As part of our ongoing collaborations with NASA, we are thrilled to announce that EiE will be continuing and expanding upon our free PLANETS STEM curricula and resources.
PLANETS (Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science) is a partnership between NASA, Northern Arizona University, the United States Geological Survey, and our wonderful developers here at EiE. The project began in 2016 with a focus on developing a suite of content-rich science and engineering activities for youth in Out-of-School Time (OST) settings. With an additional $4.6 million awarded by NASA, EiE and its partners will continue this good work for the next five years.
“This extension is so critical because it is focused on getting these resources into the hands of learners and educators across the country,” said Joelle Clark, principal investigator and associate director of NAU’s Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL). “We want PLANETS to excite and inspire kids and educators about planetary science and engineering. We hope to provide useful tools and resources to support learning and that these efforts will result in a greater appreciation of the importance of STEM in understanding our world and solar system.”
“This additional funding is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand upon and enhance the work completed in the last cycle” said Chris San Antonio, EiE Research Manager and Institutional Principal Investigator. “Specifically, we’ll be looking for ways to make our content more engaging, more accessible, and more relevant for a broad audience”.
“These enhancements,” San Antonio continued, “will be geared specifically toward under-resourced communities and high needs students, including those with disabilities, Indigenous and Native American students and English language learners. Enhancements will be made to existing resources, ensuring they are accessible and responsive to new needs in hybrid and distance-learning environments.”
Geared for learners in grades 3-8, each existing unit includes 8-9 hours of free, hands-on, educational activities and games for out-of-school time. All of the materials are and will remain downloadable for free so educators and families around the country can access and implement them however they see fit.
We are thrilled to be able to continue this partnership with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and are looking forward to our future collaborations. Take a look at the existing PLANETS curricula, grades 3-5 and grades 6-8 and let us know in the comments below what enhancements you’d like to see going forward. Additionally, check out our PLANETS at Home resources, created specifically to meet the needs of families during Covid times.