ASSET - exciting Astrobiology Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development

A Science and Curriculum Institute for High School Science Teachers

asset members

Would you like to learn more about the interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology?  Are you looking for a contemporary thematic science curriculum that is standards based?  Are you in search of an exciting professional development opportunity? Are you ready to share your enthusiasm for science teaching with others?  If so, we invite you to become an ASSET teacher.

The ASSET experience will be intense and exciting, interactive and content rich, with presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from the SETI Institute, NASA, and the California Academy of Sciences.  Scientists will share the latest in astrobiology research on the origin of life on Earth, the extreme conditions in which life exists, Mars exploration, the formation of planetary systems around Sun-like stars, and the search for life in the universe. The workshop features a combination of cutting edge science, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and leadership skills development to support you as a teacher and teacher trainer. Participants receive the entire Voyages Through Time curriculum and complementary astrobiology materials, developed by NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, for use in their classrooms.

ASSET is funded by the SETI Institute, Educate America, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Education and Public Outreach Program and NASA’s Kepler Mission Education and Public Outreach Program.

Your commitment to ASSET:

  • Implement at least one module of VTT in your classroom.
  • Participate in a pending NSF research investigation of professional development
  • Conduct significant outreach activities involving VTT over the next two years, for example:
    • Plan and lead a teacher professional development workshop or course for teachers based upon your ASSET training and the VTT materials.
    • Mentor other teacher(s) using the VTT curriculum.
    • Produce an outreach activity appropriate to your school or district.

ASSET’s commitment to you:

  • Six days of science content, and hands-on experiences with VTT, at the SETI Institute and San Francisco State University in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • VTT curriculum package: six modules.
  • Travel assistance within the U.S., room and board.
  • Continuing support via on-line community, materials for outreach activities, and teleconferences.
  • Interaction with other top-notch science teachers interested in astrobiology and evolution.
  • Field trip.
  • Inquiry Immersion Experience


Applications from teams of two high school teachers, from a school or district, are encouraged. Both team members must each complete a separate application. Singleton applications are accepted. Due to federal funding of the program, only applications from teachers in U.S. schools are accepted.

3 graduate credits in education will be available through San Francisco State University for an additional $300 fee (subject to adjustment). Upper division undergraduate credit may be made available at a lesser fee.

For more information, contact Pamela Harman at or (650) 960-4523.