Today, at the second convening of the National Space Council, Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing new commitments from the U.S. government, private sector companies, education and training providers, and philanthropic organizations to support space-related STEM initiatives to inspire, prepare, and employ the next generation of the space workforce.
In order to address the challenges of today and prepare for the discoveries of tomorrow, the country needs a skilled and diverse space workforce. This is why the White House released the Interagency Roadmap to Support Space-Related STEM Education and Workforce. This Roadmap outlines the initial set of coordinated Administration actions to bolster our nation’s capacity to inspire, prepare and employ a diverse and inclusive space workforce, starting with increasing awareness of the wide range of space careers, providing resources and opportunities to better prepare jobseekers for the workplace, and placing a focus on strategies to recruit, retain and advance professionals of all backgrounds in the space workforce.
In order to meet the current and future needs of a thriving space workforce, the public, private, and philanthropic sectors must work together. To magnify the Administration’s efforts, the Vice President is announcing a new coalition of space companies that will focus on increasing the space industry’s capacity to meet the rising demand for the skilled technical workforce. The new coalition’s work will kick off in October 2022 and be anchored by Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Other industry partners will include Amazon, Jacobs, L3Harris, Planet Labs PBC, Rocket Lab, Sierra Space, Space X and Virgin Orbit, and will be joined by the Florida Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program and its sponsors, SpaceTEC, Airbus OneWeb Satellites, Vaya Space, and Morf3D.
The coalition, with the support of Aerospace Industries Association and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will stand up three regional pilot programs in Florida’s Space Coast, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, and Southern California, and collaborate with service providers such as community colleges, unions and others, to demonstrate a replicable and scalable approach to attracting, training and creating employment opportunities particularly for people from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM jobs.
Additionally, federal agencies and the private sector have coordinated their efforts to promote space STEM education and workforce with the following commitments:
Federal Space STEM Resources for Educators
- “Your Place in Space” Online Resources Hub: Federal agencies and the Smithsonian Institute launched “Your Place in Space”, a new website with free space-related resources for K-12 educators. The website also promotes career awareness through the Space Career Resource Guide which showcases space career opportunities across the United States Government and the diversity of the space STEM professionals.
- $1.25 million for After School Learning Centers: The Department of Education is providing $1.25M to support NASA’s engagement in 21st Century Community Learning Centers which provide academic enrichment opportunities for students from under-resourced schools during after school hours.
- Military Space Careers Website: The Department of Defense will launch a space STEM careers page during World Space Week (Oct 4-Oct 12) to showcase career paths, increase awareness about military space career opportunities and will feature a U.S. Space Force member during its monthly DoD Innovators Spotlight Series in October.
- Artemis Moon Trees Educator Resources: The Department of Agriculture and NASA are announcing the Artemis Moon Trees Program with online educational resources to engage individuals learning about Moon Trees and inspire exploration of space careers. The agencies are collaborating on the next generation of Moon Trees, which will be grown from seeds which orbit the Moon via NASA’s Artemis I mission.
- Artemis Educator Resources Hub: NASA released Artemis I STEM Learning Pathway educator resources hub and the LEGO Build to Launch Series, to explore the technology, STEM concepts and careers behind the Artemis I mission. NASA announced $4M for Space Grant Kids to bring the excitement of NASA to middle and high school students who are underserved and underrepresented in STEM.
Federal Opportunities for Hands-On Learning Experiences
- Space-focused Apprenticeship Accelerator: The Department of Labor will conduct a Registered Apprenticeship Accelerator focused on the space sector’s skilled technical workforce —particularly critical manufacturing occupations—by the end of 2023. This Accelerator will bring together apprenticeship stakeholders, including employers, industry, labor, equity, and other workforce partners, to accelerate the use of Registered Apprenticeships to meet space industries’ workforce needs and meet diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
- Partnership with University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez: University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez became a member of The Department of Defense’s United States Space Force (USSF) University Partnership Program, which will enhance collaboration on research projects that further national security objectives in the space domain, and grow and develop a qualified, diverse, and inclusive space workforce. USSF through, the Air Force ROTC program, is increasing the value of scholarships for high school students to cover their full college tuition and fees.
- Research Funding for Existing NSF grantees: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting applications from existing NSF grantees to support awareness of and preparation for space-related careers. These supplements will contribute to the development of a space workforce that reflects the diversity of America by increasing the participation of institutions, geographic regions, and communities currently underrepresented in space-related careers.
The following private sector companies and organizations join the Administration’s actions to inspire, prepare, and employ the space workforce.
To inspire youth to pursue space STEM careers
- “Noggin’s Space Place” Series: Noggin, Nickelodeon’s standards-aligned media platform that reaches of millions of young children and families, will release Noggin’s Space Place, a collection of animated and live action videos and resources during World Space Week, October 4-12, featuring children’s questions for astronauts in the International Space Station, a special episode of Noggin Knows, and free educator guides to help teachers use the learning media.
- Mission Unstoppable to Feature Women in Space Jobs: CBS’s weekly television show, Mission Unstoppable, produced by Hearst Media Production Group and Lyda Hill Philanthropies, with more than 1 million viewers, will feature four women with space-focused careers in October 2022 during its fourth season. Additionally, during World Space Week, Oct 4-12, Mission Unstoppable, on its social media platforms, will share stories of women, from diverse backgrounds, who contribute to the exploration, discovery, and application of space-related knowledge, including systems engineers, climate scientists, satellite maintenance technicians, astronomers, and solar physicists.
- 10,000 Learning Lunchbox STEM kits: Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio will provide more than 10,000 National Space Council-themed STEM Learning Lunchbox kits to underserved youth and families at foodbanks and other anchoring community resources nationwide. Each box includes hands-on STEM activities, including a game board highlighting space careers. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Expansion of Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew Program: STEM Next Opportunity Fund is expanding its Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew program to include youth representatives from every U.S. state and territory. Each Flight Crew member will receive resources and training related to space career opportunities and STEM learning in afterschool and summer programs. For more information, contact [email protected]
- Space Exploration Theme for Hour of Code Activities: Code.org will highlight connections between computer science and space exploration in the 2022 Hour of Code. Students will have the opportunity to explore and develop coding skills through engaging, space-themed tutorials and create shareable projects. Through a collaboration with NASA, US Space Force, Department of Energy, and US Geological Survey, students will also learn about different careers and pathways for space careers in these agencies. Code.org reaches approximately 15 million students annually. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Space Days Series by Blue Origin: Blue Origin’s Club for the Future’s (Club) is launching Space Days to engage millions of students, teachers and school administrators in the excitement of space and space careers. In October, Club will host 20 community events across New Orleans, LA; Lynchburg, VA; Atchison, KS; Hazard, KY and Lanham, MD with NASA Opportunity rover mission experts for more than 10,000 children and their families in advance of the Amazon Studios movie Good Night Oppy release. In November, Club will also partner with HBCUs, including Texas Southern University, Howard University, Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University, to host screenings of the NASA documentary, The Color of Space and highlight the stories of African American astronauts. For more information, contact: Gwen Griffin, [email protected]
To provide space STEM resources and professional development for educators
- Launch of Moon Colony Kit Project and Educator Professional Development: On October 7, 2022, Space Foundation will kick off its Moon Colony Kit (MCK) project for 20,000 students from Title 1 schools to explore 50 STEAM careers needed for a Moon colony. The kick off will include a live mission briefing for students to discuss the Artemis Mission. With the goal of equipping 5,000 educators to confidently engage students on STEAM and the space careers featured in the MCK, Space Foundation is hosting a free national teacher development event on September 19, 2022. For more information, please contact: [email protected]
- New Educator Resource Hub for Space STEM Materials: 100Kin10, a national network of academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies, will launch a new website, which the goal of reaching 10,000 users, with free space-inspired science curricular materials and learning resources for PreK-12 teachers and students on October 3, 2022 as part of World Space Week 2022. These science-focused resources for STEM educators inspire young people about space and teach critical concepts and skills that lay the foundation for STEM careers. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Aerospace and Rocketry Curriculum: The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), in partnership with Estes Education and National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), is expanding their Exploration Generation program for K-12 educators to include lessons on aerospace, engineering, and rocketry and provide a curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards in October 2022. Free professional development webinars will assist educators in implementing the lessons to reach up to 1 million students. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Special Collection of Space STEM Educator Resources: Discovery Education will curate a special “Space Week” collection of space STEM resources on its digital learning platform during World Space Week 2022, Oct 4-12. This collection will include space-focused STEM career videos, and instructional resources for educators from content partners, including NASA, National Science Foundation, and Boeing, to inspire curiosity and help students learn about career pathways that focus on space exploration.
To ensure that the space workforce reflects the diversity of America
- Increasing the Diversity in Space Internships: The Aerospace Corporation is announcing the Space Workforce 2030 Internship program to grow and diversify the space workforce. The thirty SWF2030 pledge signatories will increase the number of diverse interns by hiring at least 3000 interns by summer of 2023. Interested students will be placed in a pool of applicants from which the 30 companies will interview and hire. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Aerospace Allyship Award: Women in Aerospace (WIA) will present the first-ever industry Allyship award to an academic, government or industry leader during their October 2022 awards ceremony to a leader who has actively mentored, promoted and aspired to accelerate a culture of inclusion for women in aerospace. For more information contact: [email protected]
- Aerospace Systems Conference and Rocket Challenge: During the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Fall Regional Conferences, its Aerospace Special Interest Group will host the Aerospace Systems Conference, October 6-8, 2022, to increase networking opportunities and launch the “How to use your degree in the Aerospace Industry” series. In addition, NSBE and the Fire Rocket Challenge Pre-college competition are accepting teams until September 15, 2022, for a 9-month Fire Rocketry Challenge to develop model rockets and prepare for rocketry challenges and future space careers. For more information, contact: [email protected]
- Data Science for Space and Sustainability Event: Hines Family Foundation, in partnership
swith the Atlanta University Consortium Data Science Initiative, and the NASA Georgia Space Grant Consortium at Georgia Tech, will host “From STEM To Esteem: Space-motived Tools and Strategies to Enable the 21st Century Underrepresented Workforce.” The event, which will take place during World Space Week, will aim to increase the participation of Black and HBCU data scientists in the space and sustainability industries. Reaching more than 1,000 students, educators, and organizations in the Metro Atlanta, this event will highlight the application of data science in space research and data science space careers. For more information contact: [email protected] or [email protected]