The NOVA Labs team works closely with dedicated content and outreach partners, who help us develop the Labs, connect with our audience, and create professional development resources for educators.

  • Outreach

    Design Squad Nation

    PBS's Design Squad Nation offers a collection of videos, online games, educator guides, and hands-on activities that can be used at home, in school, in after-school programs, and at outreach events to tap into kids' ingenuity and to get them thinking like engineers.

    Through our online communities, Design Squad Nation (for kids ages 8 and older) and NOVA Labs (for ages 13 and up) together give kids a continuum of opportunities for engaging in authentic research and design projects.

  • Digital Learning Day

    Digital Learning Day was created by the Alliance for Excellent Education in 2012 for students and educators to show how technology can transform and personalize learning for all students. Digital Learning Day is a powerful venue to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. This grassroots effort blossomed into a massive nationwide celebration as teachers realized that Digital Learning Day is not just about technology, it’s about learning and promoting how teachers can use modern tools afforded to every other industry to improve the learning experience in all K–12 public schools.

  • Khan Academy

    Khan Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to change education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. We believe that students of all ages should have free, unlimited access to the best educational content, and that they should be able to consume and master this content at their own pace. Our library of content covers kindergarten to early college math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and reaches into humanities with tutorials on economics, finance, music, philosophy, and art history. We have over 15 million registered users and to date, we have delivered over 300 million lessons and 3 billion exercise problems.

  • PBS LearningMedia

    PBS LearningMedia™ is your destination for easy, instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources, including videos, interactives, audio resources, images, and in-depth lesson plans. You can search, save, and share with ease. Best of all, PBS LearningMedia is free for educators.

    Through its partnership with PBS LearningMedia, NOVA Labs will develop strategies, resources, and professional development that specifically support teachers and students in using NOVA Labs in classroom and school settings.

  • Science Buddies

    The award-winning, nonprofit Science Buddies empowers K-12 students, parents, and teachers to quickly and easily find free project ideas and help in all areas of science, from astronomy to zoology.

    Science Buddies works with NOVA Labs to connect teens with fun science activities and science fair projects that extend the Labs experience beyond the web.

  • Scientific American

    Scientific American's website now has a dedicated citizen science page where users can search for projects in which they can participate. Topics include energy and sustainability, evolution, health, mind and brain, space, technology, and more. Each project description includes a summary, how citizen scientists (you!) can get involved, appropriate age/grade level, time commitment, dates, project time, scientist affiliation, and directions for how to join the fun. Users can search for projects by topic, date, type, cost, and grade level.

  • SciGirls

    SciGirls is a multimedia initiative that serves girls, families, and educators in both English and Spanish. Based on best practices in STEM education for girls, SciGirls emphasizes teamwork, problem solving, the freedom to express ideas, and support throughout the process. SciGirl resources model important skills, including prediction, observation, measurement, classification, experimentation, interpretation, and communication, which serve as the foundation for all scientific and engineering endeavors.

  • SciStarter

    SciStarter is a website that connects citizen scientists with thousands of science activities and research projects. The projects, submitted by organizations, companies, and researchers, allow anyone with an interest to participate in and contribute to real science relating to an almost endless list of topics. SciStarter’s project finder feature allows users to search by topic, type of activity, location, whether the project is suitable for children, and if it offers teacher materials. Project descriptions include a summary of the project, project goals and tasks, the organization or researcher presenting the activity, any related fees, and other details to help users decide if it is right for them.

  • Outreach

    NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission works to understand the solar variations that influence life and technology on Earth. The SDO mission is designed to help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere.

    Data from the SDO mission is used in the NOVA Sun Lab, and our partnership enables Labs to stay connected to current solar research and the leading scientists in the field. We will continue to partner on teacher professional development and social media campaigns.

  • Content

    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists are organized into six research divisions and study the origin, evolution, and ultimate fate of the universe.

  • NASA-Goddard

    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of scientists, engineers, and technologists, who build spacecraft, instruments, and new technology to study Earth, the Sun, our solar system, and the universe. Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA's first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA's missions of space exploration and scientific discovery.

  • Outreach

    Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

    The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of educational resources coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science.

    CLEAN works with NOVA Labs to connect educators with teaching resources that are both scientifically sound and pedagogically effective to build middle and high school students' understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science.

  • Content

    National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the only national laboratory solely dedicated to advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies from concept to commercial application. For 35 years, NREL innovations, analysis, and expertise have enabled the emergence of a U.S. clean energy industry and led to numerous success stories from across the laboratory. NREL's 327-acre main campus in Golden, Colorado, is a living model of sustainable energy; the laboratory also operates the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado.

  • Content

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Established at the California Institute of Technology in the 1930s, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been a leader in technical and exploratory innovation ever since. Following the launch of the United States's first satellite in 1958, JPL has sent dozens of unmanned spacecraft and instruments into orbit, all with the goal of better understanding Earth, the solar system, and our universe. JPL currently operates 22 orbiting spacecraft and 10 instruments, including some of the missions providing data and imagery for the Cloud Lab's Reconstructing a Storm activity.

  • NASA-Goddard

    NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of scientists, engineers, and technologists who build spacecraft, instruments, and new technology to study Earth, the Sun, our solar system, and the universe. Named for American rocketry pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the center was established in 1959 as NASA's first space flight complex. Goddard and its several facilities are critical in carrying out NASA's missions of space exploration and scientific discovery. The data mapping and visualization tool that was adapted for Reconstructing a Storm was developed at Goddard as part of NASA's Earth Science Data Systems Program.

  • The Ceres S'COOL Project

    The CERES experiment is one of the highest priority scientific satellite instruments in NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). The first CERES instrument was launched in December 1997. Today, CERES instruments are collecting observations aboard three separate satellite missions, including the EOS Terra and Aqua observatories, which provide data and imagery for the Cloud Lab's Reconstructing a Storm activity. The related S'COOL Project involves students of all ages in real science, making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds to help validate NASA's CERES satellite instruments. The S'COOL Project provided invaluable help in the refinement and development of the Cloud Typing and Reconstructing a Storm activities.

  • Content

    Carnegie Mellon University

    A world leader in computer science, technology, and engineering, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has driven innovation since it was founded in 1900. CMU faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific and technological challenges. They put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. In this case, computer scientists from CMU collaborated with biophysicists to create the online game Eterna, in which scientists learn from players how RNA molecules fold into functional molecular machines. VirtuaLab is built around Eterna’s RNA folding game.

  • Eterna Project

    The Eterna project was the brainchild of computer scientists Jeehyung Lee and Adrien Treuille and biophysicist Rhiju Das. With their teams, they created the massively multiplayer online Eterna game, where players design RNA molecules and, in so doing, teach scientists how RNA molecules fold in life. The very best RNA designs from the Eterna game are synthesized in the lab and may—one day—be used as the basis for lifesaving molecular machines. The RNA puzzles in VirtuaLab were made using Eterna’s puzzle editor.

  • Outreach

    Center for Identity

    The University of Texas at Austin established the Center for Identity to serve as a center of excellence for identity management, privacy, and security. Our mission is to deliver high-quality research and education and offer solutions for the future.

    Funded by a partnership with the Texas Legislature, The Center for Identity will launch IDWise, a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy. IDWise provides research, educational materials, workshops, and outreach to the public, giving clear and accessible resources to empower citizens—both online and offline—to be better informed and make smarter choices to protect their personal information.

  •® is a 501c3 public non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. After launching in 2013, organized the Hour of Code campaign — which has introduced 41 million students to computer science — partnered with more than 30 public school districts nationwide, and launched Code Studio, an open-source, online learning platform for all ages.


  • CyberPatriot

    CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program, which has been created to motivate students toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school students, Cyber Camps, and an Elementary School Cyber Education initiative. CyberPatriot was created by the Air Force Association in 2009. It began with only 8 teams, all from the state of Florida, and has grown to over 1,500 teams in all 50 states, Canada, and DoD Dependent schools overseas. In total, the program has reached over 200,000 students!

  • Engagement Game Lab (EGL)

    The Engagement Game Lab (EGL) is an applied research lab at Emerson College that designs and studies technology, media, and games for civic engagement. The EGL implements major game and research projects in which real-world civic action is facilitated through gameplay in Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Sweden, Moldova, Zambia, Uganda, and Bhutan. The EGL works directly with its partner communities to design and facilitate civic engagement processes, augment stakeholder deliberation, and broaden the diversity of participants in local decision-making.

  • Games for Change

    Games for Change (G4C) facilitates the creation and distribution of digital games that serve as powerful tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. About 165 million people in the United States alone (70 percent of the population) play digital games across multiple platforms—web, tablet, mobile, social networks, and others. Games are increasingly accepted as an effective medium to promote social change and learning, with the potential to reach audiences that might not be reached by other forms of media. To further grow this field, G4C convenes multiple stakeholders at its annual G4C Festival, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new game projects.

  • National Cyber Security Alliance

    NCSA's mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets. NCSA builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems, and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

  • Technology Student Association (TSA)

    TSA is a national youth organization devoted exclusively to the needs of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). TSA offers co-curricular STEM activities and competitions to middle and high school students across the nation. All TSA competitions—60 middle and high school events combined—are correlated with national STEM standards.

  • Outreach

    National Center for Science Education (NCSE)

    The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization that defends and promotes the teaching of evolution and climate science in the public schools. NCSE provides information, resources, and advice to schools, teachers, parents, and concerned citizens defending science education. We educate the press and public about the scientific, educational, and legal aspects of these issues at local, state, and national levels.

  • Shape of Life

    Shape of Life is a series of free, short classroom videos that beautifully depict the evolution of the animal kingdom on Earth. Shape of Life is especially designed for students and teachers who want a firsthand account of how animals adapt and thrive. The series is NGSS aligned with an engaging focus on diversity, biodiversity, adaptability, body structure, design, behaviors, and the innovative scientists who explore these creatures. Shape of Life includes videos, lesson plans, readings aligned to the Common Core, illustrations, and other relevant resources.

  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology BirdSleuth K-12

    The Cornell Lab interprets and conserves the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. BirdSleuth K-12 creates innovative resources that build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen science projects.

    Through engaging, hands-on activities and authentic scientific research opportunities, BirdSleuth is an ideal way to teach science content and the scientific process. Your students will be at the center of the action, making first-hand observations, collecting data, and sharing what they’ve found with real scientists.

  • The Leakey Foundation

    The Leakey Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to increase scientific knowledge, education, and public understanding of human origins, evolution, behavior, and survival. The Leakey Foundation awards grants to scientists investigating the big questions about what makes us human. We share the research through public and educational outreach projects such as our national lecture series, our free program that brings scientists to visit schools, and our "Origin Stories" podcast.

  • Understanding Evolution (University of California Museum of Paleontology)

    Understanding Evolution is your one-stop shop for teaching and learning about evolution—from kindergarten through college. Get friendly, clear background information as well as animations, comics, interactive investigations, news briefs, research profiles, and a database of free, vetted lessons for your classroom.

  • Content

    Life on Earth

    Life on Earth is a multi-institutional project for the advancement of science learning that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Led by the SDR Lab at Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the project team includes computer scientists, biologists, museum curators, and learning sciences researchers. The DeepTree and Build-A-Tree activities have been created as part of this project. The multi-touch Life on Earth exhibit has been installed in the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the University of Nebraska State Museum. The content in the Life on Earth exhibit, including scientific and common names, phylogenetic trees, and divergence times, are derived from information contained in the Encyclopedia of Life (, Tree of Life Web Project (, National Center for Biotechnology Information (, and TimeTree (

  • SDR Lab

    Located at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the SDR Lab is “a visual interaction digital laboratory” that conducts research in human–computer interaction, interactive and tactile visual learning, large data visualization, and multi-touch collaboration. The SDR Lab created the DeepTree multi-touch museum exhibits for the Life on Earth project and collaborated with NOVA Labs to develop web-based versions of the DeepTree and Build-A-Tree for the Evolution Lab.