Partner Institutions

Learn more about the Partner Institutions collaborating with CosmoQuest by helping build a community of citizen scientists. 


Astronomical Society of the Pacific

As a non-profit membership organization, international in scope, the ASP’s mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy — through the engagement of our many constituencies — to advance science and science literacy. The ASP will be creating, field-testing, and maintaining a series of interactive demos that are designed to compliment CosmoQuest’s Citizen Science Portals.

You can learn more about each of our team members here.

Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center(JSC)

Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) scientists, engineers, and other professionals conduct research in earth, planetary, and space sciences and have the curatorial responsibility for all NASA-held extraterrestrial samples. The Earth Science and Remote Sensing (ESRS) Unit within ARES curates NASA’s online database of astronaut imagery, which is the data used for Image Detective, one of CosmoQuest’s Citizen Science projects. Citizen Science contributions obtained through Image Detective will be used to enhance NASA’s online database of astronaut imagery, which is available at



At InsightSTEM, they believe that STEM learning can be reinvented for all, by motivating, enabling, and permitting learners to explore knowledge, through projects that deliver immersive, tactile, physically and mentally engaging learning tools; environments, and train others do the same! InsightSTEM will lead all efforts to train experts to work with citizen scientists and classroom teachers, mentor school children on science fair projects, and teach in the CosmoAcademy program.


Interface Guru

Interface Guru helps create successful digital products such as websites, apps, enterprise software, and touchscreens for a wide variety of clients in diverse industries. They will be providing expert design and maintenance for the CosmoQuest site, enabling efficient and effective communication. They’ll also maintain reliable, accessible interfaces for CosmoQuest’s related citizen science projects.


McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory, a research unit of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. This institution will, in coordination with NASA, train teachers from regional school districts to integrate citizen science projects and curricula into their classroom programs. They will provide residential master teacher workshops at McDonald Observatory, smaller workshops at the Texas state science teachers’ conference, and work to help in pilot testing new activities, lesson plans, and materials for Citizen Science projects. These master teachers will also go back and train more teachers at their institutions, broadening the reach of this program.


McREL International

McREL International is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for K–12 teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.
McREL’s consultants will work with educators to integrate CosmoQuest activities into the classroom and help deepen their practice through a CosmoQuest professional learning community highlighting space and earth sciences. In addition, McREL’s research and evaluation team will conduct rigorous internal evaluation of CosmoQuest initiatives to ensure the project is reaching its goal of making impactful innovations.


Planetary Science Institute

The Planetary Science Institute studies the origin, characteristics and evolution of our solar system, including Earth, and the origin, characteristics, and evolution of the planetary systems of other stars, and conveys the resulting knowledge to the scientific community and the public at large. This knowledge is used to support and encourage both human and robotic exploration of space and to promote science education and science literacy, by providing the facilities, infrastructure, and institutional settings necessary for the scientists and staff to achieve these goals. PSI will provide professional development to formal and informal educators to help students engage with current NASA data. Additionally, PSI will lead an effort to increase the number of astronomy related science fair projects, locally in Arizona and across the nation.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is located in Edwardsville, Illinois, about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. SIUE was established in 1957 as an extension of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.



Ward-Beecher Planetarium

The existence of the Ward Beecher Planetarium at Youngstown State University is due to the generosity of Youngstown industrialist and philanthropist Ward Beecher. In accordance with his wishes that the sciences benefit young people, the planetarium has always been free and open to the public. The planetarium will be developing full-dome video and 3D animation materials that will be distributed for free to planetaria across the globe. See more at Science on the Halfsphere.