Casis Award & MECSP

McAuliffe Center Receives Awards to Engage Students in ISS Mission Experiences, and Host Professional Development in Computer Literacy

The McAuliffe Center has partnered with NASA contractor CASIS (the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to offer simulated International Space Station (ISS) missions and ISS-focused planetarium programs to out-of-school time groups, high school classes, and schools from underserved communities. CASIS’ role as managers of the National Science Laboratory on board the ISS allows the Center unprecedented access to rare ISS resources. These resources will significantly enrich the Center’s Challenger Learning Center mission simulation program. Partial funding from CASIS will also allow the creation of a new interactive ISS exhibit in the lobby of the McAuliffe Center.

The Educational Development Center (EDC) has partnered with the McAuliffe Center to further advance the goals of the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN), with the goal of expanding computer literacy. MassCAN seeks to inform and inspire educators, administrators, parents, and students about the employment opportunities available in technology fields across all industries. The partnership provides sponsorship for middle school initiatives through Vertex Pharmaceuticals, while the National Science Foundation (NSF) funds efforts at the high school level. The McAuliffe Center will serve as a hub for the recruitment of teachers for enrollment in computer science-related professional development opportunities, taught by expert CS instructors.