A New Opportunity for Your Students to Be Real Scientists on the International Space Station – (No We’re Not Sending Them into Orbit … Unless)

 Posted by DrJeff on November 23rd, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


Click on the image and feel the magic. Astronaut Rick Mastracchio on EVA outside the International Space Station, August 15, 2007. Visit the NASA Human Spaceflight Image Gallery for more information.

Those of you following this blog know that a core philosophy I embrace is that science education—indeed all education—should be about exploration owned by the learner, and as teachers and parents our charge is to light their way. It is something I believe deeply.

I’ve had the distinct honor of sharing that philosphy this past year with thousands of educators at conferences, e.g., the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference. In order to reach an even wider audience, I’m grateful that John Boswell at Symphony of Science was able to turn my thoughts and words at NSTA into a music video We’ve Got to Be That Light. How he took a guy speaking in the front of an audience and turned it into something you’d want to upload to your music library is pretty magical. If you’ve not seen the music video yet, take a look. If you have seen it, and you’re a teacher that needs to decompress a bit over Thanksgiving and a shot in the arm before returning to work might help, take another look.

Those that preach have an obligation to put their words into practice. It’s the “put up or shut up” argument. If one complains about something, in this case the state of education, then either demonstrate a fix or don’t complain. So I’m listening … to myself. If education is about ownership in learning, then science education ought to be about ownership in science—experiences that allow students the ability to truly be scientists. And I firmly believe that if you give a 5th grader the ability to do real science, all you need do is gently guide, get out of the way … and be amazed.

So I created the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), a true STEM education initiative that is designed to immerse students in real science, and along the way, engage their entire community. In this context, there is another deeply held belief at work—it takes a community to educate a child and a network of communities to reach a generation.

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For the New School Year – Repost of the “Art Of Teaching” as a Personal Thank You to Teachers

 Posted by DrJeff on September 5th, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


Jordi (from Driving with Jordi fame) learning how to skate a few years ago. He could count on his dad. He showed me when I should lead, and when he needed me to get out of his way. Now they call him rocket man.

This is crossposted at the Huffington Post HERE.

This essay “The Art of Teaching” was originally published April 15, 2009. I just revised it in support of the release of the music video  ‘We’ve Got to be That Light – A Gift For America’s Teachers”, which was the subject of the last post here at Blog on the Universe.

Let me know what you think of this essay! Leave a comment below or send me an email at jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org

-dr. jeff

So here’s a thought. Track down an old teacher
that meant the world to you and tell them just that.

It’s a new school year and teachers are now back in classrooms across America. During these tough times I wanted to write something that might help inspire the new teacher, reaffirm to the seasoned professional why we went into teaching in the first place, and recognize the remarkable gift that teachers in our lives give to us all.

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Music Video: We’ve Got To Be That Light – A Gift to America’s Teachers

 Posted by DrJeff on August 25th, 2011

 Copyright 2011  |  About this blog


A heartfelt thank you to

teachers across America

for their unwavering dedication

to the next generation.

Teaching is the eternal bond between young and old that is at its heart—joy.


Symphony of Science Remix
Keynote Address “Science – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey”
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference
March 2011, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

John Boswell
Symphony of Science

Is YouTube Blocked For You?
The video below is ported from YouTube, which is the best way to view it. But if you’re blocked from watching YouTube, you can download the video to your computer.
Download mp4 file (87.5 MB):

If this video moves you, and you have a desire to say how, you’re invited to leave a comment at the bottom of the page:)

Accompanying essay The Art of Teaching

Why We Made We’ve Got To Be That Light
America, what has happened to joyful learning for our children? Should that not be their birthright? What has happened to joyful teaching for our teachers? Have we as a nation lost sight of this noblest of professions, and its selfless calling?

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Tweetisms for the 21st Century – The Education Edition

 Posted by DrJeff on October 5th, 2010

 Copyright 2010  |  About this blog


Hi all-


I’m now back from the intensity of months spent creating and launching the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), with 25,000 students across the U.S. now designing real experiments to fly aboard the second to last Space Shuttle flight, STS-134, the flight of Endeavour in February 2011. Pretty cool, huh. The SSEP is designed to provide regular student access to SPACE for grades 5-12, and leverage that exciting opportunity across entire school districts. SSEP embraces the notion of STUDENT AS SCIENTIST.


A big favor to ask—PLEASE help us spread the word on the SSEP via your social networks. We want to make sure that the nation knows about this bold new national STEM education initiative. If you’re on Twitter, here are two Tweets you can just cut and paste!


UPDATE: Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Now in Full Swing, GO FOR LAUNCH – http://ssep.ncesse.org


How do you get kids excited about #science? LET THEM *BE* SCIENTISTS. And why not on the #SPACE SHUTTLE. http://ssep.ncesse.org #nasa


Speaking of Twitter, and to help me ease back into Blog on the Universe, below is a steady stream of consciousness on education that I unleashed on my PLN (Personal Learning Network) last night (October 4, 2010). I thought I’d share. If you’re a Tweep, by all means feel free to Re-Tweet any and all to your PLN. And if you think Twitter is not about education, and really just for folks that want to broadcast what they had for lunch (I call them lunchies), read my post at Huffington Post titled The Remarkable Power of Twitter—A Water Cooler for the 21st Century. I think it does a great job of providing a real understanding of social media for education, and the means by which these online environments allows us to reach out in meaningful ways to the world.


One review: “Kudos, Jeff. This is one of the best posts about Twitter I’ve read in a long time. You really describe it well, especially the best that it has to offer.”


Here now my Tweets last night—


In our classrooms, let’s not lecture, but instead, entice the gift of a question. #education #teacher #science #school

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