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Frequently Asked Questions
Common Definitions
E/PO Working Groups

In addition to their prescribed Support Network duties, SN members also participate in working groups. The working groups involve people from both the education forums and the broker program. These groups work on specific topics in E/PO. 

Four Working Groups
1] Community-Based Organizations Working Group
2] Science Communication Group
3] Pre-Service Educators Working Group
4] Professional Development Working Group

Community Based Organizations Working Group

Community based organizations (CBOs) come in many sizes and types. They include local branches of national organizations such as the Girl Scouts and 4-H, afterschool programs, summer camps, library programs and a wealth other opportunities for youth and adults. The purpose of the SMD Support Network Community Based Organizations Working Group (CBOWG) is to investigate the nature of such organizations and to recommend how the SMD Support Network can partner with CBOs and provide materials for their programs.


Contact: Julie Lutz, chair
Phone: (206) 616-1084

Science Communication Group

The purpose of the NAI Science Communication Group is to provide a forum for communicators who either work in or have an interest in astrobiology to exchange ideas and information and explore ways of sharing this with those who wish to communicate astrobiology more effectively. Ultimately, the group will strive to understand how elements of one part of the science communication spectrum might lead to innovative approaches in communicating astrobiology to public audiences. Emphasis will also be placed on improving specific arenas of science communication - for example in the scientist/ science journalist relationship. This knowledge will be disseminated through workshops and short courses at astrobiology-related meetings for a range of audiences (for example, researchers, journalists or specific groups of experts), at standalone workshops (for example for university/research institution public information officers) and via an Internet site to provide information across the astrobiology community.

The group will also develop interdisciplinary approaches for the effective communication of astrobiology and will work closely with the NAI and NAI teams, when invited, to implement them - for example, contributing expert input and offering best practices for an education or communication project. It may also occasionally report on specific issues, suggesting solutions and a plan for implementation.


Contact: Cherilynn Morrow, chair
Phone: (303) 492-7321

Pre-Service Educators Working Group

The NASA Science Mission Directorate and its Support Network have a unique opportunity to forge relationships with education faculty and others invested in pre-service teacher preparation to: 1) develop a deeper understanding of pre-service programs and needs; and 2) identify diverse ways to meet those needs relating to space science education. By identifying, enabling, and leveraging such partnerships, the Support Network can help facilitate better preparation of teachers in space science content and pedagogy, while bringing the excitement of space science directly into the classroom.

The Pre-Service Educators Working Group is working to initiate discussions and partnerships to build a foundation of understanding and to define collaborative paths to bringing space science into the pre-service educational environment.


Contact: Stephanie Shipp
Phone: (281) 486-2109

Professional Development Working Group

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