The Hubble Space Telescope’s Early Release Observations (EROs) were revealed to the public on September 9, 2009, marking a new beginning for the Hubble mission. K-12 students and educators in five states were invited to join the celebration by participating in the Hubble Space Telescope Student ERO Pilot Project. This formal/informal collaborative project was created to promote enthusiasm for space exploration, introduce students to the latest Hubble images after Servicing Mission 4, and help build connections between various educational institutions.

During the project, students explored and researched Hubble’s four ERO objects. They then selected one of the four EROs and created compositions that communicated their research findings. Their compositions took various forms, depending on the grade-level of the students. In recognition of their participation, the students’ work was displayed at an area host institution (museum, science center, school, planetarium, or library) during a special public event for participating students, their families, and their teachers. In addition, select student projects were chosen for display at STScI. The Hubble Space Telescope Student ERO Pilot Project served over 2,000 students and educators. Lessons learned from this pilot were applied to the JWST STEM Innovation Project.