WEX Foundation will establish scholarship and grant programs to service minority and low-income students of diverse populations

Curriculum Development

 Improving STEM Teaching for Student Comprehension of Space Exploration Related Themes

Our first scholarship program is the LEAP2 Astrogeology Student Scholarship

One historically underserved constituent group, the student with learning disabilities is the focus of our proposed pilot program which prepares and encourage students with disabilities to pursue higher education in fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics .


Intended Outcome
  • Modification of NASA STEM-theme learning products for use with students receiving special education and/or bilingual education services in the general education classroom in order to attract and retain them in STEM disciplines.

  • The integration of UDL adapted NASA learning products into K-12 STEM field curricula as a method of engaging and differentiating instruction for diverse learners in the general education classroom.

  • Outreach to a larger cultural diversity of the special education population through conversion of these modified products for bilingual education (a Spanish translation of the modified products).

  • Incorporation of the iPad as an assistive technology for a digital delivery platform.

  • Incorporation of an eLearning website for an informal social/virtual world setting.

  • Special education teacher development through training in the use of real-time modification to the NASA applications for development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student receiving special education.

  • Special education teacher development through training in the delivery of the NASA space-themed content to provide understanding and/or confidence in teaching STEM disciplines with the Moon Math and Solar System Math prototype applications.

A framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines applied to the adaptation of product content, as well as conversion of adapted content for bilingual education are the principal modifications proposed for the NASA STEM-based learning products.
Anticipated Products:
  1. Print and electronic media for "NASA Explorer: Discovering Space Exploration" curriculum material;
  2. Instructor Guide (containing Lesson Plans for all lessons included in the curriculum material, with accompanying PowerPoint slides embedded into the lesson plans adjacent to suggested script for instructor use and answer key for end-of-lesson questions found in the curriculum;
  3. eLearning web site which meets Universal Design for Learning standards for student access to lesson activities;
  4. DVD/CD or web access for teachers to answer key file providing answers to test bank items/questions, instructions and handouts/resource information/presentation slides/etc needed to support any interactive in-class or student-centered learning activities called for by the lessons, plus any supporting video files needed for each lesson;
  5. Pilot outreach program conducted within the local community for dissemination of the curriculum material to targeted school districts, including teacher training workshops, as well as measurement and evaluation of curriculum material performance prediction.
This WEXF initiative seeks development of "NASA Explorer: Discovering Space Exploration", a K-12 curriculum series expressly designed using the context of NASA exploration and science mission initiatives for improving STEM teaching and student comprehension.

School districts in areas where students have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented in institutions of higher education is the targeted audience.

This WEXF initiative strives to adapt existing NASA learning products into K-12 STEM field curricula for use by students in general education classes receiving Special Education and/or bilingual education services.

Two NASA Learning Technologies applications, Moon Math and Solar System Math, serve as candidate prototypes for this effort.

Space Exploration for Special Needs and Minority Students

A special emphasis of the WEX Foundation is placed on inclusion of diverse student populations historically under-served and under-represented in institutions of higher education. WEXF middle and high school STEM curriculum development initiatives strive to prepare and encourage low-income, first-generation college-bound students and students with disabilities to pursue higher education and careers in human space exploration.

WEXF collaborates with education industry organizations and community academic institutions of higher learning to help implement its objectives.