NASA Outreach

In General by Brian Koberlein1 Comment


You may have heard about NASA’s budget woes and how that impacts most of their outreach programs.  It means we not only lose programs such as the annual +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory open house and +CosmoQuest, but also programs such as the one I worked with this past weekend.  It is a project called NASA Science and Technology on the Family Calendar.It is a collaboration between +NASA+Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Rochester Museum and Science Center where kids get to develop demonstrations and displays for their science center.  It’s a great example of bottom up (rather than top down) science outreach.  Science driven by the questions and interests of kids themselves, rather than being dictated by teachers and scientists.The overall topic for this weekend’s project was “Earth From Space”.  So teams looked at environmental changes, natural disasters, remote imaging and other topics related to space-based observations of Earth.  One team wanted to release a weather balloon to take pictures from space.  We didn’t have the budget for a released balloon, but we could do a tethered one.  As you can see, they got some pretty cool pictures of downtown Rochester.This particular project wasn’t a huge grant, but there are hundreds like it across the country, and they are all at risk with the budget cuts.  Most kids don’t live near JPL, and losing the annual open house won’t mean much to them.  But children all over the country will lose opportunities such as this one due to current cut backs.Hopefully we can change that trend.


  1. Get the technology company’s to donate, it could inspire a future genius (like yourself) and could make them lots of money. If Museum’s and Science Centers are allowed to shut down because of lack of funds, it could be dangers for the future of this planet because its only science that would give it a chance to survive any future problems.

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