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NASA Explorer School

The NASA Explorer Schools project is NASA's classroom-based gateway for middle school (grades 4-8) and high school (grades 9-12) classrooms. NES provides free teaching and learning resources that promote student engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The project provides opportunities for teachers and students to participate in NASA's mission of research and discovery through inquiry-based experiences directly related to the work of NASA scientists and engineers. 

Throughout the school year, the NES Virtual Campus website will serve as a portal to dynamic learning experiences, allowing students to examine real-world problems and challenges based on NASA research and exploration. Classroom activities are coupled with special events featuring interactions with NASA's scientific and technical workforce, so students learn firsthand about mission highlights, new technologies and research findings. 

Teachers have the opportunity to participate in professional development experiences delivered through NES Virtual Campus technology to support effective classroom implementation of NES resources. 

At the end of the year, NES will recognize its best teachers and schools with NASA experiences such as field center training, research opportunities and flights aboard a reduced-gravity aircraft.

All participants must be U.S. citizens. Each must be an administrator, aide, curriculum specialist, educator, guidance counselor, media specialist, resource teacher or student teacher in a state- or nationally accredited K-12 education institution in the United States or a U.S territory.

For more information and to schedule an orientation session, visit

Questions about the new NASA Explorer Schools project should be directed to

Carberry Intermediate School
A 2004 NASA Explorer School

In 2004, Carberry Intermediate School in Emmett, Idaho, was proud to be selected as one of 50 schools nationwide to be designated a NASA Explorer School. This designation establishes a three-year partnership. While partnered with NASA, our school has been acquiring new teaching resources and technology tools which use NASA's unique content, experts and other resources to provide exciting learning experiences in science, mathematics and technology for students.

We are based at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, where we were trained in 2004. Each summer for three years, our Explorer team teachers are trained at one of NASA's centers. We went to Huntsville, Alabama, last summer to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center!

The NASA team, made up of Anne Zarybnisky, Vana Richards, Carole Harshman, Linda McKie, and Janet Fisher, has been joined by Jon Bennetts, a fourth grade teacher.

Carberry School strives to keep our community as well as our students involved with NASA and fun learning activities. Annually, we have held three family nights with hundreds in attendance each time. Someone we always depend on being there for us is Tony Leavitt, NASA Aerospace Education Specialist. He also keeps our NASA Student Specialists busy learning while he is at Carberry!

Carberry's NASA Student Specialists are a group of 30 students who were selected to assist the NASA teacher team with presenting monthly challenges in their own classrooms, helping with family nights, and keeping the whole student body enthused about NASA and learning more science, math, and technology. We are proud of them all and appreciate their help and dedication!

Our videoconferencing system has proven to be a hot item! A number of our classes have enjoyed learning via videoconference. Some fourth grade classes experienced simple machines through videoconference, astronauts training in the NEEMO program shared their knowledge with fifth-graders, and our own Carberry student specialists were treated to a conference from Kennedy Space Center! At a family night, the community was introduced to the system when we projected a conference on a big screen in the gym.

FMA Live, a sensational production teaching the laws of motion, made Emmett a stop on their busy schedule this year.

This summer two of our students, Annalyn John and Quentin Stepon, will participate in a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. They created an inquiry-based project and earned the right to attend Space Camp at Huntsville, Alabama. We can't wait to hear from them after their sure-to-be amazing experience!

Carberry School's most recent accomplishment was our radio contact with astronauts onboard the International Space Station. Astronaut Sunita Williams spoke to ten Carberry School students from space on May 16. You should have been there!

Several of our teachers completed training in Project 3-D View, an interdisciplinary science curriculum for Grades 5 and 6 which utilizes simple-to-use 3D technologies and is designed to increase student performance in science. Our NASA team attended the Governor's Summit on Science, Mathematics, and Technology in October in Boise.

Our first Family Night in November focused on flight and featured real Air Force pilots! Sound was the focus of our second. We welcomed Dr. Steven Shropshire from Idaho State University as our grand finale to the NASA year. Dr. Shropshire put on an amazing one-man show.

Currently, two of our students await their chance to speak in August with Barbara Morgan, Idaho's Teacher in Space, as she flies aboard the shuttle.

What else should you expect from Idaho's only NASA Explorer School? We don't know, but we can hardly wait!

Visit NASA's main Explorer School site

See what we have been up to:

Idaho's Explorer School teachers prepare to learn
all about the workings of a NASA Explorer School.










The mascot of Idaho's Explorer School goes
along for learning too!

Astronaut Steven Swanson, Ph.D., made his
first journey into space as an STS-117 mission
specialist. We at Carberry were privileged to have
him attend our opening as we became an
Explorer School.

On the launch pad at NASA Kennedy Space Center in
Cocoa Beach, FL!

NASA Explorer School Moms make all the difference!

FMA Live is quite the production.
What a fun way to learn about motion!

Our NASA Family Nights are always a hit!

A student specialist and NASA education specialist
help out with learning.

We proudly present Carberry School's NASA
Student Specialists!

In December, twelve new Student Specialists
joined our group!

Here is a great example of "Packing a Suitcase for
Mars," one of our monthly challenges.

These are the lucky student participants in our May
16th downlink with the International Space Station.

Carole Harshman and Anne Zarybnisky, Carberry
teachers, and Pat White (from the Bureau of
Educational Improvement through Idaho's
Department of Education) had a blast at
Space Camp!

Sixth-graders Seth Curtiss and Quentin Stepon from
Carberry Intermediate School in Emmett, Idaho,
were winners of a historical essay contest relating
to Dryden's 60th anniversary as NASA's lead
center for atmospheric flight research.