Chandra’s formal and informal education programs are aligned with national teaching and professional development standards for STEM subjects and the Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) Education Strategic Framework.

Goals: Provide educators with the standards-based resources and knowledge to infuse NASA SMD content into their activities and classrooms. Develop materials and activities that increase student interest in NASA SMD science and STEM subjects.

Outcomes: Educators have increased ability to use NASA SMD content in formal and informal education. Increased participation and retention of students in STEM subjects.
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Formal education programs include professional development (PD) workshops for classroom educators and providers of informal education programs in museums, after school, and community organizations. Chandra PD workshops at NSTA are evaluated not only by our outside evaluators (observational visit in addition to pre and post questionnaire and longitudinal survey) but also through NSTA’s own survey instruments. All material presented has been approved through the NASA product review. Both Chandra and NSTA evaluations indicate that workshops are meeting their goal of providing educators with the resources and knowledge to successfully engage and instruct students in topics related to NASA science.

We provide the classroom materials in downloadable formats from our web site and also in printed form to enable use by educators with differing levels of access technology. We provide sample packages of our printed materials (which can be ordered free of charge).

An intensive summer program introduced high school students and teachers to astrophysics data analysis, emphasizing the revised standard “understanding the process of science”. A longitudinal survey of the program shows high success in creating and maintaining student interest in STEM. A Rutgers U. physics “massive, open, on-line course” (MOOC) offering, derived from and leveraging this earlier program, will continue independently as a legacy.

Our main informal education program, "STOP for Science" (STOP), is intended as an out-of-classroom science enrichment for grades K-6 section. Strongly recommended by NASA’s Earth & Space Science Product Review, STOP combines eye-catching displays of science topics accompanied by level-selected questions and extensive teacher resources to provide broad exposure to “everyday” science themes. While the program is intended for implementation outside of the formal classroom, it is carefully designed to promote integration of the topics into the formal classroom, with links to appropriate national standards for Science, Math, and English Language content.