The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Program – An External Evaluation Of Cycle 1

Publication: Report – February 2015

Project: SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy)

Authors: Michelle Phillips

Type: Brief

Download brief (pdf, 8 pages)


The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) represents a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The observatory itself is a Boeing 747 SP that has been modified to serve as the world’s largest airborne research observatory. The SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program is a component of SOFIA’s Outreach and provides professional development for educators from around the United States by partnering them with research scientists who collect data while aboard SOFIA. The program is intended to inspire educators and learners in the STEM disciplines.

Inverness Research conducted the external evaluation of SOFIA’s Cycle 1 Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) program, collecting data that demonstrate the power of the AAA model while highlighting areas for improvement and growth. This evaluation brief summarizes data collected from surveys and interviews with Cycle 1 Ambassadors from March 2012 to July 2014.

Other resources

SOFIA website: www.sofia.usra.edu

Intended Audience

Science Education Media Producers, Museum Educators, Science Educators and Administrators, Reform Leaders and Funders, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.