NASA Education Express Message -- Nov. 6, 2014

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions and museums to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and other special items offered on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last. Organizations previously allocated thermal protective tiles may request an additional three tiles.

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


Free Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series

Curious about icy bodies in the outer reaches of our solar system, the effects of space junk on deep-space observation, the latest discoveries about the origins of the universe and new ways galaxy formation is mapped? Come to the Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series presented by Smithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. These speakers will share behind-the-scenes details about how their research is done and about technologies that advance new discoveries. The lectures will be held at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST and is followed by a Q&A session. Stay after the lecture to visit the museum's observatory, weather permitting.

Nov. 8, 2014 -- Far Out! A Tour of the Icy Bodies of the Outer Solar System
Discover the diverse and curious population of icy bodies that inhabit the outer solar system. Postdoctoral fellow Emily Martin will lead participants on a journey starting at the moons of Jupiter and cruising through the moons of Saturn, Neptune and Uranus, and then stopping at Pluto.

Dec. 6, 2014 -- Rubble Trouble: How Space Junk Impacts Astronomy
The incredible information and images gathered using space telescopes have revolutionized what we know about the cosmos. Could space junk hinder future findings? Research associate Lisa Rand will discuss this question and the impact space junk has on astronomy.

Jan. 24, 2015 -- Observing the Origin of the Universe From the South Pole
After three years of observing from the South Pole, scientists may have found confirmation that the universe underwent a burst of inflationary growth at the time of the Big Bang. Cosmologist Colin Bischoff will discuss these findings as well as the excitement of astronomy from Antarctica.

Feb. 21, 2015 -- Tracing the Structure of the Universe With Galaxy Surveys
Studies of galaxy formation and cosmology have exploded in recent years due to the immense data obtained from large galaxy surveys. Postdoctoral fellow Cameron McBride will discuss how observational data and theory are combined to better understand fundamental questions in our universe, and will highlight some exciting results from ongoing research.

For more information about the Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series, visit

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-2214.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: OSSI NIFS -- Spring 2015 Opportunities

NASA's One Stop Shopping Initiative for Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships, or OSSI NIFS, strives to provide high school students and undergraduate and graduate students at all institutions of higher education access to a portfolio of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered by NASA mission directorates and centers.

Visit the Office of Education Infrastructure Division LaunchPad to find information on internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities. The site features the OSSI NIFS online application for recruiting NASA interns, fellows and scholars. This innovative system allows students to search and apply for all types of higher education NASA internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in one location. A single application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.

The deadline for spring 2015 opportunity applications has been extended to Nov. 9, 2014.

To find available opportunities and to fill out an online application, visit

Inquiries about OSSI NIFS should be submitted via


Museum Alliance Webcast: Orion's First Flight Event Planning Share-a-thon

Join hundreds of museums, science centers, planetariums, Challenger Centers and schools around the nation and host an Orion First Flight Event at your institution. The Museum Alliance is hosting a webcast on Nov. 10, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST to allow institutions hosting events to call in and share their event plans and ideas. NASA′s Robin Hart-Prouse and Patricia Moore will provide updates and answer questions regarding Orion resources and launch details.

For organizations that have not signed up to host an Orion First Flight viewing event and receive a limited-edition, industry-sponsored Launch Experience Kit, this event represents an opportunity to learn unique ways to host an event. 

Questions for Hart-Prouse and Moore may be submitted before and during the event to the following email address:

To view the webcast, visit

To learn more about planning an Orion Launch Celebration event, visit

Additional Orion resources may be found at and


Free Education Webinars 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.

EarthKAM: Teaching Students How to Take Pictures of Earth
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8

Event Date: Nov. 11, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Participants will examine the Sally Ride EarthKAM program and learn how students can capture images of Earth from the International Space Station using NASA's EarthKAM camera.

Launch America: Human Space Exploration Beyond Boundaries
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: Nov. 12, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
Participants will explore how to launch students' interest and excitement in forces, motion and energy by learning about exciting lessons that feature designing, building and launching simple rockets while recording, analyzing and graphing data.

MAVEN: Red Planet -- Read, Write, Explore!
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 3-5

Event Date: Nov. 13, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. EST
Participants will learn about the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission to study the atmosphere of Mars and will receive a set of educational activities called Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! The resources include six standards-based science lessons incorporating reading, writing and art activities for grades 3-5.

NASA's New Horizon's Mission: Pluto up Close and Personal
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8

Event Date: Nov. 19, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
Participants will explore the mystery of Pluto and will learn exciting ways to bring the fascination of Pluto into the classroom while also integrating the Next Generation Science Standards into curriculum.

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

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Clarence Jones at


2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA's Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS, 2014 NASA Research Announcement for the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, Institutional Research Opportunity, or MIRO appendix. This effort was previously titled as the NASA University Research Centers Project, and has now been consolidated into the MUREP Program within the NASA Office of Education.

Through the EONS omnibus solicitation, the opportunity MIRO has been released. Through MIRO awards, NASA aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability of minority serving institutions to perform NASA-related research and education, which directly support NASA's four mission directorates -- Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Space Operations, Science, and Space Technology. 

Proposals are due Nov. 12, 2014.

For more information regarding the MIRO solicitation, please visit the NASA EONS page on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Proposal System, or NSPIRES, website at: .


National Institutes of Health Seeking Applications for Serious STEM Games for Pre-College and Informal Science Education Audiences

The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, is seeking applications for funding awards to develop serious science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, games with a focus on biology that address health and medicine questions for pre-kindergarten to 12th grade students, pre- and in-service educators or informal education audiences.

Serious games are defined as the use of gaming technology to train, educate and encourage behavioral changes in a virtual world format where progressive learning, feedback on success and user control are combined into an interactive and engaging experience.

Two types of grants are available. Awards will be made via Small Business Innovation Research grants and Small Business Technology Transfer grants. Only United States small business concerns, or SBCs, are eligible to submit applications for this opportunity. An SBC is one that, at the time of award of Phase I and Phase II, meets specific requirements. For full details, visit the opportunity website. 

The first deadline for applications is Nov. 12, 2014.

For more information regarding these grant opportunities, please visit Questions should be directed to


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

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission began orbiting Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. MAVEN will explore the planet′s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the solar wind. The mission will provide invaluable insights into the history of Mars′ atmosphere and climate, liquid water and planetary habitability.

Join the MAVEN education team for a one-day workshop on the MAVEN mission, and the accompanying elementary program, Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! This 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 introduce participants to these lessons and concepts. The workshop will also have a session devoted to Spanish speaking English Language Learner and English as a Second Language students. Attendees will receive free classroom materials.

The workshop will take place on Nov. 15, 2014, in Queens, New York. Registration is $15 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Applications are due Nov. 12, 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


Free "What's New in Aerospace?" Lecture Series at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Curious about recent research, developments and discoveries related to space? Come to the Smithsonian's "What's New in Aerospace?" lecture series presented in collaboration with NASA. The lectures will be held at the Moving Beyond Earth exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Each hourlong lecture begins at 1 p.m. EST and will be streamed live online. 

Nov. 13, 2014 -- Countdown to Launch
How does NASA pick the right rocket for the right job? Sending anything into space, from NASA's exciting small research satellites to their spacecraft missions, takes a lot of careful planning and execution. Representatives from NASA's Launch Services will discuss the mission flow up to launch. 

For more information about the "What's New in Aerospace?" lecture series and to watch the live webcast events, visit

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-2214.


2015 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships

NASA is seeking applications from U.S. graduate students for the agency's Space Technology Research Fellowships. The research grants, worth as much as $74,000 per year, will coincide with the start of the 2015 fall academic term.

Applications will be accepted from students pursuing or planning to pursue master's or doctorate degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. The grants will sponsor U.S. graduate student researchers who show significant potential to contribute to NASA's strategic space technology objectives through their studies. To date, NASA has awarded grants to 247 student researchers from 79 universities located in 35 states and one U.S. territory.

Sponsored by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, the fellowships are improving America's technological competitiveness by providing the nation with a pipeline of innovative space technologies.

The deadline for submitting applications is Nov. 13, 2014.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


National Science Foundation's East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship Program

The National Science Foundation, or NSF, is accepting applications for its East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes, or EAPSI, Fellowship Program. This program provides U.S. graduate students in science and engineering with an opportunity to spend eight weeks (10 weeks for Japan) during the summer conducting research at one of seven host locations in East Asia and the Pacific. Host locations are Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. The program is a collaboration between NSF and counterpart agencies in each host location.

EAPSI is open to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are enrolled in a research-oriented master's or doctoral program in science or engineering. Applicants must propose a research project in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field supported by NSF. Applicants identify and contact host researchers on their own prior to submitting their EAPSI proposals. Lists of prospective host institutions are available at the opportunity website.

NSF provides EAPSI Fellows with a $5,000 stipend and roundtrip airplane ticket to the host location. The program's foreign counterparts provide in-country living expenses and accommodations (arrangements vary by host location). 

The application submission deadline for summer 2015 is Nov. 13, 2014.

For additional information about the program, including location-specific handbooks, a How to Apply guide and helpful tips for applicants, visit

Questions about this fellowship opportunity should be directed to


2015 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity

NASA is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near-space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard the High-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility's remote site in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium. The Science Missions Directorate Astrophysics division manages the NASA scientific balloon program; Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia oversees Balloon Flight Operations.

A question-and-answer teleconference will take place on Nov. 14, 2014, at 11 a.m. EST. Groups who have previously flown experiments on HASP, as well as new organizations, are encouraged to attend. To participate, dial in to 1-866-717-2684 a few minutes prior to conference time. When requested, enter the conference ID number 6879021 followed by the # key.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 19, 2014.

For application information and technical details about the program, visit

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platform opportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik at


Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 8 to the International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announce an authentic science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest flight opportunity, Mission 8 to the International Space Station, or ISS, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low-Earth orbit on the ISS. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a real microgravity research minilaboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment and all launch services to fly the minilab to the space station in fall 2015 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community -- engaging typically 300+ students -- allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community′s reserved minilab. Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional SSEP programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a learning community model for STEM education.

This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations are also encouraged to participate. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than Nov. 15, 2014. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 8 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at

SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a national laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space ( is a national partner on SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at


Virginia Space Grant Consortium's STEM Takes Flight Program

Virginia’s community college students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, also known as STEM, fields have access to new scholarships, research experiences, internships and courses thanks to a two-year NASA grant to the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Community College faculty in STEM fields will have access to professional development at NASA. 

The Consortium′s new program, STEM Takes Flight at Virginia′s Community Colleges, provides $5,000 mentored scholarships, paid industry internships, NASA research experiences and new courses to foster STEM career awareness and workplace skills. The goal is community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation with an associate′s degree or transfer to a four-year institution. 

Application deadlines are as early as Nov. 17, 2014.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about this program to


NASA's ESTEEM "Ask US" Online Professional Development Series

NASA's Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, is sponsoring a series of Google Plus Hangout professional development events for K-12 educators. The Earth Systems, Technology and Energy Education for MUREP, or ESTEEM, team will lead the monthly sessions that will cover a variety of climate topics. This month's webinar topic is:

Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in the Southeast U.S. -- Nov. 20, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST
The National Climate Assessment, released in May of 2014, summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, touching on many disciplines: earth science, biology, human health, engineering, technology, economics and policy. Explore the document with Dr. Fred Lipschultz from the United States Global Change Research Project, and then learn about educator resources that will enable you to bring this topic into classroom lessons, engage students in data collection and analysis, and share visualizations and citizen science projects. The focus this month will be on the Southeast and Caribbean region. Watch for additional regions of the U.S. to be featured in upcoming “Ask US” sessions.

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request. 

For more information on this event and upcoming webinar sessions, visit Questions about this series should be sent to Bonnie Murray at


Museum Alliance Webcast: Beyond Earth Orbit With the Orion Spacecraft

The Orion team invites home school families, museums and schools to participate in an interactive webcast featuring Lockheed Martin engineer Joe LeBlanc. In this interactive webcast on Nov. 20, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST, LeBlanc will broadcast live from the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. He will share NASA′s efforts in deep space exploration and the importance of Orion′s first flight.

You may view the webcast as an individual at your personal computer or set up audio visual equipment in your museum or school for a large group to participate.

LeBlanc will take questions from a live audience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as from webcast viewers nationwide. Questions may be submitted before or during the event to

To view the webcast, visit

To learn more about the upcoming Orion mission and to learn how you can plan an event to celebrate the launch, visit

Additional Orion resources may be found at and


Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program Accepting Applications for 2015-2016 Fellowship Year

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, or AEF, Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a federal agency or U.S. congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to STEM education program and/or education policy efforts. Program applications are due Nov. 20, 2014, and must be submitted through an online application system. 

To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed full time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district, and must have been teaching full time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline. 

Federal sponsors have included NASA, the Department of Energy, or DOE, the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The DOE sponsors up to four placements in U.S. congressional offices. 

The AEF Program is managed by the DOE Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, in collaboration with the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

Information about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program, including eligibility requirements, program benefits, application requirements and access to the online application system can be found at

Inquiries about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program should be directed to


NASA's Balance Mass Challenge: Using "Dead Weight" on Mars Spacecraft to Advance Science and Technology

The Mars Balance Mass Challenge seeks design ideas for science and technology payloads that could potentially provide dual purpose as ejectable balance masses on spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere.

The payloads may serve two roles: perform scientific and/or technology functions that help us learn more about the Red Planet, and provide the necessary mass to balance planetary landers.

Submissions are due Nov. 21, 2014. All potential solvers submitting ideas must be 18 years of age or older. A winner will be announced in mid-January 2015 and receive an award of $20,000.

For more information about the challenge, visit

The Mars Balance Mass Challenge is managed by NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, or CoECI. CoECI was established in coordination with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to advance NASA's open innovation efforts and extend that expertise to other federal agencies. The challenges are being released on the NASA Innovation Pavilion, one of the CoECI platforms available to NASA team members, through its contract with InnoCentive Inc. Also please visit the new NASA Solve website to watch a video on the Mars Balance Mass challenge and to learn more about all NASA challenge and prize-based activities.

Questions about the contest series should be directed to NASA′s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation at


NASA CubeSat Space Missions

NASA has opened the next round of its CubeSat Launch Initiative, part of the White House Maker Initiative, in an effort to engage the growing community of space enthusiasts that can contribute to NASA's space exploration goals.

The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on flight hardware development experience in the process of designing, building and operating small research satellites. It also provides a low-cost pathway to space for research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations consistent with NASA's Strategic Plan.

Applicants must submit their proposals electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST, Nov. 25, 2014. NASA will select the payloads by Feb. 6, 2015, but selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. Selected experiments are slated to be flown as auxiliary payloads on agency rocket launches or to be deployed from the International Space Station beginning in 2015 and running through 2018. NASA does not provide funding for the development of the small satellites, and this opportunity is open only to U.S. nonprofit organizations and accredited educational organizations.

One goal of the CubeSat Launch Initiative is to extend the successes of space exploration to all 50 states by launching a small satellite from at least one participant in each state in the next five years. During this round, NASA is particularly focused on gaining participation in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 21 states not previously selected for the CubeSat Launch Initiative. These states are: Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

CubeSats are in a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The base CubeSat dimensions are about 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches (10 centimeters by 10 centimeters by 11 centimeters), which equals one "cube," or 1U. CubeSats supported by this launch effort include volumes of 1U, 2U, 3U and 6U. CubeSats of 1U, 2U and 3U size typically have a mass of about three pounds (1.33 kilograms) per 1U Cube. A 6U CubeSat typically has a mass of about 26.5 pounds (12 kilograms). The CubeSat's final mass depends on which deployment method is selected.

To date, NASA has selected 114 CubeSats from 29 states, 17 of which have already been launched. Nine more CubeSats are scheduled to go into space in the next 12 months.

For additional information about NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Jason Crusan 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 Nov. 30, 2014

For more information and to enroll in the course, visit

Requests for a course syllabus and additional course information, and questions about the course should be directed to Amy McDowell at


DEADLINE EXTENDED: 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.

The deadline for submissions has been extended. All submissions must be received by Nov. 30, 2014.

For additional information and a complete list of guidelines, visit

Inquiries about this opportunity should be directed to


Beautiful Earth Program Presents: Bella Gaia, a Multimedia Performance

NASA's Beautiful Earth Program invites educators and students to take part in a musical and visual tour of Earth from space on Dec. 1, 2014, at 1 p.m. EST. During this one-hour event, composer and musician Kenji Williams will perform Bella Gaia, a multimedia experience that incorporates music and NASA imagery. Following the performance, scientist Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum from NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission will lead a discussion on extreme weather science. During the discussion, students and teachers from across the country are invited to ask questions on the theme of extreme weather. (There are only six slots available for schools to interact live.) 

Other participants can view and interact with the program via webcast. 

For more information and to register to attend, visit

Questions about this event should be directed to


Host a Real-Time Conversation With Crew Members Aboard the International Space Station

ARISS-US is now accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, science centers and community youth organizations to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact between May 1 - Dec. 31, 2015. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Proposals are due Dec. 15, 2014.

Using amateur radio, students can ask astronauts questions about life in space and other space-related topics. Students fully engage in the ARISS contact by helping set up an amateur radio ground station at the school and then using that station to talk directly with a crew member on the International Space Station for approximately 10 minutes. ARISS provides experienced mentors and relies on local amateur radio volunteers to help organizations obtain the technology required to host this once in a lifetime opportunity for students.

Interested parties should visit to obtain complete information including how the technology works, what is expected of the host organization and how to submit the proposal form.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to


Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space: Design a Space Tool Challenge

NASA, in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, has issued a series of Future Engineers 3-D Space Challenges for students focused on solving real-world space exploration problems. Students will become the creators and innovators of tomorrow by using 3-D modeling software to submit their designs. Multiple prizes are available, but the grand prize winner will have the opportunity for his or her design to be printed on the first 3-D printer aboard the International Space Station while watching from NASA′s Payload Operations Center with the mission control team.

The Design a Space Tool Challenge is the first in series of challenges where students in grades K-12 will create and submit a digital 3-D model of a tool that they think astronauts might need in space. Future Engineers is a multiyear education initiative that consists of 3-D space challenges and curriculum videos on the site that parents and educators can use to get kids designing today. 

Entries must be submitted by Dec. 15, 2014.

For more information about the challenge and to watch an introductory video from astronaut Doug Wheelock, visit

If you have any questions about the Design a Space Tool Challenge, please email


National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Graduate Education Program in Space Life Sciences

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, seeks solutions to health concerns facing astronauts on long missions. The institute′s research also benefits patients on Earth. This NSBRI-sponsored training program in space life sciences enables students to pursue doctorate degrees at Texas A&M University and to focus their research on space life sciences and fields related to the space initiative. Texas A&M currently is recruiting participants for fall 2015. Students will pursue degrees in biomedical engineering, genetics, kinesiology, health physics or nutrition, or an M.D./Ph.D. or a Ph.D. in medical sciences.

Application packages are due Feb. 17, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Stella Taddeo at


NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015

The Sixth Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition will be held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center May 18-22, 2015. NASA's Robotic Mining Competition is for university-level students, enrolled in a U.S. college or university. Teams are challenged to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a collector bin within 10 minutes. There is particular relevance to NASA's recently announced mission to find an asteroid by 2016 and then bring it to cislunar space. NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative excavation concepts from universities, which may result in ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual excavation device or payload.

The winning team will receive the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence trophy, KSC launch invitations, team certificates for each member and a monetary team scholarship. Awards for other categories include monetary team scholarships, a school trophy or plaque, team and individual certificates, and KSC launch invitations.

Design teams must include at least one college or university faculty member and at least two undergraduate or graduate students. NASA has not set an upper limit on team members. A team should have a sufficient number of members to successfully operate their mining robot. Teams will compete in up to five major competition categories, including onsite mining, systems engineering paper, outreach project, slide presentation and demonstration (optional) and team spirit (optional).

Registration opened on Sept. 3, 2014, and is limited to 50 teams.

For more information, visit

Follow the NASA Robotic Mining Competition on Twitter at

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Bethanné Hull at

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