Curricular Resources

Activity Suggestions

Students should review the digital library exhibit, A Space for Diplomacy before completing any of the following assignments. Students may work in groups or individually.

Option One

In 1993, President Clinton created the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) through an executive order. This council was envisioned as a way to streamline the White House’s technology and science policy across multiple agencies. Today, the Council still serves the President through its six committees: Science, Technology, Environment and Natural Resources and Homeland, STEM Education, Science and Technology Enterprise and National Security.

In this activity, students should research the current activities of a committee of the NSTC on the White House webpage and present their findings to the class.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component: Working in groups, students should create a proposal for a new council to advise the president and foster cross-agency communications. How would this council be structured? What would be the committees? What issues faced by our country could be remedied by this council?

Option Two

The International Space Station was used by the Clinton administration to foster cooperation between nations and diffuse old rivalries into productive partnerships. In this activity, students should consider other ways in which international cooperation in space could be facilitated. What are the advantages to cooperation in space? Are there roadblocks to success?

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component: In this activity, students should work together in groups to create projects that can improve their community through cooperative partnerships between two or more groups (different grades in their school, different schools, businesses, etc.). In what way would this project be reliant on all of the parties involved? How would this work improve relations between the parties? Students should contact the parties in writing and detail their findings for them.

Option Three

In 1996, President Clinton issued a New National Space Policy that reassessed America’s activities in space for the first time since the end of the Cold War. In this activity, students should consider the New National Space Policy document and whether or not the United States has met the goals that President Clinton set out for space exploration. If these goals have not been met, students should compile a list of factors that have impeded their completion. If the goals have been met, students should create a list of new goals for America in space.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component: Using the lists compiled in the previous section, students should write a letter to the President of the United States that summarizes their findings. The letter should address the reasons that they believe President Clinton’s New Space Policy goals were not met or a list of new goals for the American space program.