Next generation science learning team selects nationwide board

Arizona State University received a $10.18 million grant from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Education Community in 2016 to develop next-generation digital learning experiences that incorporate NASA science content.

Within the first year of this grant, the ASU team launched “Infiniscope,” which provides a virtual space to connect learners and educators with cutting edge space exploration experiences, making the vastness of space and space exploration inviting, accessible, and interactive.

Now, the team has announced their selection of an Education Advisory Board, a select team of educators who will evaluate and review Infiniscope products and provide essential feedback on story boards and lessons to ensure its success.

“The Infiniscope Education Advisory Board members are an essential part of the success of Infiniscope, providing immediate feedback on how the experiences will work in both traditional and non-traditional settings,” Says Ariel Anbar, principal investigator of Infiniscope and astrobiology professor at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.

The board was selected through a competitive process. Candidates are required to be educators and members of the Infiniscope teaching network. They also need to be dedicated to improving the quality of education products and willing to inspire their community to participate in the educational opportunities.

“They are the boots on the ground, ensuring what we build is relevant to today’s learners,” says Infiniscope community manager, Jessica Swann.

The official 2017-2018 Infiniscope Advisory Board members are Tanya Anderson, Carlos Apodaca, Ken Brandt, Helen Coyle, Edward Ersin Demirci, Covey Denton, John Dupuis, Maki Fullerton, Michelle Hall, Shaakira Hardy, Mark Heilbrunn, Alison Hinesman, DeLacy Humbert, Jon Krawiec, Melodie Larsen, Wendi Laurence, Noelle A. Luccioni, Kalman Mannis, Alexis Marsden, Deborah Morgan, Paul Munshower, Sundra Nickerson, Alison Oswald-Keene, Adam Peterson, Diane Ripollone, Elizabeth Sebastian, Craig Weeks, Brandi Williams, Kevin Williams, and Ray Paul Zeleski.

Members represent 17 different states across the U.S. from New York to California and from Texas to Montana. The majority of board members are educators in middle school and high school. The board also includes educators from museums, after school programs, and science centers. Almost all members have more than 10 years of teaching experience. 

The current board will serve from November 2017 – October 2018, and will be evaluating one product from beginning to end every six months for a total of two per year. In addition, the board will participate in monthly discussion forums and work to engage their local community.

“Board members are an integral component of the design process,” says Chris Mead, a research manager on the Infiniscope team. “We want Infiniscope to fill a need for educators, so we are careful to align the content and learning objectives to appropriate standards and to provide complete lesson plans for each finished experience.”

Teachers who are interested in serving on the board next year first need to join the Infiniscope teaching network. Invitations to apply will be sent to teaching network members next summer with selections occurring in late summer 2018 for the 2018-19 academic year.