One of the key goals of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is to make its discoveries and missions accessible to a wide range of educators, students, and the public. To that purpose, SMD has created a series of topical Forums for education and public outreach. The Forums formed a joint working group on Higher Education, which has been looking at how SMD can produce materials that are directly useful for instructors of introductory college science courses (such as Astronomy 101) and how SMD can better engage undergraduate students from groups that are generally underserved in the sciences, including minorities and women.
The working group commissioned two annotated resource guides from veteran astronomy and space-science educator Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College) that would address these two issues. They are Unheard Voices, Part 1: The Astronomy of Many Cultures and Unheard Voices, Part 2: Women in Astronomy. These two guides include material that can be used by instructors to make their lectures and class activities more inclusive, as well as readings and videos that students can use for projects and papers. The materials are mostly non-technical, so they can be used by a wide range of non-science students taking general education courses in the sciences, including those in public community and state colleges, where many future K-12 teachers begin their education.