Using Innovative Technologies to Increase Middle School Students’ Interest in Space Science
Abstract: Innovative technologies can spark middle school interest in STEM careers. This paper is specifically focused on student interest in space science with the intention it will lead to more students choosing careers in this area. NASA’s STEM Innovation lab provides development and research of multiple types of innovative technologies aimed at this goal. Findings from research based on these activities offer optimism that engaging, technology-enhanced space science activities at the middle school level can help encourage middle school students to engage in activities that might lead to future scientists and engineers with space science-related areas as their chosen careers. Teacher preparation programs can impact the pipeline for future scientists and engineers by becoming proficient in the use of hands-on, engaging NASA type engagement activities supported by innovative technologies.