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The NASA Project

Public relations students from the Cronkite School work closely with NASA to develop strategic communication plans for the space agency.

For four years in a row – from 2004 through 2007, Cronkite PR students — led by Associate Professor Fran Matera - won the Grand Prize in the NASA Means Business national collegiate competition.

The year-long competition is sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Coalition for Space Exploration to promote science, technology, engineering and math education to middle and high school students.

The “ASPIRE” team (Arizona Students Presenting Interesting Research to Everyone) is made up of students from the Cronkite School and the Art Institute of Phoenix. The team’s campaigns and accompanying public service announcements have run on KAET-TV and NASA-TV and have been featured at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Team members travel to Washington, D.C., to present their strategic communications plan and public service announcements to top officials of NASA’s Space Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. They also participate in the annual meeting of the Coalition for Space Exploration.

NASA uses the students’ work in its strategic communication strategies.