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The Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium Program


What is the Rhode Island Space Grant Program?

The R.I. Space Grant Program is a congressionally mandated nationwide NASA-funded program designed to act as a space-science resource and to enhance science literacy and learning opportunities in space-related science at all levels of education, from elementary school through graduate school and beyond. There are 52 distinct Space Grant Consortia in the US (all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC). For more information about the national program, click here.

The R.I. Space Grant program lead institution is Brown University, which contributes matching funds to the program.


Who makes the RI Space Grant Program work?

The R.I. Space Grant awards scholarships and fellowships to university undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide range of NASA-related science, engineering, and technology disciplines.

These university students devote 75% of their time to completing their studies and degree programs and conducting space-related scientific research. They also contribute 25% of their time to working with K-12 teachers and children throughout Rhode Island in a variety of science education outreach activities.

The Space Grant university students complete their education and, at the same time, act as science role models for children who may never have talked to a scientist prior to a Space Grant visit. In addition, faculty and research associates active in NASA-supported research contribute time to various RISG programs including public lectures, teacher workshops, and initiatives.

How does the RI Space Grant Program Work for Higher Education?

The R.I. Space Grant Program provides graduate fellowships, undergraduate academic-year scholarships and undergraduate summer scholarships for university students from any space-related discipline.

These students gain financial support, are able to initiate or continue research in their own fields, and improve their communication skills. The NASA RI Space Grant consortium has awarded over 100 undergraduate scholarships and over 35 graduate fellowships from many and various fields of science, math, and engineering.

Our Fellows and Scholars have gone on to become researchers at NASA centers and universities as well as educators and administrators. Short-term research enhancement and travel grants for university students and faculty are also awarded by the RI Space Grant Program. Science fieldtrips and visiting lecturers are funded through special RISG programs, as are undergraduate students selected for NASA research institution internships.

Additionally R.I. Space Grant has co-supported new topics for the university/classroom at Brown, University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design, and Rhode Island College. Joint projects with many other Brown University education initiatives have enabled these programs to reach more people.

How does the RI Space Grant Program Work for Educators, K-12 Students, and the General Public?

In our unique program, Space Grant-funded university graduate and undergraduate students (RISG Fellows and Scholars), from a wide range of science, math, and engineering disciplines, have presented science to K-12 classrooms in schools, to K-12 teachers, and to the general public in every municipality in Rhode Island.

The idea of "space" can be used to spark K-12 students interest in all science and math topics, and can also be used as a resource for teachers to use in an integrated curriculum to meet the challenge of new standards and systemic changes in curricula.

We make about 200 classroom presentations each year in schools all over the state; and through all of our various outreach programs we have face-to-face contact with approximately 6000 K-12 students, teachers and members of the general public each year. R.I. Space Grant also supports teacher-driven initiatives and projects to bring NASA research to the classroom.

The RI Space Grant program links university scientists and the Rhode Island community through:

  • Researcher-to-Teacher interactions as an information resource
  • Researcher-to-Student interactions through classroom visits by scientists
  • Student-to-Student interactions between college and pre-college students
  • Current events in space science through "Hot Topic" workshops for teachers and public lectures
  • Focused projects for specific schools, classrooms or groups of K-12 kids or educators
  • Visits by classes to Brown University to experience the excitement of NASA science
  • Science role models for young women and underrepresented minorities

When can you use the RI Space Grant Program resource?

Anytime, year-round! Fellowships, scholarships, and university programs continue throughout the calendar year.

All science education outreach activities, including visits to classrooms or visits by classes to Brown University, are free. There is no charge to any school or group. All programs are funded by NASA and Brown University.

Program facilities are located in Lincoln Field Building at Brown University (Walk through "Soldier's Arch" on Thayer Street, between Waterman and George Streets, into Lincoln Field-the Lincoln Field Building is the middle building facing the green on your left).

For more information or scheduling, call the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium at 401-863-1151, or e-mail us at