Jerry Fingal
NASA resources: A universe of learning at your fingertips

Searching for resources on the NASA website to challenge and inspire budding scientists can be a bit like exploring the universe: You’ll find a vast expanse of interesting data, visuals, stories and creations. And once you set out, you never know what you may discover!

Regardless of whether you’re an educator or a student, the trek is worth it.

NASA provides a wealth of resources, lessons, videos, infographics, articles, experiments, digital tools and more to help students and educators better understand science. Read on to find a sampling of resources for science lovers just like you and your students.

For learners

NASA Visualization Explorer 

Get stories about NASA's exploration of the Earth, sun, moon, planets and universe delivered to your iOS and Android devices.

NASA Citizen Science 

Help collect data for NASA research projects, such as examining images from space, monitoring air quality and reporting landslides and auroras.

NASA SpacePlace 

Discover fun games, hands-on activities, informative articles and engaging short videos.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory student project library

Launch rockets, build robots, explore your world and beyond. These projects, contests and this toolkit will take you into space without ever leaving Earth.

NASA Solve 

Find opportunities to participate in challenges, competitions and citizen-science activities that develop solutions to problems related to NASA’s mission.

NASA JPL Infographics

Create, upload and share your own space-, solar system-, planet- and universe-themed infographics on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.

NASA International Space Apps Challenge

Engage with NASA’s free and open data to address real-world problems on Earth and in space by participating in this international hackathon for coders, designers, storytellers, makers, technologists and others.

NASA students page

Learn about projects, activities, internships and other opportunities for students kindergarten through college. 

Earth  

Learn about Earth’s air, climate, hazards, water, land and more.   

Exoplanets        

NASA has confirmed nearly 4,000 exoplanets — those beyond our solar system. Learn more about them.

Mars    

View imagery from Mars while learning about the Mars 2020 mission.                  

MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network

Explore the universe with telescopes you control over the internet.

Moon

Explore interactive graphics while learning interesting facts and information about Earth’s moon.

Moon Trek

View imagery and perform analysis on data from the moon.

NASA competitions for students

Find out about NASA student design challenges for all ages.

NASA Design Challenges and Competitions

NASA offers a number of aeronautics or aerospace engineering competitions that will challenge you to create design/build solutions to real-world problems.

NASA Globe Observer

Download the GLOBE Observer app and submit regular observations to join an international network of citizen scientists and scientists working to learn more about our shared environment and changing climate.

Solar System Exploration  

Learn about the eight planets, five dwarf planets and one hypothetical planet in our solar system.

Solar System Treks

Visualize, explore and analyze the surfaces of other worlds using real data returned from a growing fleet of spacecraft.

Sun    

The surface temperature of the sun is 10,000 degrees. Learn more interesting hot facts about our very own star.  

For educators

NASA eClips

NASA eClips are video segments that inspire and engage students, helping them see real-world connections by exploring STEM applications.The programs are segmented for elementary, middle and high school students.

Teachable Moments

This site highlights the latest space missions and discoveries from NASA to answer the age-old question, “When are we ever going to use this?” See how watching a spacecraft land on Mars engages students in STEM projects.

NASA Wavelength

Wavelength allows teachers to search rich instructional resources across many sites in the areas of astrophysics, Earth, heliophysics and planetary science. You can filter by grade level, subject area, resource type and instructional strategy.

STEM Clearinghouse

In the STEM Activity Clearinghouse, librarians and library staff can find vetted STEM activities searchable by audience, content level, difficulty, etc. Most activities include ideas for implementation and a link back to the original source content.

NASA’s Universe of Learning

This integrated astrophysics STEM learning and literacy program provides resources and experiences for students to explore fundamental questions in science, experience how science is done and discover the universe for themselves in interactive ways.

NASA 3D Resources

Find a growing collection of 3D models, textures and images from inside NASA. These resources are free to download and use.

NASA VR/360 multimedia

This collection of media and tools includes 360-degree spherical images and videos using equirectangular warping. These assets unlock access to an interactive planetarium curriculum.

Solar System Ambassadors

The Solar System Ambassadors program works with volunteers across the U.S. to share the latest science and discoveries of NASA's missions through community events. Search the directory by state to find an ambassador in your area or explore events that may be held near your school.

NASA’s Apollo 50 site

Enhance your understand of and engagement with STEM by celebrating the first Apollo moon landing on July 20, 2019. Watch this site for information on how to get involved and to find great resources. 

NASA STEM Innovation Lab

NASA’s STEM Innovation Lab is a think tank with an emphasis on space science content applications. It brings together NASA scientists, engineers and educators to explore and develop new ideas related to infusion of educational technology into STEM activities, programs, and approaches. It also provides users a platform to share their ideas, research and results.

NASA Scientific Visualization Studio  

The studio works closely with scientists in creating visualizations, animations and images to promote a greater understanding of Earth and space science research activities at NASA and within the academic research community supported by NASA. Download the visualizations for free.

Art and the Cosmic Connection

This interdisciplinary program developed by scientists, artists and educators encourages learners to explore the mysterious worlds in our solar system and their geologic stories.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Planetary Poetry

This lesson plan provides guidance and examples for using NASA missions and discoveries to get students writing poems to share their knowledge of or inspiration about these topics.  

NASA Solar System and Beyond Poster sets

This selection of posters and visuals from NASA will inspire young artists who want to depict science through art. Students can use them to tell stories about space exploration.

NASA Edge

Hosts provide an offbeat, funny and informative look behind the NASA curtain. Watch NASA Edge to embrace your inner astronaut.

NASA Live

Watch live streams of NASA events, including spacecraft launches and spacewalks.

NASA TV

Enjoy live coverage of launches, spacewalks and other mission events, as well as the latest news briefings, video files and other programming.

The Studio at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The studio’s purpose is to help scientists and engineers imagine the future and give people a sense of awe about the universe. It produces creative pieces, such as the Visions of the Future and the Pulse.


 

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Jerry Fingal is a freelance writer and editor who covers education, finance, business and agriculture.