Planetary Resources and Content Heroes (ReaCH)

Planetary Resources and Content Heroes (ReaCH)

Planetary ReaCH News

Find opportunities for planetary scientists to engage Black and LatinX youth audiences, and for informal educators to learn more about planetary science or to participate in NASA activities.

Engagement Opportunities for Scientists Ways to Connect with Scientists Funding Opportunities for Science Engagement Science Engagement Resources Diversity & Inclusion in Science Engagement


Engagement Opportunities for Scientists

VIRTEX: Mentoing opportunity with Boys & Girls Clubs
Scientists who work in extreme environments are invited to become VIRTEX Mentors! With training and support, mentors will act as STEM role models as they connect with teams of students (ages 10-15) at a partnering Boys & Girls Club.


Ways to Connect with Scientists

NASA's Universe of Learning: Request an Expert
NASA’s Universe of Learning maintains a database of subject matter experts who specialize in topics across the field of astrophysics. Please complete their form below and they will be in touch to pair you with a list of experts.

Boys & Girls Clubs are welcome to apply to participate in the Virtual Trips to Extreme Environments (VIRTEX) program. VIRTEX connects Boys & Girls Clubs with researchers who study unique extreme environments. Students meet virtually with these "NASA Mentors" who conduct exciting research in unique laboratory settings and at remote field locations. Through dialogue before, during, and after a virtual fieldtrip with NASA Mentors, students develop an increased understanding of the mentors’ backgrounds, motivations to do research, problem-solving skills, and career pathways, while learning more about unique NASA research and these extreme environments that their mentors work in.

NASA Engages
The NASA Engages program is composed of NASA Experts who share NASA missions and content at educational, professional, civic, and other public venues. Audiences include preschool to college, libraries and museums, scouts, professional and technical organizations, community groups and other non-profit organizations. Experts are made up of professionals from education, engineering, science, and other fields.

Shadow the Scientists
Shadow the Scientists (StS) offers free online public experiential learning sessions for students at all academic levels, educators, and other enthusiasts several times a month. During these sessions, the participants eavesdrop via Zoom on scientists while they are actively conducting research and related activities. We also offer dedicated sessions that can be tailored for a specific group in which participants have more opportunities for direct engagement with the scientists.


Funding Opportunities for Science Engagement

TEAM II NASA STEM Engagement Funding Opportunity
For informal education institutions (such as Boys & Girls Clubs, museums, libraries, afterschool programs, camps, and more) consider submitting a proposal to the TEAM II Program. The announcement will be coming before the end of June, and it will include opportunities for informal education groups to propose this summer to either small Community Anchor awards (up to $50k, for one year) or the new STEM Innovator awards ($250k). In 2025, there will be the "National Connector" awards of $900k.
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SMD Bridge Program
The NASA SMD Bridge Program is an initiative to improve access to STEM careers within the NASA workforce and also the broader U.S. science and engineering communities. The program’s primary goal is to develop sustainable partnerships among NASA centers/facilities and institutions that have been historically under-resourced by NASA, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), Primarily Black Institutions (PBIs), and Community Colleges (CCs). These partnerships are expected to focus on paid research and engineering student positions, improving/enhancing faculty research trajectories, and increasing research capacity of the under-resourced institution.

DPS Education and Outreach Grants
The DPS Committee invites DPS members to apply for DPS Education and Outreach Grants. The DPS Committee is offering small grants (average amounts of $200 to $500) to support DPS members to engage in local and virtual education and public engagement activities. These grants are intended to support DPS member efforts to engage other members, students, teachers, and the public and can be used for materials, consumables, equipment but not for salary or travel to DPS meetings. Grants have a rolling deadline with reviews occurring each month. Awardees will be alerted by the 15th of each month after they are received.

NASA SCoPE Seed Grants
NASA SCoPE invites early career scientists and career NASA scientists/engineers to apply for a seed grant to support your collaboration with a NASA Science Activation Team. Bring your outreach ideas to life! Grants of $5k to $20k are available for career and early career scientists (i.e., within 10 years of PhD) with preference for individuals from underrepresented communities.


Science Engagement Resources

Scientist and Engineer Speaker Toolkit
Speaker guidelines and resources from NASA's Universe of Learning to help share the wonders of NASA missions and science with learners of all ages.

AGU Sharing Science Program
This science communication and outreach program offers resources, webinars, workshops, hands-on support and opportunities to help scientists communicate more effectively with diverse audiences about Earth and space science and its importance and impact on society.

NISENet Earth and Space Toolkits
Hands-on STEM public engagement activities and resources about Earth and space science developed by this NASA Science Activation project. Materials are available in English and Spanish, along with videos on the science and how to conduct the activities.

LPI's Explore! Modules
Planetary hands-on activities designed to be easy to conduct, use readily available materials, and require little preparation time. The topics are designed to be flexible for different programs, including summer sessions, after-school programs, festivals, science days, and family events.

ARES Science Engagement
These hands-on activities, developed by ARES staff, have been designed to engage audiences with content that highlights authentic NASA science, research, and exploration including work being facilitated within the ARES Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center. These resources can be adapted and used in formal or informal learning environments.

Professional Development Webinar: Effective Mentoring Practices - May 20 @ 2:00 p.m. CT
Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a professional development session. In this 60-minute, virtual seminar, we are joined by Dr. Sarah Hokanson and Dr. Béné Gnangnon of Boston University and the Postdoc Academy. We will share evidence-based practices for building an effective mentoring relationship, provide resources, and answer questions. Whether you are a first-time mentor, an experienced mentor, or just interested in learning more, this session will prepare you to make the most of your next mentoring interaction. All are welcome to attend.


Diversity & Inclusion in Science Engagement

Understanding Indigenous Community Cultural Values Through the CARE Principles Workshop
This NASA SCoPE workshop series will offer participants a deep dive into the CARE principles, and identify examples of how they can be implemented within STEM activities in alignment with Indigenous community cultural values. The first workshop on May 22 at 3 pm EDT/ 12 pm PDT will introduce the CARE principles, which are designed to support Indigenous data sovereignty, and Indigenous data governance. Registration is required.

2024 Advancing IDEA in Planetary Science Conference
The 2024 Advancing IDEA in Planetary Science conference (October 21-25) aims to boost the community’s momentum in incorporating Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) principles in the workforce. NASA and other planetary science stakeholders have committed to fostering IDEA principles throughout their agencies and funded programs. The LPI’s Expanding NASA’s Community of Planetary Sample Scientists (ENComPSS) program is supporting this free virtual conference as a next step, building upon the 2022 Advancing IDEA in Planetary Science conference.

Unconscious Bias Training
The University of California San Francisco’s Office of Diversity and Outreach has great information about unconscious bias, the science behind it, assessments, and strategies to address it.

ADVANCEGeo Partnership
The NSF-funded project provides workshops on a variety of topics, such as bystander intervention, and includes a variety of community resources.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Resource Center
LPI has curated a variety of diversity and inclusion resources on this site.

Webinar: Navigating Conflict and Collaboration - May 29 @ 2:00 p.m. CT
In a lab, conflicts are inevitable, but how we manage them can make all the difference. In this webinar from the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Dr. Jennifer Swann will provide strategies and communication techniques to navigate conflicts within the laboratory setting.

Webinar: Voices Of Integrating Culture in the Earth Sciences - May 21 @ 1:00 p.m. CT
Join the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) DEI Committee for a webinar to hear from participants of the NSF-funded project In Our VOICES: Voices Of Integrating Culture in the Earth Sciences (VOICES). This webinar is for anyone interested in how personal identity shapes one's Earth and environmental science education experience, and particularly the VOICES elements of Identity, Belonging, Place and Security. Presenters will offer comments on lessons learned for implementation in teaching and research environments.


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