NESSP serves as a “virtual NASA center” for residents of the U.S.’s northwest — covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North and South Dakota. NASA centers have traditionally acted as hubs for professional development for educators, access points for NASA educational materials, and on-site experiences for educators and students. In lieu of a NASA center in our region, NESSP offers several programs to deliver hands-on STEM experiences and NASA education to our communities. Our specific topic focus areas are:

  • Environmental science and remote sensing
  • Planetary exploration and robotics
  • Exploration of the solar system and rocketry

Our goal is to create a pathway into STEM fields — by getting students excited and inspired by STEM and by strengthening STEM education across our region. We also support community-based science and engineering events in partnership with underserved and underrepresented communities. If you’d like to inquire about working with us to bring NESSP programming to your community, contact us at

Visit the pages below for details on each program and to see listings of upcoming opportunities.

STEM Showcase

NESSP’s STEM showcase programs bring hands-on STEM activities to students in schools, afterschool, or youth programs. Our outreach programs are provided by three of our partners, covering regions in Washington state and Oregon.

Educator PD

NESSP’s professional development program offers two-day workshops and weeklong summits to teachers, organizers, and other science educators across the northwest region.


NESSP’s mini-mission program offers curriculum and supplies to educator-led activities across the northwest region. Our mini-missions work well in a variety of situations from summer camps to Scouting activities to after-school programs.

Curriculum — ROADS companion course

NESSP's companion course program offers a curriculum for educators to integrate concepts from our ROADS challenges into their lesson plans. Curricula support Next Generation Science Standards and is aligned with NASA missions.

National student challenges

NESSP’s student challenges program brings our STEM education expertise to educators and students across the United States. Challenges center around a specific scientific topic or NASA mission and create opportunities for educators to participate in NESSP-provided professional development and for students to work together in teams to tackle STEM topics.