National Aeronautics and Space Administration Partnerships

The Montana Learning Center is proud to have been selected by NASA to be an Education Affiliate of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC). The Consortium and its members have dedicated their efforts to strengthening aerospace research and education in Montana.

The Montana Learning Center is also a partner of the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pathways (NESSP). NESSP is a collaborative effort to engage underserved K-12 students, their teachers, and diverse communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

As a member of both the MSGC and NESSP, the Montana Learning Center is able to offer students and teachers throughout the Mountain West exciting aerospace-related programs not available anywhere else in the region.

Montana Aerospace Scholars – Freshmen & Sophomore Program

Montana Aerospace Scholars (MAS) is a two-stage program offered to high school students who are curious about the boundless opportunities that space offers. MAS prepares students for after-high-school and career pathways by introducing scholars to new skills, mindsets, and experiences. Scholars actively engage in career education as well as mission designs and proposals with like-minded young individuals from across the state. 

High school freshmen and sophomores are invited to apply to Stage One of MAS. Phase One of the MAS program is a set of assignments exploring the opportunities of lunar exploration. Scholars who successfully complete these assignments are eligible for Phase Two, a three-day Summer Residency on Canyon Ferry Lake where students are able to tackle problems in space with a hands-on approach. Regional STEM experts provide engaging presentations and feedback to scholars as they plan their own mission to the Moon.

Scholarships are available for those that qualify. 

For more information, visit the FAQ and Registration page.

Learn more about space exploration both past and future

Take an in-depth look at earth and space sciences

Montana Aerospace Scholars – Junior & Senior Program

Montana Aerospace Scholars (MAS) is a program designed for high school students to explore the endless opportunities available within the rapidly growing space industry. This two-stage program prepares students for their futures after high school and into college by introducing students to new opportunities, skills, ideas, and experiences. Scholars use their imagination to solve problems and design solutions to real-life situations while exploring career pathways and collaborating with like-minded peers across the state.

Juniors and seniors in high school are invited to apply to Stage Two of MAS. Phase One of the program consists of a set of assignments exploring the opportunities of Martian exploration. Scholars who earn an average of a “B” or higher between the assignments are eligible for Phase Two, a five-day Summer Residency on Canyon Ferry Lake. Here, students are able to network with regional STEM experts, watch live presentations, tour local aerospace facilities, fly a plane, learn about career pathways, and design their own mission to Mars.

Scholarships are available for those that qualify. 

For more information, visit the FAQ and Registration page.

Teacher Training

With NASA support, the MLC is thrilled to offer unparalleled learning experiences for teachers and opportunities for curriculum enrichment throughout the year. The MLC offers an online training program to Montana’ K-12 science teachers, with a focus on understanding and implementing NASA science, Next Generation Science Standards, and three-dimensional science teaching.

Additionally, NASA supports MLC’s online telescope training for teachers. Every year, middle and high school science teachers in Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho have the opportunity to learn to use and conduct research with the Center’s cutting-edge robotic telescope in New Mexico. Upon completion, teachers are encouraged to incorporate activities with the remote telescope into their curriculums and conduct meaningful astronomical research with their students. 

Opportunities for teacher training are ongoing, so please regularly check, keep an eye on our Facebook page, or contact MLC Executive Director Ryan Hannahoe at for more information about these one-of-a-kind opportunities.

Learn how to access the stars with a remote telescope

Opportunities for local night sky observations

Citizen Science Program for Libraries

The MLC has developed a program to partner with citizen scientists and libraries across Montana. Libraries are loaned dark sky meters and kits, and participants collect light pollution data and provide information to the international database, “Globe at Night,” with the goal of preserving our naturally dark night skies.

To sponsor these events or for more information,
contact MLC’s Executive Director, Ryan Hannahoe.
(406) 475-3638.

Take the opportunity to work fun in with science

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