WASHINGTON -- NASA and the Mad Science Group of Montreal, Canada, have teamed in an effort to spark the imagination of children, encouraging more youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The two organizations recently signed a Space Act Agreement, officially launching the development of the Academy of Future Space Explorers.
The organizations have leveraged NASA research, missions and initiatives to develop fun and engaging space-themed activities for elementary school-aged children. Space-inspired activities have been integrated into Mad Science's various enrichment initiatives, including after-school programs, birthday parties, summer camps and community events across the United States and Canada. More than 100,000 children have taken part in the initial launch phase of the program.
"Mad Science is noted for its trademark 'edu-tainment' philosophy, which cultivates incredible enthusiasm and a sense of wonder in children," said Joyce Winterton, NASA assistant administrator for Education, Headquarters, Washington. "Our goal with this initiative is to take children on an adventure of discovery, introduce them to the exciting world of space, and above all, to help make learning fun."
The Academy of Future Space Explorers will promote children's curiosity about Earth, the moon, Mars and beyond through creative, hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Participants will explore topics including: planets and moons; atmosphere and beyond; space phenomena; sun and stars; rocket science; space travel; space technology; and living in space.
"Children are born scientists. They are naturally curious about the world around them, and space is still a mysterious, exciting frontier. We look forward to our continued relationship with NASA to harness that curiosity in today's youth, and to help foster a lifelong love of science, math and learning," said Ariel Shlien, chief executive officer, the Mad Science Group. "The Mad Science Group is thrilled to partner with NASA on this unique initiative, to help change children's perceptions about the sciences, and inspire the next generation of astronauts, physicists and engineers."
With this program, NASA continues the agency's tradition of investing in the nation's education programs. It is directly tied the agency's major education goal of engaging Americans in NASA's mission. NASA is committed to building strategic partnerships and links between formal and informal education providers. Through hands-on, interactive educational activities, NASA is engaging students, educators, families, the public and other agency stakeholders to increase Americans' science and technology literacy.
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