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Mission Earth

Mission Earth: Fusing GLOBE with NASA Assets to Build Systemic Innovation in STEM Education work will support STEM education in school districts by vertically integrating the GLOBE/NASA materials from elementary school through middle school, high school, and college, enabling teachers and their students to use GLOBE and NASA materials throughout their schooling and build critical skills over time.  Such an approach will also build community among teachers and thereby promote deeper learning and innovation.

The project will bring together the best practices from throughout the United States, develop those best practices into a recommended curriculum progression, pilot the program in school districts across the United States that have varied demographics and spread the program across the United States.

 The MISSION EARTH team consists of geographically distributed partners committed to working with urban and rural high need school districts in the northeast, mid-west, southwest, and northwest, to produce national systemic change in STEM education. MISSION EARTH brings together scientists and science educators to develop a K-12 “Earth as a system” curriculum progression following research-based best practices. The curriculum will incorporate design principles that will make it appropriate for all student populations, especially those currently underrepresented in STEM careers. Our core members, University of Toledo (middle school project based science), WestEd (high school career readiness), Boston University (elementary and college engineering practices), Tennessee State University (college service learning) will share their results as the team builds a K-12 progression of activities. The project will also work closely with the schools to ensure that the innovations take hold, using participant input to improve the products. It will also work with districts, state educational agencies, and key networks to leverage their existing professional development infrastructures and support structures to replicate and disseminate the work and ensure long-term sustainability.

To arrive at these goals, MISSION EARTH will engage in the following activities:

1. Develop curricular materials to support a vertically integrated K-12 learning progression that fuses NASA learning assets with GLOBE activities to teach Earth as a system.

2. Develop models of educational professional development (EPD) that result in teachers’ use of NASA and GLOBE learning and teaching assets, especially in high need districts.

3. Develop sustainable infrastructures in schools for use of NASA/GLOBE learning and teaching assets.

4. Support STEM career development through linkages to sciences, real world application, and intersegmental service learning.

5. Collaborate and build capacity with district and state agencies, including train-the-trainer approaches.

MISSION EARTH’s project plan will ensure quality as well as ongoing, robust partnerships, mutual accountability and close communication among partners and with NASA, in service of outcomes for teachers, students and the broader impacts of public STEM literacy and sustainable, quality STEM programs.