Something Different – For SSEP Teachers Across America: We’ve Got To Be That Light

In March 2011, I had the wonderful honor of giving the Keynote Address to 6,000 teachers of science at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in San Francisco. The talk, “Science, it’s Not a Book of Knowledge … it’s a Journey” was about the nature of human exploration, and that science education—indeed all education—should embrace the human need to know driven by innate curiosity, celebrate the gift of a question, and be rich in interdisciplinary experiences owned by the learner. It probably sounds familiar … it’s the foundation for the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program.

Last year I came across music videos created by John Boswell at Symphony of Science, and was stunned by the magic he performs on just raw video of people talking. I remember so fondly when I was off to graduate school in astrophysics at Penn and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos first aired. Sagan reaffirmed why I wanted to study the universe, and why I also wanted to have a hand in national science education. What John has now done through his music videos to bring Sagan to a new generation is remarkable. I called him to explore a collaboration, and he answered the phone:)

John and I have been working this past month to turn the NSTA Keynote into a music video that could help reaffirm for teachers why we went into this noblest of professions, and at a time when the focus on teaching to the test and financial stresses on school districts are putting terrible burdens on teachers across the nation. The video was to be something uplifting at the beginning of the new school year.

I’m writing this post because I wanted to share with teachers across the SSEP network. The video was put up on YouTube early today. I hope it can help, in some small way, give a needed shot in the arm for teachers across this great nation.


We’ve Got to be That Light
A Gift to America’s Teachers


The very best wishes for the new school year,


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The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory. SSEP is the first pre-college STEM education program that is both a U.S. national initiative and implemented as an on-orbit commercial space venture.