NASA, Department of Education Partnership Strengthens STEM Education
NASA and the U.S. Department of Education signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, strengthening the collaboration between the two agencies, including efforts to increase access to high-quality STEM and space education to students and schools across the nation.
Specifically, the agreement enhances and expands the agencies’ longstanding partnership that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math to students from diverse backgrounds to pursue an interest and a career in STEM and space industries. It reinforces the importance of Biden-Harris Administration and NASA priorities for STEM, climate, space exploration, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
“The first humans who will walk on Mars and the innovators who will help humanity reach the Red Planet are students in America’s classrooms today. NASA and the Department of Education know we need the whole of the Artemis Generation – young people from all parts of America and all walks of life – to achieve big goals, overcome our greatest challenges, and inspire the world through science and discovery,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Today’s signing, with the support of Vice President Harris and the National Space Council, continues NASA’s collaborative efforts with the Department of Education to amplify the excitement of space to all students across our country, allowing every young person to know they are a part of the Artemis Generation – today and for decades to come.”
“I am excited for this partnership with NASA that will inspire and prepare young people from all backgrounds to become our next generation of leaders in STEM fields and to propel our nation and our workforce into the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “From the groundbreaking Apollo mission to today’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, NASA’s work has long galvanized the world to raise the bar and reach for new heights. I am proud that our agencies will continue to intentionally collaborate to enrich STEM teaching and learning in America’s classrooms; expand access to high-quality, hands-on career, technical, and space education; increase the capacity and diversity of our nation’s STEM educator workforce; and so much more.”
Both agencies participate on the White House National Science and Technology Council Committee on STEM Education, and the White House National Space Council.
NASA and the U.S. Department of Education are currently working on upcoming collaborations which include the development of an agreement to provide NASA STEM content and technical assistance for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. This initiative funds afterschool programming across the nation. NASA also is providing content for both U.S. Department of Education’s YOU Belong in STEM initiative and Your Place in Space student challenge.
Learn more about how NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement is inspiring the next generation of explorers at:
music and concerts
Pretzel Logic: Steely Dan’s Critically Acclaimed Third Album Makes a Triumphant Return to Vinyl After 30 Years
“Steely Dan’s acclaimed album ‘Pretzel Logic’ returns to vinyl after 30+ years, pleasing fans and audiophiles alike.”
Steely Dan’s iconic album, Pretzel Logic, will be making a comeback on July 28th after an absence of 35 years. The album was greatly received as it marked the band’s first release to break into Billboard’s Top 10. “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”, the band’s most successful hit, is featured on the album along with timeless classics such as “Any Major Dude Will Tell You,” “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo,” and “Barrytown.”
Pretzel Logic’s vinyl release is part of Geffen/UMe’s plan to reissue Steely Dan’s classic ABC and MCA Records catalog, returning the band’s first seven records to vinyl, most of which have not been accessible since their original release. Donald Fagen, Steely Dan’s founding member, has overseen the reissue program that commenced with the group’s debut album “Can’t Buy A Thrill” in November of 2022. most recently, 1973’s “Countdown to Ecstasy” was reissued in May 2023.
The album underwent a meticulous remastering process by Bernie Grundman, using the original analog tapes. It is now available on 180-gram black vinyl at 33 1/3 RPM. Additionally, Pretzel Logic will be released as a limited premium edition on Ultra High-Quality Vinyl (UHQR) from Analogue Productions, the audiophile in-house reissue label of Acoustic Sounds. Analogue Productions is also releasing this series of titles on Super Audio CD (SACD).
Fans can pre-order Pretzel Logic ahead of its release on July 28th, from the link provided: https://steelydan.lnk.to/PretzelLogicVinylPR. Steely Dan fans and vinyl enthusiasts can look forward to revisiting Pretzel Logic and adding the album to their classic record collection.
NASA Names New Agency General Counsel
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced Monday the selection of Iris Lan as the agency’s new general counsel, effective immediately. She succeeds Sumara Thompson-King, who retired from NASA last December.
“The Office of the General Counsel’s work often goes unseen,” said Nelson. “I want to thank Scott Barber and Charles “Pete” Polen, both of whom served as acting general counsel. Our team of attorneys, paralegals, and professionals are critical to NASA fulfilling our mission to explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery. With Iris at the helm, I am confident they will continue to help NASA maintain our standing as the world’s premier space agency.”
Before joining NASA, Lan was an associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, with responsibilities over the nation’s 93 U.S. attorneys and the Department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. As a senior career official for more than a decade, she advised the deputy attorney general and the attorney general on some of the most significant legal and enforcement issues across the country.
She began her career with the Justice Department as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, where Lan prosecuted many of the nation’s most complex counterterrorism, counterintelligence, export control, cyber intrusion, and corporate fraud cases. Later, she also was deputy chief of the appellate section, supervising attorneys in briefing and arguing cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Lan graduated from Harvard University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics and a master’s degree in history of science and graduated from Harvard Law School. Before joining the department, Lan clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and served as a commercial litigator in private practice.
Lan is an elected member of the American Law Institute, serving as an adviser for the organization’s project on the law of compliance and enforcement for organizations.
For more information about Lan, visit:
NASA Funds 200+ Small Businesses for Innovative Tech Development
NASA invests in 200+ small businesses for developing technologies to protect astronauts’ health and reduce space collision risks. #SBIR #STTR
NASA has chosen more than 200 small business teams to receive funding for the development of technologies that will safeguard astronauts’ health, reduce spacecraft collision risks, and more. NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs have awarded new funding to a diverse range of American small businesses and research institutions, in addition to eight Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), to support NASA’s future missions.
Each team will receive $150,000 to demonstrate the feasibility and value of their innovations, for a total investment of $45 million. Small businesses are awarded Phase I SBIR contracts, which last six months, while small businesses partnered with research institutions are awarded Phase I STTR contracts, which last 13 months.
The full lists of this year’s SBIR and STTR awardees are available online. About 30% of the companies selected are first-time NASA SBIR/STTR recipients, including nou Systems Inc., a women-owned small business based in Huntsville, Alabama. Nou Systems has proposed a novel approach to automate DNA monitoring of microbes to help quickly identify those that may pose a threat to astronauts.
This technology could first find use as part of the International Space Station’s biological testing equipment. NASA’s SBIR and STTR programs support pioneering ideas from a range of innovators across the country that may not attract the initial private industry funding needed to thrive.
The program enables NASA to collaborate with small businesses and research institutions in need of government investment. Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and partnerships for Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, said, “Through these early-stage small business awards, we are inviting more innovators into this growing arena and helping them mature their technologies for not only NASA’s use but for commercial impact.”
To learn more about NASA’s SBIR/STTR program and apply to future opportunities, visit:
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