NASA Heliophysics Education Activation Team Goes to Sun Camp
The NASA Heliophysics Education Activation Team (HEAT) recently partnered with the non-profit Science Friday Initiative to contribute subject matter experts and resources in support of a 5-week “Sun Camp” from October 19 to November 16, 2022, an opportunity to help provide high-quality, free, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities for learners, ages 5-9, and their caregivers. Families, homeschooling parents and groups, after-school programs, in-school programs, clubs, scouts, libraries, and other community organizations were invited to join. Over 557 families and groups registered, resulting in nearly 2,700 children enrolled.
The Camp included live Question & Answer sessions with NASA HEAT scientists, as well as hands-on experiments and activities for participants to complete at home, all of which aligned with the theme for each week. Most of the materials for the activities were inexpensive and easy to find around the house or at the local hardware store. To remove barriers to participation, NASA HEAT funded kits of materials that were sent to low-income families and educators serving marginalized communities. Over 1,000 children were served through this effort.
Participant parents, caregivers, and educators provided a wealth of positive feedback:
"Thank you so much for putting this youth programming together. So many quality resources and a plethora of supportive aids and videos. The lesson plans are extremely well thought out. (Not that it's news to you...) The experiments are both tactically and intellectually robust. I have nothing but positives to report." - Parent
"They feel inspired to invent stuff and build things like spaceships." - Parent
“My students had interest in the speakers... They liked seeing lots of different ages/genders/skin colors/etc." - Educator
"My grandson liked getting his very own science box in the mail. He said now I can be a scientist. He did all the experiments more than once." - Caregiver
"The kit was wonderful! My students were so excited to complete the projects and using the kit was so easy for me as a classroom teacher." - Educator
The NASA HEAT project is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number 80NSSC21K1560 and is part of NASA's Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about NASA HEAT: https://science.nasa.gov/science-activation-team/nasa-heliophysics-education-activation-team