ASP2021: A Virtual Conference
9:45 AM - 10:35 AM: Concurrent Session 9A: 9:45 am PST (12:45 pm EST)
NASA Community College Network: Bringing NASA Science to the Nation's Community Colleges
Conference Strand: Teaching Introductory Astronomy – What are We Doing Now?
Simon Steel, SETI Institute
Abstract of Session/Presentation: The NASA Community College Network (NCCN) is a major initiative to bring NASA Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), research findings, and science resources into the nation's community college system. Students at community and two-year colleges represent an underserved population, with significant minority enrollment, first generation college attendance and part-time and vocational learners, especially teachers in training. With over a third of the 300,000 students enrolling in introductory astronomy every year doing so at a community college, NCCN has a huge potential impact on science education and science literacy We briefly report on the first year of the project, and our plans for the next year, focusing on the three key engagement strategies of the Network: targeted resource development, professional development for instructors AND subject matter experts, and brokering partnerships between instructor and SMEs. We'll then open the floor for discussion by attending instructors (and SMEs interested in this type of engagement opportunity). We'd like to hear how the year is going for you during these challenging times, what your needs are, and how this project (and perhaps others at NASA which we can broker) might be of benefit to you and your students.