NASA will be supplying out-of-this-world educational components for the Essence Festival in New Orleans on June 30-July 5.

Stennis Space Center is host of the NASA Week celebration of space exploration, which will include space-related displays, interactive exhibits and tours of one of NASA’s premiere traveling exhibits, as well as an opportunity to meet and talk with astronaut Stephanie Wilson from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, inside the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., New Orleans.

On the second floor of the aquarium, there will be family-friendly hands-on exhibits, included in the price of aquarium admission.

Outside the aquarium, families can tour the Journey to Tomorrow traveling exhibit at no cost. This 53-foot-long trailer exhibit features hands-on activities and digital learning stations. Visitors will be able to explore such topics as the role of NASA spinoff technology in air travel and everyday life, a comparison of science and science fiction, common questions about space travel, gravity, the solar system and Earth. Visitors also will be able to try a lunar lander simulator.

A second location for NASA Week activities is the Morial Convention Center, where there will be displays and information on a variety of space topics. Visitors will be able to learn about NASA’s Journey to Mars, the International Space Station, the economic significance of NASA, Earth science, the solar system and NASA-sponsored educational initiatives. Essence Festival and NASA exhibits and presentations at the convention center are free to the public.

Teachers of science and math in grades four through eight will gather for six free professional development workshops on science, technology, engineering and mathematics July 1-3 at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. NASA education specialists from across the country will provide hands-on activities and materials for the teachers to share with their students. To register for the workshops, visit by June 24.