IPAC has expertise and experience in planning, developing and implementing a wide range of formal and informal educational programs. These include programs for US-based K-12 , community college formal education, programs for life-long learners, informal education in museums, planetaria, community events and more.
IPAC also specializes in developing educational plans and programs for international partners.
These activities have been developed for a number of large science projects including NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and other NASA missions, as well as international science projects such as the Thirty Meter Telescope.
NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP)
NITARP is an IPAC program that gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. We partner small groups of largely high school educators with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project.
The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January. Applications are available annually in May and due in September.
The CoolCosmos website was established at IPAC as a public web portal to explore the many facets of the world and universe as seen through the marvels of infrared light. CoolCosmos contains education resources for all NASA- and IPAC-involved infrared missions, including the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), Herschel, Planck, the 2-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), and Euclid.
Cool Cosmos provides content for educators, students and life-long learners.
Curriculum development and educator resources
The IPAC Communications and Education (ICE) team has developed infrared lesson plans, posters, printouts, outreach materials and compiled links to education other resources on various websites for IPAC-related projects including: