July 2021 Archives

Space College: Who We Are

Space College Foundation, Inc. (Space College) is a Virginia-based nonprofit organization. Our mission is to provide access to educational resources, career opportunities, and hands-on involvement in space exploration. While our main focus is on learning after high school, we strive to support learning about space exploration for students of all ages. Our development activities have been on hiatus since 2017 - but are looking to reboot our effort in 2021. More information on Space College can be found here.

Space College is wherever you are.

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About Space College

Space College is intended to be an educational institution wherein students can be trained for careers in space exploration. The intent is to turbocharge the creation of the next generation of space explorers by expanding access to an overt course of studies focused on space exploration. Unlike other academic and training centers which focus only on classroom studies in one specific location, Space College will reach students regardless of their location. Space College will focus on educating students (and eventually generating graduates) by providing them with a broad, well-rounded background - one suited not just for a career in space exploration, but other professions as well.

Moreover, due to uneven access to institutions and facilities across the U.S. and the world, much of what Space College will do will involve virtual participation i.e. distance learning, massive open online courses (MOOC) etc. for individuals with geographic issues. In the case of established educational and training institutions, Space College will seek to utilize resources already available to students and the utilize offsite and virtual resources to help them achieve the skills they desire. Space College will seek to fill gaps by offering its own courses, training, and eventually, certification.

We believe that:

- space exploration is an adventure that everyone should have a chance to participate in regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, geographical location, socioeconomic status, or racial/cultural background - and do so in a way that meets their personal dreams, interests, and skills.

- a career in space exploration should be as easy to pursue as any other career and that the same means used to attract, train, and employ people for other careers can be used for careers in space exploration.

- students, teachers, space professionals, and the public should all be able to participate in the development and refinement of space exploration learning tools and teaching materials as well as make use of them.

- use of open source software and designs, combined with crowd-sourced development and citizen science, serve to enhance the learning experience and the development of new knowledge and technology and can instill a sense of community and ownership among all involved.

- the use of Internet and computer-based resources can provide a meaningful educational experience regardless of the location of the participants at a cost that is a fraction of traditional classroom formats. Such means of interaction can provide access faster than traditional "bricks and mortar" can.

- locations on Earth ("planetary analogs") can be used as classrooms for learning how to explore other worlds. These planetary analogs can serve a dual purpose for learning about our own planet and dealing with issues that confront its inhabitants.

- people pursuing space-related careers - or already employed in space exploration - have an important role to serve as ambassadors for - and promoters of - the benefits and excitement that can be derived from space exploration. Everyone can be an evangelist. First rule of Space College: talk about Space College.

- there is value to using old hardware for new purposes. New knowledge can be derived from old data. Mentoring across generations is also important. Lessons learned a generation ago still have value today - and will continue to have value tomorrow.

- science fiction and other popular space-related art forms are an opportunity to engage and educate the public about the true nature and value of space exploration as well as a means whereby the importance of such exploration can be presented to decision makers. While scientific accuracy is crucial to any career, the excitement and inspiration often inherent in science fiction should be seen not as an impediment, but rather as an asset and an opportunity to interest a wider audience to pursue a space exploration career.

- the role of the private/commercial sector in space exploration will continue to expand resulting in a synergistic mix of governmental, commercial, and scientific interests - all conducted by a variety of participants in an ever changing global context. Space College does not take a side but rather encourages private and public space efforts equally with the hope that a dynamic and synergistic expansion of space activities will result.

- the best way to ensure that humanity will continue to explore space is to have an engaged, informed, and empowered citizenry that works to make space exploration happen using whatever resources are at their disposal. People need to embrace space exploration in a personal way such that when investments in space are threatened, people respond to reduce that threat.

- space exploration is an activity that should not only transcend borders but also that it is an endeavor that can serve to bring cultures and nations closer together peacefully to learn and explore.

Space College is wherever you are.

More information on the Space College concept can be found here.

About Space College

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