Profile: Ali Llewellyn
Community Advocate, Johnson Space Center
Her current focus is as the project manager of the International Space Apps Challenge, developing innovative strategies for public-private collaborations. Ali has 5 years of experience at NASA, developing better and more open business processes, telling stories about NASA’s exciting life sciences work, bridging the gap between generations in the workforce on use of technology, and co-leading an international education pilot project encouraging students to “train like an astronaut.” She has a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Texas and studied cross-cultural communication and people movements in graduate school.
NoteStreams By Ali Llewellyn
While this agency is perhaps most known for explorations beyond Earth, for decades, NASA has been dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of one of the most complex objects in the universe — planet Earth. Because of NASA’s commitment to Earth science, we have developed an understanding of our home planet that is unmatched in human history. But there is still so much more to learn. Scores of NASA satellites are expanding our knowledge and in the process helping save lives through improved response to natural disasters, and helping us better cope with environmental, health, and energy challenges that know no borders.
Emerging efforts and studies demonstrate that art plays a critical role in enhancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, an important NASA and U.S. goal of great importance, given that current U.S. youth lag far behind other industrialized countries in math and science skills. Partnering science with art also encourages the development of creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. These abilities are becoming increasingly necessary to ensure high performance in a rapidly changing global society. Thus, educational approaches combining space science topics with art could provide an effective method to inspire youth to seek education and careers in STEM-requiring fields, and to approach them innovatively and creatively.