Metro North Regional Employment Board
Building Partnerships for a Better Workforce

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street ♦ Cambridge, MA
STEM Contact: Bruce Ward ♦


Business Description

The mission of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is to advance scientists’ knowledge and understanding of the universe through research and education in astronomy and astrophysics.

STEM Partnership Summary

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is involved in many aspects of education and public outreach, including participation in museum and planetarium exhibits and programming as well as education-based efforts to promote astronomy and science instruction.

Educator Professional Development: The Science Education Department (SED) at the Center for Astrophysics provides comprehensive professional development opportunities for k-12 educators in the fields of astronomy and physical science. One of the projects, called MOSART, provides an evidence-based assessment system for k-12 science teachers.

Curriculum: In addition to professional development services, the SED provides teachers with curriculum and classroom materials for purchase. Project ARIES, a hands-on discovery-based curriculum on physical and earth/space science, is designed for students in grades 3-8. Project STAR is the SED’s high school astronomy program.

Community and Informal Education Resources: There are a number of ‘free’ and Web-based resources available through the CfA under the heading Informal Education. The workshop materials available for museums can easily be utilized by teachers as well:

College Success: Perhaps one of the most unique offerings in the region is the SED’s Project FICSS (Factors Influencing College Science Success). The project, which is funded through the National Science Foundation, explores the factors that can lead to student success in college-level science coursework.

Types of Educational Outreach Opportunities

Educator Education/Workshops
Guest Speakers
Observatory Visits/Activities
Post Doctoral Fellowships
Web Resources
Research on Science Instruction and Learning

Target Population

Grades K-12
Museums and Informal Education Institutions

Academic Subjects Related to Activities

Astrophysics and Astronomy



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