Three New Space Foundation Websites Powered by Drupal

Space Foundation Education Programs

The Space Foundation Education website went live this week, showcasing one of the Space Foundation's primary areas of focus, education! The site highlights the new Space Discovery Institute and courses and the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy (check out the [grand opening blog post] -link archived-). It features [programs] -link archived-, resources, [grants and scholarships] -link archived- for educators, content for [students] -link archived-, [kids] -link archived-, people finding [jobs] -link archived-, and the community. News and events are also items to watch. Keep watching, as the site is expected to grow and mature indefinitely.

At the time of writing, the Education website has transitioned into phase 2 of 3. Phase 1 included getting the bulk of the site designed, developed, staff trained to edit content, and getting the website published. Phase 2 will give more flavor and color to the website with additional imagery, an events calendar, RSS feeds, search engine efforts, and career bios for students/parents. Phase 3 will incorporate the Teacher Liaison program by allowing them to start the application process online, interact with other teacher liaisons and Space Foundation Education staff through forums, and gain access to potentially hundreds of lesson plans!

The design layout and development were conducted myself to match established branding. The main banner image was designed by Bonnie Sandefur. Education staff added all the "meat on the bones" as they put it very well.

Development was accelerated greatly by using the Drupal content management system and framework. I was surprised at how quick and flexible the development process was! I was able to quickly define types of content, who had access to edit what, install pre-built modules of functionality, and add my own functional pieces efficiently. I was also able to make several last minute changes without complaint, just the way I like it. Everyone else seems to enjoy using the site editing tools as well.

[Strategic Space Symposium] -link archived-

[The Strategic Space Symposium] -link archived- is a great annual event put on by the Space Foundation and this year also by USSTRATCOM targeted towards military and industry. The website project has truly been a team effort! Luciana Mendes lead the design, template creation, and sitemap plan for the site. I developed and manage the infrastructure of the site, also using the Drupal platform. Bonnie submitted graphical elements for the header. USSTRATCOM's graphics team submitted a header used at the top of the site with the logos.

Paul has been designing and prepping graphical communications stemming from the website. That's just the start though. At least 5 people log in regularly to manage different areas of content. Every department at the Space Foundation and even representatives from USSTRATCOM have had a hand in this project. It's been great to see EVERYONE come together and get things done efficiently.

[globalspacesummit] -link archived-

[The Global Space Development Summit] -link archived- is a summit in Washington D.C. where "participants will examine critical developments on issues of space exploration and Earth observations". Space is limited, and by invite only. This was the first Drupal website I designed and produced right after starting at the Space Foundation.

Additional updates continue to made on this site, which transfer over well to other sites and back to this site from others as well. Next websites/updates: Continued updates to The National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation's largest event of the year (and a website also powered by Drupal established before my time here), plus a replacement of the current [Space Certification] -link archived- website.

Posted: 2009-09-27