NASA and Earth Science Week: a Model for Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Education and Outreach

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Theresa G Schwerin1, Annette deCharon2, Eric C Brown de Colstoun3, Lin H Chambers4, Morgan Woroner1, Jessica Taylor4, Susan Callery5, Randal Jackson5, Holli Riebeek6 and Ginger J Butcher6, (1)IGES, Arlington, VA, United States, (2)University of Maine, Orono, ME, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (5)JPL, Pasadena, CA, United States, (6)Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, MD, United States
Earth Science Week (ESW) – the 2nd full week in October – is a national and international event to help the public, particularly educators and students, gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth sciences. The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) organizes ESW, along with partners including NASA, using annual themes (e.g., the theme for 2014 is Earth’s Connected Systems). ESW provides a unique opportunity for NASA scientists and engineers across multiple missions and projects to share NASA STEM, their personal stories and enthusiasm to engage and inspire the next generation of Earth explorers. Over the past five years, NASA’s ESW campaign has been planned and implemented by a cross-mission/cross-project group, led by the NASA Earth Science Education and Pubic Outreach Forum, and utilizing a wide range of media and approaches (including both English- and Spanish-language events and content) to deliver NASA STEM to teachers and students. These included webcasts, social media (blogs, twitter chats, Google+ hangouts, Reddit Ask Me Anything), videos, printed and online resources, and local events and visits to classrooms. Dozens of NASA scientists, engineers, and communication and education specialists contribute and participate each year. This presentation will provide more information about this activity and offer suggestions and advice for others engaging scientists and engineers in education and outreach programs and events.