WGBH Launches New Digital Resources in its “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms” Educational Initiative in Collaboration with NASA

Space is within reach for educators, free of charge through PBS
LearningMedia

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WGBH, a leading producer of educational digital media, has released a
new collection of interactive K-12 digital resources through its
“Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms” initiative. This year’s
collection, Space Science, was produced as part of a five-year,
$10 million cooperative agreement awarded to WGBH from the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The new Space science collection, including over 50 resources, launched
August 15. Key topics include sun, moon, and star patterns in the sky,
touring the galaxy, and understanding Kepler’s laws. The goal of the
project is to design and test innovative new instructional approaches
that use digital media to engage diverse learners in scientific
practices.

The launch of the new Space resources follows the initial release of
Earth Science content in August 2017. Developed in collaboration with
NASA, with input from a national group of 50 teacher advisors, the Earth
Science resources have been accessed more than 200,000 times by almost
30,000 users from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the
first year.

WGBH has long been a leader in producing educational media, especially
in science and STEM,” said WGBH Director of STEM Education and Project
Principal Investigator Rachel Connolly. “Our collaboration with NASA
allows us to draw on their unique expertise and research, ensuring the
collection offers the most up-to-date, cutting-edge science resources.”

The free educational resources are designed to be flexible and include
teacher support materials that aid instructional use and integration in
the classroom. Lesson plans for every grade band illustrate effective
uses of media. Support materials, including background essays, video
transcripts, and resources for English language learners and students
with disabilities using assistive technologies, are available throughout
the collection and are designed to engage and support diverse learners.

Through content drawn from NASA agencies as well as WGBH’s signature
programs such as NOVA and PEEP & the Big Wide World, students are
encouraged to explore and engage with science phenomena through a range
of innovative media, including data visualizations, satellite images,
videos, and interactive formats.

WGBH worked with other NASA partners and teams to develop new, data-rich
digital media for these resources. A video journey through the galaxy
and universe based on real data and computer modeling was created in
collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences. A student version
of the popular Helioviewer Solar Data Tool, providing students with
current solar data, was developed with the NASA Space Science Education
Consortium at Goddard, and an original data visualization that
demonstrates Kepler’s laws of planetary motion was developed with the
NASA Science Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center.

For NASA Science, inspiring all learners to actively participate in
understanding nature and advancing knowledge is what it’s all about.
Fostering an online environment for collaboration and access supports
that goal,” said Kristen Erickson, science engagement and partnerships
director at NASA. “WGBH has a proven record of success, not only in
developing quality digital media but ensuring the resources are
accessible for all, especially educators.” Bringing the Universe into
America’s Classrooms
resources are distributed free of charge
through PBS
LearningMedia
to more than 1.6 million registered educators and
their students across the country. The resources are aligned to Next
Generation Science Standards and emphasize student engagement with core
ideas and practices. The full collection of almost 200 resources is
available on PBS LearningMedia at www.pbslearningmedia.org/universe.

These resources are developed using a rigorous process that involves
teacher surveys, multiple iterations, close collaboration with NASA and
partners, and careful review of the science and pedagogy,” said Seeta
Pai, Executive Director of Education at WGBH. “When we first launched
the collection in August 2017 with the Earth resources, we anticipated
there would be high interest in the quality programs and assets. Now
with the space resources, we’re supporting the enthusiastic acceptance
of the collection with research for continuous improvement.”

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public
broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web,
including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American
Experience,
 Arthur and more than a dozen other
primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels
include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH
TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater
Boston
Basic Black and High School Quiz
Show.
 WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH,
Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the
Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs
for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in
educational multimedia and a pioneer in technologies and services that
make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually
impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors:
Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more
information at wgbh.org.

About PBS LearningMedia
As America’s most trusted
institution and number-one educational media brand, PBS is committed to
supporting teachers on their journey to spark students’ curiosity. PBS
LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is
an online destination that offers free access to thousands of resources
from PBS stations and partners. These digital tools are designed to
enhance classroom instruction — from videos, images, and interactives,
to lesson plans, articles, and primary sources. Available to all
educators pre-K through 12th grade, PBS LearningMedia offers
classroom-ready content aligned to state and national standards,
compatible with the tools teachers use most, such as Google Classroom,
and contextualized with supporting materials. Each month, more than one
million unique users visit PBS LearningMedia to enhance teaching
practice and support student learning. Learn more at pbslearningmedia.org.

Contacts

WGBH
Erin Callanan, 617-300-3270 (o)
617-905-6866 (m)
Erin_Callanan@WGBH.org

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