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Voyage

a series of non-fiction books

for children

embracing the notion that science education is about conceptual understanding at an emotional level

 

 

Concept: a series of captivating books for middle and high school young adults, each providing a sense of voyage beyond Earth to other worlds. The goal is conceptual understanding at an emotional level, and is achieved by building bridges between the familiar here on Earth and our current scientific understanding of these other worlds. The books will embrace the notion that science is a journey not a book of knowledge. The book series would be co-branded with the Voyage National Program (see below.)

 

 

Who I am—Jeff Goldstein, Ph.D.:

I am an award winning, nationally recognized science educator; astrophysicist specializing in the atmospheres of other planets; Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education; Director of national science education programs; author, blogging for the Huffington Post, and Blog on the Universe; a speaker on science, education, and the joys of learning, sought after for keynote and large public addresses, and whose presentations are exceptionally well received.

 

 

Writing Samples:

The Art of Teaching (Huffington Post)

Scientists and Engineers as Heroes

 

The Business Trip

Apples and You

My Really Long Drive with Jordi

Spaceship Earth

Dr. Jeff’s Interplanetary Travel Agency

 

The Nature of Our Existence

The National Air and Space Museum

 

Concern over America’s Future (Huffington Post)

To President Obama – On the Crisis in Science Education

 

 

Summary of Voyage National Program:

Voyage is a scale model of our Solar System permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, stretching from the National Air and Space Museum to the Smithsonian Castle Building (Voyage in DC photoalbum). For the millions of visitors to the Mall each year, this highly visible exhibition provides a powerful  understanding of Earth’s place in space—and celebrates that we can know it.

 

I led the team that designed it, I defined the visitor experience, and I wrote the storyboards. Relevant links: storyboard design; sample storyboard text and imagery (copyrighted): Mercury, Earth.

 

My team  sought and got approval from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission for permanent placement on the Mall, the same approval process for anything placed on what is considered national sacred ground, e.g., the World War II Memorial.

 

I also ensured that Voyage was designed so it could be replicated and permanently installed in communities world-wide—given the story of our existence on this tiny world is shared by all humanity. Voyage is now permanently installed in Houston, Texas at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Visitors Center; in downtown Kansas City, Missouri underwritten by the Kauffman Foundation; and along the historic waterfront in Corpus Christi, Texas. It is now also approved for installation on the State Capitol grounds in Des Moines, Iowa; in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor; and on the campus of the University of Central Florida. In 2010, we will roll out Voyage internationally.

 

 

The proposed book series has a ready made audience:

1) social media: I blog for the Huffington Post; have a significant PLN on Twitter; and my Blog on the Universe has a significant following—Blog coverage of the NASA MESSENGER spacecraft flyby of the planet Mercury had a few tens of thousands of followers.

2) I routinely give keynote addresses, and speak to large audiences in venues like the National Air and Space Museum. I estimate I’ve spoken to likely 100,000. My keynote at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Kansas City in October will be before an audience of 2,500 teachers.

3) teachers: we developed a powerful package of grade K-12 lessons on the Solar System, and 3,000 teachers a year are trained on it through the MESSENGER Fellows program we oversee for NASA.

4) visitorship to the exhibition permanently installed in communities across the nation, and eventually internationally. Customized tour brochures in each Voyage community point to the Voyage National Program website, which can link to the books. New printings of the brochures could link to the books directly.

5) We have already rolled out a Voyage product line that is sold by resellers such as gift shops at the Voyage sites, Discovery Channel online, and at our online store.

 


Other Elements:

• align with U.S. National need is science education, and President Obama’s Educate to Innovate STEM initiative

• Co-branding the book series with the Voyage National Program, which was launched through a partnership between the Smithsonian, NASA, and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education

• Co-branding with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

• Co-branding with the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education

• A teacher’s guide, for placing each book in the context of the space science curriculum as defined by the National Academy of Sciences Standards

• A national book tour with engaging presentations for families and the public, using the program formats developed and delivered by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Eduction for over 250,000 attendees.

• A national professional development program for 1,000 teachers of science

 

 

Messages:

YOU can understand the universe  in profound and emotional ways

science is done by ordinary people like you and me

scientists and engineers as heroes and role models

science is a journey not a book of knowledge

we are born curious, and science is just organized curiosity

children embracing science is vital for the future of our nation

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