Readiness Institute at Penn State’s Hope Moonshot Is Inspiring the Global Community

The Readiness Institute (RI) at Penn State, in collaboration with Global Moonshots in Education and Astrobotic, is inspiring hope through a generational mission called Hope Moonshot designed to give people around the world a chance to share their aspirations for a bright future.

The collaboration established for this project illustrates that hope is not an isolated expectation, but a global desire that emphasizes the importance of working together—not in silos—for community and future readiness.

If our hopes can make it to the moon, then our hopes can become true on Earth.

Students, educators, and members of the global community are invited to submit messages of hope that will be included aboard a mission to the moon in the second half of 2021. The hopes will be saved on an SD card and will be placed in a storage capsule that will be sent to the moon’s surface. Participants have an opportunity to receive mission updates, images, and to attend a virtual launch party. To date, more than 30 countries have participated, and thousands of hope messages have been submitted.

Lesson plans are available to assist educators including an information outline, video, and discussion prompts, as well as a brief presentation deck. The Hope Moonshot project is a powerful tool available to educators that can inspire a hopeful mindset for students. Teachers that have participated in the project said their students are putting a lot of thought and effort into their hope submissions. As for the teachers, they said planning strategies to help their students reach for their hopes has been an inspiration for them. One school district in Indiana, Pennsylvania hosted a district-wide #HopeMoonshot day where students watched a video throughout the district and submitted hopes.

Why send messages of hope?  The answer is simple for Hope Moonshot organizers.  

“Our mission at Global Moonshots in Education is to enable every person to reach their fullest potential. The RI at Penn State Hope Moonshot is the canvas for students to contemplate what reaching their fullest potential means to them, to their community, and to the world,” Esther Wojcicki said. “I am excited about this opportunity and think it will help many people in this difficult time we are facing.”

Dan Hendrickson, vice president of business development for Astrobotic, said Astrobotic’s goal for the mission and in general is to make space accessible to all.

“From nations with new lunar ambitions to the general public who is now able to send a slice of Earth to the lunar surface, we’re truly embarking on a ‘space for all’ model,” Hendrickson said. “The RI at Penn State Hope Moonshot initiative is a natural fit for joining Peregrine Mission One to the moon.”

Overall, the Hope Moonshot project is an opportunity for participants to look into the night sky and be reminded of their hopes, and how they can contribute to the greater good of their communities and the world.

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Justin Aglio

Dr. Justin Aglio is the founding senior director for the Readiness Institute at Penn State. In addition to his duties at Penn State, he is a visiting LearnLab fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Getting Smart columnist, and a member of the Remake Learning network.

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