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enterprise_in_spaceEnterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the National Space Society (NSS), is excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), the only unit at the Smithsonian Institution that is solely dedicated to formal K-12 science education reform. As a part of its mission to send a 3D printed spacecraft into low Earth orbit with more than 100 student experiments aboard, EIS has established a robust online educational platform, the EIS Academy, which includes several Enterprise Centers for Excellence, dedicated to hosting knowledge from experts in space science. The SSEC is dedicated to the establishment of effective science programs and professional learning experiences for all teachers and students. Together, the SSEC and EIS will support one another in developing educator and student experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) that enhance awareness in the exploration and development of space, and extend the reach of SSEC and EIS programs.

EIS and SSEC plan to collaborate on two projects dedicated to space education. The first is a mission patch design challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to present at Space Day on the National Air and Space Museum, tentatively set to occur this summer. The second is the development of a space science summer course for the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) that will enrich and enhance space education in the participating educators’ classrooms. To provide teachers with powerful classroom tools and lessons, EIS, in conjunction with SSEC will be creating a space science curriculum for leaders and learners that will be taught as a week-long SSEAT course. The course will use resources from the Smithsonian and its affiliates in the Washington, D.C. area, including access to museums, scientists, historians, and researchers at those facilities. Class lessons created by participating teachers will be shared further by being uploaded to the EIS Academy. The program will also include an online course preceding the summer Space Science Academy and post-academy activities for follow-up networking and teacher collaborations.

“The decision to collaborate with the Smithsonian Science Education Center was a natural one,” says Lynne Zielinski, EIS Education Program Manager and NSS Vice President of Public Affairs. “The Smithsonian has a prestigious reputation for its educational initiatives and will provide the ideal network and support necessary for bringing the EIS program to the public.”

“Space science topics are a timely and exciting subject area that motivates student learning,” said Carol O’Donnell, SSEC Director. “The EIS Academy offers a pathway for our SSEATs teachers to build long-lasting professional learning communities that will provide them with confidence and reinvigorate their enthusiasm while embracing cutting edge applications and best teaching practices.” Both organizations wish to establish a sustainable relationship for space science education, launching their collaboration on a trajectory where the Sky is not the Limit!

About the National Space Society (NSS)

NSS is an independent nonprofit educational membership organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space, with over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The Society publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. To learn more, visit www.nss.org. The National Space Society’s Enterprise In Space program is a first-of-its-kind publicly funded grassroots campaign where more than 100 winning student experiments will be launched, orbited, and returned to Earth free of charge. The educational mission is to design and present lessons, activities, and resources to enhance space education globally. Stay up-to-date with the progress of this historic program — from winning entry and engineering design to construction and flight — at www.enterpriseinspace.org .

About Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC)

SSEC is the only unit at the Smithsonian Institution that is solely dedicated to formal K-12 science education reform. SSEC was established in 1985 as the National Science Resources Center (NSRC) under the sponsorship of two prestigious institutions: the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, the Center’s name changed to the Smithsonian Science Education Center to reflect its mission: to transform and improve the learning and teaching of science for K-12 students. SSEC is dedicated to the establishment of effective science programs for all students. To contribute to that goal, SSEC has developed and published a comprehensive K-8, research-based science curriculum program: Science and Technology Concepts™ (STC Elementary and Secondary); and, it supports the systemic needs of schools, districts, and states through our Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model.

To learn more, visit: http://ssec.si.edu . National Space Society P.O. Box 98106 Washington, DC 20090-8106 (202) 429-1600

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