The National Center for
Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) was established in June
2005 by the Universities
Space Research Association (USRA). The Center is charged with
conducting national education and public outreach programs in the Earth
and space sciences, and aeronautics and astronautics, which take entire
communities to the frontiers of research.
The content of the
Center’s programs is to reflect the research activities—and experiences
of researchers—across USRA’s association of 101 member universities;
USRA’s 13 other national institutes, centers, and program offices; and
NASA, through a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight
The Center embraces as
its core belief ‘that to continue the legacy of scientific
exploration, every generation must be inspired to learn what we know
about our world and the universe, and how we have come to know it’.
To reach the next generation the Center engages entire
communities—students, families, educators, and the public—through
science education programs that provide multiple pathways for student
The vision is growing a
national and international network of these ‘learning communities’
through which science education programs and resources can be delivered
on a regular basis.
Programs conducted by
the Center are systemic, addressing entire
school systems; strategic, addressing a
community’s goals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
(STEM) education; and sustainable, with
programming and resources provided to the community on an ongoing basis.
The Center’s programs reflect a more than 15-year heritage of
providing diverse audiences a window on the true nature of science—a
process of discovery practiced by ordinary people that dare to ask
questions of their world, and pursue answers through the art of
scientific inquiry. National education programs dedicated to
authentically represent science provide a natural conduit for
researchers and research organizations across the nation to share
personal experiences, research programs, and the book of knowledge set
in the context of process. The Center is therefore committed to
sustained partnerships with the research community in order to form and
maintain a Content Provider Network.