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Informal Learning Network Awardees Announced

Informal Learning Network Awardees Announced

The Informal Learning Network, a collaboration of museums and cultural institutions affiliated with the Smithsonian and the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), is excited to announce that, on April 1st, 2022, it selected 21 of these museums from across the country to help expand support for communities traditionally underserved in STEM and STEAM programming. These selected organizations are spearheading collaborations within their communities and building regional networks that help to increase access to NASA’s Universe of Learning resources. This wide variety of collaborations includes projects such as: the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, which is supporting 11-18 year old girls as they not only explore deep space, but share their new knowledge with broader audiences through a collaboration with local Girl Scout councils; the South Dakota Discovery Center is developing education kits that integrate Indigenous and Western Science by working with educators from a nearby Indian reservation and faculty and students from a local university to create culturally sustaining science education content; and the Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum of Albuquerque is expanding NASA space-themed curriculum to better align with strategies for supporting English Language Learners. Many sites are also part of the NASA Informal Science Education Network (NISENet) and will be able to leverage both programs to serve their audiences.

The Informal Learning Network is one of the activities NASA’s Universe of Learning conducts to cultivate connections among a broad set of museums, cultural organizations, and other informal learning settings to foster their development of community partnerships. Through this co-creation and inclusion of broader perspectives, the network hopes to achieve impactful astrophysics programming that is innovative, inclusive, accessible, and relevant to broader audiences. Educators engaged in the Informal Learning Network report an increase in their skills for facilitating authentic NASA data experiences and feel they gain enough science content knowledge to design a program for their audiences using NASA’s Universe of Learning content/resources.

Full List of Awardees:

● McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University - Framingham, MA
● Frontiers of Flight Museum - Dallas, TX
● San Diego Air and Space Museum - San Diego, CA
● The Pinhead Institute - Telluride, CO
● Children’s Creativity Museum - San Francisco, CA
● Museum of Science - Boston, MA
● Pensacola MESS Hall - Pensacola, FL
● Children’s Museum Tucson - Tucson, AZ
● Explora - Albuquerque, NM
● Muskogee STEAM Center - Muskogee, OK
● Orlando Science Center - Orlando, FL
● Rochester Museum and Science Center - Rochester, NY
● Science Central - Fort Wayne, IN
● Sciencecenter - Ithaca, NY
● South Dakota Discovery Center - Pierre, SD
● Terry Lee Wells - Reno, NV
● Michigan Science Center - Detroit, MI
● International Museum of Art and Science - McAllen, TX
● New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science - Albuquerque, NM
● Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium - Gastonia, NC
● The Museum of Flight - Tukwila, WA

Learn more about NASA Universe of Learning’s Informal Learning Network:

(NASA Science Activation Award No. NNX16AC65A)

Fifteen people pose around a cardboard cutout of an astronaut in moon landing suit. Three kneel in front, six stand to the left, and six stand to the right. They are a mix of adults and youths, likely high school-aged.