About TSGC



Executive Summary and Consortium Impact


National Program Emphasis

Program Elements

Statement of Consortium Concurrence


15th Year Report

Program Elements

Pre-College Education, Public Service, General Public, and External Relations Programs

TSGC's goal is to inspire grade school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics though enabling educators to integrate the exploration of space into classroom activities

General Decription

TSGC's Pre-College Education, Public Service, General Public, and External Relations Programs have been efficiently combined into one programmatic area, K-12 Education/General Public Outreach [K-12/GP Outreach]. This grouping to TSGC programs resulted because many of TSGC's programs span multiple program areas and can not be clearly placed into one distinct category.

TSGC's primary focus in K-12/GP Outreach is in the professional development of K-12 educators. Utilizing the train the trainer model TSGC has trained “master teachers” how to incorporate various NASA related activities into their curriculum. These master teachers share their knowledge and materials with other teachers at local workshops around the state. This model recognizes that teachers in Texas have no room to expand their curriculum and that all lessons are focused on preparing students for periodic assessment exams. By capitalizing on the excitement of exploring space, TSGC enables teachers to motivate their students to learn state mandated curriculum elements using space-related learning materials.

In conducting these programs TSGC routinely forms partnerships with educational organizations that are not members of the Consortium. Examples of these partnerships are discussed in the next section of this report. TSGC also structures its K-12/GP Outreach programs so that they effectively communicate NASA's mission to the general public.

TSGC committed 20% of its project budget to K-K-12/GP Outreach Programs [roughly $428K over 5 years]. An additional $4.0M in leveraged funds was provided by TSGC affiliates, program participants, and other sources.

TSGC and the National program have established the following goals for its Pre-College Education, Public Service, General Public and External Relations Programs.

  1. Cooperative extension
  2. Topical Consortia
  3. Stimulate public interest in aerospace sciences and lifelong learning
  4. Increase public appreciation for the benefits of NASA-sponsored research
  5. Assist K-12 teachers in exciting their students to learn math and science through space based activities
  6. Increase K-12 students knowledge in math and science through space related activities
  7. Increase K-12 educator knowledge in space related fields
  8. Enhance pre-college teacher education
  9. Partner with informal education organizations

The following table lists TSGC's major Pre-College Education, Public Service, General Public, and External Relations Programs. The table also includes the years the projects were conducted, the scope of the project, and which National and Texas goals it addresses.

Program/Years Scope
#s Impacted
General Public Outreach 1990-pres MD, SP, TX, GP 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
LiftOff Summer Institute 1990-pres PD, MD, NASA,N
150 Teachers
100,000 Students
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
SpaceExplorers Middle School Activities 1995-pres CD, PD, I
3,400 Teachers
240,000 Students
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Protein Crystal Growth Experiment 1998-pres SP, PD, MD, TX, NASA 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
FlyHigh 1998-99 SP, GP, N, NASA 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
GRACE/ICESat EPO 1999-pres PD, MD, CD, NASA, SP, I, 2,200 Teachers
144,000 Students
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Astronomy and the Solar System 2001-02 PD, MD, NASA, TX 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Interactive Web Site 2001-pres GP
74,700 Unique Visits
3, 4
PD-K-12 Teacher Professional Development
CD-Curriculum Development
SP-K-12 Student Project
GP-General Public
NASA-NASA Partnerships

Each program's success is measured by compilation of comments and criticisms received by all participants, and effectiveness indicated by associated faculty advisors and TSGC institutional representatives.

TSGC seeks evaluations and critical comments from each participant in each of its teacher targeted K-12 programs, including: students, educators, and administrators. Input is used to [1] provide additional resources, opportunities, and services for the teachers involved in TSGC programs, [2] improve the program overall quality, [3] better tailor the program to satisfy Texas and NSGC&FP goals, [4] tailor the program to better meet state and national educational standards.

TSGC has established major partnerships with Cooperative Extension organizations and routinely has 4-H extension agents attend TSGC professional development workshops. These partnerships include advisory panels, joint programs, TSGC participation in existing extension programs, and extension agents participating in TSGC projects. Some examples of these partnerships include but are not limited to the following.

SpaceExplorers - This is a middle school program based on a collection of lessons for use in mathematics, language arts, social studies, science, computer, theater, physical education, and art classes. These activities were created and distributed in partnerships with Capital 4-H.

General Public Outreach - As a part of the General Public Outreach program TSGC staff serves as advisors for and participants in [1] the Capital 4-H Space Camp - a summer day camp for 100 disadvantaged youth, [2] 4-H CAPITAL Project - Children & Parents Involved in Technology and Literacy after school science enrichment, [3] Travis County Character Counts Collaborative - 10 state and county agencies collaborating on this statewide teen leader conference, and [4] more than 30 other partnerships.

TSGC actively recruits the participation of underrepresented groups in all its K-12/ General Public Outreach programs. TSGC primarily does this by specifically targeting areas of the state that have large population concentrations of underrepresented groups in STEM careers. Some examples follow. [1] specifically recruiting teachers from areas of the state with high concentrations of underrepresented groups for its week long, residential LiftOff Summer Institute professional development program [2] conducting several teacher workshops to train teachers to implement TSGC developed space related classroom activities in areas of the state that are predominantly Hispanic, [3] partnering with organizations that specialize in the professional development of teachers from districts that are largely comprised of minority students, and [4] participation in and advisory groups for Minority Introduction to Engineering and Careers in Engineering for Women.