Rarely in U.S. history has there been a greater need for increased cultural understanding and mutual respect among diverse populations. If the U.S. is to advance technologically and have the STEM workforce needed to compete globally, it will be necessary to prepare large numbers of students from diverse backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields. NASA’s long-term success will be directly related to the country’s progress in this area.
In year 2, the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) strategically contributed by leveraging expertise of faculty who serve as Curriculum & Instruction consultants, STEM content experts, Researchers, and NASA Center-based Education Specialists. Our continued focus on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) has been effectively integrated into our content and well received. In year 2 we directly reached almost 34,000 educators through almost 250 face-toface professional learning experiences and over 200 NASA webinars/webshops.
Direct, daily interaction between NASA STEM EPDC specialists and NASA translates into informed, highly motived professionals who weave STEM content, NASA context, and educational and cultural best practices. The NASA STEM EPDC team also meets biannually for collaborative learning and teaching. In MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTORS November, we visited Marshall Space Flight Center and learned about NASA cutting edge technologies and missions, including the newest most powerful rocket—the Space Launch System. In May, we traveled with faculty partners from the Minority Serving InstitutionsTeacher Educator Network (MSI TEN) to the Kennedy Space Center. The University of South Florida hosted the event and shared expertise in Ethnic Identity and Mathematics Education best practices for English Language Leaners.
EPDC has continued to expand its work with Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). The MSI Teacher Education Network includes 9 partner institutions with the addition of University of Illinois at Chicago, Morgan State University, and Lehman College, City University of New York. The NASA Emerging Stars Network has launched and has more than 50 member institutions.
Our mission is to reach as many educators as possible with meaningful, standards-aligned content. NASA STEM EPDC offers a breadth of online learning opportunities to reach many educators who cannot visit a NASA Center. This January, we debuted the EPDC Digital Badging system with a limited number micro-certification courses. This infrastructure is an investment to utilize as we grow the number of badges offered and invite partners to build learning experiences.
In short, year 2 has been an actionpacked year, and all indications are that Year 3 will be even more successful as we continue to increase both our face-to-face and online EPD offerings. We embrace the goal of leveraging NASA assets to provide high-quality STEM professional development for both formal and informal educators in schools, universities, and communities.
EPDC Annual Report Archives