A display of educational materials from the

David Coria, PhD Candidate

2023 Seed Grant Awardee

Project Description

Las Estrellas y sus Compañeros

The image is an announcement for a funded project titled "Las Estrellas y sus Compañeros" (The Stars and Their Companions). It highlights that the project is focused on developing bilingual activities and resources for NASA's Universe of Learning. The image features logos from NASA SCoPE (Connecting SMEs and SciAct), NASA’s Universe of Learning, Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration, and NASA Partner. It mentions David Ricardo Coria, a PhD candidate from the University of Kansas, as the lead on this project. There are also several educational resource cards shown, labeled with different scenarios like "Women's History Month" and "Binary Code," suggesting a variety of educational materials included in the project. The word "FUNDED" is prominently stamped across the image.

Although Spanish is the most commonly spoken language other than English, scientific outreach events or activities inclusive of Spanish-speakers in Kansas are few and far between. Las Estrellas y sus Compañeros seeks to increase accessibility to astronomy for local Spanish-speaking students and families, particularly within Hispanic communities. Led by a bilingual astronomer partnered with NASA's Universe of Learning (UoL), our team will build on the Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA (GSAWN) guidebook by developing a new exoplanet-themed section with engaging activities and resources teaching the basics of exoplanet discovery and characterization. The project will also provide a professional Spanish translation of GSAWN guidebook to boost the reach of the resource– not just to Spanish-speakers in Kansas, but across the nation and world. This updated “Program Cookbook” will allow Spanish- and English-speaking parents, educators and facilitators alike as they organize astronomy outreach events or utilize the collection of NASA UoL resources. Our goal with this project is to develop new, engaging ways to share mainstream astronomical research and discoveries with the public; help Spanish-speaking students and families explore astronomy in their native language; and reinvigorate the local Hispanic community’s scientific curiosity and renew their interest in the starry night sky.

Target Audience Age


NASA Division

Astro icon


Grant Status

Learning Context

digital learning enabled

Digital Learning

Community enabled

Neighborhood /

Informal and out of school enabled

Informal /
Out of School

home and family enabled

Home / Family

citizen science disabled

Citizen Science

Formal education disabled

Formal Education


Coria Bio

I was drawn to the NASA SCoPE Seed Grant because it offers a way to combine my expertise in astronomy with my passion for science communication and diversity in STEM.

David Coria Las Estrellas PI

David Coria

Las Estrellas y sus Compañeros PI
PhD Candidate
Physics and Astronomy
University of Kansas

David R. Coria is a stellar spectroscopist and exoplaneteer born and raised in Emporia, Kansas. After receiving his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Kansas State University, David began working towards a PhD with Prof. Ian Crossfield at the University of Kansas. His research in the KU ExoLab focuses on measuring dwarf star abundances, both elemental and isotopic, to determine the chemical link between host stars and their companion exoplanets to better understand planet formation/evolution. 

As a first-generation student and queer Hispanic astronomer, David also takes an avid interest in boosting visibility for minority astronomers and in engaging underserved communities. By leading planetarium shows, telescope nights, and other activities, he hopes to renew interest in the night sky and teach the public about the discovery and characterization of other worlds.

SciAct Team

UoL logo

NASA's Universe of Learning Description

The NASA’s Universe of Learning team connects the public to the data, discoveries, and experts that span NASA’s Astrophysics missions. Our team is made up of scientists, engineers, and educators who have direct connections to these missions. We also rely on a nationwide network of informal educators, scientists, and engineers who not only share our resources, but also help us develop them.

Denise Smith Bio

Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA develops resources to empower facilitators to engage and spark the interest of girls and their families in STEM-related fields. In particular, our program is designed to serve underrepresented youth from different population groups. Mr. Cordia’s expertise in the field, personal interests, and convictions will be an essential asset to help us create tailored content for facilitators about this science theme to [better] serve the needs of [the] Latine [community].

Denise Smith, PhD Universe of Learning PI