Sara E Mitchell

Sara E Mitchell

  • SR. FACULTY SPECIALIST
  • 301.286.4598
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 660.1
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIV OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK
  • Brief Bio

    Sara Mitchell is an Education and Public Outreach Specialist for the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Since 2003, she has supported a variety of formal education, informal education, and public outreach programs. Sara's educational background includes both astrophysics and communication, and working at Goddard provides her with a unique opportunity to apply her scientific, technical, and creative knowledge to initiatives including websites, booklets, videos, posters, and presentations. Her previous experiences include work with undergraduate physics curricula, summer K-12 student programs, and independent film and video.

    Current Projects

    Blueshift

    NASA Blueshift is your “backstage pass” to the science, missions and people here in Astrophysics at Goddard – we’ll fill you in on groundbreaking discoveries, innovative technology, new missions, and other exciting stories. 

    Family Science Night

    Family Science Night encourages families to explore various themes through hands-on activities about science in the world (and the Universe!) around them.  Topics include size and scale, maps and models, reasons for the seasons, life cycles of stars, lunar exploration, solar power, eclipses, engineering, and more!

    Afterschool Universe

    Afterschool Universe is an out-of-school-time astronomy program targeted at middle school students. It explores astronomy concepts through engaging hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the Universe beyond the solar system. 

    Awards

    • 2006 Silver Telly Award - for co-producing the educational video "Building the Coolest X-ray Satellite" for the Suzaku mission
    • 2007 Astrophysics Science Division Peer Award - for directing the production of the Division’s podcast, "Blueshift"
    • 2008 Robert H. Goddard Team Award for Outreach - for bringing NASA into the community through the Family Science Night program 
    • 2009 NASA Honor Award for Public Service Group Achievement - for creating and disseminating the Afterschool Universe program curriculum
    • 2011 NASA Honor Award for Public Service Group Achievement - for educational offerings in the DC area during the 2010 Summer of Innovation
    • 2011 NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal - for increasing the visibility of NASA’s mission through innovative and cross-divisional education and outreach
    • 2018 Special Act Team Award - for support of Astrophysics Science Division Communications
    • 2018 Special Act Team Award - for support of Fermi Ten Year Anniversary activities
    • 2018 NASA Honor Award for Group Achievement - for planning and executing the communications campaign for the first discovery of gravitational waves and light

    Other Professional Information

    At Goddard, Sara serves as a "translator" between the ASD's scientists and engineers and education and public outreach (EPO) audiences. She works with several missions and programs, contributing to materials such as booklets, posters, videos, CDs, and online resources. Sara co-produced "Building the Coolest X-ray Satellite," an award-winning video about the Suzaku satellite mission, and co-authored the accompanying educator guide. Sara is also the director of Blueshift, a new media project of podcasts, blogs, and other multimedia produced by the ASD. This project is a "backstage pass" to the science, missions and people in the Division. Sara is also a regular contributor to Spark, the education newsletter of the American Astronomical Society.

    Each year, Sara represents the ASD at national education and scientific conventions, including National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), American Astronomical Society (AAS), and Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) meetings. She has created workshops for educators and students about the ASD's programs and materials, and workshops for EPO practitioners about tools and methodology. This portion of her work gives her a unique opportunity to interact directly with the end users of products and programs.

    Sara's projects are primarily focused on informal education and public outreach - programs and materials directed toward audiences outside of the classroom. In 2006, she co-founded the NASA
    Family Science Night (FSN) program, a curriculum featuring hands-on events for middle schoolers and their families. This unique out-of-school project harnesses the influence of parents and other family members on student achievement and career choices. The FSN team received a Robert H. Goddard Award in 2008 for exceptional achievement in outreach. Sara has also been involved with the Afterschool Universe program, a curriculum developed for use in afterschool programs, summer camps, and other out-of-school-time venues. Each year, Sara assists with program development and refinement, as well as the training sessions and informational workshops offered at Goddard and conferences around the country. The Afterschool Universe team was awarded a 2009 NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award for "dedication and innovation in bringing NASA into the lives of thousands of individuals who might not otherwise be engaged in space science."

    In 2011, Sara received a NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for her innovative programs and cross-divisional collaboration.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Mattson, B., S. Mitchell, R. McElvery, et al. F. Reddy, S. Wiessinger, C. Skelly, C. Saravia, A. Straughn, and D. Washington. 2018. "[Insert Your Science Here] Week: Creating science-driven public awareness campaigns." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #231, 231: 360.05.

    Meinke, B., C. Thomas, S. Eyermann, et al. S. Mitchell, K. LaConte, and K. Hauck. 2015. "NASA's Coordinated Efforts to Enhance STEM Education: Bringing NASA Science into the Library." Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work, 500: 85.

    Sharma, M., D. Smith, B. Eisenhamer, et al. H. Ryer, M. Dussault, E. Braswell, L. Cominsky, N. Apple, T. Della, P. Whiffen, P. Harman, S. Mitchell, S. Eyermann, S. Brandehoff, and J. Dominiak. 2013. "Astro4Girls and Their Families: Sharing Science via Public Libraries." Communicating Science: A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach, 473: 385.

    Krishnamurthi, A., J. C. Lochner, C. Conaty, et al. S. Eyermann, T. Ferrell, G. Gliba, B. Griswold, M. Masetti, S. Mitchell, F. Reddy, T. Toth, and A. Vandoren. 2010. "Using IYA to Bring the Universe Down to Earth in the Metro DC Area." Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future Proceedings of a conference held September 12-16, 2009 in Millbrae, California, USA Edited by Jonathan Barnes, Denise A Smith, Michael G Gibbs, and James G Manning, p363,

    Mitchell, S. E., M. Gibb, M. Masetti, et al. T. Nelson, F. Reddy, and E. Winter. 2010. "NASA Blueshift: Mobilizing The Astronomy-Interested Public Through New Media." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46505; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p504,

    Noel-Storr, J., S. Mitchell, and E. Drobnes. 2010. "NASA Science Served Family Style." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p504,

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. E. Eyermann, and S. Mitchell. 2010. "Afterschool Universe - Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46502; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p503,

    Mitchell, S. 2009. "Astronony in Unexpected Places." Spark, the AAS Education Newsletter, Issue 5, p 13-14,

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. Eyermann, S. Mitchell, J. Lochner, and C. Reynolds. 2008. "Afterschool Universe - Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #2809; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p227,

    Mitchell, S. 2008. "Getting it Out There: Astronomy Education in Every Venue." Spark, the AAS Education Newsletter, Issue 5, p 8-8,

    Mitchell, S. E., E. Drobnes, M. Sol Colina-Trujillo, and J. Noel-Storr. 2008. "NASA Family Science Night: Changing perceptions one family at a time." Advances in Space Research, [10.1016/j.asr.2008.01.004]

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. E. Eyermann, S. E. Mitchell, and J. C. Lochner. 2008. "Afterschool Universe: Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-On Symposium ASP Conference Series, Vol 400, proceedings of the conference held 1-5 June, 2008, in St Louis, Missouri, USA, in Conjunction with the 212th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society Edited by Michael G Gibbs, Jonathan Barnes, James G Manning, and Bruce Partridge San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2008, p415,

    Mitchell, S. E., S. B. Barbier, A. Krishnamurthi, and J. C. Lochner. 2008. "Portfolio on a Shoestring." EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships ASP Conference Series, Vol 389, proceedings of the conference held 5-7 September 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, USA Edited by Catharine Garmany, Michael G Gibbs, and J Ward Moody San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2080, p335,

    Noel-Storr, J., E. Drobnes, and S. E. Mitchell. 2008. "Family Astronomy: Improving Practices and Developing New Approaches." EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships ASP Conference Series, Vol 389, proceedings of the conference held 5-7 September 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, USA Edited by Catharine Garmany, Michael G Gibbs, and J Ward Moody San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2080, p309,

    Drobnes, E., and S. E. Mitchell. 2008. "You Can't Flush Science Outreach." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #3403; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p233,

    Mitchell, S. E., and A. Krishnamurthi. 2008. "Blueshift: Bringing the Universe Closer to the Public Through Podcasting." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #3401; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p232,

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. Mitchell, C. S. Reynolds, and J. Lochner. 2007. "Bringing the Universe into the Community: Afterschool Astronomy and You." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #211, #9402; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 39, p892,

    Colina-Trujillo, M. S., E. Drobnes, and S. Mitchell. 2007. "Family Science Night, Changing Perceptions one Family at a Time." American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting 2007, abstract #ED41C-06,

    Pesnell, W. D., E. Drobnes, S. Mitchell, and M. Colina-Trujillo. 2007. "Family Science Night: Changing Perceptions One Family at a Time." American Astronomical Society Meeting 210, #0503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p100,

    Lochner, J. C., S. Mitchell, and W. D. Pence. 2006. "Hera: Using NASA Astronomy Data in the Classroom." 2007 AAS/AAPT Joint Meeting, American Astronomical Society Meeting 209, #21814; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p1201,

    Krishnamurthi, A., B. Barbier, S. Mitchell, and J. Lochner. 2006. "The Beyond Einstein Explorers' Program (BEEP) Getting Astronomers Involved in Afterschool Activities." 2007 AAS/AAPT Joint Meeting, American Astronomical Society Meeting 209, #7301; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p989,

    Mukai, K., K. Boyce, J. Lochner, et al. I. Harrus, B. Jacob, and S. Mitchell. 2004. "Astro-E2 education and public outreach program." 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly Held 18 - 25 July 2004, in Paris, France, p3137,

    Barrett, P., K. P. Singh, and S. Mitchell. 1999. "The Soft X-Ray Luminosity Function of Polars." Annapolis Workshop on Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables, ASP Conference Series,

    Brief Bio

    Sara Mitchell is an Education and Public Outreach Specialist for the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Since 2003, she has supported a variety of formal education, informal education, and public outreach programs. Sara's educational background includes both astrophysics and communication, and working at Goddard provides her with a unique opportunity to apply her scientific, technical, and creative knowledge to initiatives including websites, booklets, videos, posters, and presentations. Her previous experiences include work with undergraduate physics curricula, summer K-12 student programs, and independent film and video.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Mattson, B., S. Mitchell, R. McElvery, et al. F. Reddy, S. Wiessinger, C. Skelly, C. Saravia, A. Straughn, and D. Washington. 2018. "[Insert Your Science Here] Week: Creating science-driven public awareness campaigns." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #231 231 360.05

    Meinke, B., C. Thomas, S. Eyermann, et al. S. Mitchell, K. LaConte, and K. Hauck. 2015. "NASA's Coordinated Efforts to Enhance STEM Education: Bringing NASA Science into the Library." Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work 500 85

    Sharma, M., D. Smith, B. Eisenhamer, et al. H. Ryer, M. Dussault, E. Braswell, L. Cominsky, N. Apple, T. Della, P. Whiffen, P. Harman, S. Mitchell, S. Eyermann, S. Brandehoff, and J. Dominiak. 2013. "Astro4Girls and Their Families: Sharing Science via Public Libraries." Communicating Science: A National Conference on Science Education and Public Outreach 473 385

    Krishnamurthi, A., J. C. Lochner, C. Conaty, et al. S. Eyermann, T. Ferrell, G. Gliba, B. Griswold, M. Masetti, S. Mitchell, F. Reddy, T. Toth, and A. Vandoren. 2010. "Using IYA to Bring the Universe Down to Earth in the Metro DC Area." Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future Proceedings of a conference held September 12-16, 2009 in Millbrae, California, USA Edited by Jonathan Barnes, Denise A Smith, Michael G Gibbs, and James G Manning, p363

    Mitchell, S. E., M. Gibb, M. Masetti, et al. T. Nelson, F. Reddy, and E. Winter. 2010. "NASA Blueshift: Mobilizing The Astronomy-Interested Public Through New Media." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46505; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p504

    Noel-Storr, J., S. Mitchell, and E. Drobnes. 2010. "NASA Science Served Family Style." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p504

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. E. Eyermann, and S. Mitchell. 2010. "Afterschool Universe - Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #46502; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 42, p503

    Mitchell, S. 2009. "Astronony in Unexpected Places." Spark, the AAS Education Newsletter, Issue 5, p 13-14

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. Eyermann, S. Mitchell, J. Lochner, and C. Reynolds. 2008. "Afterschool Universe - Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #2809; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p227

    Mitchell, S. 2008. "Getting it Out There: Astronomy Education in Every Venue." Spark, the AAS Education Newsletter, Issue 5, p 8-8

    Mitchell, S. E., E. Drobnes, M. Sol Colina-Trujillo, and J. Noel-Storr. 2008. "NASA Family Science Night: Changing perceptions one family at a time." Advances in Space Research [10.1016/j.asr.2008.01.004]

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. E. Eyermann, S. E. Mitchell, and J. C. Lochner. 2008. "Afterschool Universe: Bringing Astronomy Down to Earth." Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-On Symposium ASP Conference Series, Vol 400, proceedings of the conference held 1-5 June, 2008, in St Louis, Missouri, USA, in Conjunction with the 212th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society Edited by Michael G Gibbs, Jonathan Barnes, James G Manning, and Bruce Partridge San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2008, p415

    Mitchell, S. E., S. B. Barbier, A. Krishnamurthi, and J. C. Lochner. 2008. "Portfolio on a Shoestring." EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships ASP Conference Series, Vol 389, proceedings of the conference held 5-7 September 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, USA Edited by Catharine Garmany, Michael G Gibbs, and J Ward Moody San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2080, p335

    Noel-Storr, J., E. Drobnes, and S. E. Mitchell. 2008. "Family Astronomy: Improving Practices and Developing New Approaches." EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships ASP Conference Series, Vol 389, proceedings of the conference held 5-7 September 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, USA Edited by Catharine Garmany, Michael G Gibbs, and J Ward Moody San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2080, p309

    Drobnes, E., and S. E. Mitchell. 2008. "You Can't Flush Science Outreach." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #3403; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p233

    Mitchell, S. E., and A. Krishnamurthi. 2008. "Blueshift: Bringing the Universe Closer to the Public Through Podcasting." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #212, #3401; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 40, p232

    Krishnamurthi, A., S. Mitchell, C. S. Reynolds, and J. Lochner. 2007. "Bringing the Universe into the Community: Afterschool Astronomy and You." American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #211, #9402; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 39, p892

    Colina-Trujillo, M. S., E. Drobnes, and S. Mitchell. 2007. "Family Science Night, Changing Perceptions one Family at a Time." American Geophysical Union, Spring Meeting 2007, abstract #ED41C-06

    Pesnell, W. D., E. Drobnes, S. Mitchell, and M. Colina-Trujillo. 2007. "Family Science Night: Changing Perceptions One Family at a Time." American Astronomical Society Meeting 210, #0503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p100

    Lochner, J. C., S. Mitchell, and W. D. Pence. 2006. "Hera: Using NASA Astronomy Data in the Classroom." 2007 AAS/AAPT Joint Meeting, American Astronomical Society Meeting 209, #21814; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p1201

    Krishnamurthi, A., B. Barbier, S. Mitchell, and J. Lochner. 2006. "The Beyond Einstein Explorers' Program (BEEP) Getting Astronomers Involved in Afterschool Activities." 2007 AAS/AAPT Joint Meeting, American Astronomical Society Meeting 209, #7301; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p989

    Mukai, K., K. Boyce, J. Lochner, et al. I. Harrus, B. Jacob, and S. Mitchell. 2004. "Astro-E2 education and public outreach program." 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly Held 18 - 25 July 2004, in Paris, France, p3137

    Barrett, P., K. P. Singh, and S. Mitchell. 1999. "The Soft X-Ray Luminosity Function of Polars." Annapolis Workshop on Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables, ASP Conference Series

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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