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Home Page for NASA/UNCF Project at Northeastern Illinois University

This project is funded by  NASA and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation.

Project Description

     In January 2001 a curriculum improvement project, funded by NASA and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation, brought together a group of faculty from Northeastern Illinois University committed to improve student learning and outcomes through improved teaching.  Under this three-year grant, the group representing the disciplines of chemistry, earth science, mathematics and physics has coalesced as a team to support each other's efforts to reform their courses. Now in a six month extension, the team continues to refine initiatives that have been developed during the grant.

Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of this project is to increase the number of students majoring in the physical sciences and mathematics, particularly among underrepresented groups.  To achieve this goal, and to increase the retention rates in these fields, the team has concentrated their efforts on faculty development to improve the teaching and learning in their courses.  The emphasis has been to incorporate those techniques and strategies that educational research has shown to be effective.   

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

Photo of the Andromeda Galaxy Courtesy of Robert Gendler

Albert Einstein, 1931, in The World As I See It  


     Additionally, the program aims to revise the science core courses to strengthen connections between disciplines.  Space science topics are incorporated through a series of modules, as one way to provide relevant, high interest vehicles for illustrating science concepts.  These lessons are incorporated into the classroom lesson or can be used for outside enhancement.  Activities are included that engage students in hands-on learning experiences through collaboration with their peers.  Newly purchased equipment and software programs have been incorporated for use in science and mathematics courses.  In the physics lab, computer stations include interfaces and sensors that allow for the collection and analysis of data.
Program Connections
     Within the university community, the project interacts with other established programs designed to support students' efforts and achievements.  Recognizing the need for preparing greater numbers of well-trained scientists, mathematicians and educators, this project embraces NASA's education mission to "inspire the next generation of explorers."


Space Science News and Noteworthy Events !!!!




Two Rovers Explore Mars !

Discover the latest news in the Mars Mission Updates !

Photo courtesy of NASA

Opportunity finds evidence that indicates Mars has a watery past.

Read archives of Week in Review for Spirit and Opportunity.


Making Other Space Science News


Cassini-Huygens reaches Saturn on July 1, 2004 after 2.2 billion-mile,   seven-year journey. View pictures of Saturn's Rings! Follow mission discoveries to learn more about Saturn's rings, moons and magnetosphere!


 Transit of Venus on June 8, 2004

NASA Launches Gravity Probe B on April 20, 2004

  This mission sends four gyroscopes into orbit around the earth to test the prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity of a phenomenon known as "Frame Dragging".  

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Northeastern Illinois University | The NEIU NASA/UNCF Project

Infusing Space Science Into a Science Core Curriculum Through a Community of Scholars

Text of this page 2002 The NASA/UNCF Project, Northeastern Illinois University.   Last updated July 2, 2004.