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Skill Sets and Mindsets for Space

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

ARES Learning uses the Space Education Curriculum produced by Space Prize Foundation. It's a free and open education resource, with 8 chapters covering not only an introduction to space science and the history of space exploration, but also why space matters to people on Earth, what is happening in the new space economy, and longer-term philosophical concerns such as ethics, governance, and sustainability throughout the solar system and beyond.

Chapter 2 introduces skill sets and mindsets meant for success in a fast-moving unpredictable future... whether students are working in space, as part of the growing space economy, or pursuing solutions to challenging problems here on Earth. This is an overview of the chapter:


Discovery is challenging, especially for space innovation and exploration. Like early human explorers, space explorers and professionals have to use the same set of basic skills in order to complete complicated missions today. In Lesson 2.1 Explorer’s Mindset, you will investigate how curiosity, responsibility, empowerment, and love of adventure have driven human achievements and discoveries of the past and present. The explorer’s mindset must be met with ambition to accomplish great things, and in Lesson 2.2 Moonshot Thinking you will explore the power and importance of setting seemingly unachievable goals. From President John F. Kennedy’s goal of sending humans to the Moon to Google X Lab taking chances on risky projects, Moonshot thinking is inspiring and worthwhile. Setting formidable goals launches the design process, which is detailed in Lesson 2.3 Design Methods. The design process is a human-centered approach at creating tangible solutions to real-world problems such as climate change and long-duration space travel. Throughout the design process, a spirit of collaboration and integration of diverse ideas should be valued. In Lesson 2.4 Synthesis and Collaboration, risk taking, analysis, debate, and ethical decision-making are explored in relation to space-related goals. Finally, Lesson 2.5 Hansei outlines powerful self-reflection techniques and emphasizes the importance of honesty in obtaining the best possible outcome.


Learn more about the ARES Learning approach in the book Space Education: Preparing Students for Humanity's Multi-Planet Future by our co-founder Dr. Mark Wagner.


Educators, sign up for online professional development based on the book and curriculum. And be sure to register for the FREE online Space Education Summit on April 21, 2023.






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