Space Science

Summer of Innovation

Summers of Innovation is an innovative partnership between NASA and local providers of out of school time science programs.  Our goal is to inspire kids toward future STEM study.

Kids: Participate in our specially designated SOI classes to earn your Rising Star!

Teachers: Participate in professional development and lead summer camps!  Become a Stellar Educator.

For more information about Summer of Innovation, contact Marie Steckelberg or Vanessa Hight.


  • Build the capacity of community- and school-based organizations to engage underserved and underrepresented students in high-quality STEM content in summer and extended learning experiences tailored to meet local needs

  • Support the infusion of NASA themes and resources in summer and extended learning

  • Facilitate the alignment of summer and extended learning programming with the formal education community to support coordinated and sustained engagement in STEM content.

Youth Programs

Our goal is to provide 40 hours of STEM, with a NASA focus, to 2,400 youth in grades 4-9 during the summer.  During the school year, we want these students to receive an additional 25 hours of STEM out of class education.  When a youth has documented 65 hours of STEM activities, s/he is eligible to be a NASA SD Rising Star!

 Teacher Programs

  • Participate in 40 hours of STEM professional development that uses NASA resources between January 1 and December 31.
  • Use this training to enhance your curriculum during the school year.
  • Conduct summer and/or afterschool activities for middle school students. (Optional – Stipends are available.)

Participating educators will:

  • Explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) resources and methods.
  • Make connections to NASA scientists and educators
  • Challenge themselves in new and exciting ways.
  • Access summer youth camp curriculum that can be used to earn additional summer stipends.
  • Gain access to free/discounted top STEM programming in South Dakota.
  • Discover an enthusiasm for teaching STEM that they may never have imagined.
  • Earn a distinction that tells parents, peers and administrators they care about the quality of STEM education they provide to their students.
  • Stipends provided!!