Curriculum & Instruction Dept. to Collaborate with NASA in Educator Professional Development


The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Curriculum and Instruction has been selected by NASA's Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP) to participate as a member in a newly created alliance designed to provide professional development for educators.

The new NASA–AESP Professional Development Alliance, administered by Penn State University for NASA, consists of a select group of high-quality professional development providers. The goal of the alliance is to improve education in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines through collaborations that identify and serve appropriate audiences, providing them with sustainedaccess to NASA resources and assets.

Member organizations collaborate with NASA Education, the space agency’s education wing,to design and deliver ongoing professional development activities that can improve teaching and learning. Each member works with a NASA education specialist to build a strategic plan to bring resources to educators in their region. Activities are customized to match the professional development needs for teachers in any local area.

Members also have opportunities to work with NASA’s Education and Public Outreach groups to participate in various NASA events, such as piloting training of new classroom resources, or celebrations of NASA mission milestones like the launch of a new mission or one reaching its destination. In addition, members have a forum to discuss issues in STEM teacher professional development across their organizations.

Membership in the alliance is by invitation to organizations that provide professional development to STEM educators and who have had previous successful collaborations with NASA Education. The alliance currently has 75 members in 38 state and Puerto Rico.

The College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction has responsibility for degree programs in Elementary and Middle Grades Education and supports the professional education component of secondary programs.  The Department also offers a variety of graduate degrees and endorsements in education, including the Master of Arts in Education - Teacher Leader.  The Department collaborates with the Southeast South Central Education Cooperative in offering professional development for educators in the region.

For more information on the NASA-AESP PD Alliance, visit

For more information about NASA Education, visit

For more information about the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, visit or contact Dr. Dorie Combs, department chair.

Published on June 13, 2012

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