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NASA and U.S. Dept. of Ed Deepen Partnership on STEM

The two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding to continue promoting STEM for students from diverse backgrounds, with NASA providing educational content for after-school programs and other STEM initiatives.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sitting side-by-side signing papers.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona participate in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony May 24 at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
NASA/Keegan Barber/NASA
NASA and the U.S. Department of Education signed an agreement last week to team up on efforts to increase access to science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and space education.

According to a news release, the agreement was a commitment to expand the agencies’ ongoing work promoting STEM education for K-12 students from diverse backgrounds to encourage interest in STEM and space-related career paths — a major priority for both NASA and the department as members of the White House National Space Council and the White House National Science and Technology Council Committee on STEM Education.

“The first humans who will walk on Mars and the innovators who will help humanity reach the Red Planet are students in America’s classrooms today. NASA and the Department of Education know we need the whole of the Artemis Generation — young people from all parts of America and all walks of life — to achieve big goals, overcome our greatest challenges, and inspire the world through science and discovery,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a public statement. “Today’s signing, with the support of Vice President [Kamala] Harris and the National Space Council, continues NASA’s collaborative efforts with the Department of Education to amplify the excitement of space to all students across our country, allowing every young person to know they are a part of the Artemis Generation — today and for decades to come.”

The news release said other collaborations between NASA and the U.S. Department of Education will include the provision of NASA STEM content and technical services for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, which funds after-school programming. It said NASA is also providing course content for both U.S. Department of Education’s YOU Belong in STEM initiative and Your Place in Space student challenge, which aims to expose students to career opportunities in STEM and space-related fields.

“I am excited for this partnership with NASA that will inspire and prepare young people from all backgrounds to become our next generation of leaders in STEM fields and to propel our nation and our workforce into the future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a public statement. “From the groundbreaking Apollo mission to today’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, NASA’s work has long galvanized the world to raise the bar and reach for new heights. I am proud that our agencies will continue to intentionally collaborate to enrich STEM teaching and learning in America’s classrooms; expand access to high-quality, hands-on career, technical, and space education; increase the capacity and diversity of our nation’s STEM educator workforce; and so much more.”