NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium Names Nelson as Interim Director

April 15, 2022, 1:44 pm | Valyn Bodensteiner, Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson.AMES, Iowa - The NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium announced today that Sara Nelson will serve as interim director.

Nelson is currently on the leadership team for the ISGC as assistant director for education and outreach and is the state STEM specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She also teaches science and literacy methods courses at the School of Education and is involved in a variety of STEM research projects.

As ISGC interim director, Nelson will oversee the ISGC, a part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The ISGC strives to improve and inspire Iowa’s STEM future. The ISGC supports aerospace research, education and outreach activities for all Iowans with NASA internships, fellowships, and scholarships, competitions for grants within higher education members, as well as informal education grants with outreach affiliates.

In addition, Nelson will oversee the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. This program works to establish partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in Iowa’s research infrastructure, capacity and competitiveness.

Nelson and her team will continue to develop STEM educational materials and STEM experiences in her role as Iowa 4-H STEM specialist and teach classes at the School of Education.

“I look forward to working with a variety of partners to promote and strengthen STEM research and education across the state,” said Nelson. “This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the innovative work being done in Iowa to advance STEM.”

Nelson received her Ph.D. in literacy education and M.Ed. in science education from Iowa State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Luther College.

In addition to her work at Iowa State University, Nelson co-chairs the diversity, equity and inclusion working group for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and is a committee member on the North Central STEM Advisory Board for the Governor’s STEM Council, and the Science and Children Advisory Board of the National Science Teaching Association.  

For more information on the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium, please visit:

Shareable photo: Sara Nelson

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