NASA Education Express Message -- July 17, 2014

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Free Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Solar System and the Periodic Table
Pre-service and in-service, Home School and Informal Educators of grades 3-12

Event Date: July 17, 2014, at 5 p.m. EDT
During this 60-minute webinar, participants will journey from the center to the outer boundaries of our solar system and discover that the periodic table is everywhere!

Space Mathematics Series Part 1: Linking Math and Science
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: July 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT
This webinar is the first in a free two-part webinar series to introduce grades 5-8 educators to NASA education resources designed to help make the critical linkage between mathematics and science in the classroom. Participants will discuss the use of linking science as a vehicle for mathematics instruction. Resources include Common Core Mathematics: expressions, equations, statistics, probability, geometry and functions.

Earth Science Series Part 1: Blue Marble
Audience: Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: July 23, 2014, at 2 p.m. EDT
This webinar is the first in a free two-part webinar series to introduce educators to earth science activities with an emphasis on the geological features of Earth and other planets in our solar system. Participants will be introduced to a game that lets students assume the roles of geologists and planetary scientist to learn about geological processes.

Space Mathematics Series Part 2: Active Math
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: July 23, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT
This webinar is the second in a free two-part webinar series to introduce grades 5-8 educators to NASA education resources designed to help make the critical linkage between mathematics and science in the classroom. Participants will discuss how to use inquiry to reinforce mathematics skills while engaging students with hands on activities. Items covered include Common Core mathematics such as measurement and data, and geometry.

Earth Science Series Part 2: Where Are We?
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12

Event Date: July 24, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT
This webinar is the second in a free two-part webinar series to introduce educators to earth science activities with an emphasis on the geological features of Earth and other planets in our solar system. Participants will learn how to use the game introduced in Part 1 to compare geological features on Earth with features on Mars.

For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Phyllis Alford at


Destination Station: San Diego

Ever wonder what it's like to live and work in space? Find out directly from NASA astronauts at the Destination Station event taking place in San Diego, California, through July 20, 2014

During the event, NASA will share the accomplishments, promise and opportunities for research aboard the International Space Station. Plus, NASA's newest exhibit, Destination Station, will be on hand. This multimedia exhibit showcases what it's like to live aboard the International Space Station. The exhibit will be open to the public through Sept. 2 at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego.

To learn more and to see a schedule of events, visit

Questions about this event should be directed to Megan Sumner at


NASA Call for Proposals -- Innovative Early Stage Technology

NASA is seeking proposals from universities to advance the agency's plans for exploration to deep space and Mars. The Early Stage Innovations NASA Research Announcement calls for innovative space technology proposals that could benefit the space program, other government agencies and the greater aerospace community.

Aligned with NASA's Space Technology Roadmaps and priorities identified by the National Research Council, NASA selected topic areas that lend themselves to pioneering approaches where U.S. universities can help solve tough space technology challenges.

"The sparks to fuel the fire of innovation that will develop the new space technologies of tomorrow reside within American universities," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in the District of Columbia. "These investments benefit government space technology development and our future missions, while also boosting economic growth and competitiveness."

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, or STMD, expects to make approximately 12 awards this fall, with total award amounts of up to $500,000. Research and development efforts will take place over two to three years.

Researchers will investigate transformative space technologies in areas such as advanced thermal protection materials modeling, computational materials, in situ use of asteroid materials, mobile robotic surface probe concepts for planetary exploration, kinetic penetrators for icy planetary moons and advanced technology habitat system designs for continued human exploration of space.

Only accredited U.S. universities may submit proposals under this solicitation. The deadline for submitting final proposals is July 23, 2014. To view the announcement and information for submitting proposals, visit

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. Over the next 18 months, the directorate will make significant new investments to address several high-priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration.

The current topic areas support four of eight key STMD technology thrust areas: advanced life support and resource use, Mars entry descent and landing systems, space robotic systems, and lightweight space structures. Additionally, the technology topics solicited support the effort to send humans to Mars as well as outer planetary investment priorities.

For more information about NASA's investments in space technology, visit

Questions about this announcement should be directed to David Steitz at


Family Day Events at Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian's Family Day event series celebrates the diverse ethnic and cultural communities that have contributed to aviation and space exploration. Events will commemorate historic and current contributions through presentations and activities for the entire family. The events are free and open to the public.

Discover the Moon Day!
July 25, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, District of Columbia
Celebrate Earth's moon! Interact one-on-one with Museum scientists who are active in lunar research, learn about current and past lunar missions and spacecraft, see 3-D images of the moon’s surface and more!

We Share STEM! Connecting Across Cultures
Aug. 2, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia

Learn about the contributions of scientists and engineers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, professions across cultures. Talk to an astronaut, meet pilots and see their helicopters, including a gyroplane, and participate in hands-on activities. Spanish-language activities and story times along with events featuring Latino STEM professionals will also take place.

Questions about this series of events should be directed to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-1000.


Airborne Research Experience for Educators Academy

In support of our nation's commitment to training and retaining 100,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, teachers over the next decade through the 100Kin10 initiative, NASA's Earth Science Project Office and NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center's Office of Education are recruiting up to 24 STEM and language arts teachers to participate in the Airborne Research Experience for Educators Academy, a five-day research experience from July 28 - Aug. 1, 2014, at the Aerospace Education Research Operations Institute in Palmdale, California. Applicants can be formal (traditional classrooms, public or private) or informal (museum, science center, etc.) educators of grades K-12.

Through interactions with NASA's unique content, facilities and personnel, the academy will focus on three education goals through a variety of interfaces, including virtual, in-person and self-directed learning:

1. Engage in NASA's unique, airborne research-based missions.
2. Increase core scientific and research knowledge base.
3. Generate NASA mission-based STEM resources and teaching materials.

Participants will be anchored in a community of scientific practice through an end-to-end airborne experience that will focus on two NASA earth science missions: 

1. Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, an investigation of how tropical storms form and develop into hurricanes.
2. Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment, a study of atmospheric compound concentrations and their impact on the Earth's climate and energy budget.

To increase core scientific knowledge, participants will attend technical seminars from mission scientists and engineers, and observe how NASA conducts cutting-edge aeronautical and airborne science research at the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California and at the center's Building 703, a science and aircraft integration facility in Palmdale, California. Technical content may include subject matter in natural events (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes), climate, remote sensing, atmospheric chemistry and other relevant subjects. 

Further, educators will learn to develop computational and critical thinking skills through an introduction to computer programming using the Arduino microcontroller, and attend pedagogic workshops that focus on engineering design, inquiry-based instruction, and integration of technology and data-focused curricula into the classroom. Experiences will be translated into teaching practice through the use of NASA STEM-based resources, and development of a post-workshop STEM action plan.

This opportunity will remain open until all seats are filled. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and can apply as individuals or as an interdisciplinary team of two to three persons.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Shaun Smith at


Free Webinar Series -- GLOBE and Next Generation Science Standards Alignment

Learn more about the GLOBE Program's Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS, Alignment resources with the following webinars. Each webinar will include discussion on how to integrate and align resources into GLOBE Professional Development workshops.

GLOBE and NGSS Alignment for K-12 Educators -- July 29, 2014 at 2 p.m. EDT
This 45-minute webinar will provide K-12 teachers with an overview of the GLOBE Program's Next Generation Science Standards alignment resources. 

GLOBE and NGSS Alignment for GLOBE Partnerships and Trainers -- July 29, 2014 at 3 p.m. EDT
Find out about The GLOBE Program's NGSS Alignment resources for United States GLOBE partners and trainers. 

Lessons Learned – Developing the Alignment Between the Next Generation Science Standards and GLOBE -- July 29, 2014 at 5 p.m. EDT
Is your organization planning to undergo the process of aligning curriculum materials to Next Generation Science Standards? Listen as members of the GLOBE Program alignment team share lessons learned from the yearlong alignment project.

For more information and to register for the webinars, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed


U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awards

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) has introduced a new Postsecondary Sustainability Award for the 2014-2015 cycle. In addition to a total of five school and district nominees, each state may nominate one postsecondary institution for exemplary achievement in all three of the program’s Pillars: Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs, Improved Health and Wellness, and Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education. For this award, state selection committees are particularly encouraged to document how the nominees’ sustainability work has reduced college costs, increased completion rates, led to employment, and ensured robust civic skills among graduates; and to make an effort to consider diverse types of institutions. Interested colleges and universities should contact their state higher education authorities for information on how to apply in their states.

Like the PK-12 awards, this category is entirely voluntary. Hearing from interested colleges and universities may be helpful to state authorities considering 2014 - 2015 participation. State higher education authorities should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information. They can find updated criteria and other state implementation guidance on our website. All state authorities are encouraged to indicate their intent to nominate in 2015 by Aug. 1, 2014.

Competitions vary by state, but most states will be posting their applications in the fall with deadlines to submit to them in the winter. State authorities’ school, district and postsecondary nominations are due to the Department of Education by Feb. 1, 2015. Interested PK-12 schools and districts should continue to contact their state education agencies about the school and district award applications. Do you have doubts about ED-GRS? Some Frequently Asked Questions on all three award categories are available here.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


"Ask NICE" Workshops in Virginia

The NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, team is going on the road this summer to visit groups of teachers who connected with them for the online sessions offered throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

Onsite "Ask NICE" workshops will be offered during the first week of August to provide NASA Earth Systems Science training for middle and high school teachers. Many NASA resources will be investigated and time will be spent learning how to collect and analyze data. NICE is funded through the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP.

Events are scheduled for: 
-- Aug. 6, 2014 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. EDT at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia
-- Aug. 7, 2014, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. EDT at the Lake Country Distance Education Center in Clarksville, Virginia

Archived recordings of the 2013-2014 online sessions can be found at the bottom of the page at

For more information about the workshops and to register to attend, please contact Bonnie Murray at


Louisiana Tech University Online Course -- Steps to STEM: NASA Education Resources for STEM Engagement

Louisiana Tech University is teaming up with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to offer a 10-week course for educators interested in putting a space-themed twist on learning. The course is designed to be a self-paced, online professional development experience focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, education resources available from NASA. These resources have application methods for use in grades 4-9 classrooms with the goal of advancing high quality STEM education utilizing NASA's unique capabilities.

Applications are due Aug. 30, 2014

For more information and to enroll in the course, visit

Questions about these courses should be directed to Amy McDowell at


REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014 will take place this fall, offering U. S. high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

Zero Robotics challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code from a Web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists will be selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station.

Registration for the competition closes on Sept. 5, 2014. The competition begins with a live webcast kickoff event from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sept. 6, 2014. 

For more information about the tournament and to register your team to participate, visit

Zero Robotics is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and TopCoder, and is sponsored by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


2015 ICESat-2 Mission Hexacopter Engineering Challenge

The Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, mission will host the 2015 ICESat-2 Mission Hexacopter Engineering Challenge at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on April 17, 2015. This challenge will task teams of students with measuring the height of Earth around us, from tree canopies to bodies of water. This challenge will be the first of its kind in a yearly series of ICESat-2 engineering challenge events.

Student teams will be selected to participate in this challenge through a proposal and selection process. Participating teams will design and build hexacopter multirotors that can create a digital elevation model of a specific area within a predetermined amount of time. Students will also submit technical and educational reports describing in detail their efforts throughout the competition process.

This challenge is open to undergraduate college students from accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Teams may consist of one to five students and a university mentor/instructor. Due to the nature of the challenge, multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Applications are due Sept. 12, 2014.

For more information about the 2015 ICESat-2 Mission Hexacopter Engineering Challenge, visit

Questions about this challenge should be directed to hexacopter challenge coordinator Brian Campbell at


Call for Papers -- The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development

The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, or NASM, and NASA's History Program Office invite proposals for papers to a special symposium commemorating a century of aerospace research and development. On March 3, 1915, the U.S. Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA, “to separate the real from the imagined and make known the overlooked and unexpected” in the quest for flight. In honor of that centennial, NASA and NASM will team to present a symposium on the history of the NACA. This historical symposium will be held in Washington, District of Columbia, on March 3-4, 2015.

All are invited to submit proposals. Major themes to be addressed in the symposium include:

-- The NACA organizational and institutional structure and evolution.
-- The NACA model of public/private partnerships in aerospace research.
-- The NACA's contributions to aerospace theory, ground research and flight operations.
             -- Individual projects.
             -- Broad themes in the history of the agency.
             -- Research projects versus other structural attributes.
-- The social, economic and/or political history of the NACA.
-- The NACA culture and its evolution.
-- The relationship of the NACA to other entities, both private and public.
-- Innovation in aerospace research.
-- Models of partnership.

Possible topics are not restricted to these major themes. All papers are envisioned as scholarly contributions exploring broad thematic issues and questions.

Contributions from international scholars and graduate students with an interest in this history are welcome.

Some travel support scholarships may be available for international scholars and graduate students. Please indicate your interest in a need statement included with your paper proposal. 

We intend that a subset of the papers will merit publication. 

Proposals for papers should include a title and an abstract, as well as the author's curriculum vita, and travel support need statement (as appropriate). Please send all proposals, in the form of a 300-word abstract and a brief vita electronically to Dr. William P. Barry, NASA chief historian,, and Dr. Roger D. Launius, associate director for Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the National Air and Space Museum, launiusr@si.eduThe deadline for abstract submissions is Sept. 15, 2014.

Decisions about acceptance and support will be made by Nov. 1, 2014.

For more additional information about the Call for Papers, visit


MAVEN Workshop -- Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission is set to arrive at Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Celebrate the arrival with the MAVEN education team at this one-day workshop about the mission and the accompanying elementary program, Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! The program features six standards-based lessons that combine science, literacy and art to help students understand planetary habitability and the MAVEN mission. 

The workshop will include dinner and lectures by MAVEN scientists. Following the workshop, participants will watch the NASA TV broadcast of the MAVEN spacecraft's arrival at Mars. 

The workshop will take place on Sept. 21, 2014, in Boulder, Colorado. Registration is $20 and includes coffee, snacks and dinner. Applications are due Sept. 15, 2014, but space is limited so interested educators are encouraged to apply early.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


Second Annual Astrobiology Symposium at the Library of Congress

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in the District of Columbia, in cooperation with the NASA Astrobiology Program, is hosting the second annual Astrobiology Symposium on Sept. 18-19, 2014.

“Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Impact of Finding Microbial, Complex or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth,” is a two-day symposium featuring panel discussions, lectures and audience question-and-answer sessions. Panel members include professors, scientists, philosophers and astronomers representing various universities and organizations including NASA, the SETI Institute and the Library of Congress.

The event is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required.

For more information, visit

Questions about the symposium should be directed to Jason Steinhauer at


Celebrate World Space Week 2014

Imagine an entire week of space-themed activities to enhance learning. Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2014.

World Space Week is the largest public space event in the world, with over 1,400 events in more than 80 countries held during the week of Oct. 4-10.

In 2014, World Space Week encourages the use global navigation satellite systems space-themed activities.

To learn more about World Space Week, find educational materials, and register your event, visit


2014 Humans in Space Art Video Challenge

The Humans in Space Art Program and NASA's International Space Station Program have teamed up to launch the international Humans in Space Art Challenge. How will humans use space science and technology to benefit humanity? College students and early career professionals are invited to ponder this question and to express an answer creatively in a video less than three minutes long. Video artwork can be of any style, featuring original animation, sketches, music, live action drama, poetry, dance, Rube Goldberg machines, apps, etc. Younger students may also participate, but all artwork will be judged in one age category.

Individuals or teams of participants should include one clear reference to the International Space Station in their videos and may use space station footage if desired.

An interdisciplinary team of space representatives and art experts will evaluate the videos. NASA and the Humans in Space Art program will make the highest scoring artwork visible worldwide through online and local touring events. NASA will also take the winning video on a trip into orbit on the International Space Station and provide montages with flown patches for winners.

Submissions must be received by Nov. 15, 2014.

For additional information and a complete list of guidelines, visit

Inquiries about this opportunity should be directed to

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