Jim Christensen  

Chief Innovation Officer, Aldrin Family Foundation

Jim Christensen serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Aldrin Family Foundation. Previously, Jim served as Director of Education at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where he led a team to design the new Astronaut Training Experience and Mars Base 1, an immersive experience of preparing for spaceflight and living and working on Mars. He worked as part of the “Teaching from Space” program at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he coordinated the first Spaceflight Education Opportunity – a video conference between the crew of the International Space Station and students in classrooms. He has advised students and teachers on multiple experiments that have flown in microgravity aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft, the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the International Space Station and the SpaceX Dragon.

Jim taught at the middle school level for 18 years and was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science in 1995. He developed the Mars Base Project and AstroVIP programs that used video conferencing to connect students and experts to discuss space flight and Mars exploration. To improve the level of science teaching for elementary and middle school students, Jim established a science materials center that partnered schools across a region to provide hands-on science kits for classrooms and training for teachers.