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Space Education Curriculum OER

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Although the Next Generation Science Standards include some focus on space systems most school curricula don't include anything about why space is important, what's happening in the growing space economy, or any of the ethical issues related to humanity's rapidly approaching multi-planet future... never mind the skill sets and mindsets students will need to be successful in a fast changing unpredictable world of new innovations. How can these ideas be introduced to students in a thorough and structured way?

The Space Prize Foundation has released a complete space education curriculum for high school students. ARES Learning co-founder Dr. Mark Wagner led a team of curriculum developers and practicing teachers who authored 8 chapters including 44 lessons and hundreds of links to supplemental materials. It's a free and open education resource (OER) available to students, educators, and enthusiasts everywhere. It's appropriate for younger students who are gifted or highly motivated to learn about space - and for lifelong learners interested in bringing themselves up to speed with a self-paced program rich in online resources.

Here is a description of the online FlexBook from the opening chapter:

Who can engage with space? Everyone! Reading the valuable, up-to-date information within this FlexBook is a great first step to better understanding space and how humans engage with it. Each lesson within this FlexBook has a theme, and each section has one to two paragraphs of valuable space information. Within each section, you will find clickable interactives for diving deeper into the chapter topics. There are also clickable references that will take you to all corners of the online space world such as resources from NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL),National Geographic, and more. At the bottom of each lesson, you will see additional reading suggestions, and a list of reflection questions that will push you to think deeper about the topics being discussed.

This curriculum is part of the Launchpad Experience at ARES Learning, and can easily be integrated into a more traditional school - as a supplement to an existing class (in science, ELA, or social studies), as an elective course, or as an afterschool program. Any student can also dive in at their own pace for a self-directed learning experience.

Learn more about our approach in the book Space Education: Preparing Students for Humanity's Multi-Planet Future by our co-founder Dr. Mark Wagner. It's a great companion to the Space Education Curriculum.

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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