Registration is open for the 20th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race. High school and college students are challenged to design and build a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems similar to those faced by the original lunar-roving vehicle team. Each school may enter up to two teams. The race will take place April 25-27, 2013, in Huntsville, Ala., at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
U.S. teams must register by Feb. 4, 2013.
For more information about the competition and to register online, visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov/index.html.
Teams with questions should contact Diedra Williams at Diedra.A.Williams@nasa.gov.
On Friday, Jan. 11th, high school students from around the world joined in fierce competition to claim the championship spot in the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2012. The young competitors operated robotic satellites aboard the International Space Station, or ISS, using programs they wrote in preparation for the event. The finalists watched the action via live downlink from the space station with anticipation, as astronauts supervised the satellites during the ISS Finals.
The finals event followed three months of online simulation competitions, during which the initial pool of 96 teams from the United States and 47 teams from Europe was narrowed to nine and six alliances, respectively. Each alliance consisted of three different teams of high school students that joined forces in November 2012 to collaborate and write the best computer programs to run on the SPHERES aboard the space station.
To read more about the ZERO Robotics challenge, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/zero_robotics.html.
To get your math students involved in using robotics to discover algebra concepts, check out the NASA Explorer Schools lesson: Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots. The lesson can be found on the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Are you or your students (ages 13 years or older) curious about our nearest star, moon rocks, volcanoes and other wonders of the universe? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars, a series of 10 lectures 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 technologies that advance new discoveries at the Smithsonian Institution.
Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. and is followed by a question-and-answer session. A Discovery Station activity will take place at 4 p.m. prior to each lecture. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.
Upcoming lectures are:
• Jan. 5, 2013 — Trees in the City: Urban Tree Cover Dynamics in the District of Columbia• Feb. 2, 2013 — Volcano Breath• Feb. 16, 2013 — Venus: 50 Years After Mariner 2• Mar. 2, 2013 — Robots and Humans Unite: A Decade of Astronomical Discovery with Hectospec
For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series and to see a full schedule of upcoming lectures, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/stars/index.cfm.
Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000.
The Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars project is an interactive, online learning experience. It is highlighted by a six-day internship where selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars project is open to high school juniors throughout Texas. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have access to the Internet.
The application deadline has been extended to Dec. 16, 2012.
For additional information on the project and to apply online, visit http://has.aerospacescholars.org/.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NASA has opened registration for the 2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest. Featuring OPTIMUS PRIME, the leader from the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, the contest highlights spinoffs from NASA technologies that are used on Earth. The goal is to help students understand the benefits of NASA technology to their daily lives.
Each student, or group of students, will submit a three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed in NASA’s 2011 “Spinoff” publication. Videos must demonstrate an understanding of the NASA spinoff technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as the commercial application and public benefit associated with the spinoff technology.
Participants must register for the contest by Dec. 15, 2012.
Video entries will be posted on the NASA YouTube channel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. The top five submissions from each of the three grade groups (elementary [3rd-5th], middle [6th-8th] and high school [9th-12th]) will advance for final judging. A NASA panel will select a winning entry from each group. The students submitting the winning entries will be the guests of honor at the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest awards ceremony in May 2013. While there, the winners will receive the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest trophy and have the opportunity to meet NASA VIPs, astronauts and actor Peter Cullen, who voices the character OPTIMUS PRIME.
TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2012 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
For more information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/releases/2012/12-077.html.
Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.
Did you know you may be able see the International Space Station from your home? As the third brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, the space station is easy to see if you know where and when to look for it.
NASA’s Spot the Station service sends you an email or text message a few hours before the space station passes over your house. The space station looks like a fast-moving plane in the sky, though one with people living and working aboard it more than 200 miles above the ground. It is best viewed on clear nights.
For more information and to sign up for alerts, visit Spot The Station.
This opportunity is a great extension to NASA Now: The Mechanics of Solar Panels. To access this episode of the Emmy Award winning NASA Now series, log into the NES Virtual Campus.
Here’s an exciting opportunity to involve your students in the unique RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge to solve real NASA-related problems.
There are two phases to the RealWorld-InWorld challenge.
The challenge begins in the RealWorld where students in grades 8-12 use the engineering design process to solve one of two problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. Educator and student RealWorld resources will be available on September 1.
Upon completion of RealWorld registration, teachers and others guiding students through the RealWorld design phase may register to use PTC Creo professional engineering software along with free online training valued at more than $900,000.
Twenty selected RealWorld teams are mentored by college engineering students, InWorld, in a virtual world setting. Team leader registration and InWorld resources will be available on September 1.
The InWorld phase begins January 31, 2013 following the completion of the RealWorld phase.
For more information about this exciting challenge, visit the RealWorld-InWorld website.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
Give your students the opportunity to ask questions of a NASA oceanographer and climate scientist. Dr. Josh Willis is an oceanographer and climate scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He was the Deputy Project Scientist and a member of the science team on Jason 1 and 2. Willis is currently the Lead Project Scientist for the Jason 3 project.
To join the chat, go to the chat page up to 15 minutes prior to noon EST, where you will find instructions for logging into the chat room to ask questions.