NASA launches its Summer of Innovation as its "broad, nationwide effort that will leverage partnerships with academia, industry, and government." This initiative is NASA’s response to a national need for improvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. As NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden explains in a recent press release, "It is wonderful to feel the excitement generated by these students as they experienced first-hand what fascinating and challenging opportunities exist for students who follow STEM career paths, and I hope that by getting these students involved in NASA's missions and programs now, it may pave the way for a new generation of scientists and engineers, which is critically important to our nation's future."
This NASA education initiative is timed take place during the summer months when many students experience the "summer slide," losing some of the skills they acquired during the academic year. NASA Summer of Innovation activities continue during the normal school year and provide follow-on and extended learning efforts designed to keep students involved in NASA-themed STEM activities all through the academic year. The 2011 Summer of Innovation project expands both the breadth and depth of school- and community-based partners’ ability to provide meaningful, educational and exciting STEM experiences to students in grades 4-9 who traditionally have been underrepresented in STEM fields.
NASA’s Summer of Innovation program supports NASA's commitment to excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which will play a key role in preparing, inspiring, encouraging and nurturing the nation's future work force. It also leverages NASA funding, content, and brand association in partnership with proven school- and community-based summer and extended learning STEM organizations to support projects that are seeking to strengthen current STEM education.
This NASA Summer of Innovation project is designed to improve the skills and enhance the engagement of American students in STEM. NASA piloted the Summer of Innovation during the summer of 2010 and launches it nationwide in the summer of 2011.
Read more and find out how you can get involved.