Solar Physics Laboratory
Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

SPL Education and Public Outreach

SPL Education and Public Outreach

Solar Dynamics Education and Public Outreach

Program Goals
  • Communicate to the public the excitement and relevance of solar science and the discoveries of the mission
  • Improve science literacy and knowledge
  • Increase awareness of the broad spectrum of careers in STEM

Formal Education - Audience - School teachers and students in the classroom

Day at Goddard - In 2012 the SDO EPO Team worked with over 150 high school students and their teacher through the Day at Goddard (DAG) program. Day at Goddard is a high school STEM Engagement program that focuses on careers in STEM and allows students to explore the many career opportunities at GSFC. During the DAG program students conduct experiential learning lab, participated in a Q&A with a scientist or engineer and take a tour of the Goddard integration and testing facilities.

Q&A Results

Ambassadors in the Classroom – In 2012 the SDO EPO team worked with over 1000 students in its ambassador in the classroom program. This program is aimed at elementary and middle school students and brings an EPO professional into their classroom to lead a session on various science topics, including the Sun and Space Weather, the reasons for the seasons, the water cycle, and Solar data.

Think Scientifically – The SDO EPO Team completed the second in the three book Think Scientifically series. These books are available for elementary school teachers and media specialist and are designed to get science information into language arts and reading time.

Thinking Scientifcally Covers

Informal Education - Audience -Students and professionals out of school time

The multi-year Family Science Night program was successfully handed over the Goddard Visitor Center. This program was also shared with 40 dissemination sites around the country.

Public Outreach - Audience- Non-age specific public out of school time

Exploration Station - The SDO Team participated for the 5th year in Exploration Station at AGU. Over 800 (nearly 3 times more people than last year) people attended the event including many children who were engaged in dozens of hands on activities about the sun, space weather, the EM Spectrum, Arctic research, clouds, hydrology, geology, engineering, Mars, etc.  This joint venture between SDO and the AGU is intended to highlight the science of the AGU to the people of San Francisco as well as highlighting all of the great work done by various EPO teams in the Union as well.

Outreach Activities

SDO at public events - The SDO EPO Team participated in numerous public events in 2012. The team focused on hands-on activities around the science topics of magnetism, the Electromagnetic Spectrum, engineering, plasma and solar activity. The SDO team played a big part in the Transit of Venus activities, including hosting our own public event for 2000 people in Fairbanks, Alaska. The team also worked closely with the Science and operations teams to ensure that the public got the best view of the Transit possible in almost real time from the satellite. The team won the Robert H. Goddard group award for its work on the Transit of Venus Outreach.

SDO Transit of Venus Events

SDO in Social Media - The team continues to engaging daily with a growing audience by providing relevant and timely updates about the mission and education opportunities from the EPO team. Social media has also proven to be a critical tool in making connections to teachers and citizen scientists.