STEM Learning

Engaging learners of all ages and backgrounds in the process of scientific discovery and exploring the universe.

How does the universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? NASA’s big questions for Astrophysics inform every piece of programming in NASA’s Universe of Learning. This unique partnership between prominent science institutions, which have direct connections to NASA’s Astrophysics missions, builds on the excitement of these science questions to increase the public’s literacy and enable learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We rigorously evaluate our programming to ensure we are creating exciting, quality programming for our audiences that inspires.

Our initiatives focus on reaching underserved and underrepresented populations based on audience needs. We create authentic science experiences, multimedia resources, scientific visualizations, exhibits, and programming resources for community-based and after-school programs, all of which are based on NASA mission data and discoveries. NASA’s Universe of Learning also provides professional development to strengthen informal educators’ capacities to use astrophysics content to support the needs of their audiences and programs. We further support 21st century learning and interests by integrating new and emerging technologies into our programming to support blended learning, mobile learning, and audiences with special needs. Our work is founded on the strong partnerships of mission scientists and educators who work to share the latest discoveries and research of NASA’s Astrophysics missions, not only in ways that are accessible to the public, but that also engage them in the adventures of science and critical thinking.

Our Team

NASA’s Universe of Learning is a partnership between:

  • The Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Caltech/IPAC
  • Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Through integrated multi-institutional partnership, NASA’s Universe of Learning creates resources and experiences that connect audiences with concepts central to NASA’s big questions and scientific and engineering expertise. Our education specialists, scientists, and communications professionals collaborate with mission scientists and engineers to create materials that span the full spectrum of NASA Astrophysics to engage and inspire youth, lifelong learners, and educators. 

Additional Partners

  • Association of Science-Technology Centers
  • National Girls Collaborative Project
  • Rutgers University
  • Science Education Department of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • National Science Olympiad
  • Smithsonian Affiliations
  • Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access