Journey through the Universe
Science education programs for entire communities—grade K-12 students, their teachers, and their families.

“Since Journey through the Universe came to our community, thousands of everyday people have found new ways to look at space. Teachers have learned how to bring the universe, human exploration and the process of science alive in their classrooms. We will never look at the heavens in quite the same way again.
—Dr. Jim Sisney, Superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools, Oklahoma

NASA oceanographer Thomas Nolan was part of a Journey through the Universe Team to Martinsville, VA. They talked to 2,000 students—one classroom at a time. Program success? It's written on the student's face. Click on Image for Details

NASA oceanographer Thomas Nolan was part of a Journey through the Universe Team to Martinsville, VA. They talked to 2,000 students—one classroom at a time. Program success? It's written on the student's face. Click on Image for Details

Our local team was able to easily integrate Hawai’i Content and Performance Standards with the Journey curriculum. What an enriching experience Journey has been for the educators within the Department of Education and for the Hilo community and business organizations.
—Valerie Takata, Superintendent, Hilo/Laupahoehoe/Waiakea Complex, Hawai’i District

“After the program, the children were able to approach the scientist for autographs and to ask questions. I had a very difficult time getting my oldest to sleep that night as he was so excited.”
—Louise M. Thomas, Parent, Wallace, Michigan

It is staggering to realize the cumulative effect Journey is having on communities.
Tom Nolan, Visiting Researcher, Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

“…how can one measure the reward, and the promise, in a little girl’s face when she comes up and says after a presentation; “Dr. Gibson, thank you — Science is so cool — I want to learn more…  This is a fantastic program, and should be supported on an ongoing basis.”
Dr. Ursula Gibson, Associate Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth College

More testimonials from community leaders at the Journey through the Universe website.

MESSENGER Educator Fellows
Workshops for grade K-12 teachers across the nation, with a focus on Solar System science and exploration.

From pre- and in-service teachers attending workshops conducted by the Center’s MESSENGER Fellows

“This workshop was very engaging for teachers. I can’t wait to see the students’ reaction to the components for this curriculum. Can’t wait to teach it!”

“Motivated me to make science more hands-on in my classroom.”

“Excellent explanation and examples of inquiry process.”

“Great job! Presentation and information made me feel more comfortable with incorporating science with everyday lessons!”

“Excellent workshop, learned a lot about how to get students more involved and interested in science.”

“This workshop was the best teaching experience of my life.”

“Students will learn a lot from these activities and enjoy doing them at the same time. The activities can be easily adapted to meet the needs of any class.”

From the Center’s MESSENGER Fellows

“Being a MESSENGER Fellow has allowed me to bring science instruction back to the front burner. Teachers who attend a MESSENGER workshop are inspired by this current scientific mission to Mercury, and become re-energized in their goal of making science come alive for their students. Our nation’s children deserve to receive quality science instruction; the MESSENGER modules allow teachers to integrate the study of our universe with math and language arts in a hands-on, concept development model. I am proud to be a “messenger” myself.
—Annette Iwamoto, MESSENGER Fellow

“It still boggles my mind! I’ve grown up watching the work of NASA, but it never fails to amaze me what can be accomplished. To be part of the education arm of NASA and share with teachers and students the accomplishments of MESSENGER, is truly an honor.
—Christina Dorr, Ph.D., MESSENGER Fellow

Voyage National Program
A scale model of the Solar System permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in communities across America, and soon internationally.

Through this exhibition, NASA hopes to share what has been discovered, and the strangeness, wonder and beauty of these newly revealed worlds, with the public.
—Dr. Jeffrey D. Rosendhal, Director of Education and Outreach, Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters

“I had no idea how small the planets were and how far apart they are.”
—6th grade student, Lincoln, Middle School, Washington, DC

We are thrilled to have played a role in developing this new outdoor educational experience. Millions of visitors to the Smithsonian will have the opportunity to learn about our Solar System through this dynamic experience.
—J. Dennis O’Connor, Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

The Voyage lessons provide a frame of reference for discussing space travel and distances to other astronomical objects, such as the nearest star. These are wonderful educational tools and a great experience for all.
—Maureen Kerr, Chief of Education, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

“Bonnie and I walked the solar exhibit up to Saturn. It’s marvelous. I love the little factoids…like 800 million suns fit in the one star [Betelgeuse]. It really gives the concept of size…something that is so difficult to wrap the mind around. I looked up at the sky and tried to picture 1 million earths….fitting into the sun…and 800 million suns…; and the vastness of space to just get to Pluto. This exhibit really helps to even grasp that.”
—staff at Space Center Houston, after installation of the Voyage exhibition

“Beautiful exhibit for the community!”
—attendee at the exhibition’s opening day workshop for educators
Houston, TX, November 14, 2008

“I want you to know that after [the workshop] at Space Center Houston, I was totally inspired when I came to school Monday. I took one of my 5th grade classes out with thermometers, flags, notebooks and a compass. They created their own questions and sought their own answers. It was great. The kids think I rock; they have no idea that we all inspire each other.
—Nikki Skinner, lead science teacher, Houston ISD, Texas

“I love the solar system model.”
—lead science teacher at the exhibition’s opening day workshop for educators
Kansas City, MO, October 11, 2008

“I went to the workshop given last Friday – it was great! I can’t wait to bring the fifth grade to see the Voyage exhibition.”
—Holly Kundrock, Science Teacher, Spring Branch ISD, Texas

“Really Great—the stressing of models, models, models … , [and] the Socratic questioning: students are telling the story of lesson and developing the experimental concepts. Awesome workshop!”
—lead science teacher at the exhibition’s opening day workshop for educators
Corpus Christi, TX, July 20, 2009

More testimonials at the Voyage National Program website.

To Earth and Beyond
Supporting your requests for a specific, customized program: e.g., conference keynote, a professional development workshop for teachers, a family/public program, classroom visits by scientists and engineers, or a distance learning experience.

Conference Keynote Addresses

Banquet Speaker, NJ Science Convention, Somerset, NJ, 2008
“Informative! Energetic! Exemplary! Just a few of the adjectives that describe Dr. Goldstein and his presentation at our recent NJ Science Convention. He was one of the best banquet speakers we have had in our 32-year history.”
—Sandra S. Buleza, Executive Co-chair, NJ Science Convention

Professional Development for Teachers

“What a fantastic program! I’m very excited about this. The presenter was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.”
—Crystal Williamson, Teacher, Shawnee Mission SD, Kansas

“I have never been moved to tears of joy by a presentation. Inspirational—a wonderful, enthusiastic, heartfelt speaker—it was life changing!” [workshop keynote address]
—workshop attendee, Kansas City, Missouri

“I liked the variety of information learned and the various lessons that can be adapted in your classroom. This is not another thing that has to be added but is already incorporated into our standards.”
—workshop attendee, Washington, DC

“I liked the background knowledge and how well-prepared the lessons are.”
—workshop attendee, San Diego, California

Explore the Professional Development formal assessment results

Family and Public Programs for an Entire Community

“I personally know what an impression it has made on my own children. Both of my boys felt encouraged that they can do anything they put their minds to. They feel that the future is theirs.”
—Louise M. Thomas, Mom, Wallace, Michigan

“Great opportunity for families to learn together. Parents can follow up with questions children come up with later.”
—parent, Martinsville, Virginia

“It was amazing! I hope you have Family Science Night Again.
student, Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri

“One adult I went with liked it so much she got the speaker’s autograph.
student, Marquette, Michigan

Explore the Family and Public Program formal assessment results

Classroom Visits by a National Team of Scientists and Engineers 

“[The scientist] really worked to include the kids in sharing their knowledge of what they knew about astronomy.”
teacher, San Diego, California

“Dr. Trolland was exceptional. The students were actively involved, attentive, and enthused. Thank you so much for including us!”
—teacher, Nogales, Arizona

“The students were very interested and involved in the presentation.”
—teacher, Martinsville, Virginia

“It was awesome! Something the kids will remember for a long time!”
teacher, Labette, Kansas

Explore the Classroom Visits formal assessment results

Blog on the Universe
A different approach to science education—conceptual understanding at an emotional level.

“Dr. Jeff is able to explain complex science in ways that students can understand and that teachers can use to excite their classrooms. His post—A Day in the Life of The Earth—is one of the most useful descriptions of the pace and seriousness of climate change that we have ever seen.”
The Climate Community

“Dr. Jeff has the unique gift of being able to explain big ideas in science to students and teachers and inspire them to discover more about astronomy and space science. His blog is a great tool for parents, students and teachers to delve into our fascinating universe and become explorers themselves.”
—Rita Karl, Director of Education, Challenger Center for Space Science Education

“Your essay [The Nature of Our Existence] reminded me why I taught space exploration to my students (I retired in June) and why I will always personally have a lifelong love of space and what we as a people do there.”
—Patty Rifkin, Science Teacher

“This site is awesome! I LOVED ‘The Business Trip‘ written in terms that everyone can understand plus the Parents & Teachers facts at the end. Dr. Jeff has designed a 21st Century science education website for science educators and the public, bravo!”
—Caroline Goode

“I am really going to enjoy this site. Lots of cool info and love the conversations with your son, Jordi.”
—Dona James

“I am always looking for ways to teach astronomy using technology, writing , imagination and encourage the students to view it as a personal journey through their universe. Your site has opened that door. Terrific! Thank you.”
—Robin Brennan

“[The Art of Teaching essay is] Beautiful! As a home schooling mother, my first objective is to encourage my children, my students, to find and love their individual strengths – and then to use those strengths to forge their own paths. Academics, though no less important, are secondary. I often wonder if I am doing the right thing in this approach, but reading your words makes me believe that I probably am.”
—Tavi Greiner

“I really must say that these lessons are truly priceless for a middle school teacher such as myself. Please KEEP them coming.”

Family Science Night
at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
A school field trip designed for family learning held after hours in the most visited museum on the planet.

“I attended the [Family Science Night] presentation at the Smithsonian with my children. It really is amazing how much we learn as parents while being parents. Your scientist managed to speak to several levels of understanding – simultaneously – so that we all learned. Thank you for reminding me of what it was like to be a boy with an unlimited imagination, gazing upward with excitement, beyond the limitations of what is known.”
—Carl Parker, Parent, Takoma Park, Maryland

“Science is really cool to me now.”

“As a parent passionate about experiential learning and the power of learning with others, the evening filled my heart (and mind) with even more hope. Our 44th President has encouraged us quiet and abundantly creative people to come out again and speak up, speak the truth. Your images brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the Moon Walk, watching with 26 of my closest cousins, all under the age of 10, from a beach house in SC. Nothing was lost on my soon to be 13 year old either, and by the end of the evening you had him out there, open and seeing the possibilities.”

“[You] really inspired me. I really wasn’t interested in science, now I’m considering it as a favorite class.”

“My 5th grade son Liam and I attended the Family Science Night last evening and walked away richer for the experience. It was wonderful to watch my son enthralled with the enthusiasm [the presenter] obviously feels for our place in the universe. It’s good for children and adults alike to remember that knowledge is a journey that never ends. Thank you, again, for including our family.”

“The presentation was absolutely fabulous. [The presenter] was able to take information that many children find daunting and difficult and intimidating, and speak about it in terms that they could completely understand and enjoy. That he was able to hold a large group of middle-schoolers spellbound for his entire speech was indicative of his dynamism as a speaker. And really, the adults were just as fascinated.

When he first came out to speak and said “My name is [ ] and I am an astrophysicist” many kids and adults alike may have inwardly groaned, expecting two hours of complicated physics formulas and jargon. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. My husband, son, and daughter each told me individually how the presentation made them really think about the universe in depth in a way they never had before, and it also facilitated several really interesting family discussions – at the dinner table, in the car on the way to school… we all loved it and were so grateful to be able to participate.”

Do you think the adults that came with you liked the Family Science Night program?
•  “My daddy REALLY liked it. Because that was all he talked about on the way home.”
•  “Yes. My dad went wooooooooooow!!!!!”
•  “Yes because my parents smiled like they never smiled before in a long time.”


“I want to be an astrophysicist now thanks to the doctor who talked to us.”