SpaceRef

SpaceRef


NASA Education Express Message -- April 2, 2015

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2015

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 http://gsaxcess.gov/htm/nasa/userguide/Special_Item_Request_Procedure.pdf.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate. Simply click on the provided link to register.

Dawn at Ceres: Exploring Dwarf Planets in Your Classroom
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: April 2, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT
On March 6, 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft became the first to orbit a dwarf planet. Dawn is currently orbiting and studying Ceres. This webinar will explore the Dawn mission, what has been learned so far and NASA education resources that can be integrated into your curriculum.
https://www.etouches.com/121989

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

Event Date: April 6, 2015, at 6 p.m. EDT
Participants will get an overview of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission currently studying Mars and activities in the "Red Planet -- Read, Write, Explore" educator guide. This guide contains six activities focused on language arts, science and art. Discussion will include classroom modifications.
https://www.etouches.com/122001

MY NASA DATA and Project S'COOL
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-8

Event Date: April 7, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT
Participants will explore real-world data that NASA collects about Earth and experience how students can use scientific inquiry and mathematics skills as they access and display microsets of the Earth system.
https://www.etouches.com/122006

Mass Versus Weight: A Heavy Duty Concept
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: April 9, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT
Mass and weight have different meanings and are often used incorrectly. Explore mass and weight using NASA curriculum that integrates education video filmed by astronauts aboard the space station. NASA online resources, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics inquiry activities will also be also be explored.
https://www.etouches.com/122570

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Steve Culivan at Stephen.p.culivan@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Earth Observatory's Tournament Earth 2015

Thirty-two of the best Earth Observatory images will compete in Tournament Earth 3.0, but only one can be the winner! From March 2 through April 3, 2015, visitors to NASA's Earth Observatory website can vote for their favorite images from 2014, whittling them down each week in a tournament of remote-sensing science. The competition is divided into four categories: data, art, event and photograph. 

Voting takes place online, and a printable bracket is available to let you pick your favorites and track your selections as the competition progresses.

To get started, visit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/TournamentEarth/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Kevin Ward at kevin.a.ward@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scholarships Available for 2015 U.S. Space & Rocket Center® STEMcon Professional Development Sessions
 


The U.S. Space & Rocket Center® is offering scholarships to educators from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center's five-state region to attend a four-day professional development session featuring NASA-focused STEM content and resources.

This is a terrific opportunity to learn new ways to bring science to life both inside and outside the classroom. STEMcon provides 32 hours of intensive classroom, laboratory and training time. During the program, educators participate in astronaut-style training and simulations, along with activities designed to promote lifelong learning. All lessons and activities are correlated to Next Generation Science Standards and other national standards and are ready to use in various educational settings.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the NASA Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums. The scholarship includes tuition, meals, lodging, lesson materials and a stipend to help offset travel expenses.

STEMcon sessions will take place June 4-7, 2015, (arrive June 3; depart June 7) and July 9-12, 2015, (arrive July 8; depart July 12).

STEMcon applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on April 3, 2015.

To be considered for a 2015 STEMcon scholarship, educators must meet the following requirements:

1. Must be ONE of the following:

-- a certified current or practicing educator who is teaching science, mathematics or technology to students ages 10-14 and will continue to teach these subject areas through 2016, OR
-- an informal current or practicing educator who is teaching science, mathematics or technology to students ages 10-14 and will continue to teach these subject areas through 2016, OR
-- a preservice educator who will be teaching science, mathematics or technology to students ages 10-14 and will continue to teach these subject areas through 2016.

2. Have not previously attended a Space Academy for Educators program.

3. Must live in the five-state Marshall Space Flight Center service area: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri and Tennessee.

For more information and to access the online application, visit https://spacecamp.fluidreview.com/


If you have questions about the 2015 STEMcon opportunity, please email your inquiries to education@spacecamp.com.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Free "Hubble Space Telescope 25th Celebration" Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is celebrating 25 years of the Hubble Space Telescope with a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about the Hubble Space Telescope mission, and discover activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring the Hubble Space Telescope and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, into your classroom. 

Registration is required for these webinars. Simply go to https://www.etouches.com/121324 and register.

Through the Eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8

Event Date: April 8, 2015, at 4 and 7 p.m. EDT
What’s the view like from the "eyes" of the Hubble Space Telescope? Become an astronomer by analyzing images captured by Hubble. Explore the different types of telescopes and how they observe our universe. Also, in this interactive webinar, discover NASA STEM resources and learn how to build a make-and-take telescope with your students.

Hubble Math
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-12

Event Date: April 13, 2015, at 6 p.m. EDT
Participants will get an overview of resources for teaching mathematics using the Hubble Space Telescope. Discussion will include classroom modifications.

Hubble Deep Field
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: April 20, 2015, at 4 and 7 p.m. EDT
The Hubble Deep Field represents a narrow view of the universe, covering a speck of sky. Essentially a narrow, deep "core sample" of sky, the field is similar to a geologic core sample of the Earth's crust. Just as a core sample represents a history of the evolution of the Earth's surface, the Hubble Deep Field image contains information about the universe at different stages in time. Discover what the images from Hubble are telling us about the universe. Also in this interactive webinar, discover NASA STEM resources to understand the vast size of our universe. 

Hubble, Sofia and Your Cosmic Connection to the Universe
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 9-12

Event Date: April 21, 2015, at 4 and 7 p.m. EDT
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Hubble has revisited the famous Pillars of Creation, providing astronomers images in near-infrared light. NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory and features a far-infrared telescope. Together, these observatories help us learn more about the structure and formation of our universe. Come experience a "Universe Trail Mix" activity that demonstrates the role of the Big Bang Theory, fusion in stars and supernovae creating all of the elements on the periodic table.

NASA Space Telescopes -- Past, Present and Future of STEM Exploration
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: April 23, 2015, at 6 p.m. EDT
Explore the history of NASA space telescopes that expand our understanding of the solar system and the universe beyond. The Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope will be the focus. NASA STEM curriculum, online resources, careers and the Next Generation Science Standards will be integrated in the "out of this world" webinar.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Brandon Hargis. brandon.m.hargis@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Free Educator Workshop -- NASA Is With You When You Fly: Winging It

The Educator Resource Center at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, is presenting a free educator workshop on April 8, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. PDT

As they study some of the basic concepts of flight, participants will learn about motions and forces, transfer of energy, and the abilities of technological design. Discussion topics will include the three axes of flight and the control surfaces that guide an aircraft. Make real-world connections with NASA research and the airplanes that are flying today.

For more information about the workshop and to register online to attend, visit http://aeroi.org/ercRegister/index.html

Questions about this event should be directed to Sondra Geddes at sondra.l.geddes@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops -- Spring/Summer 2015

NASA's Center for Astronomy Education, or CAE, announces a series of educator workshops for astronomy and space science educators.


These workshops provide participants with experiences needed to create effective and productive active-learning classroom environments. Workshop leaders model best practices in implementing many different classroom-tested instructional strategies. But more importantly, workshop participants will gain first-hand experience implementing these proven strategies. During many microteaching events, you will have the opportunity to role-play the parts of student and instructor. You will assess and critique each other's implementation in real time as part of a supportive learning community. You will have the opportunity to use unfamiliar teaching techniques in collaboration with mentors before using them with your students. CAE is funded through NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Exoplanet Exploration Program.

April 10, 2015 -- Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan
CAE Great Lakes Regional Teaching Exchange

May 2, 2015 -- MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California
CAE Southwest Regional Teaching Exchange

June 13-14, 2015 -- South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina
CAE Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop for Current and Future Astronomy and Space Science Instructors


June 22-25, 2015 -- American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland
New Faculty Workshop for Physics and Astronomy


August 4-6, 2015 -- Honolulu Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii
CAE Teaching Excellence Short-Courses on Active Learning in the STEM Classroom

August 2015 -- American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York
CAE Northeast Regional Teaching Exchange


For more information and to register for workshops online, visit http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshops/index.cfm.

Inquiries about this series of workshops should be directed to Gina Brissenden at gbrissenden@as.arizona.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2015 International Space Apps Challenge


NASA and space agencies around the world are preparing for the fourth annual International Space Apps Challenge, which will be held April 10-12, 2015. Participants will develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

This year's challenge kicks off with a boot camp event on April 10 that will be live-streamed globally. The two-day codeathon event will follow on April 11-12, and will be hosted locally at over 135 locations spanning six continents. More than 200 data sources, including data sets, data services and tools will be available. This event will bring tech-savvy citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators and students together to help solve challenges relevant to both space exploration and social needs. This year's challenges will be clustered around four themes: Earth, Outer Space, Humans and Robotics. 

Registration for citizen participation is now open.

To learn more about the International Space Apps Challenge, get the latest updates and register to attend an event, visit https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/.

If you have questions about the challenge, please visit https://2015.spaceappschallenge.org/about/contact/.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation -- New MUREP Aerospace Academy Appendix

NASA's Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS, 2014 NASA Research Announcement. Proposals are being solicited from Minority Serving Institutions, or MSIs, to create and implement a NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy to increase participation and retention of historically underserved and underrepresented K-12 youth in the areas of STEM. 

Notices of intent are requested by April 14, 2015. Proposals are due June 11, 2015. 

For more information, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1AdfCjo.

Questions about this solicitation may be directed to NASAMAA@nasaprs.com.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation -- New MUREP Community College Curriculum Improvement Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project, or MUREP, is seeking proposals from Minority Serving Community Colleges to strengthen curriculum and curricular pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and attract, retain and support the success of underrepresented students in STEM degree programs.

Proposals for the NASA MUREP Community College Curriculum Improvement, or MC3I, solicitation must contain plans for and be guided by curricula improvements, and address one of the following as a primary focus: (1) improving curriculum in STEM vocational certificate programs, associate of arts/science degree programs, and/or transfer programs; (2) strengthening and diversifying the STEM pipeline through high school partnerships; or (3) expanding opportunities in engineering. Proposers are required to partner with a NASA center or facility, and are highly encouraged to partner with other institutions, such as K-12 school districts and four-year colleges/universities. Successful proposals will be funded as multiyear cooperative agreements.

Institutions planning to prepare a proposal package for NASA MC3I are required to submit a Notice of Intent, or NOIs, to propose. NOIs assist NASA in assessing the response to this cooperative agreement notice and to determine the expertise required for the proposal review panel. NOIs should be submitted by the authorized organization representative in the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, or NSPIRES, by April 14, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Interested proposers must register with NSPIRES before it can be accessed for use.

Since NOIs submitted after the deadline may still be useful to NASA, late NOIs may be submitted and will be accepted.

Proposals are due on June 11, 2015 by 11:59 p.m. in NSPIRES. 

For more information, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1AP8WqY

Questions about this solicitation may be directed to Roslyn Soto at roslyn.soto@jpl.nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Launches Hands-On Field Campaign for Students With GLOBE

This spring, students worldwide are invited to grab rain gauges and learn how scientists use ground measurements to validate satellite precipitation data.


NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission is partnering with the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program to conduct a field campaign where students will measure rain and snow in their hometowns through April 15, 2015, and then analyze the data.

To evaluate how well satellite instruments observe precipitation from space, NASA collects data in field campaigns on the ground. In formal ground validation campaigns, teams of scientists deploy rain gauges and ground-based radar instruments to measure precipitation in different terrains, like the Appalachian Mountains, the flood plains of Iowa or snowy Finland. Then they compare the collected data to measurements from satellites and aircraft instruments that simulate satellite observations.

The GLOBE-GPM field campaign is designed to give students a similar experience. Students will use simple manual rain gauges to collect precipitation data and enter them into the online GLOBE database. Using an example analysis as a template, the students will then analyze their data.

Students also will be encouraged to develop their own scientific questions to be answered by the data and compare their observations to ground observations from other sources -- nearby GLOBE schools, National Weather Service ground stations or other citizen science data sources -- as well as to satellite precipitation data available from NASA.

Educators will have access to a series of blog entries where scientists and engineers describe their research and how they became interested in STEM fields. The campaign will post a discussion board for educators to share ways to use citizen science, GPM data and NASA activities with students.

For more information about the GPM-GLOBE program, visit http://www.globe.gov/web/gpm.

For more GPM Precipitation education material, visit http://gpm.nasa.gov/education.

For more information about GPM, visit http://www.nasa.gov/gpm or http://gpm.nasa.gov.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Kristen Weaver at kristen.l.weaver@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Jan. 1-June 30, 2016. 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 April 15, 2015.

Using amateur radio, students from selected institutions will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to astronauts about life in space and other space-related topics during a 10-minute pass of the International Space Station. Students will gain an understanding of amateur radio and wireless communications and other STEM topics through an education plan executed by the hosting organization.

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 http://www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact 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 ariss@arrl.org.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arizona State University Mars Education Symposium and Field Trip -- The Search for Habitable Environments: Finding Curiosity in Your Classroom

How do scientists search for habitable environments beyond Earth? What makes an environment habitable? Are the criteria for life the same or different beyond Earth? The science of astrobiology is at the forefront addressing these types of challenging questions, including where can life exist?

Currently, NASA's Curiosity Rover is exploring Gale Crater on Mars to investigate a site that has a very interesting history that could include habitability! Join the Mars Rover scientists as they lead a five-day interdisciplinary, immersive educator field experience to explore areas on Earth similar to environments on Mars. Learn how to expand your students' understanding of how biology, geology and chemistry are essential to this fascinating search for life elsewhere.

The symposium will take place June 22-26, 2015. Participants will start and end at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe, Arizona. Participants will be responsible for transportation to and from Arizona State University, lodging and meals. Transportation between campus and the field trip sites will be provided. Some hiking will be required to participate in this field experience.

Participants will receive Next-Generation Science Standards-designed/aligned lessons and a certificate after completing 45 professional development hours. 

Space is limited to 30 participants. Applications are due April 15, 2015.

For more information, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/curiositysymposium2015.

Questions about the symposium should be directed to Sheri Klug Boonstra at sklug@asu.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NASA Space Technology Grants for Early Career University Faculty


NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding early career faculty members who are beginning their independent careers. The grants will sponsor research in specific, high-priority areas of interest to the U.S. space program.

NASA expects to award approximately six to eight grants this fall, funded up to $200,000 each per year for as many as three years, based on the merit of proposals and availability of funds. Funded research will investigate unique, disruptive or transformational space technologies in areas such as dynamic tensegrity technologies for space science and exploration, high-temperature solar cells, fundamental aero-thermodynamic model development, and synthetic biology technologies for space exploration.

The deadline to submit proposals to the Early Career Faculty Appendix of NASA's Research Announcement "Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration and Infusion 2015 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2015)" is April 17, 2015.

For information on the solicitation, including specific technology areas of interest and how to submit notices of intent and proposals, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1vwtqZz.

This solicitation is part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in future missions. For more information about the directorate and Space Technology Research Grants Program, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Bonnie F. James at HQ-STMD-SpaceTech-REDDI@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) High School Research Program

The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA's Johnson Space Center are looking for 10 teams of motivated high school students and their teachers to participate in a national standards-based lunar/asteroid research program for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Supervised by their teacher and aided by a scientist advisor, students undertake open-inquiry research projects that engage them in the process of science and support the goals of the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. At the end of the year, four teams compete for a chance to present their research at the Exploration Science Forum held at NASA's Ames Research Center in July 2016.

Participation in the Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students, or ExMASS, program is free. Applications must be completed by a teacher and are due April 19, 2015.

For more information and to apply for the ExMASS program, visit http://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration/education/hsResearch/

Questions about the ExMASS program should be directed to Andy Shaner at shaner@lpi.usra.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Launching 2 Learn Project

The Launching 2 Learn project is a four-week, hands-on experience that teaches the science and mathematics behind high-power rockets. Participants will receive an introduction to rocket science that will enable them to build, simulate, and successfully launch and recover their very own rockets. 

The L2L project is designed for undergraduate freshman and sophomores majoring in STEM and related fields. The event will take place July 6-31, 2015, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Students will be paid $600 per week for four weeks to participate. Some travel funds are available for students who live more than 50 miles from Kennedy. 

The application deadline is April 20, 2015

To learn more the Launching 2 Learn project, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1BJUCR3.

Questions about Launching 2 Learn should be directed to Gloria Murphy at gloria.a.murphy@nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation -- New MUREP American Indian and Alaskan Native STEM Partnership Appendix

NASA's Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project, or MUREP, is seeking proposals from American Indian and Alaskan Native Serving Institutions to develop and implement an evidence-driven recruitment method/model to address the shortage of computer science graduates in historically underrepresented and underserved populations.

Proposals for the NASA MUREP American Indian and Alaskan Native STEM Partnership, or MAIANSP, solicitation must address one of the following as a primary focus: (1) developing the American Indian and Alaskan Native STEM workforce; (2) strengthening STEM curricula at American Indian and Alaskan Native Serving Institutions; or (3) increasing the pool of underrepresented and underserved students in computer sciences. Successful proposals will be funded as multiyear cooperative agreements.

Institutions planning to prepare a proposal package for NASA MAIANSP are required to submit a Notice of Intent, or NOIs, to propose. NOIs assist NASA in assessing the response to this cooperative agreement notice and determining the expertise required for the proposal review panel. NOIs should be submitted by the authorized organization representative in the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, or NSPIRES, by April 24, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Interested proposers must register with NSPIRES before it can be accessed for use.

Since NOIs submitted after the deadline may still be useful to NASA, late NOIs may be submitted and will be accepted.

Proposals are due on June 23, 2015

For more information, visit http://go.nasa.gov/1CMqyJz . 

Questions about this solicitation may be directed to Torry Johnson at NASAMAIANSP@nasaprs.com.  

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

21st Century Teacher Academy

The 21st Century Teacher Academy, or 21CTA, is a unique educator professional development workshop opportunity for K-12 educators. The workshop is designed to immerse teachers in the best practices and methodologies to develope and implement real-world, project based learning, or PBL, curriculum using NASA's missions. 21CTA is sponsored by the Office of Education and Public Outreach at NASA's Ames Research Center, and funded by NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. 

21CTA is a two-week workshop held July 8-22, 2015. The workshop will be led by content experts, PBL experts, technical subject matter experts and a master teacher. The workshop will take place at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Attendees will receive a $4,500 stipend. Teacher teams are highly encouraged!

Applications are due April 30, 2015. Interested K-12 educators should apply through NASA's One-Stop Shopping Initiative website at http://go.nasa.gov/1ECJ0kz.

If you have questions about the 21st Century Teacher Academy, please email ARC-TeacherAcademy@mail.nasa.gov.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2015 eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge

In a continuing effort to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and provide a real-world challenge, exposing students to the engineering and design processes, the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) has begun accepting applications for the sixth annual eXploration Habitat, or X-Hab, Challenge for 2016.

The winners of the challenge will receive between $10,000 and $30,000 to design and produce functional products of interest to projects within HEOMD. 

Proposals are due April 30, 2015, and awardees will follow a tailored systems engineering process with the projects completing in the May 2016 time frame.

Proposals will be accepted from university faculty who are U.S. citizens and currently teach an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design or architecture curriculum at an accredited university in the U.S.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and other minority serving educational institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals from women, members of underrepresented minorities groups and persons with disabilities also are highly encouraged. 

For more information about the challenge, visit http://spacegrant.org/xhab/.

If you have any questions about the X-Hab Challenge, please email xhab@spacegrant.org.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 9 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 9 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 spring 2016 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 April 30, 2015. 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 9 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/2015/03/new-flight-opportunity-for-school-districts-announcing-student-spaceflight-experiments-program-ssep-mission-9-to-the-international-space-station-for-2015-16-academic-year/

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 (http://www.iss-casis.org/) is a national partner on SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit http://ssep.ncesse.org/national-partners/.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dawn Mission’s I C Ceres Celebration

After more than seven years cruising at stunning speeds, including a wonderful year exploring protoplanet Vesta, the Dawn spacecraft will arrive at its second destination in the main asteroid belt, the dwarf planet Ceres. As the Dawn mission begins its exploration of Ceres, it’s time to celebrate!


A flagship I C Ceres event will be held on May 9, 2015, in Pasadena, California, by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. The event will include games and contests. Plus, members of the mission team will be there to translate the space science for you! 

If you aren’t in southern California, don’t worry. You can host your own event! Big or small, public or private, all are welcome. Celebrate with your club, society, school group or museum. Awesome presentations will be streamed live.

To learn more, find an event near you, or explore resources to plan your own I C Ceres event, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/I_c_ceres.asp

For more information about the Dawn mission, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Joe Wise at jwise1972@gmail.com.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lunar and Planetary Institute Workshop: Mars Through Time

The Lunar and Planetary Institute and the ChemCam instrument team invite high school educators, both in-service and pre-service, to attend the "Mars Through Time" workshop. This four-day workshop will take place at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, July 13-16, 2015. 

Attendees will discover the relationship between technology and science as it relates to our understanding of Mars. Attendees also will discuss the nature and process of science with invited Mars scientists. Classroom resources will be provided. 

Workshop registration is free. This workshop is limited to 20 participants. Interested educators are encouraged to apply early to secure a spot. Qualified applicants will be accepted in the order they apply. Travel stipends are available. The application closes May 15, 2015.

For more information and to apply for the workshop, visit http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/mars/.

Questions about the workshop should be directed to Andy Shaner at shaner@lpi.usra.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MAVEN Educator Ambassador Program

In September 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission began exploring Mars’ upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. The MAVEN Educator Ambassador, or MEA, program will focus on in-depth learning experiences around Earth, space and physical science topics for educators teaching middle- and high-school grades.


During this weeklong, NASA-funded program, participants will receive training to become a MAVEN Educator Ambassador. The goal of the MEA program is to develop the capacity and provide the opportunity for educators to train other teachers on NASA heliophysics and planetary science educational resources. Follow-up support will be provided via teleconference calls and other electronic communications. Participants involved in the MEA program will be expected to implement the lesson plans and education resources in their own classrooms, as well as train other teachers at local and regional professional development conferences or meetings.

The program will take place Aug. 3-7, 2015, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Participants will receive a travel stipend of $700. Free housing and meals will be provided.

Applications are due May 22, 2015.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/education-outreach/for-educators/mea/2015mea/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to epomail@lasp.colorado.edu.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What's New at NASA's Space Place Website

Life is full of moments of wonder if only we stop to notice, moments when we learn something new or see something beautiful. Space exploration provides a wealth of such moments, and the Space Place is here to make these moments, these discoveries and these captured images of the beauty of the universe available and accessible to children and educators. In this issue, we bring your attention to some of the newest features on the website that, once again, shine a spotlight on awesomeness.

What's New?
This new article on the Space Place explains what interstellar space means. In 2012, scientists declared that the NASA spacecraft Voyager 1 had finally left the heliosphere and reached interstellar space. What does that mean? And how did they know? How did Voyager's instruments give clues that it had arrived in that region? And why did it take so long? After all, Voyager 1 was launched in 1977 and has been traveling through space at around 38,000 miles per hour continuously -- no rest stops. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/interstellar.

Los volcanes de la Tierra en Español
Volcanoes are perhaps the most violent events one can see on Earth, from a distance, preferably! What causes them? Do other planets or moons in the solar system have volcanoes, too? This simple article has lots of graphics and video clips showing just how dramatic these Earthly temper tantrums can be. And, as with our entire Space Place en Español site, you can toggle back and forth between the English and Spanish versions, so it makes a good reading exercise for both Spanish and English learners. Visit http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/volcanoes2/sp to learn about volcanoes and http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/volcanoes/sp/ to learn about volcanoes elsewhere in the solar system.

Spotlight on GPS
Global Positioning System, or GPS, technology is used every day by millions of people, people who take this technology for granted but don't understand how it works. Wouldn’t it be nice to understand it? After all, it isn’t magic although it seems so. To reinforce this simple explanation is an animated “Space Place in a Snap” video and printable poster explaining how your smart phone can use GPS satellites to help you find the nearest place to get a pizza. Go to http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gps and http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gps-pizza to learn and teach about this technology. In addition, at the middle school level, Space Place has a classroom activity and article on how GPS works. This article is helpful in answering any questions younger, curious students have about how GPS works. That article is in PDF at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/classroom-activities/#watery.

For the Classroom
Space Place has compiled a gallery of 3-D anaglyph images of Earth and other planets, moons and smaller objects taken from space. The images range from a human boot print on the moon to the sun's stormy surface, to a crater on the asteroid Vesta. Anaglyphs appear three-dimensional when viewed with red and blue 3-D glasses, which are inexpensive. Bargains may be found on the Internet, so you could buy these for a whole classroom for around $12-15. The anaglyphs on the site are large images that will project well onto a screen so the whole class can see them at once. These images are at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/3d-gallery.

For Out-of-School Time
April 22 is Earth Day. What better time to make a beautiful "stained glass" Earth to hang in the window. This activity uses a paper plate and colored tissue paper, along with other simple and common materials, to celebrate the beauty of Earth from afar. The "stained glass" Earth ends up looking like a jewel suspended in space, helping to remind us of Earth's loveliness and fragility and how important it is to take good care of our planet. For this activity, go to http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/stained-glass-earth.

Special Days to Celebrate

April is Math Education Month
For a whole page of math-related classroom activities, check out http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/math-activities


April 4: National Read a Road Map Day 
It's fun to speculate on how racing pigeons can find their way home from anywhere without consulting a map — that is if a recent solar storm isn’t messing with their navigation equipment! Go to http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/pigeons.

April 10: Encourage a Young Writer Day 
Creative juices will start to flow when students choose a topic to write their own loopy legend about. Visit http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/loopy-legends.

May 4: National Weather Observers Day
Anyone can be a weather observers when they play the "Weather Slyder" game at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/weather-slyder

May 18: Mount St. Helens blew its top in 1980.
Use this opportunity to talk about volcanoes, what causes them and how common they are in our solar system. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/volcanoes2


May 29: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736).
This is a good time to talk about the sun, and the weird fact that the sun's corona is millions of degrees Fahrenheit while the sun's core is only 10,000 F. Check out this solar mystery at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sun-corona.


Share
Do you want some help spreading the word about NASA's Space Place? We've got a page with ready-to-use website descriptions, logos and links to all our social media. Check out http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/share.

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use The Space Place in your teaching. Send to info@spaceplace.nasa.gov.

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.