By Laura K. Lincoln
Communication Coordinator, NASA's Space Place
NASA’s iconic images of planets, far-off galaxies, and even our own Earth have the ability to inspire young and old alike. The visual aspect of space exploration is perhaps its most compelling element. These images are most special, I think, when beautifully printed and seen in person. Part of my job is helping people all across the country have that opportunity.
I consider myself lucky to be part of a program that provides NASA educational material for communities and organizations to display publicly. Central to NASA’s Space Place, a website about Earth and space science targeting elementary-aged kids, is its goal to make it easy for as many communities as possible to be informed and inspired by NASA science. So far, more than 350 museums, planetariums, and libraries nationwide participate in our free Space Place Community Partners Program. I am always looking for new organizations to join the ranks.
All you have to do to become a community partner is commit to establishing a permanent wall display. We supply the Space Place borders and display materials. You will get new material every three months. It’s absolutely free, it requires very little staff time, and it’s a great way to bring a bit of NASA directly to your community. All we ask in return is a photograph of the display once a year.
The material I send out is appropriate for many age groups, and covers a wide range of subject matter—from weather and earth science to quasars and black holes. Every installment is new and exciting.
When you become a Space Place community partner, you will also receive a bi-monthly newsletter updating you on what’s new at the Space Place website. The newsletter provides tips on how to use our site for formal and informal learning.
All too often there is a lack of science education because students and educators do not have access to quality educational material. The material that we send out aims to fill that void and has greatly helped hundreds of communities across the country already. And we always have room for more partners to join our program.
If your organization is interested in joining, please feel free to contact me at Laura.K.Lincoln@jpl.nasa.gov.
Laura K. Lincoln is the Communication Coordinator for NASA’s Space Place Team, based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. She runs the Space Place Community Partners program.