NASA Astronomy and Space Science

Target Grade(s): K-12


Harness your students' enthusiasm for space and astronomy by using astronomical images to enrich your physical, Earth, and life science courses. Measure the speed of an asteroid, learn about erosion on Mars, and see the tracers of life that are visible from space. In this course, we explore the many ways in which real data from NASA's space science and astronomy missions can be used to teach math and science content in your classroom, meeting science and math standards in Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards. Through the use of cutting-edge technology tools, and with a NASA scientist visiting our class, you will not only learn more about the universe, you will learn how to bring the universe into your education context.

Explore the vast world of Astronomy resources and interdisciplinary teaching strategies available to you and your students through NASA and learn to integrate resources with lead NASA education specialists.

What can I expect from this course?

Participants attend 5 LIVE, online sessions in a user-friendly format, which include, but are not limited to the following topics:

Session 1: How do we know what we know? An Introduction
Session 2: Hubble
Session 3: Integrating Space Science into your Day
Session 4: Exoplanets and Astrobiology
Session 5: Astronomy and Climate Science

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

All NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas are integrated into this course. The specific focus of assignments and discussions are tailored by the participants needs.


  • History of Astronomy
  • Science and Society
  • The Big Bang
  • Exoplanets and Astrobiology
  • Remote Sensing
  • Spectroscopy
  • Teacher Resources in Math
  • The Hubble Telescope
  • The James Webb Telescope
  • Astronomy and Climate Science
  • The Feasibility of Space Travel

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (8 of 8 addressed):

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

What other opportunities may I pursue?

Participants may implement course content and develop a portfolio following the guidelines of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with the goal of submitting work for National Board Certification.

Educators may seek opportunities to present at conferences, or among colleagues and education community stakeholders. Course instructors and mentors will support your individual goals to become leaders in integrated STEM education.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective implementation of using NASA astronomy data with students when teaching math, physical, earth, or life science.
  • Successfully implement (or plan to implement) inquiry and technology-based teaching strategies in the classroom.
  • Analyze publicly available data and the appropriate use in classrooms to teach NGSS.
  • Describe, compare, and implement a variety of pedagogical strategies, including assessment strategies that will enable students to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Identify a variety of resources to meet NGSS performance expectations in STEM education.
  • Conduct investigations with data that contextualize understanding through applied practices.