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Supernova inc. part 1


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Supernova Inc. Part 1

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Supernova inc. part 1

  1. 1. Infinite Possibilities SUPERNOVA INC.   1
  2. 2.           TABLE OF CONTENTS             Executive Summary……………………….3-4   Situation Analysis………………………..5-8     Budget Summary…………………………9-10   Secondary Research…………………..11-22     Primary Research……………………...23-33   Summary of Key Findings…………….34-35     Target Audience………………………..36-38   SWOT Analysis…………………….……39-41     Planning Section………………………42-52   Executions……………………………….53-96   Sources of Information……………...97-99     Appendix……………………………….100-106                                   2
  3. 3.     Executive Summary 3
  4. 4. Executive Summary Supernova Inc. has developed a plan to address the client’s goals. The first goal is to create nationwide support for STEM education and programs. The second goal is to influence students to pursue aerospace careers. To achieve the first goal, we propose a month-long campaign renaming April 2012 “Science Month: Explore Infinite Possibilities,” which is designed to create public awareness and support. The Coalition needs support and funding from policy makers, parents, and teachers to enhance STEM performance among students. We recommend the Coalition make adjustments to its social media approach. Our research found that the vast majority of students have Facebook accounts. The student presence on Twitter pales in comparison. To reach students using social media, it is recommended to enhance the Coalition’s presence on Facebook. We recommend targeting school administrators in order to emphasize STEM education, and to help launch “Science Month.” The Coalition should become a member of the STEM Education Coalition in order to receive the benefits of networking and legislative activity. The Coalition can receive positive publicity by sending teachers from under-funded schools to STEM education workshops on a scholarship grant. By enhancing the teacher’s education, the Coalition can enhance student education. The Coalition should encourage more extracurricular STEM activities, because research found students spending more time involved with STEM outside of school are not only more likely to become STEM advocates, but also consider pursuing STEM careers. In order to achieve the second goal of influencing students to pursue aerospace careers, we recommend the Coalition sponsor events at Science Olympiad. Our research found that if students participated in STEM-related competitions, they were more likely to pursue STEM careers. These students are also more likely to have a more favorable impression of STEM. The Coalition’s sponsorship money could influence Science Olympiad to run more space-themed events. The Coalition could then award scholarship money to event winners. Sponsoring an event can be done for $5,000, and we recommend investing at least $1,000 in scholarship prizes. Our research found that 94 percent of survey respondents in middle school and high school said they had thought about careers. To achieve the second goal of influencing students to pursue aerospace careers, we recommend creating a committee of high school students, called “Junior Ambassadors.” This committee will work with the Coalition’s Gen Y Board Members to communicate with secondary education students about career opportunities. Junior Ambassadors can also be given access to the Coalition’s Facebook page in order to provide a familiar voice to the target audience. Junior Ambassadors can also be in charge of any videos, blogs and other social media, under the moderation of the Gen Y Board and Coalition. The Junior Ambassadors will also be acting as liaisons with Science Olympiad in order to see the Coalition’s sponsorship is being communicated with secondary education students online and in the competition’s stages. Research showed that students felt one-on-one interaction with STEM experts created more interest in the subject. “Aerospace Career Mentors” can provide a link between students and STEM experts, and would help put a face on professionals in STEM fields. This will help make STEM careers seem more personable to prospective students interested in STEM careers. Supernova Inc. tentatively plans to spend a little over budget, with costs totaling $110,761.75. 4
  5. 5.     Situation Analysis 5
  6. 6. Situation Analysis Client: The Coalition for Space Exploration “The mission of the Coalition for Space Exploration is to promote the importance of space exploration to the national agenda via cost-effective, high-yield public outreach activities that include both traditional and new media to help secure political support and budget resources for NASA and space exploration,” (“About Us,” The Coalition is an advocacy group campaigning for increased support and policies of space exploration. Its members include Aerojet, ATK, Boeing, Harris, Honeywell, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and United Space Alliance. Its contributors include AGI, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Paragon, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Parametric Technology Corporation. Its partner associations include Citizens for Space Exploration, National Space Society and the Planetary Society. Members of the Board of Advisors range from middle school teachers, to former NASA astronauts and flight directors, to an Academy Award-winning director. Members and partners of the Coalition employ 689,470 people. Challenges: The new 2011 NASA budget request unveiled by the White House on Feb. 1, 2010 cancels NASA’s Constellation program, which included a replacement for the retiring space shuttle program (“Obama’s budget would scrap NASA’s moon mission,” Private, non-governmental space exploration initiatives such as the Ansari X Prize and Google Lunar X Prize have had much success. The former generated a low-cost, reusable manned spacecraft able to enter space frequently over short periods of time. The latter is an on-going contest to land a robot on the moon. ( Private sector space exploration may have benefits, but according to Lockheed Martin, “there’s too much risk associated with commercial space flight to make that a viable alternative to a government program.” Commercial space programs are unregulated, expensive and often wasteful ( By scrapping the Constellation program, and following the retirement of the space shuttle, “NASA would rely on private- financed rockets built by commercial launch companies, to ferry astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station,” ( or perhaps rely on foreign countries for transportation to the International Space Station. The Coalition believes the United States is losing its edge in the space industry. It wants a campaign focused on middle school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in order to motivate these students to graduate college with a STEM-related degree, and enter jobs in the American space industry. The National Assessment of Educational Progress has looked at public school STEM teacher’s backgrounds and found that nearly four out of ten 7-12th grade math teachers do not have a college major in the subject they teach ( 6
  7. 7. About one-third of the fourth-graders and one-fifth of eighth-graders cannot perform basic mathematical computations (National Center for Education Statistics). Young American student interest in science and technology has eroded over time. In 1960, one out of every six (17 percent) U.S. bachelor or graduate degrees was awarded in engineering, mathematics or the physical sciences. By 2001, that number had dropped to less than one in 10 (just 8 percent) of all degrees awarded in the U.S (National Science Foundation. Science and Engineering Indicators, 2004). Environment: The Coalition for Space Exploration operates with a yearly budget of less than $1 million. While the Obama administration has ended the Constellation program, “The President’s Budget invests an additional $6 billion in NASA over the next five years – an overall $100 billion commitment to the agency,” (The Federal Budget, Fiscal Year 2011, NASA, The new federal budget’s investment in new science, innovation and jobs includes: • “1.2 billion for transformative research in exploration technology that will involve NASA, private industry, and academia, sparking spin-off technologies and potentially entire new industries.” • “150 million to accelerate the development of new satellites for Earth Science priorities.” • “170 million to develop and fly a replacement of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a mission to identify global carbon sources and sinks that was lost when its launch vehicle failed in 2009.” • “500 million to contract with industry to provide an astronaut transportation to the ISS, reducing the sole reliance on foreign crew transports and catalyzing new businesses and significant new jobs,” (“Invest in New Science, Innovation, and Jobs,” In addition, the new federal budget calls for NASA to “Increase annually the percentage of NASA higher education program student participants employed by NASA, aerospace contractors, universities, and other educational institutions,” ( The Gallup Organization polled 1,1018 national adults aged 18 and older about space on June 10-12, 2009. Of those polled, 67 percent said they were “very interested,” or “somewhat interested,” in space. Attitudes toward NASA were 58 percent “excellent,” or “good.” The benefits justified the cost of space exploration for 58 percent of those polled, and 60 percent said they would maintain or increase the federal space budget. 7
  8. 8. President Obama launched the “Educate to Innovate,” program on Nov. 23, 2009, to improve the participation and performance of American students in STEM education ( Why it is necessary to take action at this time: Fifteen of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected for 2014 require significant mathematics or science education to realistically compete for a job (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Fastest growing occupations, 2004-14, STEM education is necessary to create “life sciences and biotech, clean energy, and green jobs,” (Tim Murray, Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts in Converge Magazine). Our country’s industrialized economy depends on products and innovation, which rely heavily on knowledge in math, science and engineering. ( American students need to improve STEM test scores and enter the space industry to assuage fears that the U.S. has lost its edge in the space industry to nations such as China – a nation with plans to land on the moon before the U.S. can return – and Russia – a nation NASA would rely on for transportation to the International Space Station after the space shuttle is retired. NASA and private industry needs young, qualified employees entering the workforce from America’s colleges and universities to meet the competitive challenges of space exploration in the 21st century, and to achieve the high-priority performances goals laid out in President Obama’s federal budget.     8
  9. 9.   Budget Summary 9
  10. 10. Budget Summary Science Month Web site $1,500.00 Obama’s proclamation & media kit 5,000.00 Create network of partner associations 165.00 Logo contest 500.00 Create parent page for Science Month 1,000.00 Sending bumper stickers to parents 6,000.00 Planetarium and science museum month 1,600.00 Producing online videos 7,000.00 Science Month promotion at AASA 10,000.00 Space/science education activities packet 6,000.00 Sending teachers to space workshop 7,500.00 3-month magazine ad 15,750.00 Career center website on Coalition’s site 1,000.00 Space Career Mentors 1,500.00 Space Career Mentors posters 2,047.50 Junior Ambassador’s Committee 10,000.00 Science Olympiad liaison 1,000.00 Junior Ambassador’s access to social media 19.25 Produce videos, blogs, podcasts and Facebook status updates 2,000.00 Sponsor Science Olympiad Nationals 6,000.00 Host Science Olympiad Nationals 20,000.00 Press release with Science Olympiad 180.00 Coalition member to speak at Nationals 5,000.00 Budget total $110,761.75 10
  11. 11.   Secondary Research 11
  12. 12. Secondary Research Client The beginnings of the Coalition for Space Exploration start with the creation of NASA in 1958 as a government agency in charge of the nation’s civilian space program. In 1983, industry leaders in the space field developed the non-profit, non-partisan U.S. Space Foundation "to foster, develop and promote, among the citizens of the United States of America... a greater understanding and awareness ... of the practical and theoretical utilization of space ... for the benefit of civilization" ( The Space Foundation, among other things, created the Space Technology Hall of Fame, honoring scientists and engineers responsible for new technologies developed in space ( The Foundation, comprised of nearly 100 corporate supporters, also runs The Space Certification Program, which allows products using space technology to use the NASA logo, such as Tempur-Pedic ( and annually publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity. In 2004, the Foundation wanted to support President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration. Thus, the Coalition for Space Exploration was created “under the umbrella of the U.S. Space Foundation” (Covault 57). About half of the Foundation’s corporate members also became member companies of the Coalition along with many partner associations. The Coalition has since advocated for continued government funding for space exploration. Recent news of President Obama’s proposed budget has had an impact on the space community. The 2011 budget ends NASA’s Constellation program and outsources low- Earth orbit travel to commercial firms (Achenbach). The federal budget still increases NASA’s budget by $6 billion over five years. The budget shift is possibly a result of the unrealistic nature of the Constellation program succeeding. Former Lockheed executive Norman Augustine admits that Constellation would have “little chance of ever having a ‘useful role,’” (Achenbach). 12
  13. 13. The Coalition for Space Exploration has eight major member companies, including Lockheed, Honeywell, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Each of the major companies supports its local community through educational support. The key here is local community. Aerojet, for example, funds the Sacramento Challenger Learning Center where kids learn through hands-on activities ( Aerojet does not assist funding for the network of 44 other Centers ( The Harris Foundation, as well, reaches out to students aspiring to pursue STEM-related careers but only offers scholarships and grants to local schools. Lockheed has a program called “Engineers in the Classroom,” where practicing engineers assist teachers in supplementing curriculum with hands-on lessons. However, this program is only for schools located near its facilities (Adams). The Coalition and Social Media The Coalition’s Web site conveniently provides access to educational materials and curricula offered by NASA and member companies on a page titled, “education station.” There is also a well-defined “Kids Space,” with links to many space-themed online games. Even so, navigating the Web site to find these resourceful materials is difficult. The Web site has no ads and yet continues to use Web-banner type links for routing. One helpful page listing links to space-related contests is only discoverable by finding the Education Station and clicking two images which both look like advertisements. Several links are repeats or dead, a heavy emphasis is placed on NASA Web sites and resources, there’s no information on scholarships or grants offered by member organizations and the site map does not function ( The Coalition has a Twitter account with four tweets per day on average, each of which provide links to articles of interest to space exploration ( With 857 followers, the profile doesn’t measure up to the most influential Twitter profiles with 1.2 million followers ( The profile in the past five days was uniquely retweeted only four times. The Coalition doesn’t need to use Twitalyzer to determine its Twittering has much to improve. At this point, the frequent tweets waste time and energy for the measurable outcomes. 13
  14. 14. The Coalition’s Facebook fan page similarly lacks much accomplishment and influence. There are many posts linking to online, space-related articles, about three per day. Unfortunately, there has been almost no interaction with fans, only nine fan posts by three of their 395 fans – a small number compared to NASA’s 35,000 ( The number one reason for creating a fan page is to engage your audience with your brand and message (Farr). No one is engaged, and there is little traffic flow. Finally, the Coalition attempted to develop its own social network using Ning, launched in 2005. The site has 127 users, and most of whom have not uploaded a profile picture. With two groups, 12 total blog posts, one listed event and two discussion forums; one might simply skip this site. However, the Ning page has a generous archive of 65 photos and 81 videos in comparison to its Facebook counterpart. This site has done a better job attempting to engage its members. However, traffic is still noticeably low. “The reality of Ning is that it’s lost whatever coolness it had, no one uses it and Ning is going to have a very hard time getting people’s attention” (Arrington). Even with the plethora of videos, photos and blogs, emerging analysts and experts of the recent social media phenomenon recommend businesses and organizations do more. In the age of Web 2.0 “Placing the video is not enough… you have to do ‘PR’… tagging, linking and having others point to it and republish it to spark the viral potential of your content” (Solis). The one thing the Coalition’s Facebook Fan page lacks is participation in others’ work, especially that of middle and high school students. One of the top 10 things Solis mentions in his text, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR, is to “Listen. Learn. Respect.” A successful Facebook page engages with others and humanizes the process of messaging by conversing. “Once properly guide [younger generations] have an advantage for joining and leading more strategic communications online [for your brand]” (Soils). 14
  15. 15. Audience The client has stressed the importance of reaching middle and high school students to discover how to make science “cool,” and encourage them to pursue degrees in STEM education. The U.S. is experiencing a declining student interest in STEM majors. The well- known college admission and placement exam company ACT, Inc., has documented this decline. The ACT includes an interest inventory, or UNIACT, with its college admission tests. The UNIACT asks questions about a student’s basic interests, and that information is used to compile a report suggesting career options and majors for the student. Interest inventory data found that the percentage of ACT-tested students who said they were interested in majoring in engineering has dropped steadily from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent over the past 10 years (ACT, Inc. 1). Several studies have investigated methods of increasing general science interest. One survey measured the relationship between the types of resources used in classrooms and students’ interest in science careers. Resources were analyzed based on their “sociableness” and “webnicity.” Highly sociable resources provide information through interactions with people, such as guest speakers and experts. Resources low in sociableness include books, posters and models. Resources high in webnicity, such as the Internet, have fluid connections to supporting information. Resources low in webnicity have limited access to supporting information, are not easily accessible and often require students to leave the classroom to find additional information. Low webnicity resources can include books, posters and computers without Internet. More than 600 middle school students rated their interest in pursuing a science career. Their interest levels were then compared to their respective classroom’s sociableness and webnicity resource levels. In general, students in the classrooms with more social and web resources reported higher interest levels of science career interest (Koszalka). It should also be noted that guest lecturers and other human resources were significant predictors of high science career interest for both boys and girls. However, while increased use of Web resources correlated with increased science interest in girls, Web resources had little effect on boys (Koszalka). 15
  16. 16. Large percentages of “tweens” – an age group ranging from 10-14 in this study by Stuart Larkins – said that they spent at least an hour per day online and nearly half go online more than three times a day for at least half an hour each time. This age group also has a high representation on MySpace and other social networking sites, and uses Google for its search engine. Forty percent of respondents said they use search to further learn about a product or service after seeing an ad. Through this study it is clear that in order to gain attention from this population the Internet would be a smart place to go whether it be on social networking sites, Google advertisements, or other aspects of online media (Larkins). One study evaluated the long-term impact of a high school summer science program on students’ interest and perceived abilities in science. The University of Rochester’s Life Sciences Learning Center has offered a Summer Science Academy (SSA) for high school students since 1996. The SSA lasts two to four weeks each summer and offers guided and independent lab projects, bioethics discussions, a biocomputing course, scientist seminars and field trips. Of the 96 former SSA participants who were surveyed, 80 percent of them said attending the SSA contributed to their interest in a science career. Students also commented that their experiences at the academy motivated them to excel in their science classes at school, led to an increased confidence in their scientific abilities, and had a positive influence on their attitudes toward science (Markowitz). Another study examines the link between a high school academic competition and the participants’ career choices and lifelong commitment to science. The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a “quiz bowl” type of competition for high ability secondary students. Of the 303 previous participants surveyed, 41 percent agreed or strongly agreed that NOSB participation influenced their career choice. Also, 48 percent agreed or strongly agreed that ocean or science-related hobbies influenced the selection of their career or college majors. The strongest influence on career selection was students’ perceptions of their own abilities (Bishop and Walters). A large proportion (87 percent) of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that participating in the competition encouraged an overall interest in science. Even participants who did not pursue a major or career in a STEM area said they are still highly concerned 16
  17. 17. about environmental and ocean issues. The competition gave them a positive lasting impression of science in general (Bishop and Walters). More than 300 high school students who participated in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl were surveyed about their experiences in the competition. When these students were asked a question regarding career rewards, they strongly indicated a desire to make a difference in the community or world. They value service to humankind in general and social good (Bishop and Walters). Youth engagement has become a large push in the educational community. Anderson Wiliams, co-author of The Core Principles for Engaging Young People in Community Change, encourages educators and non-profits to give youth the opportunity to lead and serve as a way of learning. This also works well for organizations to us as resources now. In other words, putting youth on a board of directors, as the Coalition has done, is a great start but activating those youth to carry out initiatives and represent the Coalition is the next inevitable step. Williams does not believe ‘youth are the future.’ He asks the question, “With effective, ethical leadership and a breadth of transferable leadership skills fundamental to healthy individual development and critical for positive economic, social and cultural development, why would we wait to cultivate or to engage our youth and defer their leadership to some nebulous future?” (Williams). Challenges One of the problems the client currently faces is the cancellation of NASA’s Constellation program. Transportation to and from the International Space Station will be out of the federal government’s hands. American astronauts will have to rely on private industry or foreign space programs. Ending Constellation also results in an end to the space shuttle fleet, without an immediate replacement vehicle. Another problem are low math and science test scores posted by American students in comparison to international students, particularly Asians. Results of the Trends in 17
  18. 18. International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2008 showed that American students have not improved since the first testing in 1995 ( America’s industrialized economy depends on products and innovation, which rely heavily on knowledge in math, science and engineering ( This is equally true of the global economy. These test scores raise concerns that American students are not being educated and prepared to compete in the global economy. Opportunities Canceling NASA’s Constellation program also presents an opportunity. As mentioned in the client research, the new federal budget actually increases NASA’s budget by $6 billion over five years, and allows private industries to compete for the chance to create a deep-space transport. This may give NASA a chance to refocus its goals for the future. Federal programs are already addressing the problems created by American students underperforming in STEM disciplines. President Barack Obama spoke to American students in September at the White House’s Back to School Event, and said, “We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country,” ( Among the difficult problems facing America in the 21st century are STEM-related issues – such as developing clean sources of energy and developing cures for cancer. The White House held an Astronomy Night on Oct. 7, 2009 for students who had made astronomical discoveries. In the future, the White House plans to begin hosting an annual science fair showcasing the student winners of national science, technology, and robotics competitions. When announcing the Educate to Innovate program Nov. 23, 2009, President Obama said, “We’re going to show young people how cool science can be.” To show its commitment, the White House made $4.35 billion in federal grants available to schools that can innovate in STEM disciplines. The three goals of Educate to Innovate are to increase 18
  19. 19. STEM literacy among all students to improve critical thinking in STEM disciplines, improve the quality of math and science teaching to keep American students competitive with international students, and expanding STEM education and career opportunities to underrepresented groups. The grant program is titled, “Race to the Top,” and it is bolstered by an additional $260 million commitment from the private sector. Race to the Top funds will be given to states that can, among other criteria, raise standards of student achievement, increase teacher effectiveness, and “make it possible for STEM professionals to bring their experience and enthusiasm into the classroom,” ( John Holdren, science advisor to President Obama, hopes Educate to Innovate and Race to the Top will help inspire kids in the classroom as well as at home, in part by showcasing careers that are available in STEM. The original five public-private partnerships announced include: • Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” campaign, in partnership with FIRST Robotics and the Coalition for Space After School, which will attempt to connect more than one million students with after-school STEM activities that already exist in their area. • Discovery Communications’ “Be the Future” campaign, which will air content over Discovery’s 13 U.S. networks, and will create STEM Connect – a national education resource for teachers. • “Sesame Street’s Early STEM Literacy Initiative,” which will commit 20 new episodes to focus on STEM, 13 on science and seven on math. • “National Lab Day,” a partnership between science and engineering industries and foundations, which will attempt to upgrade science labs, support project-based learning, and build communities for STEM teachers. • National STEM game design national competitions to design STEM- related video games, one of which will be open only to children ( 19
  20. 20. President Obama announced an expansion of the Educate to Innovate campaign on Jan. 6, 2010. The expansion includes an additional $250 million in five new public-private investments, a commitment to training more than 10,000 new and more than 100,000 existing teachers, and NASA’s official initiative in cooperation with the campaign ( The five new public-private partnerships: • “Intel’s Science and Math Teachers Initiative,” a ten-year, $200 million campaign to provide training to more than 100,000 science and math teachers over the next three years at no cost to the teachers. • “Expansion of the National Math and Science Initiative’s UTeach Program” – to prepare more than 4,500 STEM undergraduates to be new math and science teachers by 2015, and 7,000 new teachers by 2018. • A campaign led by the presidents of more than 75 public universities committing to Train 10,000 Math and Science Teachers Annually by 2015. • “The PBS Innovative Educators Challenge,” with an annual “Innovative Educators Challenge,” highlighting 50 teachers and creating a platform to spread effective methods and practices. • “Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships in Math and Science,” which plans to provide future math and science teachers with a Master’s degree in education, and employ them in difficult-to-staff middle and high schools in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio ( In cooperation with Educate to Innovate, NASA announced a “Summer of Innovation” – multi-week learning programs (combining classroom time, camps, internships, and mentoring) in summer 2010 with middle school students and teachers in STEM education. “The Summer of Innovation pilot will infuse NASA content and products into existing, evidence-based summer learning programs at the state level coupled with design competitions and events open to students and teachers nationwide. The program will 20
  21. 21. culminate in a national event, in partnership with other departments and agencies,” ( In addition to the Summer of Innovation, NASA sponsors many other competitions and programs, which can be found on its Web site. One such organization is the After School Astronomy Clubs (ASAC), which is sponsored by NASA, and it allows schools across the nation to register as an official after-school club. The after-school club is for grades K-12 and registration is an online procedure. Planetary Scientist Louis A. Mayo believes that the reason young students haven’t taken a strong interest in sciences, especially astronomy, isn’t because of a mere lack of interest, but simply because the science of astronomy gets paid little or no attention to in school. Space science is buried within Earth Science curriculum and is often taught by teachers who have had no training in that field. To change what he thought schools were lacking, Mayo decided to start his own after-school astronomy club. Community involvement and training are key factors in this procedure. Contacting local professional and amateur astronomers to talk to students and the club could inspire them to become further involved in sciences and more specifically, space sciences. Reaching out to boy and girl scouts is also an effective way to inspire these students. By getting local businesses to do volunteer work activities and philanthropy, this could further the after-school system for a science club. If a particular school is uncertain or is lacking information in terms of starting an after-school science club, Mayo went as far as writing up a 16-page handbook on how to run an after-school astronomy club. The guidebook touches on working with the school, designing the club, teacher involvement, parent involvement, community involvement and direct observation. As for the students themselves, Mayo recommends hands-on activities to get the students engaged. He says, “Children (and adults for that matter) learn best when they are allowed to participate actively in the process of discovery and evaluation.” Hands-on activities promote better memory retention within the classroom than traditional teaching methods ( 21
  22. 22. The NASA Ames Research Center has developed an excellent Web site full of resources and fact sheets of NASA career opportunities in a variety of fields such as physics, engineering and biology (Day). The information is not organized in a database nor does it offer a way to identify careers that match users’ interests. It does offer a short biography and tips from real-life NASA employees. Finally, an excellent nationwide competition allows organizations and businesses to sponsor events. Science Olympiad is a K-12 team competition that requires knowledge of science and engineering ingenuity. Every May, Science Olympiad hosts a national tournament for its middle and high school divisions with various events. Organizations can donate $5,000 to sponsor a single event at the National Science Olympiad Tournament. Other donations are used to provide scholarships for winners.             22
  23. 23.   Primary Research 23
  24. 24. Primary Research Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center Survey This survey was conducted March 3-13, 2010, under the auspices of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (KCSC). Students enrolled in JOUR 676 Strategic Communication Campaigns at the University of Kansas generated questions for the survey on behalf of its class client, the Coalition for Space Exploration. KCSC e-mailed a link to an online survey to 1,242 former Space Camp participants. Two hundred seventy-nine e- mail accounts were invalid and 411 of e-mails were opened. Twenty-eight students and one professor from JOUR 676 were also invited to participate. The survey response rate was just over 10 percent. The questions on the survey related to the students’ interests, mainly highlighting their inspirations, influences, school subjects and their knowledge and curiosity of space. Because the results come from KCSC, there is little surprise that 77.2 percent like math and 92.1 percent like science. Also of little surprise, 92.7 percent of the participants showed interest in space exploration (53.3 percent responded, “Strongly agree,” and 39.4 percent “Agree.”), and 96 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I admire astronauts,” (59.8 percent “Strongly agree,” 36.2 percent “Agree.”). The middle and high school demographic is thought to value cliques and being popular. We believed students would be highly influenced by their peers regarding what’s “cool” and what isn’t. Also, children are often depicted as rebellious and resistant to parental influence. However, according to the KCSC survey, only 40.9 percent claimed their friends influenced their interest in school while 81 percent said their parents are a large influence in their school participation. Survey participants were asked to rank a list of media using “1” to represent the medium they use the most, “2” the second-most, etc. Each medium’s total score was averaged. A low average represents a frequently-used medium. This is counterintuitive, but a low 24
  25. 25. average score means that medium received more number 1 and 2 rankings. “Computer (Internet use)” received a 1.47 average response rate, and television ranked a distant second with an average of 3.02. The preferred medium of these survey participants is by far “Computer with Internet use.” Of the 95 percent of students with parents in a STEM career, 78 percent said they like math and 98.7 percent said they like science. These results seem to indicate that children with parents who work in a STEM field are more likely to enjoy math and science. That could be extrapolated even further to hypothesize that these same children are more likely to pursue STEM careers themselves. Though these results seem promising for a potential boost in STEM careers, they also only reflect the thoughts and opinions of students who visited the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Focus Group On March 4, 2010, two members of Supernova Inc. traveled to Leawood Middle School in Leawood, Kan., to conduct a focus group. It was organized with the full cooperation of Marcia Eaton, a paraprofessional at the school, who co-moderated the focus group. The group consisted of eight students from 6th to 8th grade who were Science Olympiad participants. Science Olympiad is an annual K-12 standards-based science competition, comprised of school-based teams of up to 15 students competing in more than 240 regional and state tournaments, culminating in the Science Olympiad National Tournament. Among other things, Supernova Inc. wanted to find out what makes science, math or technology interesting to middle school students, what they think about NASA and space, and what their classes are like. The students said they think science is “awesome,” because it makes them feel smart and helps them to discover answers to experiments and questions. They said they feel that math is a subject that gives you right or wrong answers. When one student said, “Math applies to everything you do,” another said, “So does science!” These students are possibly more likely to see the big picture about math and science, because several of them have parents 25
  26. 26. and older siblings who inspired and pushed them to be successful in STEM disciplines. Several of the students have parents who work in STEM fields. The students all agreed they like computers. All but one has a mobile phone. One student observed that they and their peers are “really dependent on technology—maybe over dependent.” When asked if they have considered college or careers, some said they hadn’t yet because they are only in middle school. One student said they are considering architectural engineering. Another student said it’s their dream to be a forensic scientist like on the TV show “CSI.” One student is thinking about being a veterinarian, and another is considering designing video games. When asked about Science Olympiad, the students were all very enthusiastic about the competition. The students were also excited about being able to learn with their friends, and having the opportunity to hang out and travel with their friends to these competitions. When asked about space exploration and NASA, the students showed knowledge of recent developments in the federal budget. One didn’t understand why Obama would cut the shuttle program, but another one saw it as an unnecessary expense at this point with the economy. There was a general consensus that space exploration is important, to discover and learn things from outside Earth, but that maybe it could take a backseat for now with some of the problems here. The student who had earlier considered a profession in video game designing admitted an interest in becoming an astronaut. The discussion switched gears into lively dialogue about the students’ science classes. The group complained about science classes being too boring because of repetitive review, the slow pace, teachers not going in-depth with the subject–possibly because of a lack of knowledge, and a certain teacher being a hard grader which makes other students not enjoy the subject. Some of the students said they learned more by reading the book themselves, 26
  27. 27. going in-depth and at their own advanced pace. It seems the students dislike busy work and waiting for the entire class to be ready before they move on. They agreed that “any hands- on lab is awesome,” except when the teacher doesn’t trust students to do the experiment. The focus group concluded after the students were asked to use only one word each to describe science, math and technology. Their responses for science included “pwns,” “fun,” “mysterious,” “interesting,” “question-answering,” and “experimental” (pwn: Internet slang derived from the verb, “own,” possibly developed as a common typo, meaning victory or triumph over an opponent. Source: Their math responses included “fun,” “straightforward,” “interconnected,” “interesting,” “awesome,” and “hardcore.” Responses for technology included “innovative,” “complicated,” “dependable,” “newfangled,” “evergrowing,” “sleek,” and “helpful.” Supernova Inc. took these one-word responses from the focus group to help form a question on a survey developed for middle and high school students. Supernova Inc. Survey Group members of Supernova Inc. developed and distributed a survey to middle school students attending Pleasant Ridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kan., South Junior High in Lawrence, Kan., and high school students attending Blue Springs High School in Blue Springs, Mo. This survey was similar to the KCSC survey. We received responses from 53 middle school students and 83 high school students. Among other things, information sought by the survey included reasons that a class or subject is interesting, if students had thought about a career, feelings about math or science competitions, and media use. The first section of the survey asked students to respond to statements by selecting their level of agreement. Possible responses ranged from “strongly disagree,” which earned a score of “1,” to “strongly agree,” which scored a “5.” Each question’s scores were averaged. Higher average indicated students often agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, while lower average indicated students mostly disagreed. Results found that 113 27
  28. 28. out of 136 (83 percent) participants agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “If my teacher is excited or engaged, I am more interested in the class or subject,” and it scored an average of 4.23 out of a possible five. The second section asked participants to select what makes a class or subject interesting from a given list of options. The most often selected choices were hands-on experiments (115 of 136, 85 percent), in-class discussions (97 of 136, 71 percent), videos (95 of 136, 70 percent), the use of technology in class (94 of 136, 69 percent) and field trips (91 of 136, 67 percent). Perhaps the most surprising result is the high percentage “in-class discussions” received. This may be related to the fact that students said they respond well to an exciting and engaging teacher. The survey found that 94 percent (128 of 136) of participants said they had thought about a career already, as highlighted in figure 1. When discussing career options, 88 percent (120 people) had spoken to parents or guardians, 85 percent (115 people) had spoken to friends, 46 percent (62 people) had spoken to teachers, and only 38 percent (52 people) had talked with guidance counselors about careers. Figure 2 presents a visual interpretation of these results. It appears students are reaching out to parents and friends more often than guidance counselors or teachers for career advice. Three survey questions measured who most influences students’ interests in school. Students were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the statement, “My parents have influenced my interest in school.” Similar questions were asked regarding teachers and friends. Each question’s “agree” and “strongly agree” responses were combined to determine the percentage of students who agreed with the statement. From the three groups of people we asked about, parents influence students the most (76 percent agreed or strongly agreed), teachers influence students second most (66 percent agreed or strongly agreed) and friends influence students the least (52 percent agreed or strongly agreed). Figure 3 illustrates these results. Teachers may be underutilized resources for steering 28
  29. 29. students toward STEM careers because of their powerful influence on students’ interests in school. Participants were also asked, “When you think of science, what three words come to mind?” From a list of ten words (Cool, Straightforward, Uninteresting, Exciting, Boring, Interesting, Nerdy, Awesome, Mysterious, Difficult) the most selected response was “Interesting,” (94 of 136, 69 percent). Only 21 of 136 (15 percent) selected “Uninteresting.” Participants were also asked to choose three words to describe math, and “Straightforward,” was the most selected response (72 of 136, 53 percent). The gap between “Interesting,” and “Uninteresting,” was also close, with 53 (39 percent) and 39 responses (29 percent), respectively. Results concerning social media use found that 76 percent (103 of 136) of participants belong to or use Facebook, and 74 percent (100 people) belong to or use YouTube. Only 10 percent (14 of 136) of participants belong to or use Twitter. These results are presented in figure 4. Supernova Inc. survey data from high school and middle school students Figure 1 “Have you thought about a career?” No - 5% Unanswered-­‐  1%   Unanswered - 1% Yes - 94% 29
  30. 30. Figure 2 “I have discussed career options with…” Percent “Yes” Parents/ Friends Teachers Guidance Guardians Counselors Supernova Inc. survey data from high school and middle school students (continued) Figure 3 “These people influence my interest in school…” Percent of students who agreed and strongly agreed   Parents Teachers Friends 30
  31. 31. Figure 4 “I belong to/use these social media sites:” who use this form of social media Number of students (out of 136) Facebook YouTube Myspace Other Twitter Blogs Spahr Library Survey This survey was conducted at 1:00 p.m. on March 10 at the Spahr Engineering Library on the University of Kansas campus. Free pizza was available for those who participated in the survey. Thirty-six students responded, 21 males and 15 females, and the average age was 22. Thirteen of the survey’s 29 questions asked participants to respond to statement by selecting their level of agreement ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Similar to the previous two surveys, “1” denoted a “Strongly disagree” answer, and “5” denoted “Strongly agree.” There were several interesting results. Responses to the statement “In high school, I believe my friends influenced my interest in school,” averaged 2.6, indicating general disagreement. The people surveyed did not feel that friends had much influence on their 31
  32. 32. interest in school. However, responses to the statement “My teachers have influenced my interest in school,” averaged 4.08, indicating general agreement. These opinions are strengthened by responses to two related statements. The first such statement, “In high school, I believe my friends were interested in math, science or space exploration,” results in a 2.94 average, leaning more toward the ‘disagree’ side of ‘no opinion.’ Responses to the second related statement, “If my teacher is excited and engaged, I am more interested in the class or subject,” resulted in a 4.72 average, on the stronger side of ‘Agree.’ Only 42 percent of respondents cited a guidance counselor as someone they spoke to about career options, while 92 percent spoke to parents and approximately 70 percent spoke to friends or teachers. In retrospect, whether accurate or not, most college students do not recall their guidance counselor helping them decide on a career. Perhaps little, if any, effort should be spent reaching out to this intervening public in our plan, because they hardly affect the target audience. The survey asked participants to “Describe your favorite high school teacher and why he/she is your favorite.” The responses include reasons such as the teacher’s engagement with the class and material, the teacher’s enthusiasm and excitement, caring for students’ ability to learn, conducting hands-on demonstrations and experiments, being a personable teacher with a sense of humor, and having a broad knowledge of curriculum. An overwhelming number, 78 percent, agreed hands-on experiments made a class more interesting. The survey also asked its participants to “Describe your least favorite high school teacher and why he/she is your least favorite.” Responses include boring teachers, not going in- depth with material, not having interest in the students, not promoting discussions, being unknowledgeable, being unnecessarily strict, not being relatable, and being unmotivated. In response to the question, “Have your career interests changed since high school?” 20 respondents said yes, and 16 said no. When the participants were polled to consider when 32
  33. 33. they learned they had an interest in the STEM disciplines, nine said elementary school, 13 said middle school, 10 said high school, and two said college. While the client's assumption that STEM-based careers are chosen during middle school matched our results, nearly 60 percent stated they learned they had an interest in the STEM fields during high school or elementary school. This suggests that while most students realized they enjoy STEM disciplines specifically in middle school, a majority of students would be left out if we only focused on middle school. Participants responded to three statements about space and one about the current space exploration budget. Responses to the statement, “Space exploration is important,” resulted in a 3.69 average, or mostly leaning toward “no opinion.” The statement, “I admire astronauts,” returned a 3.77 average, again hovering around “no opinion.” Responses to, “I follow new information about NASA and space exploration,” resulted in 3.14, the closest average to “no opinion,” returned regarding the space statements. Participants were asked, “How much government funding should be spent on further space exploration in comparison to the current budget?” For spreadsheet scores on this rating, “1” means “Significantly more,” “2” means “More,” “3” is “Same,” “4” is “Less,” and “5” is “Significantly less.” There is also a “Don’t know,” option. Three responded, “Don’t know,” but the average score is 3.09. This data shows that this group of participants feels fairly apathetic about NASA and space travel, but favorably leaning slightly toward finding it important. This is important because it shows there is still hope. For the most part, they don’t have strong opinions about space exploration, which would make it easier for us to help them form one. 33
  34. 34.   Summary of Key Findings 34
  35. 35. Summary of Key Findings Supernova Inc. conducted primary and secondary research to learn more about middle and high school students. Our primary research regarding who influenced their interest in school was surprising. We found mostly teachers, then parents and finally friends influence students. Perhaps teachers should be more involved in discussing career opportunities with interested students because of their powerful influence. Students also strongly indicated that if their teachers are excited and engaged, they themselves are more likely to be interested in the class or subject. Teachers should be aware that the manner in which the material is presented affects the students’ interest level. If the teachers are excited, then the students will be excited. When students were asked to select activities that made a class or subject interesting the overwhelming favorite were hands-on experiments. Students who participate in science- based competitions are more likely to pursue STEM careers. Students who participate in those competitions and didn’t pursue STEM careers are still advocates for STEM progress. Four other top choices were in-class discussions, videos, technology and field trips. Secondary research found that, in general, students in classrooms with more guest speakers and Web resources reported higher science interest levels. Primary research found that among students, the most frequently used medium is a computer with Internet access. Because students already enjoy using the Internet, utilizing Web resources in the classroom can potentially increase academic interest, and therefore achievement. More than three out of four students surveyed use Facebook, about the same number use YouTube, but only one out of 10 use Twitter. The low Twitter usage by students means that there could be less emphasis on this form of social media. The White House has committed more than $4.5 billion to improve STEM performance and innovation in schools. The three goals of Educate to Innovate are to improve critical thinking in STEM disciplines, improve the quality of math and science teaching, and expanding STEM career opportunities. This provides a platform for the Coalition to take advantage of funding and partnership opportunities. 35
  36. 36. Target Audience 36
  37. 37. Key Publics Secondary Education (Middle School and High School) Students: These students are entering an age when interests of study begin to shape. This campaign is attempting to influence middle school students to be interested in STEM disciplines, and eventually pursue space-related careers. This would inform students of potentially high-paying and rewarding career opportunities students might not be aware of. The key message in targeting this public is to encourage the importance of STEM education as well as stimulate interest in STEM education. College Students: This group is preparing to graduate and enter the workforce. There are concerns that industries other than aerospace will recruit highly qualified graduates, resulting in a dwindling pool of qualified graduates to enter the aerospace industry. Ultimately, this public’s stake is similar to the secondary education students’ public, in that they are seeking high-paying and rewarding careers. The key message in targeting this public is to convince college-aged students to pursue STEM related careers within the NASA field as opposed to the “hip” corporations, i.e., Google. Teachers: Our research found that teachers are capable of greatly influencing their students’ interest level in the subject they teach. Teachers should encourage students to participate and be enthusiastic about STEM, and they should provide guidance to highly interested students. Students are likely to enjoy a class more if the teacher is engaged and helpful. The key message in targeting this public is to convince teachers to encourage interest in STEM education and be enthusiastic about teaching students about aerospace education. Parents: This public will encourage their kids to have an early interest in STEM disciplines, therefore influencing those students to consider pursuing a STEM career. Parents want their children to be successful and enjoy what they do. The key message in targeting parents is to allow parents to push their children into STEM education and STEM related careers. College Career Center Advisors: Advisors need to know what the aerospace industry can provide to college students. They need to be able to connect students with professionals in the industry, and provide career opportunities. The key message in targeting college career center advisors is to guide students towards professional careers and possible career opportunities hopefully within the STEM related fields. 37
  38. 38. Media: An intervening public used to build public support and interest in a unique project involving high school students in leadership roles. The news media is always looking for new stories, and will be kept informed about new events pertaining to space exploration. Media would provide a positive outlook to the public about students getting involved in leadership roles and providing news stories about the efforts students are making to encourage others about STEM education and opportunities. School Administrators: This public will be targeted to raise support and awareness for Science Month: Explore Infinite Possibilities as well as possibly allocate funds and influence curricula. These school administrators will be seeking re-election, and supporting education can lead to higher approval ratings. School administrators will encourage STEM education through curricula provided by the coalition as well as dedicate one month to science and space related topics. Strategic Partnerships with Industry Leaders: This public is intended to help with spreading the word of the campaign, provide financial support, and expertise. Ambassadors and the industries they represent will benefit from the public exposure involved with appearances and sponsorships. Science and Technology Centers: This public is targeted for the purpose of giving schools reduced rates for field trips and tours during Planetarium and Science Museum Month. This public will benefit from increased visitation during this month, and any further publicity as a result of the campaign. 38
  39. 39.   SWOT Analysis 39
  40. 40. SWOT Analysis   A  SWOT  analysis  is  designed  to  identify  the  environment  in  which  an  organization  is   operating.    Doing  so  aids  in  the  development  of  communication  strategies.    For  the   purposes  of  a  SWOT  analysis,  internal  factors  are  those  things  over  which  an   organization  has  some  measure  of  control.    External  factors  are  those  things  over  which   an  organization  has  no  control.   • Strengths  –  Positive,  internal  factors.    A  list  of  the  organization’s  present   strengths,  especially  related  to  issues  confronting  the  organization.   • Weaknesses  –  Negative,  internal  factors.    The  organization’s  present   weaknesses,  especially  related  to  its  competitors.   • Opportunities  –  Positive,  external  factors.    Potential  future  opportunities  related   to  the  present  issues.   • Threats  –  Negative,  external  factors.    Threats  the  organization  must  be  prepared   to  face  in  the  future.    Threats  can  be  anything  that  can  prevent  the  organization   from  reaching  its  goals.     The  SWOT  Analysis  Grid:   Opportunities   • Easier  to  form  an  opinion  in   Strengths   students  than  change  an  opinion   • Exciting  industry  and  jobs   • High  paying  jobs   • World  of  technology,  developing   • Partner  with  rising  countries   • Inspiring  history,  emotional   • Only  half  of  surveyed  college   connection   students  got  a  STEM  specific   • Lots  of  online  content  (blogs,   scholarship,  so  more  scholarships   contest,  etc)   can  be  made  available   • Current  Gallup  Poll  suggests  public   • No  teachers  specifically  trained  in   support  for  NASA   space  education   • Smart  phone     Weakness   • Budget  cuts   Threats   • Social  media  hits/engagement  low   • Dwindling  workforce   • Difficult  STEM  course  work   • Economic  issues   • Higher  engineering  graduates  per   • Budget  cuts   capita  than  other  countries   • Large  countries  changing  out   • No  more  shuttle:  no  concrete,   technical  students   tangible  events  to  occur   • Thinking  locally   • Space  industry  jobs  are  not  top  of   • No  agreement  on  job  market  for   mind  as  possibilities   engineering  graduates   • Lack  of  young  Twitter  audience   • Private  industry  to  NASA     40
  41. 41.   The  chart  above  describes  many  current  strengths  of  the  Coalition  for  Space   Exploration  and  the  cultural  environment  of  the  youth  generation.  For  one,  our   primary  research  shows  that  many  students  see  space  as  exciting,  rich  with  history   and  emotion.  Many  of  the  surveyed  students  reinforced  the  assumption  that  young   people  are  technologically  dependent.  One  focus  group  participant  said,  “maybe  too   dependent.”  Of  middle  school  and  high  school  students,  76  percent  had  a  Facebook   account.  Luckily,  the  Coalition  has  much  online  content  and  a  frequently  updated   Facebook  fan  page.   While  positive,  the  Coalition’s  social  media  engagement  is  a  weakness  along  with   the  Web  sites’  hits  and  traffic.  Twitter,  in  our  surveys,  was  hardly  used  at  all  by   students,  only  10  percent.  Another  surprising  weakness  discovered  in  our  research   was  the  lack  of  career  advice  sought  by  high  school  students  from  their  guidance   counselors.  Instead,  parents  should  be  targeted  as  they  are  a  major  influence  on   students,  a  much  more  difficult  audience  to  reach.  Students  cited  difficult  coursework   and  other  career  opportunities  as  discouragements  from  pursuing  STEM  careers.   Without  the  space  shuttle  fleet  or  concrete  event  for  which  to  draw  attention,  the   future  of  PR  for  the  Coalition  will  be  tough.  Compound  that  with  a  rough  economy  and   a  high  number  of  engineering  graduates  per  capita  competing  for  fewer  jobs.   Outside  forces,  such  as  foreign  nations  producing  more  and  more  college   graduates  with  STEM  degree  and  the  private  industry  moving  in  on  space  exploration,   also  pose  a  threat.  Much  focus  right  now  is  on  local  concerns  and  survey  participants   were  split  on  whether  to  focus  more  efforts  at  home  or  in  space.  There  also  seems  to   be  very  little  agreement  on  the  job  market  for  STEM  graduates  –  some  say  it’s  great   and  other  say  it’s  bleak.   Some  of  these  threats,  however,  can  also  be  seen  as  opportunities.  Teaming  up   with  the  private  space  industry  could  also  help  the  Coalition  and  inspire  young  people   to  join  private  companies.  Nearly  half  of  high  school  and  middle  school  students  are   interested  in  a  STEM  career,  but  only  50  percent  of  current  engineer  majors  surveyed   received  a  scholarship  specifically  for  their  major.  This  is  a  major  opportunity  on   which  the  Coalition  could  capitalize.  As  stated  earlier,  parents  have  a  major  influence   on  students’  career  choices.  Teachers,  as  well,  were  cited  as  influencers,  yet  few  are   specifically  trained  in  space  sciences.  These  are  growing  issues  that  the  Educate  to   Innovate  initiative  has  been  addressing.  The  great  news  is  that  there  is  still  time  to   influence  young  people.  Surveyed  participants  were  fairly  neutral  when  asked  about   their  opinions  of  NASA  and  space  exploration.  It’s  easier  to  form  an  opinion  than  to   change  an  opinion.  Young  people  right  now  are  at  a  tipping  point.  The  Coalition  just   needs  to  help  them  out.               41
  42. 42.   Planning Section 42
  43. 43. Planning Section Goal 1- To create nationwide support for STEM education and programs Objective 1- Declare April 2012 National Science Month Tactic 1- Design a Web site for this month of awareness Description: An easy to access Web site complete with explanation of STEM, its importance, participating partners, list of Month’s events and information on curriculum Targeted audience: Media, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students Timetable: Launch Site Summer 2010 Cost: $1,500 Tactic 2- Persuade President Obama to proclaim April 2012 Space Month Description: Announce launch of Web site through dispersion of media kits, motivation for month of awareness and the planned events. Also, announce Junior Ambassador Committee (see Goal 2, Objective 2) members and their integral involvement in the year of awareness. Promote with intervening audiences such as state education boards, National Education Administration (NEA) and space blogs. Targeted audience: Media, education administrators Timetable: Spring 2011 Cost: $5,000 Tactic 3- Create network of partner associations Description: Utilize not only Coalition members but also expand network to many similar advocacy groups through individual executive meetings and by contacting them through form letters. Potential partner associations could include the White House, Department of Education, NASA, NEA, National Lab Day, Universities, Google and other STEM-related corporations. 43
  44. 44. Targeted audience: Industry leaders, school administrators Timetable: December 2010- Send letters to associations Cost: 250 letters at $0.16 per letter at Kinko’s = $40 250 letters with $0.44 per stamp = $110 250 envelopes at Office Depot = $15 Tactic 4- Logo Contest Description: Launch contest on Facebook to find suitable logo for Science Month. Targeted audience: Students Timetable: Announce contest- Feb. 2011 Promote contest- Aug.- Sept. 2011 Deadline for submission Oct. 31, 2011 Cost: $500 total prize money Objective 2- Increase awareness of the Science Month: Explore Infinite Possibilities by involving parents Tactic 1- Create page for parents on the Science Month Description: The Parents page will include information about the Month, how to join the parents group, etc. Targeted audience: Parents Timetable: Summer 2010 Cost: $1,000 according to Tactic 2- Send members of the parent group a bumper sticker Description: Bumper sticker promoting science. Targeted audience: Parents Timetable: Winter 2011 Cost: $0.60 per bumper sticker X 10,000 stickers = $6,000 44
  45. 45. Objective 3- Increase extracurricular STEM activities Tactic 1- Create “how-to” guide for running an after-school science club. Description: An easy to follow guide with templates and instructions on how to create and run a science club, including a template letter to teachers, promotional posters, club projects, and activities. An example of an after school group would be astronomy club. Targeted audiences: Middle and high school students and teachers Timetable: Mail handouts -Summer 2010 Cost: E-mail and available for online download (Free) Tactic 2- Declare April 2012 “Planetarium and Science Museum Month” Description: Collaborate with Association of Science-Technology Centers to create discounts for class trips and tours during Space Month. Inform administrators at conference and students through Facebook. Use brochure to promote these activities. Targeted audiences: Students, administrators, museums and teachers Timetable: Brochures mailed March/April 2012 Cost: $0.16 per brochure X 10,000 = $1,600 Objective 4- Enhance Social Media sites Tactic 1- Make Facebook presence more interactive and engaging Description: Match Facebook updates with comments on students’ profiles Targeted audiences: Middle and high school students Timetable: Immediately; Again in 2011 by Junior Ambassadors Cost: Free 45
  46. 46. Tactic 2- Reprioritize Social Media presence Description: Focus discussion of STEM on Facebook and less on Twitter Targeted audiences: Middle school students Timetable: Immediately Cost: Free Tactic 3- Create Facebook events Description: Use Facebook to promote contests and competitions. See Logo Contest, Museum Day, Science Olympiad and after-school clubs. Targeted audiences: Middle school students Timetable: Winter 2011 for AASA Conference Spring 2011 Science Olympiad Event Logo Contest August 2011 April 2012- Space Month May 2012- Science Olympiad Cost: Free Tactic 4- Produce monthly online videos Description: Junior Ambassador Committee will write and produce 3-5 minute videos monthly, upload them to YouTube and post them on Facebook. Related to Science Month and upcoming events. Targeted audience: Middle school students Timetable: Produced monthly during 2011-2012 Cost: $7,000 46
  47. 47. Objective 5- Establish the Space Coalition as an advocate for STEM education Tactic 1- Join STEM Education Coalition Description: Join more than 200 organizations in supporting legislation that supports STEM educations Targeted audiences: School administrators Timetable: Immediately Cost: Free Tactic 2- Promote Science Month at the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education Description: Promote John Kao, author of Innovation Nation, as major spokesman at conference encouraging School Administrators to support increased space curriculum during 2011-2012 school year. Targeted audiences: School administrators Timetable: Feb. 2011 Cost: $10,000 Tactic 3- Provide a packet of possible space science education activities to AASA Conference Description: easy to follow activity instructions provided by NASA Targeted audiences: Middle school and high school students Timetable: Feb. 2011 Cost: 10,000 flyers at $0.06 per = $6,000 Tactic 4- Send teachers to space/science education workshops on teaching middle school and high school students at UC Berkeley Space Science Laboratory Description: An application process to send middle school and high school teachers to NASA sponsored workshop on teaching space sciences specially designed at UC Berkley. 47
  48. 48. Targeted audiences: Middle school and high school teachers Timetable: Summer 2011 Cost: $1,500 for travel and hotel accommodations per teacher Send five teachers = $7,500 Tactic 5 – Run a three-month magazine ad promoting space/science education workshop in teacher and parent magazines Description: Magazine poster ad will run from January-March 2011, in advance of the Summer 2011 workshop, providing information on how to send a teacher to the workshop. Targeted audiences: Middle and high school teachers Timetable: January-March 2011 Cost: $5,250 per month for three months = $15,750 Goal 2: To influence students to pursue space-related careers Objective 1 – To make aerospace-related career information easily accessible, personal and engaging Tactic 1 – Create a career center for students on Coalition Web site Description: Create a searchable database based on students’ interests and hobbies. Results yield fact sheets on STEM career opportunities, pictures, contact information for “Space Career Mentors,” career videos, and information for parents. Targeted audiences: Middle school and high school students, and parents Timetable: Summer 2010 Cost: $1,000 (according to estimates at Tactic 2 – Create “Aerospace Career Mentors” Description: Professionals of a variety of fields donate their time to connect with interested students. Mentors create short videos of a typical work day and STEM studies practical application. Mentors speak directly 48
  49. 49. to students via Facebook pages and organized Webinars with classrooms. Distribute to college career centers and Facebook. Targeted Audiences: Middle school, high school and college students, teachers, college career center advisors Timetable: Summer 2010 Cost: $1,500 for Web site, according to Tactic 3 – Create Aeropace Career Mentors posters Description: Create posters featuring the Space Career Mentors. Each poster will feature one Mentor’s picture, details about their job duties, pictures of them at work, their education and career paths, their hobbies and interests and what school “subjects” they use at work. Headline example: “My name is Bob Smith and I use physics every day.” Allow teachers to request posters for their classrooms. Targeted Audiences: Middle and high school students, teachers Timetable: Distribute March 2011 at National Science Teacher Association Conference, also as downloadable pdf Cost: $2,047.50 (10,000 posters, 18” x 24”, 4 color, according to Objective 2 – To establish peer-group outreach to middle and high school students Tactic 1 -- Establish the Junior Ambassadors Committee, a committee of high school students who are interested and invested in space exploration Description: 12-15 High school students currently interested in STEM fields communicating with students and schools about opportunities and events. Junior Ambassadors would also build retention into GEN Y Board Members program, and could work closely together on various projects. Targeted audiences: Students, teachers, industry leaders, schools, parents, media Timetable: Send out invitations/applications to prospective students handpicked by the Coalition by July 1, 2010 Select committee members by Aug. 1, 2010 49
  50. 50. Attend AASA conference Feb. 2011 Cost: $10,000 Tactic 2 –Liaison with Science Olympiad in creation of competition criteria Description: Develop a unique, space-themed concept for the nationwide competition to be held 2012, as well as a possible single event in 2011. Targeted audiences: Industry leaders, students, teachers Timetable: December 2010- Contact Science Olympiad Cost: $1,000 Tactic 3 – Allow the Junior Ambassadors access to the Coalition’s Facebook account Description: Allow the Coalition’s current employees in charge of the Facebook account to moderate the Junior Ambassadors use of the account in order to give the Youth Committee a voice in communicating with peers. Targeted audiences: Student audience the Coalition is currently not reaching with its social media efforts. Timetable: Immediately following creation of the Junior Ambassadors and a social media-training seminar. Cost: Purchase of The Social Media Bible, $19.25 new at Barnes & Noble. Tactic 4 – Produce videos, blogs, podcasts and Facebook status updates. Description: Content will include science experiments, entertaining NASA updates, critique of curriculum, new events. (See G.1 Objective 4, Tactic 3) Targeted audiences: Facebook followers, students, teachers, parents. Timetable: Immediately; continued regularly until May 2012 Cost: $2,000 budget to produce videos and podcasts. 50
  51. 51. Objective 3- Become “partner” of Science Olympiad Tactic 1- Sponsor event at Science Olympiad Nationals 2011 Description: Start by sponsoring a single event during 2011 competition and provide scholarship for first place team. Targeted audience: Industry leaders, students, teachers Timetable: May 2011 – Sponsor Olympiad Event Cost: $6,000 Tactic 2- Host Science Olympiad Nationals 2012 Description: Match funds from Coalition members in order to sponsor entire competition for 2012 with heavy emphasis on STEM application to space exploration. Targeted audience: Industry leaders, students, teachers Timetable: May 2012 Cost: $20,000 Tactic 3- Joint Press Release with Science Olympiad Description: Emphasize Junior Ambassador leadership and growth of major national competition with the Coalition industry leaders Target audience: Industry leaders, school administrators, general public, parents Timetable: Spring 2011 Cost: $60/hour production for three hours = $180 Tactic 4- Coalition Member Speaker Description: Have a key member of coalition speak at Nationals to appeal to industry leaders, parents and students for continued growth of STEM education even past Science Month 51
  52. 52. Target audience: Industry leaders, media, teachers, parents, students, school administrators Timetable: May 2012 Cost: $1,500 for travel and hotel accommodations, $3,500 (average) speaking fee           52
  53. 53.   Executions 53
  54. 54.   Executions     Communications  Package  Description  #1     Title:    Design  a  Web  site  for  this  month  of  awareness     Brief  Description:         This  is  the  Web  site  that  will  provide  information  about  Science  Month  and  all  of  the   activities  and  events  surrounding  it.    The  site  is  set  to  launch  in  the  summer  of  2010.   Supernova  Inc.  has  decided  that  the  best  way  to  display  in-­‐depth  information  about   Science  Month  to  the  public  is  through  a  Web  Site  dedicated  to  the  month.  The  site   will  target  the  media,  policy  makers,  teachers,  parents,  and  students  and  will  inform   them  about  the  upcoming  events  and  activities  that  surround  April  of  2012,  Science   Month.    The  Science  Month  Web  site  will  also  explain  STEM,  its  importance,  possible   curriculum  changes,  and  the  participating  partner  organizations.    There  will  also  be   a  links  to  the  Coalition  Web  site  and  games  portal.             Timetable:  Summer  2010     Status:  Incomplete     54
  55. 55. Executions     Communications  Package  Description  #2     Title:  Media  Kit  Announcing  “Science  Month:  Explore  Infinite  Possibilities”     Brief  Description:       This  media  kit  contains  a  news  release,  backgrounder  on  the  Coalition,  fact   sheet,  and  social  media  news  release  to  cover  the  announcement  of  Science  Month.     The  media  kit  is  scheduled  to  be  released  in  April  2011  in  conjunction  with   President  Obama’s  official  proclamation  declaring  April  2012  “Science  Month:   Explore  Infinite  Possibilities.”     The  media  kit  should  be  sent  to  national  media  (such  as  CNN,  The  New  York   Times,  The  Washington  Post),  regional  media  (such  as  KCTV-­‐5,  The  Kansas  City  Star)   and  PR  and  news  wires.     The  news  release  reports  the  White  House’s  official  endorsement  of  Science   Month.    It  mentions  the  Coalition’s  partnerships  with  organizations  such  as  the   Department  of  Education  and  NASA.    It  also  promotes  the  Month’s  Web  site  and   Facebook  page.     On  the  second  page  of  the  news  release  are  “short-­‐teaser”  sections  providing   information  on  the  Science  Month  logo  contest,  Science  Olympiad  sponsorship,   Junior  Ambassadors  Committee,  and  Aerospace  Career  Mentors.     The  backgrounder  is  a  separate  document  containing  brief  background   information  on  the  Coalition,  including  notable  partner  organizations  and  members   of  the  Board  of  Advisors.     The  fact  sheet  is  a  separate  document  that  breaks  down  the  newsworthy   facts  of  the  news  release  into  What,  Who,  Where,  When  and  Why  quick-­‐hitters  for   journalists.     The  social  media  news  release  is  the  final  document  in  the  media  kit.    It   contains  news  facts  and  quotations,  and  links  to  Science  Month  on  YouTube  and   Facebook,  as  well  as  a  link  to  the  Coalition’s  Web  site,  and  the  traditional  news   release  in  PDF  form.     Timetable:  Spring  2011     Status:  Complete     Location:  All  documents  of  the  media  kit  follow  this  description   55
  56. 56.   News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: April 11, 2011 Julie Arnold Media Contact 281-335-0200 White House Declares April 2012, “Science Month: Explore Infinite Possibilities” HOUSTON – President Obama has signed a proclamation declaring April 2012, “Science Month: Re-launching Student Achievement.” The Coalition for Space Exploration has partnered with many organizations, including the Department of Education and NASA, to bring this month of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education into middle and high school classrooms in April 2012. The Coalition has launched a Web site for Science Month to serve as a central hub for administrators, teachers, parents and students to learn more about Science Month and its activities and events. For more information, please go to The Coalition has also made a Facebook fan page available to promote Science Month and establish conversations with students and parents online. -MORE-   56
  57. 57. Coalition for Space Exploration announces additional events and services in support of Science Month • Science Month Logo Contest The Coalition is asking students to design a logo for Science Month which will be used for the Web site, Facebook page, in-class Science Month materials and activities, and official stationary. The contest winner will receive a $500 cash prize. Details of the contest can be found online at or on the Facebook fan page, or contact Julie Arnold, 281-335-0200, • Science Olympiad Sponsorship The Coalition for Space Exploration will sponsor a space-themed event at Science Olympiad Nationals 2011. The Coalition will reward a $1,000 scholarship to the first place individual or team. • Junior Ambassadors Committee The Junior Ambassadors Committee is made up of 20 high school students (ten 11 t h graders, ten 12 t h graders) interested in STEM fields and communicating with students and schools about Science Month and other opportunities. The Junior Ambassadors attended the American Association of School Administrators national conference in February to raise support for Science Month. They will be working closely with promoting Science Olympiad, and will be communicating with student peers about Science Month online in social media. Details of how to become a Junior Ambassador, or to communicate with the committee, can be found online at, or on the Coalition’s Facebook page. Contact Julie Arnold, 281-335-0200, • Aerospace Career Mentors The Coalition has made a career center on its Web site with a searchable database of careers based on students’ interests and hobbies. Aerospace Career Mentors are professionals from a variety of fields speaking directly to students on the Web site, Facebook and organized classroom Webinars. Visit the Aerospace Career Mentors on, or contact Julie Arnold, 281- 335-0200, ###   57