Professional Development Opportunity for Educatiors

NES Web Seminar — Newton’s Laws of Motion: Lunar Nautics

NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Dec. 19, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. This seminar features three lessons for grades 6-8 that focus on a real-world understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion and common misconceptions associated with the laws. The featured lessons are Rocket Staging: Balloon Staging and Lunar Landing: Swinging Tray and Lunar Base Supply Egg Drop.

The featured activities provide opportunities for incorporating national science, technology and mathematics learning standards into curricula as well as address middle school Next Generation Science Standards.

This is the only time during this school year that this seminar will be offered.

For more information and to register online, visit

Video Chat Today: Asteroid Retrieval

Paulo Younse
Paulo Younse,
Robotics Engineer at JPL

At 1 p.m. EST, Paulo Younse will answer your students’ questions about how his team put together a proposal for NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission. He will also answer questions about his career at NASA. Younse is a robotics engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He designs new types of robots for future NASA solar system exploration missions. Recent projects he has worked on include the latest Mars Rover, “Curiosity.” Currently, he is developing techniques for a proposed Mars Sample Return mission that will collect Martian rock samples and bring them back to Earth. He is also part of a team of scientists and engineers who are going to submit a proposal for the Asteroid Retrieval Project. Younse has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Florida.

In order to submit questions all you need a computer connected to the Internet. 15 minutes prior to the start of the chat, go to the event page and log into the chat window. Video chat event pages can always be accessed by going to the NES Virtual Campus and clicking on the link in the “Ask an Expert” panel on the left side of the page.

NES Professional Development Opportunity for Middle School Educators

Temperature and Earth Climate: Modeling Hot and Cold Planets, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

This Web seminar features the student activity “Modeling Hot and Cold Planets” from NASA’s Earth Climate Course. The featured activity provides many opportunities for incorporating national science, technology, and mathematics learning standards into the curriculum as well as addressing the Next Generation Science Standards.

For more information and to register visit the NSTA Learning Center.

NASA Now: Get Your Classroom Involved With LADEE

NASA Now Classroom Video: Get Your Class Involved With LADEE, available on the NES Virtual Campus website on Dec. 11, 2013. During the program, Brian Day, Director of Communication and Outreach at the Lunar Science Institute, presents an overview of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE (pronounced like “laddie”), mission. He also discusses the importance of asteroids and why he chases solar eclipses. A link will be provided for students allowing them to contribute to the mission by counting meteors with the assistance of NASA’s Meteor Counter app.

Check out NASA Now Minute: Get Your Class Involved With LADEE at the NES Chanel on YouTube.

NES Professional Development Web Seminar — Pythagorean Theorem: Exploring Space Through Math-Lunar Rover

NES and the NSTA are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for grades 8-12 educators on Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn to use the distance formula and the Pythagorean theorem to determine the minimal path and minimal time for a lunar rover to perform tasks on the surface of the moon. Participants should have a basic knowledge of scale factor and application of the Pythagorean theorem. Having access to a calculator is helpful but not necessary for session.

The activity provides many opportunities for incorporating national mathematics learning standards into the curriculum as well as addressing Common Core State Standards, Mathematics.

For more information and to register online, visit the registration page.

Ten Years of NASA Explorer Schools

In 2003, NASA rolled out an innovative project called NASA Explorer Schools. A unique new project, NASA Explorer Schools teamed schools, teachers and students with NASA resources and personnel in a refreshing new way, giving teachers and students access to the goings on of NASA as never before. Over the years, the NES project grew as more schools, teachers and communities became committed to the goals put forth by NES. And now, 10 years after its beginning, NES can boast that it has impacted hundreds of schools and teachers, along with hundreds of thousands of students.

Read more about NES 10 year history at

LADEE in Orbit Around Earth

After a spectacular launch, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer or LADEE, spacecraft was placed into an elliptic orbit around Earth, as the start of our journey back to the moon.  Mission controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center successfully completed the initial systems checkout phase, and everything looks good so far.

LADEE is doing fine and its trajectory to the moon is good. The spacecraft is currently in an elliptical orbit around Earth, about 162,000 miles (260,000 Km) in altitude. Mission controllers are now performing an extended checkout phase.

To see an image and read more about LADEE, visit

The LADEE mission is the latest development in lunar exploration. To give your students an opportunity to plan a lunar mission, check out the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Engineering Design Process: On the Moon: On Target. To gain access to this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at

Space Laser To Prove Increased Broadband Possible

When NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration, or LLCD, begins operation aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, mission, it will attempt to show two-way laser communication beyond Earth is possible, expanding the possibility of transmitting huge amounts of data. This new ability could one day allow for 3-D High Definition video transmissions in deep space to become routine.

To read more about this laser communication in space, visit:

These missions to the moon are NASA’s most recent studies of the moon. Get your students to utilize engineering to help NASA plan a mission to the moon by implementing the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Engineering Design Process: On the Moon. To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at:

California Rim Fire From Space

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire approaching Yosemite National Park between August 23–26. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space at night. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white, exceeding the brightness of the lights of Reno, Nevada, to the north. Pale gray smoke streams away from the fire, generally to the north.

To see the image progression and read more about this, visit

Contest: What Would you Send to the ISS?

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization managing research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced a four-week contest titled “What Would You Send to the ISS?”, which is open to the general public for submissions. Unlike Requests for Proposals CASIS has previously released, submissions for this contest can simply be ideas or concepts, not precise proposals for research. The contest runs through September 16, 2013, just in time to get your students’ creative juices flowing.

To learn more about this contest and how to submit an idea, visit

Be sure to check out all of the ISS-related NASA Now classroom videos and featured lessons on the NES Virtual Campus. Just log into the Virtual Campus and search for “ISS” to see the list of 16 classroom-ready resources to inspire you and your students.