RESOURCES IN SPANISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES
Last Updated: 15
J. Kennedy, Ph.D.
information was compiled for the
NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium and S2N2
Originally published for
the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP)
The Universe in the Classroom. January 2003.
Contents of the original article
have also been described in the following publications:
Publication, December 2006. “Making Content Connections
Online via the GLOBE Program.”
In E. Hanson-Smith & S. Rilling (Eds.), Computers in the Language
Classroom: From Theory to Practice, Chapter 7.
Annuals, Volume 39, No. 3, Fall 2006. "Language Learning
and Its Impact on the Brain: Connecting Language Learning
with the Mind Through Content-based Instruction." The Journal of the
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Summer 2004. The Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages (PNCFL).
Volume 9, No. 2, Spring 2004. "NASA Products for the
Content-based Language Classroom."
The Journal of the National Network
for Early Language Learning.
No. 1, October 2003. NASA Headquarters, Code N.
September 2003. Langley
Education and Public Outreach Newsletter,
Office of Space Science EP/O.
Education Update Newsletter,
February 2003. Earth Science Enterprise Education
Goddard Space Flight Center.
Content-Based Resources for Language Classrooms
The NASA homepage
http://www.nasa.gov contains a wealth of information for
the educational community. Using NASA materials in other languages provides
teachers working with English Language Learners (ELLs) the opportunity to
assist their students to acquire English literacy skills in the regular
classroom while at the same time provides these students with access to
high-quality science information in their first language. These materials
also enhance the curriculum of the traditional content-based foreign
language classroom and are targeted at all ages. NASA materials have been
translated into many languages including Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech,
Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese,
Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai. For NASA materials in
many different languages see
or for selected highlights in Spanish see
The K–12 student body found in many
schools currently represents a large growth in the number of students
whose native language is not English. Moreover, figures released in
January 2003 by the Census Bureau reported that the Hispanic population,
the nation's largest minority group, is roughly at 37 million, up 37%
from Census 2000. The number of ELLs in U.S. schools continues to rise (see ata/2001/index.html.
NASA education materials are the means to create an
enriched science program that actively includes all students in the school
regardless of their first language, enhances the academic achievements of
the entire student body, integrates literacy skills in reading and writing
with scientific inquiry, and specifically provides ELLs the opportunity to
learn grade level curriculum. In addition, NASA materials in other
languages are wonderful resources that can also be used at Family Science
Nights to involve the whole community as well as provide a means for
family members who speak little or no English the opportunity to become
involved in their child’s education.
National Hispanic Heritage Month in September 2007, the
National Science Foundation (NSF) began a three year
project to produce 600 one-minute science radio spots in Spanish that
feature the latest science news as well as answers listeners' science
questions in Spanish through the program "Cielo
NASA Resources in Spanish and Other Languages
Many NASA resources translated into the Spanish language, as well as in
many other languages, can be found online,
at NASA Space Centers and at NASA Educator Resource Centers scattered
across the United States. Many of these resources have been aligned
with national standards, appropriate state frameworks and inquiry
guidelines. The National Science Foundation (NSF) also supports the
translation of many innovative classroom materials. Three highlighted
sources are listed below followed by over 50 additional links to
bilingual science materials and programs.
the Spanish-language companion to NASA's award-winning Science@NASA
features stories from all fields of science, aeronautics and aerospace.
Educators can subscribe to a mailing list and receive regular lessons,
also posted online in Spanish, at
site contains information regarding space sciences, astronomy, living in
space, earth science, as well as physical and biological sciences.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific has written
the new resource (Fall 2006) "Mercury, Its time has come." This
Web site is a must see and contains fantastic information on the mission
to Mercury and how to safely observe the transit with your students.
View the English language version at
and view the Spanish language version at
Optical Astronomy Observatory Center (NOAO) has created the Spanish Language Astronomy
Materials Education Center with funding by the National Science
Foundation (NSF). The Center has archived over 500 science resources
translated into the Spanish language, many resources funded by NASA.
The Centro de Materiales Educativos en Español
en NOAO can be found online at
In addition, many NASA
Centers provide language translations of their educational products.
Below is an extensive listing of available resources by NASA Center as
well as other bilingual science resources and programs. It is important
to note that periodically the location of these educational resource
materials move. Please report link errors that you may encounter to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
so that problematic links can be corrected.
AMES Research Center
(Moffett Field, California)
http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/index_span.html disseminates news
releases, document and image archives, fact sheets, point-of-contact
information and related items to provide access to news releases to
Spanish-speaking reporters, the public and educators.
- The Genesis
Mission Web site is organized into sets about the Genesis mission,
the Genesis spacecraft, and about
different disciplines in science
Look under the link Las Series de la Misión for
the Spanish versions!
Bilingual Women of NASA project
has assembled an outstanding Web site
containing historical information, women of NASA
profiles, chat opportunities and ESL materials
Robin Whirlybird is an online, interactive
book about one girl's visit with her mother to the rotorcraft research
center where her mother works written in English, Spanish and Chinese.
- La Misteriosa Atmósfera de la Tierra
contains many activities and lesson plans intended for use with
secondary students to study the atmosphere in a hands-on manner in
Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt,
- The Sun Earth Day Kit, Making
Sun Earth Connections is located at
http://sunearthday.nasa.gov and at
and contains materials that provide a basic understanding of the
dynamics of the Sun, of the aurora, and of the turbulent space around
Earth. Presentations are available in both English and Spanish in
Versions 2 and above. Additional Sun Earth Day resources including the
CD, Version 2, in both Spanish and English, can be found online at
For a listing of all Sun Earth materials go to
Sun Earth Day Materiales en Español
Own Star: The Sun
(Nuestra Propia Estrella: el Sol) is designed for students in
grades K–4, containing information
about solar flares and sunspots and
why scientists study the sun.
Auroras: Mysterious Lights in the Sky (Auroras: Luces
misteriosas en el Cielo) is designed for students in grades
K-4 and describes how scientists are able to learn about these lights in
Poster (Tormentas Solares) downloadable in PDF or html can be
Star Light, a children's coloring book with
information about our closest star, the Sun, is in both English and
exercise, a web-based exercise in PDF format, aimed primarily at a
middle and high school level
audience can be found at
The Dynamic Sun SOHO CD contains 14 of SOHO's most spectacular images with
explanations. Expanded and
improved from the old portfolio. Available in
and Spanish on Version 5 is available from NASA Core or
SOHO paper model
available for download in PDF format at
Portfolio, an image set of 14 of SOHO's most spectacular images with
Mission to Geospace
in Spanish contains links to
several individual sites
dealing with Geospace.
Star child http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/translations.html
is in German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere
http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/Intro.html contains an
of space research on the Earth's environment in space. The
description, provided in both English and Spanish, is non-mathematical
but quite detailed.
- La Multicolor Luz Solar
- Skylab: Physics in Space.
- The Great Magnet
- The El Niño Primer
contains a Power Point in Spanish available in audio format that
explains the ENSO event.
Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, California)
Johnson Space Center
(Houston, Texas) has been working collaboratively on various bilingual projects in
Langley Research Center (Hampton,
Kids Science News Network
is a Web
and video-based program using 1-minute video newsbreaks featuring kids
teaching kids about mathematics, science, and technology. KSNN™
corrects science misconceptions and provides answers to kids’
questions about their world (such as “Why is the sky blue?”). The
provides teachers and parents with supporting content, hands-on
activities, related resources, a computer-graded quiz, and links to
educational web sites. The series targets grades K–2 and 3–5
and is available in English
in Spanish at http://ksnnsp.larc.nasa.gov/intro.html.
Hispanic Astronauts at NASA
Latina Woman of NASA
NASA's Destination Tomorrow,
a 30-minute program series for grades 9–18, parents, and lifelong
learners, and heightens interest in mathematics, science, technology,
and NASA. The series serves as a mechanism for involving parents in
their children's education. This series is produced in English and
"dubbed" in Spanish.
The Solar Web site found at
is available in pages in Spanish, French, Italian,
Portuguese or German by installing the "Babel Fish" on your browser.
Center for Distance Learning
offers many of their award-winning instructional
programs in Spanish in order to inspire the next generation of
Hispanics to become future engineers and scientists.
designed for K–5 students, is a Spanish-language, research-inquiry,
standards-based and technology-focused program designed to introduce
young Hispanics to the world of science, technology, engineering,
mathematics, NASA missions and research. The series is also
broadcasting on Saturday mornings on
in Puerto Rico.
NASA’s SCIence Files™ (Grades
3–5) is a series of instructional programs integrating broadcast,
print, and on-line elements. The series seeks to motivate students to
become critical thinkers and active problem solvers. Each 60-minute
program includes a teacher’s guide and web-based activities and
materials. This Emmy®-award-winning series combines standards-based
instruction with problem-based learning for explorations in
mathematics, science, and technology.
NASA CONNECT™ (Grades 6–8) is a
series of instructional programs integrating science and technology
with mathematical concepts via broadcast, print, and on-line elements.
Each 30-minute program emphasizes specific web-based, hands-on
activities to ensure students understand and relate the on-screen
information to their work in the classroom.
http://connect.larc.nasa.gov For an example of what
NASA CONNECT™ has to offer see Functions and
Statistics: Dressed for Space, a NASA Connect Lesson Guide that
corresponds to the 2002-2003 NASA Connect Series.
for a special feature article regarding a NASA CONNECT episode filmed
(Grades 5–12) is a
series of free, standards-based videoconferencing programs. The
programs emphasize the connection between science, technology,
engineering, mathematics and NASA . They also increase awareness of
careers in these fields. NASA LIVE™ invites educators and students to
participate in an interactive, virtual setting without time spent away
from the classroom. NASA LIVE™ is ISDN-based and IP-based.
Hispanic Education Outreach
Marshall Space Flight Center
- A Little Rock on Mars is a story
dedicated to the Mars Pathfinder Team and is translated into Spanish,
German, Japanese, Portuguese, Czech, Catalan, French, and Italian.
Stennis Space Center (South
NASA's International Programs
providing educational materials in many languages
- The CERES S'COOL Project
The CERES S'COOL Project involves K–12 students in real science as they
provide atmospheric measurements taken specifically for the purposes of
verifying satellite data. In this program, students are working as
scientists to assist in the validation of the CERES instrument by
comparing the surface- and space-based observations to learn more about
clouds, climate and the ways in which clouds may affect the Earth's
site contains mirror sites in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Thai
can be seen at
- The International GLOBE Program
GLOBE Program is a hands-on environmental science and education program
designed for use in K–16 classrooms. GLOBE is a world-wide network of
students, teachers and scientists from over 18,000 schools in 109
different countries and focuses on activities that complement studies in
science, mathematics, technology, social studies, and literacy through
investigation areas in atmosphere, hydrology, land cover biology, and
soils. Because GLOBE is a worldwide program, their Web site
www.globe.gov contains authentic materials ready for classroom
implementation available in all six United Nations’ languages (Arabic,
Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), and at least part of
the GLOBE Teacher’s Guide is now available in Dutch, German, Greek,
Hebrew, Japanese, and Thai, with many other materials becoming available
in other languages through GLOBE’s international partners.
books (K–4) also provide additional bilingual resources for literacy
information about how GLOBE can be used in the
language classroom see
NASA and NOAA
Web sites in both Spanish and Portuguese
Languages can be found at
Tropical Weather Outlooks in Spanish
Hurricane Awareness in Spanish
http://scijinks.nasa.gov is a new, highly interactive
launched by NASA and NOAA to document the Nimbus 1, a whimsical
blimp-like weather lab in the sky. The site provides information about
the GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) operated
by NOAA and how their orbits allow them to hover over the same spot on
Earth keeping a watch on our environment. The objectives of the site are
to provide “science fun for middle-schoolers, run the Bad Weather Joke
Machine, write Wild Weather Stories, travel the World of Weather
Folklore, take a Weather Challenge, prepare your family to weather any
disaster, learn how to do a weather science fair project”, and more.
SciJinks plans to eventually add other topics related to technology and
space and Earth sciences. Not yet translated to Spanish but in
NOAA posters in Spanish:
El Niño and related posters---Contact the NOAA office of public
and constituent affairs outreach unit 1305 East West Highway, Room
1W514 Silver Springs, Maryland 20901.
manages the distribution of many educational materials that can be
and a complete catalog can be
you can also easily conduct a
search of the
catalog using the keyword “Spanish”. Titles translated
Spanish to date include:
- Winning: Aerospace—The Next Decade is a 20-minute video targeted at students introduces students in grades 7–12 to
the unique career opportunities in America's aerospace industry.
- Nuestra Propia Estrella el Sol - This is
the Spanish version of the easy-to-read book Our Very Own Star: the Sun
that can also be used in a basic bilingual or Spanish classroom. Item
number: 300.1-14P, 2002. Cost: $ 3.00
- Our Solar System is a 29 minute video that
teaches the names, orbital positions, and characteristics of each planet
using the phrase "my very educated mother just served us nine pizza
pies”, for grades K–4. Each tape contains four versions of the program:
English, Spanish, sign language, and open captioned for the Hearing
- Star Gaze: Hubble's View of the Universe.
Star Gaze is a DVD that contains over an hour of images of the universe
from the Hubble Space Telescope in 2000, plus Dolby Digital and DTS
surround sound music from 2002 and provides in depth facts and details
about the telescope and what it has found so far.
- NASA Destination Tomorrow™ 2000-2001 5-PART
SERIES is a 30-minute educational program in Spanish, designed for
educators, parents, and lifelong learners by NASA's Center for Distance
Other Bilingual Programs and Science
Challenger Learning Centers
Challenger’s e-Missions connect Mission Control with classrooms
anywhere in the world for unique, interactive learning adventures that
allow teachers to utilize technology. Challenger’s e-Missions are a
motivating way to engage students with the power of math and science in
real-life situations. Working in teams, students apply their critical
thinking skills to make recommendations that may potentially save lives.
Prior to the mission, students complete classroom “training” activities to
demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
The Challenger Learning Center in San Antonio offers
a Bilingual Space Mission, a unique Spanish language immersion activity.
Students fly a two-hour simulated space mission en Español. Students are
assigned as astronauts working in the Space Station and as controllers in
Mission Control. They perform duties as Navigation officers, Life Support,
Communications, Space Probe, Biomedical, Remote, Isolation, and Data
teams. All briefings and communications are conducted in Spanish. For
more information see
Student Contests (Spanish and English)
The VinnyTM Awards is a contest
to produce a one minute video that explains how Science, Technology,
Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM) is being used or can be used to help
solve a global problem. Exam ples of such problems include pollution or
food distribution. Teams of students work with a teacher and a mentor to
research a global problem and ways that STEM is or can be used to help
solve the problem. You might want to pick a problem that has an impact on
your community or is of concern to you and people you know. The team then
brainstorms about how to explain the problem and solution to 4th graders
with a video, and then produces the video. The team submits the video and
other materials. For more information see:
UCAR--University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
- Meteorological materials in
- Window to
to the Universe
images, movies, animations, and data sets that explore the Earth and Space
sciences and the historical and cultural ties between science, exploration
and the human experience. The site is written in three reading levels and
is available in English and Spanish.
Infoastro: The planetarium of Pamplona, Spain.
Bilingual Science Books:
The Barahona Center – NSTA Recommended content area books in Spanish. Click
on recommended books and under SUBJECT type "science" limiting your search
by GRADE LEVEL (from Grade K–Grade 3 or from Grade 5–Grade 8).
NASA has assigned Aerospace Education Specialists (AESP)
and Educator Resource Center (ERC) representatives in every U.S. state who
are eager to assist you with locating and implementing materials in your
representatives will visit your school to speak to you and your students.
For more information see
and also visit NASA’s ERCN Web site at
to find a complete listing of all Educator Resource Centers by state as
well as those located on or near NASA Field Centers or at planetariums,
museums, colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations around
the United States where you can obtain free NASA educational materials for
your classroom as well as information regarding educational training
On a final note, NASA
also provides opportunities for digital learning and video conferencing
that can walk you and your students through life a size mock up of the
Space Station as well as opportunities for video conferencing with
astronauts of which many speak languages other than English. For
more information see
Please note that the programs are presented in English and interpretation
to any other language would need to take place on the
Remember, NASA posters, lithographs and teaching materials have great potential for inspiring
students to conduct in depth discussions and to practice their language
skills. The sample resources below can be used to initiate
many activities with your language students!
--International Space Station Modules
Human Space Flight (HSF) - Orbital Tracking
(Locate the Space Station)
--Suited for Space (Astronaut)
--NASA Night Sky poster:
explanations about how the poster can be used see
Night Sky poster:
--GLOBE at Night
An international event for students to
observe and record visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution
in a given location during the week of 8–21 March
In addition, NASA Explores
http://www.nasaexplores.com provides free weekly K–12
educational articles and lesson plans on current NASA projects that can be
easily accessed through an internal search engine. Printable and
downloadable, these supplemental curriculum resources meet national
educational standards in science (NSTA), mathematics (NCTM), technology (ISTE,
ITEA), and geography (NGS).
About the Author
Teresa Kennedy, Director
of the International Division for NASA's GLOBE Program, and former NASA Office of Space Science (OSS) Idaho Broker Facilitator for
S2N2 (NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium and Space Science Network Northwest), has been assembling this
collection of NASA and related materials translated into Spanish and other
languages since 1996. She is a Professor of Bilingual/ELL/STEM Education at the University of Texas at Tyler, and has been working with the NASA Education Team
since 1996, serving as the Director of the NASA Regional Educator Resource
Center for the University of Idaho (1997–2003), the NASA
OSS Broker Facilitator
for the State of Idaho (2001–2003), and as
a member of the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium (1996–2003). She also served
as the Co-Director of the Idaho GLOBE Partnership (1996–2003), the Deputy
Chief Educator and Assistant Director of U.S. Partnerships for the GLOBE
Program at their former headquarters office in Washington D.C. (2002–2003); as well as
the Director of
GLOBE International/U.S. Partnerships and Outreach
and as the Deputy Director
for the GLOBE Program (2007-2009)
their headquarters office at the University Corporation for Atmospheric
Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. She currently directs the International Division of the GLOBE Program from UT Tyler, also serving as the U.S. Country Coordinator for GLOBE, the Director of the GLOBE North America Regional Office and GLOBE International Help Desk serving the GLOBE community in 111 countries.
Dr. Kennedy continues
to teach online courses
related to bilingual STEM education as well as collaborate with the Idaho Space Grant Consortium and the S2N2 Network.
NASA’s international education programs provide
the opportunity for integrated language and content instruction, weaving
interdisciplinary lessons in science, mathematics, social studies,
language arts and world cultures into everyday classroom teaching through
extensive Web environments. This resource list, intended for use in language classrooms, is constantly being updated so check the Web site
often as new materials are being identified all the time!