The JASON Project, a subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, provides experience-based science curriculum, educational technology and accredited professional development to middle schools. JASON’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning and passion in students for science; to change the way science is taught; to have direct and large-scale classroom impact; and to become the content and distribution arm for agencies with a mission of exploration.
With Kauffman Foundation support, the JASON Project brings award-winning 5th through 8th grade supplementary curriculum to middle school students in the Kansas City area. Designed by the world’s leading scientists and educators, the curricula provide rich learning experiences using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach that mirrors the work of real scientists.
Not only are JASON Curricula based on national model standards for science, math, social studies, language arts, and technology; but they are also correlated to each state’s standards for science. JASON was founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert Ballard, who is best know for his 1985 discovery of the RMS Titanic, and who today is JASON’s chief scientist.
Proven to enhance middle-grade student learning, JASON helps students understand scientific content, concepts and technologies in ways that engage them and help them understand science is about doing, not reading.
Kansas City area schools are beginning to use the JASON Project multimedia science curriculum, professional development and a local student science exploration club to involve more students in science-based projects. This program involves students in a different hands-on, thematic scientific project each year. Kauffman support for the JASON Project provides Kansas City teachers with tools and teaching techniques that strengthen science and technology learning among middle-grade students. In doing so, it will assist Kansas City area teachers to meet highly qualified requirements so they are better prepared to help students improve math and science achievement.
School districts using the JASON PROJECT include: all middle schools in Shawnee Mission, Kansas; Hickman Mills, West Platte, Center and Southeast Middle Schools in Kansas City, Missouri; and Holy Cross Catholic School in Overland Park, Kansas.