NASA’s Innovations in Climate Education program (NICE)

NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, is designed to improve the quality of the nation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and enhance students’ and teachers’ literacy about global climate and Earth system change.

The NICE project annually solicits proposals for innovative education activities and now includes a portfolio of 71 nationwide climate education initiatives that contribute to the development of a climate-literate public and a climate-related STEM workforce.

The goals of NICE are to use NASA’s unique contributions to climate and Earth system science, through collaborations with community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and school systems, to:

• Increase the number of underrepresented and underserved students prepared to teach climate change content within STEM subjects.
• Increase the number of underrepresented and underserved undergraduate students prepared for employment and/or to enter graduate school in technical fields relevant to global climate change.
• Advance the understanding of how to teach global climate change concepts effectively.

In 2011, funding for the project was provided in the NASA budget under the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP). The solicitation for proposals was opened only to minority serving institutions, community colleges, public school districts with high under-represented/under-served enrollment, and non-profit organizations with a substantial history of working with under-represented communities. Cooperative agreements valued at $7.2 million were awarded to 14 organizations.

No solicitation for new awards was held in 2012, as the fiscal year funding is designated for previously selected proposals. No information is provided as to 2013 funding.

Educational tools and resources are provided on the NICE website. Examples include:

NASA Wavelength: a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels. You will find close to 300 climate education related resources by searching on “climate”. All of these resources were developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), and have undergone a peer-review process through which educators and scientists ensure the content is accurate.

The CLEAN collection: contains over 500 peer-reviewed teaching resources aligned with the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy and the Energy Awareness Principles. Each teaching resource is reviewed by scientists and educators for alignment with these principles first, and then for scientific accuracy, pedagogic effectiveness and usability.

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE): a distributed community effort involving educators, students, and scientists working together to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system at all levels. The National Science Foundation provided funding for the development of DLESE which is now operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Computational and Information Systems Laboratory and the NCAR Library.



Publication Date: 2011

Related Organizations:

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Climate science
  • Education/training materials

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