New Discover the Universe Field Trip Programs Offered in 2015

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Starting in January, the Space Foundation will offer 60 new topics for the Discover the Universe field trip program featuring Science On a Sphere®. The new topics, as well as the existing ones, will be divided into six main categories to align with the state education science standards. Depending on the topic and the appropriate state standard, the programs will be available for grades PreK-12.

The education team suspended field trips throughout the month of October to create the new topics.

“There were about 20 very exhausting, but exhilarating, days during that month where Space Education Specialists Elias Molen and Jami Sunkel, along with Education & Discovery Programs Manager Chrys Rheinbolt, and I were brainstorming, writing lessons, developing playlists for Science On a Sphere and experimenting with new hands-on activities,” said Director-Education Bryan DeBates. “We have the best education staff on the planet, and that makes doing a project this huge so much fun.

“Thanks to the incredible work of Brian McCarrie and Christopher Stevens from our Web design team, we have a new field trip website for teachers. To help find a field trip topic, teachers can find all of our programs on one page. In addition, there are advanced search features to find the exact topic to fit their educational needs,” continued DeBates.

On the new page, teachers can search by grade level, class content or program type. The class content search feature is divided into categories: Earth Science; Life Science; Physical Science; Space Science; Language Arts; Arts and Humanities. The program type search feature allows educators to choose from among field trips, distance learning opportunities or professional development as their program choices.

In addition to searching through the Discover the Universe field trip programs, field trips for the Mars Robotics Laboratory or the AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory will come up in the related searches.

“When a teacher has found a topic that he or she wants to explore for his or her class,” said DeBates, “the venue for that particular topic will appear as well. The venue feature tells the teacher in which of our world-class education labs the program will be held. So, if a teacher wants to do a middle school lesson in Life Science, depending on the parameters chosen, the field trip may occur in the Discover the Universe program with Science On a Sphere, or it may be held in the Mars Robotics Lab.”

The education team is continually updating and adding new programs to reach as many teachers and students as possible. Take a look at the latest topics and programs at

This article is part of Space Watch: January 2015 (Volume: 14, Issue: 1).