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Journey through the Universe
The Organization
Learning Community Model
Program Overview
The Organization
Program Heritage
Content Provider Network
Program Delivery Teams
Milestones and Achievements
Learning Community Network
Build Your Program
Rallying Support in Your Community

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.  Voyage Classroom Visit

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 Center.

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 learning. 

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.


An entity in and by means of which universities and other research institutions may cooperate with one another, with the Government of the United States, and with other organizations toward the development of knowledge associated with space science and technology.

USRA Charter, 1969


Incorporated in 1969 as a private nonprofit corporation under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, USRA is dedicated to research in the Earth and space sciences, and aeronautics and astronautics.  USRA has an international membership of 101 colleges and universities, all having graduate programs in relevant disciplines.  There are 93 member institutions in the United States, two in Canada, three in Europe, and two in Israel.

USRA operates over a dozen Centers, Institutes, and Program Offices, including the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) near the NASA Johnson Space Center; and the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) at the NASA Ames Research Center.  On June 1, 2005, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education was launched as a new USRA national facility. 

Journey through the Universe
Contact Us
For information, please contact Jeff Goldstein at (301) 395-0770 or via e-mail at info@ncesse.org.
New Content
Journey through the Universe Brochure (PDF, 804 KB)
Become a Journey Community (PDF, 392 KB)
Journey through the Universe Week (PDF, 484 KB)
Journey Program Menu (PDF, 308 KB)
Journey Community Resources (PDF, 344 KB)
Milestones (PDF, 360 KB)
Testimonials (PDF, 244 KB)
©2008, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education