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NC Space Education Ambassadors Program

Deadline

The application system for Crew 5 will open in Winter 2026.

Open to

K-12 teachers or STEM coordinators with 3 years of experience at any public or private schools in NC

Topic

Intensive professional development in current NASA Next Gen STEM and NASA mission-related education themes

Background

The NC Space Education Ambassadors (NCSEA) program helps meet two equal, nationwide needs: (1) to prepare pre-college students for STEM careers, and (2) to equip teacher leaders to inspire students. The goal of the NCSEA program is to build a statewide network of master teachers who deliver NASA educational content to their local students, schools and communities.

Each year, up to 12 in-service classroom educators with a minimum of three years of service (from elementary, middle and high school levels) will be selected from eight education districts across the state. NCSEA ambassadorships are competitively awarded, with NCSG reviewing all applications using a rubric to evaluate resumes, letters of support/recommendation from school administrators, and essays regarding STEM knowledge and passion, especially in engaging underrepresented groups in activities. Each cohort commits to a one-year period of professional development, which commences in the fall and continues throughout the school’s academic year, ending in the spring.

Upon completion of the professional development, NC Space Education Ambassadors join a cohort of trained educators across the state to deliver NASA education to their communities for years to come!

NC Space Grant would like to thank A-B Emblem for their continued support of the NC Space Education Ambassador program.

Objectives

NC Space Grant partners with NASA Education Specialists from NASA Langley Research Center and other NASA field centers to provide each NCSEA cohort with intensive professional development in current NASA Next Gen STEM and NASA mission-related education themes. After their initial training, NCSEA work as a cohort over the academic year to: (1) align existing materials with the NC Standard Course of Study, (2) develop lesson plans and activities to supplement the NASA themes, and (3) disseminate information via two outreach events or workshops to other educators in their schools, districts or state.

Expectations of NC Space Education Ambassadors

  • Implement space education initiatives with their respective schools, districts and communities
  • Align existing NASA education materials with the NC Standard Course of Study
  • Improve their own teaching skills and the academic performance of students
  • Provide enriched STEM and space-themed instruction through hands-on, real-world challenges
  • Collaborate with other NC Space Education Ambassadors to identify learning objectives and share and develop lesson plans
  • Partner with local institutions to provide meaningful STEM opportunities to students
  • Join a cohort of trained educators across the state to deliver NASA education (e.g. at conferences and special events) upon request by the NC Space Grant (and upon Ambassador availability)

Award Level

NC Space Education Ambassadors will receive a stipend and a certificate for twenty (20) continuing education contact hours upon successful completion of all required activities (partial credit will not be awarded). NC Space Grant will cover all travel expenses for the professional development at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

How to Apply

The application portal will open for the next cohort in winter 2026.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Currently employed as a K-12 classroom teacher or STEM coordinator at any public or private school in the State of North Carolina
  • Minimum 3 years of teaching experience
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Required Activities

  • Professional Development
  • Dissemination:
    • NCSEA are required to complete two dissemination activities in their respective districts to include: (1) one NASA professional development workshop, and (2) one NASA STEM Engagement opportunity for students.
  • NASA Experience:
    • NCSEA will attend a group field trip to NASA Langley Research Center (schedule dependent upon NASA Langley availability). NC Space Grant will cover all travel expenses.

Contact

Jobi Cook, Associate Director, 919-515-5933, jobi_cook@ncsu.edu