About Us

The National Center for Earth & Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the United States creates and oversees national programs addressing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, with a focus on earth and space. Programs are designed to provide an authentic window on science as a human endeavor, and to inspire … then educate.

A central objective of the Center’s programs is to help continue America’s legacy as a leader on the frontiers of science and technology well into the 21st century by helping to ensure a scientifically literate public and a next generation of scientists and engineers—both of which are of U.S. national importance in an age of high technology.

But the Center has long recognized that the depth and breadth of exploration conducted in the Earth and space sciences – and the education programs that capture those experiences – should be shared beyond the U.S. It is a recognition that all humanity is on a journey aboard spaceship Earth, that the story of our existence knows no national borders, and it should be the birthright for all our children to understand that the explorer lives within them.

The Center’s desire to expand its programming internationally led to a partnership with the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. The Foundation is charged with promoting the remarkable legacy of Arthur C. Clarke, recognized world-wide as a visionary whose works speak to one world shared by the human race, all of us on a common journey of discovery.

Arthur C. Clarke’s legacy bridges the worlds of the arts and the sciences, with his works ranging from scientific discovery to science fiction, from technical application to entertainment. As an engineer, as a futurist, and as a humanist, Clarke has influenced numerous artists, scientists, and engineers working today, and through his broad body of work, he continues to inspire future generations around the world. We invite you to visit the following pages dedicated to Arthur C. Clarke on this site: biography, quotes, testimonials by others, bibliography, and links.

The Foundation and Center agreed to work toward the establishment of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, which would serve as the Center’s international arm.  

Just before his death in 2008, Sir Arthur C. Clarke signed an agreement to establish this Institute. It is with profound honor and a deep sense of purpose that we help continue Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s legacy through education programs that align with his vision to inspire the future.

Launched in April 2012, the Institute is to deliver education programs world-wide that address our planet, its health, and our ability to venture beyond Earth and understand our place in a greater cosmos. The first program of the Institute was expansion of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) beyond the U.S., to nations engaged in operations aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Communities in European Space Agency (ESA) member nations, European Union (EU) member nations, Canada, and Japan, are now invited to engage their students in designing real microgravity experiments to be carried out on the International Space Station. The SSEP main page serves as an executive Summary of the program and opportunity.

The first SSEP international participation was Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada, which engaged 450 students in microgravity experiment design, and 160 proposals for flight experiments were submitted by their student teams as part of their participation in SSEP Mission 3 to ISS. The selected flight experiment for Stonewall flew to ISS aboard Orbital Sciences 1 (Orb-1), launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wallops Island, Virginia, on January 9, 2014, as part of the Falcon II SSEP Mission 3 to ISS experiments payload. The experiment returned to Earth on Soyuz 36S on March 10, 2014.

There are now thousands of students participating in SSEP in communities across Canada, and programming is being expanded beyond North America. The clocks at the top of the right column, counting down to the next SSEP launches, are a testament to students being given the ability to be real researchers on the frontiers of human exploration. What better way to inspire the future.