Partnerships

NASA Network of States

The NASA Network of States is a network for partner delivered NASA educator professional development that is interconnected by NASA’s ten centers. The network consists of school districts, higher education institutions, informal education organizations, collaboratives, and consortiums that serve underrepresented populations in STEM where NASA trains-the-trainers within partner organizations on NASA content, missions, and education resources. Partners in turn deliver NASA educator professional development to their educator base cultivating systemic and long-term support for NASA centers and partners across the US.

The goals for the Network of States include the following:

  • Use NASA Education resources mapped to Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.
  • Improve educator self-efficacy for teaching STEM and fostering 21st Century Skills using NASA Education resources.
  • Use instruction in the online and face-to-face formats to provide opportunities for experiential and social learning.
  • Provide professional development hours toward teacher certification renewals.
Johnson Space Center Network of States

The current Network of States collaborative partners at Johnson Space Center are the following: The Center for STEM Education, Dallas I.S.D., NASA Johnson Space Center, Texas Space Grant Consortium, Rio Grande Valley Science Association, Texarkana I.S.D., Texas Girls Collaborative Project, Texas State University, and the West Energy Consortium.

The Texas Girls Collaborative Project connects non-profits, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, companies, organizations and individuals across the state of Texas committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Led by the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) at The University of Texas at Austin, TxGCP provides forums, curriculum, best practices and resources to foster collaborations, build capacity of participating organizations, and create a state-wide network of informed and connected informal and formal STEM educators and advocates.


Dallas Independent School District seeks to become a premier school district of choice serving families in Dallas by providing a wide-range of educational opportunities for its diverse population of scholars. Dallas ISD is proud to offer programs to engage every interest while fulfilling the mission of educating all students for success.


The Center for STEM Education is an intellectual hub that brings together a diverse set of constituencies interested in improving teaching and learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). Our commitment to equity, access, and social justice informs all of the work we do. We build collaborative teams comprised of teachers, community members, district administrators, university researchers, philanthropists, business, and civic leaders to (1) design and carry out cutting edge research in STEM Education, (2) promote equity and access to STEM learning opportunities, (3) provide high quality professional development to practicing STEM Teachers and (4) disseminate research findings, products, and instructional innovations to all parties working to improve STEM Education in Texas and throughout the U.S. Our largest project is the Texas Regional Collaboratives, a network of 62 partnerships throughout Texas, facilitating professional development to over 8,000 math and science teachers annually. The second major professional development project in the Center for STEM Education is the WeTeach_CS project. WeTeach_CS aims provides both face-to-face and on-line professional development for practicing teachers who want to add a computer science certification to their teaching license. In the first year, WeTeach_CS helped 177 Texas teachers gain computer science certification (compared to 14 for the whole state the year prior). The Center for STEM Education currently houses research projects investigating: integrating engineering and computer science into math and science classes; improving undergraduate preservice STEM teacher education; improving professional development for practicing STEM teachers; and understanding the pipeline of students into STEM majors in college and subsequent STEM careers, with an emphasis on groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields.


The Texas Space Grant Consortium is a group of 59 institutions which include universities, industrial organizations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies within Texas that are joined to ensure that the benefits of space research and technology are available to all Texans.  The primary objects for TSGC is foster sharing space related course materials among consortium academic institutions, use the interest in space to increase participation in science and mathematics in the public schools, foster space-related programs and curricula for public schools and the public, and increase the pool of high school graduates who enter college to study science, mathematics, engineering, and technology with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities and women.


The Rio Grande Valley Science Association of Texas is dedicated in promoting science literacy and creating awareness toward the improvement of public understanding of science throughout the Rio Grande Valley and Texas. By fostering an environment where teachers can receive the science foundation needed to help support and expand student knowledge, the Rio Grande Valley Science Association is committed in creating the science leaders of tomorrow.


The mission of Texarkana Independent School District,an innovative learning community strengthened by its diversity, is to provide a superior education in a caring environment that inspires, challenges and engages each student through a wide range of opportunities. We will always focus on students while valuing all people in the education process. We will always strive for excellence. We will always promote a culture of personal accountability and mutual respect.

MSI Teacher Education Network

The Minority Serving Institution Teacher Education Network (MSI TEN) is comprised of STEM Education faculty members from Texas State University and 11 faculty members from seven partner MSI universities who have specialized expertise in the field of culturally relevant pedagogy.

MSI TEN participating faculty have monthly online work sessions using Adobe connect and meet together annually for collaborative planning and work sessions. The MSI TEN are engaged in analyzing NASA resources and designing new education professional development (EPD) resources that will enable educators to provide high quality STEM education that features unique NASA content and is tailored to meet the academic needs of students from diverse backgrounds. In addition, the group is developing a white paper addressing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom. The paper is informing the development of guidelines to consider when creating a culturally inclusive lesson and this information is integrated into the framework for evaluating the NASA Curriculum activities. Also, an executive summary sheet has been developed to be utilized by the MSI Faculty to document the suggestions for NASA lesson improvement. The executive summary sheets will be used by the Education Specialist when modifying and presenting a NASA lesson reviewed by the MSI-TEN Faculty.

Alabama A&M University

Samantha L. Strachan Ed.D.

Samantha L. Strachan

Dr. Samantha L. Strachan is Program Coordinator of Secondary Education and Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership at Alabama A&M University. She has an earned doctorate in Science Education from Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), a Master of Secondary Education (Biology) degree from Alabama A&M University (Normal, AL), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Mount Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada).
In addition to teaching science methods and assessment and evaluation courses, Dr. Strachan serves as an advisor and a clinical supervisor for secondary science teaching candidates. Her research is primarily focused on improving minority students’ participation in STEM fields as well as examining ways to diversify the teaching workforce. Prior to joining Alabama A&M University as a faculty member, Dr. Strachan served as a research assistant as well as a secondary science teacher.


Johanna Massey

Dr. Johanna Massey, assistant professor of Elementary Education, has BS and MA degrees in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and PhD in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama. Dr. Massey teaches courses in early childhood and elementary education both undergraduate and graduate programs. Her course emphasis are the STEM methods courses. The undergraduate pedagogy courses include embedding Alabama Mathematics Science Technology Initiative (AMSTI) in science and mathematics methods courses.
Dr. Massey’s scholarly work includes presentations at state and national conferences and Co PI for NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative project. Her research interest includes successful mathematics thinking and math agency for children of color.

Coppin State University

Mintesinot Jiru Ph.D.

Mintesinot Jiru

Dr. Mintesinot Jiru holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences from Gent University and is an Associate Professor and current chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Coppin State University. He has over 20 years of teaching and research experience in areas of climate change and environmental systems. Dr. Jiru has done extensive work on land degradation, food security, and water management issues in Africa and Asia. Dr. Jiru’s current research focuses on understanding the socio-environmental and biophysical issues encompassing water quality in Baltimore’s watersheds.
Over the last seven years, Dr. Jiru has been closely working with SESYNC to create awareness on the socio-environmental synthesis approaches. Currently Mintesinot is actively pursuing a research program on understanding the effects of pharmaceuticals (mainly estrogen) on aquatic life in Baltimore’s watersheds. Mintesinot also is a co-lead for a multi-institution study focusing on infusing climate change modules in Science and Education courses at various HBCU institutions. Dr. Jiru serves as the chief editor for the American Journal of Experimental Agriculture. He also serves as a member of the External Advisory Board for the National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center. Mintesinot served on various panels and task forces including Maryland governor’s task force that was charged to author a white paper to develop graduate programs in alternative energy in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo

Victor M. Concepción-Santiago

Dr. Victor M. Concepción-Santiago is professor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo Campus. He teaches and does research in the Graduate School of Education in the field of Management and Leadership. He also dedicates time as Coordinator in the Outcomes Assessment and Information Center to study, analyze and improve the quality educational offerings and services provided by the institution.
Dr. Concepción is currently conducting studies related to STEM Education, particularly in the area of organizational culture that promotes STEM in schools, assessment practices and the use of Problem Based Learning (PBL). He is member of the board of directors of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development of the Puerto Rico affiliate.

Mississippi Valley State University

Candace Carter Stevens

Dr. Candace Carter Stevens is a tenured Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Mississippi Valley State University’s Department of Mathematics, Computer & Information Sciences. She is a mathematics educator with nearly 20 years of teaching experience in the K-12 and higher education arenas. Prior to Dr. Steven’s arrival to Mississippi Valley State University, she served as a highly-qualified secondary mathematics educator in the Canton Public School (MS) and Dallas Independent School (TX) districts.
Dr. Stevens earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Jackson State University, her Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Jackson State University and her Doctorate Degree in Science Education with an emphasis in Mathematics Education from The University of Southern Mississippi. Her research interests include investigating the use of technology, culturally relevant teaching practices, and the Praxis Core Math & Praxis II Mathematics Content Knowledge exams, all in an effort to increase student achievement in STEM education, specifically at HBCUs and in the Mississippi Delta. Married to Aaron Stevens, Dr. Stevens enjoys spending time with family and friends, volunteering at community events, shopping, reading, cooking, and traveling with their son, Caleb, to his various sporting events.

Morgan State University

Marciea Monique McMillian

M. Monique McMillian

Dr. M. Monique McMillian is a Morgan State University associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development. She teaches learning-sciences and developmental-sciences courses and serves as the assessment coordinator.
Dr. McMillian’s research has included studies on how school factors relate to academic engagement and math achievement. Her most recent journal article, entitled “Can Class-Based Substitute for Race-Based Student Assignment Plans? Evidence from Wake County, North Carolina,” has been cited in The Washington Post and other media outlets. Her current multilevel study focuses on how discriminatory policies and students’ perceptions of prejudice and fairness relate to math achievement and health outcomes.


Dr. Christian J. Anderson

  Christian Anderson

Dr. Christian J. Anderson is an assistant professor in Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development. Dr. Anderson is a mathematics educator with over 20 years of administrative and teaching experience in the K-12 arena. Prior to Dr. Anderson’s arrival to Morgan State, he has served as a school-based and central office administrator in several school systems in the State of Maryland. Dr. Anderson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Morgan State University, his Master’s Degree in Leadership in Teaching from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and his Doctorate Degree in Mathematics Education from Morgan State University. Dr. Anderson’s research interests include:

  • Urban Elementary STEM teacher development
  • Socio-political factors that impact the academic achievement of African American students
  • Mathematical achievement of African American male students
  • Instructional Leadership in Urban Schools
  • PRAXIS Core – Mathematics achievement for HBCU students

Lehman College

Dr. Gillian Bayne Lehman College

Gillian Bayne

Dr. Gillian Bayne is a tenured associate professor of science education, who has a dual appointment – at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Lehman College in the Middle and High School Education Department, and at CUNY’s Graduate Center in the Urban Education Department. At Lehman College, Gillian also serves as a program coordinator in the Science Education Program and is a CoPI of the STEMELL Noyce Program that is funded through the National Science Foundation. With over twenty-five years of science teaching experience in New York City public and private high schools, in addition to adult basic education programs and in higher education, Gillian combines her expertise and commitment to excellence with innovative teaching philosophies and practices in order to create greater equitable possibilities for students and teachers as they embark on the complex journey that is science education. Grounding her work primarily in cultural sociology, the sociology of emotions and critical pedagogy, Gillian’s research interests involve improving teaching and learning in science education through the use of cogenerative dialogues and coteaching at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Another research focus involves examining the personal and professional trajectories of underrepresented scientists of color as a means to increase interest and strengthen competence in marginalized urban secondary science students’ academic and career pursuits in STEM and STEM related fields.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Danny Martin

     Danny Martin

Dr. Danny Bernard Martin is Professor of Education and Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he has been a faculty member since 2004. Prior to UIC, Dr. Martin served as Instructor and Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Contra Costa College (California) for 14 years. His research has focused on understanding the salience of race and identity in Black learners’ mathematical experiences. He is author of the book Mathematics Success and Failure Among African Youth (2000, Erlbaum), editor of Mathematics Teaching, Learning, and Liberation in the Lives of Black Children (2009, Routledge), co-editor of The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse (2013, Information Age), and co-author of The Impact of Identity in K–8 Mathematics Learning and Teaching (2013, NCTM).

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Candice Ridlon

      Candice Ridlon

Dr. Ridlon has a BS in Mathematics from Florida State University, an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, Mathematics from Valdosta State University, and Ph.D. in Secondary Education, Mathematics from Florida State University. She is a state-certified mathematics and science teacher for grades 6 – 12 and has taught in every grade from kindergarten through college during her 20+ year school career. Although a native of Florida, Dr. Ridlon has lived (and taught!) in 5 other states while raising her six children: Georgia, Alaska, Maine, Utah, and Maryland.

Endeavor Community
Ambassadors Initiative

U.S. Satellite is partnering with Texas State in developing and delivering online coursework for middle school educators to become NASA Emerging Stars Community Ambassadors. Three such courses that are a part of the Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project (ESTCP) will be offered each year for 20 educators in each course. Teachers are able to earn 3 hours of graduate credit for completion of the course and follow-up activities.

The professional development course blends NASA content from each of the four NASA Mission Directorates and is designed to enrich teachers’ repertoire with appropriate, effective STEM curriculum inspired by NASA’s unique assets. Participants are provided with the opportunity to learn from and interact with a number of recognized experts who participate as guest presenters in the course. The course focuses on STEM pedagogical strategies and culturally relevant pedagogical practices tailored to help STEM teachers be successful with diverse student populations. Participants are currently being recruited and selected for the second cohort of participants that will launch in September.

In the EPD online initiative, STEM teachers serving middle grade, underrepresented student populations will earn Ambassadorships after a full school year in the project. As Ambassadors, each participating teacher will impact another 10 or more school and district STEM educators.