NASA Selects Partners in Idaho, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Wyoming for 2010 Summer of Innovation

WASHINGTON -- NASA is partnering with the Space Grant Consortia of
Idaho, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Wyoming in the Summer of
Innovation initiative to use the agency's out-of-this-world missions
and technology programs to boost summer learning, particularly for
students who are underrepresented and underperforming in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

"NASA is partnering with these states in a pilot program to address
our nation's critical science, technology, engineering and math
education needs," said NASA Administrator and former astronaut
Charles F. Bolden. "Summer of Innovation pairs the strengths of the
states with NASA's unique resources to engage more young people and
their teachers and inspire and equip them to excel in these critical

NASA intends to award four cooperative agreements that total
approximately $5.6 million. Awards have a period of performance of 36
months. Local programs are required to develop ways to keep students
and teachers engaged during the school year and to track student
participants' performance through 2012. Awardees are encouraged to
leverage the unique capabilities and resources of program partners to
ensure a sustainable effort following the period of performance.

Through the Summer of Innovation program, NASA will engage thousands
of middle school teachers and students in stimulating math and
science-based education programs. NASA's goal is to increase the
number of future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, with an
emphasis on broadening participation of low-income and minority
students. Details of the four pilot programs for the Summer of
Innovation are:

- The Wyoming Space Grant Consortium's proposal for "Powering STEM
Education in Wyoming with Wind Energy" will focus on a state-wide,
intensive, interactive program about climate change and energy that
culminates in the development of fully functional wind turbines and
weather stations with remote monitoring capabilities for continued
research. This project ties aeronautics and climate change together
with wind turbines and provides students with an understanding of the
impact of climate change locally and globally.

- As part of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium's proposal for
"Launch and Learn," participating middle school teachers and students
will design and build experiments that study science and engineering
problems in suborbital space. Students will launch their experiments
on a sounding rocket from Spaceport America in Las Cruces, N.M.

- The Idaho Space Grant Consortium's proposal is a "NASA Education and
STEM Program for Underrepresented Populations." The program has a
strong emphasis on physics and a focus on cultural relevance and
sensitivities. Middle school students in Idaho, Montana and Utah will
be exposed to NASA's planetary science, robotics, space exploration
and aeronautics materials. The participating students will be from
schools on tribal reservations in Idaho, Montana and Utah, as well as
three locations in southern Idaho.

- The proposal from the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium will
focus on providing NASA's robotics, Earth and space science,
astrophysics and engineering missions to nine Massachusetts
educational institutions and industries that serve middle school
students and teachers. The project uses innovation in extensive
partnerships to reach a broad and diverse population of students
through intensive summer engagement programs.

The Summer of Innovation will be conducted in a multifaceted approach
that will allow NASA to assess the viability, scalability and success
of the pilot programs. After the Summer of Innovation concludes, NASA
will conduct an analysis to determine the best practices to build
capacity to implement a comprehensive project in the summer of 2011
and beyond.

NASA used the agency's National Space Grant College and Fellowship
Program to implement the Summer of Innovation pilot. The Space Grant
national network consists of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The network
includes 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry,
museums, science centers, and state and local agencies supporting and
enhancing science and engineering education, research and public
outreach efforts for NASA's aeronautics and space projects.

For information about NASA's Education programs, visit:


For additional information, click on "Selected Proposals" and look for
"The 2010 NASA Summer of Innovation Pilot," solicitation number
NNH10ZNE004C at:


Source: NASA

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