Programs

NESSP serves as a “virtual NASA center” for residents of the U.S.’s northwest — covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North and South Dakota. NASA centers have traditionally acted as hubs for professional development for educators, access points for NASA educational materials, and on-site experiences for educators and students. In lieu of a NASA center in our region, NESSP offers several programs to deliver hands-on STEM experiences and NASA education to our communities. Our specific topic focus areas are:

  • Environmental science and remote sensing
  • Planetary exploration and robotics
  • Exploration of the solar system and rocketry

Our goal is to create a pathway into STEM fields — by getting students excited and inspired by STEM and by strengthening STEM education across our region. We also support community-based science and engineering events in partnership with underserved and underrepresented communities. If you’d like to inquire about working with us to bring NESSP programming to your community, contact us at nwessp@uw.edu.

Visit the pages below for details on each program and to see listings of upcoming opportunities.

Outreach

NESSP’s outreach programs bring hands-on STEM activities to students in schools, afterschool, or youth programs. Our outreach programs are provided by three of our partners, covering regions in Washington state and Oregon.

Professional development

NESSP’s professional development program offers two-day workshops and weeklong summits to teachers, organizers, and other science educators across the northwest region.

Summer camps

NESSP’s summer camps program offers support to educator-led summer camps across the northwest region.

Supplies

NESSP's lending program provides supplies to educators across the U.S. The types of supplies we have loaned have ranged from drones and LEGO Mindstorms to water rockets and bicycle pumps. Supplies available for loan through this program change from year to year.

Curriculum — ROADS companion course

NESSP’s companion course program offers a curriculum for educators to integrate concepts from the ROADS on Asteroids challenge into their program. Through our curriculum program, we offer both a five-unit curriculum (that educators can adapt to suit their needs) as well as sessions with an undergraduate teaching assistant to provide virtual instruction with hands-on experimentation.

National student challenges

NESSP’s student challenges program brings our STEM education expertise to educators and students across the United States. Challenges center around a specific scientific topic or NASA mission and create opportunities for educators to participate in NESSP-provided professional development and for students to work together in teams to tackle STEM topics. Challenges culminate in events at regional hubs around the U.S., with top teams earning visits to NASA centers such as Johnson Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, Ames Research Center, and the Jet Propulsion Lab.