SSERVI Focus Groups

The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute EPO program provides support to the broader Lunar EPO community through their sponsorship and creation of several focus groups. Five focus groups currently exist, each to work with a different aspect of lunar education:

1) Multimedia & Technology
2) Working with the Press
3) The Lunar Vision: The Lunar Community EPO Plan
4) Exceptional Moon (ensuring access to lunar science and data)

Making Lunar Science Accessible: The Exceptional Moon Focus Group

  • Identify needs within SSERVI and user community (formal, informal & homeschool educators)
  • Identify existing lunar-related resources that are accessible for students / audiences with disabilities
    • e.g., NASA CORE, web, publications
  • Facilitate adaptation(s) of new / existing education materials for use by students / audiences with disabilities
    • e.g., Blind/Visually Impaired, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Mobility Impaired, ADD/ADHD, and more
  • Ensure ADA / 508 compliant (federal regulations)

On-going Projects

  1. Standard Touch
    • Partnering with community members and educators to generate a ‘Tactile Primer on lunar Geology’ based on National Science Education Standards (US and Canadian) while developing a set of tactile standards for geology (e.g., geomorphic features, rock types, scale symbols)
    • Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters (*include hyperlink to NASA web accessible site for book text, graphics and use of reader)
  2. LOLA / LRO
    • Use mission-related topographic data to generate tactile maps of lunar poles
    • Classroom activities

Current EMFG Members

  • Dr. Cassandra Runyon, College of Charleston, Lead (NLSI)
  • Dr. Ted Conway, NSF, Program Director
  • Dr. Terry Hodgson, NASA JSC, Learning Technologies Group
  • Dr. David Hurd, Edinboro University
  • Dr. Robert Shelton, NASA JSC
  • Doris Daou, NASA Lunar Science Institute, Director of EPO & Communications

Lunar Craters Tactile Book

First Product of the working group is available to the public as well as schools and libraries.

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is sponsoring Montana State University’s “Geology of the Moon” online course for K-12 Teachers

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is sponsoring an online lunar geology course at MSU for K-12 teachers. The course, Geology of the Moon (ERTH 591-50), offers three MSU graduate credits in earth science.

The online course is offered each Fall and includes guest lunar scientists from the NLSI as well as the lunar science community at large. It is taught by Dr. Cassandra Runyon, who teaches at both MSU and the College of Charleston.

This course is designed for educators who want to understand more about the Moon and its history and relationship to Earth. Participants will explore theories for the Moon’s formation and the geologic processes that have helped it to evolve: differentiation, volcanism, impact cratering, space weathering and more. Topics also include investigating the Moon’s orbital characteristics (e.g., revolution, rotation, phases and eclipses) and current and upcoming missions to the Moon. During this course participants interactively participate through a combination of presentations, assigned readings, on-line discussions, and dynamic activities that may be used in the classroom. Curriculum content is based on National Science Education Standards.

This three credit course is part of MSU’s National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN), which offers online science courses for teachers.

To register, visit and click on “Current Courses.” Enrollment is limited.

Journey through the Universe:

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is partnering with the Journey through the Universe team for an annual two-week EPO program.

The NLSI’s involvement in classrooms, public venues, and teacher professional development extends into the communities throughout the country with the help of the “Journey through the Universe” program.

Journey through the Universe is a national science education initiative that engages entire communities—students, teachers, families, and the public—using education in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration to inspire and educate. Journey through the Universe is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, which facilitates Journey events in ten communities across the country.

One of the Journey instantiations is conducted by the Gemini Observatory. Gemini’s Journey program, now in its seventh year, serves the community in and around Hilo, Hawaii. Key partners in Gemini’s Journey program include the various observatories operating on Mauna Kea, the Hawaii State Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI).

Hilo, Hawaii is one of the ten communities around the nation that are designated Journey through the Universe sites. Astronomy associated scientists and professionals have a deep desire to participate with Hilo schools, as do the local educators and students. Journey through the Universe Week is a solution that brings the two together, and:
Raises awareness of science in classrooms.
Helps students meet the Hawaiian Content and Performance Standards and national standards.
Taps into the Hilo community’s resources.
Improves teaching staff in content fields.
Educates parents and the community in the space science enterprise.

This Journey program typically runs in February-March and it features a Family Science Day public event at Imiloa Astronomy Center, Family Science Night at the University of Hawaii Hilo, an astronomer workshop, a teacher workshop, and a master teacher training session.

Through audience participation, the family science events provide a family learning experience in exciting human space flight, with Earth and space science subjects that are connected to the curriculum.

K-12 Education Modules training is provided during the educator workshops. These Modules include content overviews; inquiry-based, hands-on activities; assessment rubrics and resource listings.

The heart of the program is a full week in which 48 astronomy educators (lunar scientists, astronomers and observatory engineers) are sent into classrooms to explain to over 8,000 K-12 students how they are working to exploring the universe. Classroom visits by these astronomy educators are designed to provide students with standards-based science content, allow students to personally interact with scientists and engineers, and inspire students to further their education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NLSI’s participation in Hawaii’s Journey through the Universe program provides students and the public with a new understanding of recent, current, and future NASA lunar exploration. It also introduces them lunar-related educational resources available to classrooms and families. The NLSI team leverages the Journey experience to engage the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, and Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center with NLSI lunar E/PO programs including International Observe the Moon Night and Exploration Uplink. It also provides an opportunity to recruit University of Hawaii students and local amateur astronomers to join NASA’s Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observation Program and participate in lunar research that will support the science of NASA’s upcoming Lunar Atmosphere and dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission.

For more information on Gemini Observatory’s Journey through the Universe program, visit

Summer Students Internships:

The NASA Lunar Science Institute offers annual Summer Internships to gifted high school and college students. This is an opportunity to work with scientists and engineers in any of our national teams. The Internship is typically during the summer and lasts for 10 weeks. The students are offered fellowships up to $5K and an opportunity of a lifetime.

The NLSI also partners with the Maryland Space Grant consortium, which has allowed us to double the number of our summer internships.

If you are interested contact our director of Education and Public Outreach for further information.


NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is currently in orbit around the Moon, returning images of the lunar surface in unprecedented detail. Through Moon Zoo, you can learn how to interpret these images, have these images delivered to your computer, and become part of the team building a new understanding of the lunar surface.

“The International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN)”

InOMN is an annual public outreach event that provides opportunities for new partners to engage the public in lunar science and exploration.

The goal is to converge the lunar science and education community, our partner networks, amateur astronomers, space enthusiasts, and the general public in an annual lunar observation campaign to share the excitement of lunar science and exploration.

InOMN events use the “Tweet-up” model and partners’ dissemination networks to promote and recruit participation in the events. All information about InOMN is supplied on a central website, accessible to the public. Members of the public are encouraged to host their own InOMN events, and local astronomy clubs, schools, or other groups can post information about InOMN events they are organizing. To assist with their efforts, the website contains downloadable documents of advertising flier templates, Moon maps, and activities that are distributed at the national events, such as Moon calendar journals. After the events, participants are able to continue using the website to follow links for more information about sites indicated on their Moon maps.

The InOMN Team consists of scientists, educators, and Moon enthusiasts from government, non-profit organizations, and businesses throughout the United States and across the globe. We believe in the inspirational power of the Moon— a celestial body that has influenced human lives since the dawn of time. InOMN has created the opportunity for people to take notice of the Moon’s beauty and share that experience with one another. Through InOMN, we hope to instill in the public a sense of wonderment and curiosity about our Moon. Our partnerships enable us to stay up to date with the latest and greatest scientific discoveries about Earth’s nearest neighbor, and bring those discoveries to the public

“My Moon”

The NASA Lunar Science is partnering with the Lunar Planetary Institute through the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration team on the “MyMoon” web portal.

“MyMoon” uses new and traditional media to share NASA’s current lunar science and exploration with exploration with young adults. MyMoon engages our audience in conversations with scientists, engineers, authors, artists, story tellers, and each other.

NASA Lunar Science Institute Public Lectures

The NASA Lunar Science Institute is rich with scientists, engineers, and EPO professionals that represent a large network of speakers happy to share the latest discoveries with local, state, and national audiences at various community event and civic group venues.

NASA Lunar Science Institute Teams EPO Websites:

Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE)

Center for Lunar Origin and Evolution (CLOE)

Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and Atmospheric Studies (CCLDAS)

Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR)

Scientific and Exploration Potential of the Lunar Poles

The Moon as Cornerstone to the Terrestrial Planets:
 The Formative Years

SSERVI Science Teams

Inspiration Room

NLSI Inspiration Room

Did you know?

The lunar surface is both hotter (in daytime) and colder (at night) than any place on Earth.

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