NASA and the U.S. Department of Education signed a memorandum of understanding May 24, strengthening the collaboration between the two agencies, including efforts to increase access to high-quality STEM and space education to students and schools across the nation, according to a news release.

Specifically, the agreement enhances and expands the agencies’ longstanding partnership that promotes science, technology, engineering and math education to students from diverse backgrounds, so they have opportunities to pursue interests and careers in STEM and space industries.

“I am excited for this partnership with NASA that will inspire and prepare young people from all backgrounds to become our next generation of leaders in STEM fields and to propel our nation and our workforce into the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “From the groundbreaking Apollo mission to today’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and first person of color on the moon, NASA’s work has long galvanized the world to raise the bar and reach for new heights. I am proud that our agencies will continue to intentionally collaborate to enrich STEM teaching and learning in America’s classrooms; expand access to high-quality, hands-on career, technical and space education; increase the capacity and diversity of our nation’s STEM educator workforce and so much more.”

“The first humans who will walk on Mars and the innovators who will help humanity reach the Red Planet are students in America’s classrooms today. NASA and the Department of Education know we need the whole of the Artemis Generation – young people from all parts of America and all walks of life – to achieve big goals, overcome our greatest challenges and inspire the world through science and discovery,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

Both agencies participate on the White House National Science and Technology Council Committee on STEM Education and the White House National Space Council.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Education are working on upcoming collaborations that include the development of an agreement to provide NASA STEM content and technical assistance for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. This initiative funds after-school programming across the nation. NASA also is providing content for both the U.S. Department of Education’s YOU Belong in STEM initiative and Your Place in Space student challenge.

Learn more about how NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement is inspiring the next generation of explorers here.

Learn more about the work the U.S. Department of Education is doing on STEM here.