for your audiences.