Explore Solar System and Beyond: A Deep Dive into the Lucy Mission
Thursday 10/14/2021
7:30 pm ET
FREE 1-hour Webinar
Formal & Informal Educators in Grades K-12

The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University in conjunction with NASA's Lucy Mission is providing a 1-hour webinar.

Launching in October of this year, NASA’s Lucy Mission will be the first mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. The spacecraft will fly by a record-breaking number of asteroids (eight!) for a single mission, and its journey will span the next twelve years. The mission’s scope and focus will provide ample and unique educational opportunities to engage students for years to come. Indeed, an inspired 6th grader today could be part of the mission team before it wraps up in 2033!

The Trojan asteroids lie beyond the main asteroid belt at the same distance from the Sun as Jupiter. Located in two groups, or swarms, that lead and follow the gas giant in its orbit, the asteroids stay roughly as far from Jupiter as Jupiter does from the Sun. These small, rocky bodies are thought to be the leftover remnants of ancient planet formation and serve as time capsules from the birth of the Solar System over 4 billion years ago. The Lucy Mission seeks to survey the diversity of these asteroids to gain insight into the origins and evolution of our Solar System. 

Join Lucy’s communications and public outreach team for an overview of the science behind the mission and deep dive into the education materials and opportunities it has to offer your classroom. From video series to activity pages to calls-to-action, we’ve got you covered for engaging a wide variety of ages and abilities. 



James Tralie is a Planetary Science Producer and Animator at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He works directly with scientists and engineers on all the planetary science missions to explain their results to the public through engaging content. He creates anything from 360 videos about the surface of asteroid Bennu, to comic book-style animations about charged particles in the ionosphere of Mars, to documentaries on training astronauts for geological research on the Moon.

Dr. Katherine Kretke is a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute and leads communications and public engagement for the Lucy Mission. She did her undergraduate studies in physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and received her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Tiffany Kapler is a public outreach specialist for NASA’s Lucy Mission. She grew her career in science communication as an environmental education Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and then as an educator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Tiffany has developed formal and informal education and engagement programming for several organizations, including the New York Academy of Science, Denver Zoo, NYC1st, and Rocky Mountain PBS. Tiffany is passionate about sparking curiosity in learners of all ages as they explore and learn about the world.

Barbie Buckner is a 20+ year STEM classroom teacher with a Doctorate’s Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Louisville. Her research interest included the impact of technology on student achievement and teacher behavior. Buckner recently served as a 2013-14 Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate where she collaborated with colleagues on learning, learning environments, boarding participating and workforce development. Barbie sees education as her calling and has spent her life sharing her love for learning with everyone around her. Knowing that today’s student will compete in a global economy, Barbie says that “It is imperative that today’s students are prepared with consistent rigorous and relevant standards that produce more STEM majors, particularly women, to keep this great nation at the forefront in technology, innovation, and advancement.”