NASA Education Express – Dec. 16, 2010

Check out the following NASA opportunities for the education community. Full descriptions are listed below.


18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Audience: 9-Higher Education Students
Registration Deadline for International Teams: Jan. 1, 2011
Registration Deadline for U.S. Teams: Feb. 1, 2011

NASA LEARN and NES Offering Webinars
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Event Date: Jan. 5, Jan. 12 and Jan. 26, 2011

2011 Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunity Webinar
Audience: Higher Education Students
Event Date: Jan. 12, 2011

Call for Abstracts: 62nd International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: Feb. 7, 2011

New “Wings in Orbit” Book Details Space Shuttle History
Audience: All Educators and Students

New Educational Materials Available at
Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars Flier — Grades 9-11
Human Exploration Project Series — Grades K-12


Registration Open for the 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Registration is open for the 18th 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. International teams are limited to 10 teams per country. The race will take place April 1-2, 2011, in Huntsville, Ala., at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

International teams must register by Jan. 1, 2011. U.S. teams must register by Feb. 1, 2011.

For more information about the competition and to register online, visit

Please e-mail any questions about this event and registration to Sabrina Pearson at


NASA LEARN and NES Offering Webinars in January 2011

NASA LEARN, or Learning Environments and Research Network, and NASA Explorer Schools have teamed up to offer exciting webinars featuring NASA educational resources for educators. Below are three offerings in January 2011. The webinars are presented from 9-10 p.m. EST, so we can make sure educators on both the East Coast and West Coast can participate. And don’t worry about the technology. We have tech support ready to walk you through viewing and participating in the webinars.

You can register for each of the webinars by clicking on these website links:

Exploring Space Through Math — Jan. 5, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
Learn how to get your students to investigate the characteristics of quadratic functions to solve real-world problems involving the parabolic flights of NASA’s “Weightless Wonder” microgravity jet.

GENESIS: What Are We Made of? The Sun, Earth and You — Jan. 12, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
By counting elements extracted from a simulated Genesis sample, students learn how the extraction of atoms from the Genesis samples help scientists have a better understanding of the abundance of elements from the solar wind.

Rockets and Your Classroom — Jan. 26, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
Review the Rocketry activity, explore the NASA connections, share tips and tricks for implementing this lesson in the classroom, watch videos of students engaged in the lesson, and discuss possible modifications or extensions.


Don’t Let this Opportunity Float Away: You and Your Experiment Can Fly in Reduced Gravity

The Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced-gravity experiment of their choice over the course of four to six months. The overall experience includes scientific research, hands-on experimental design, test operations and educational/public outreach activities. A flight opportunity targeted for community college and minority students is available in June 2011.

There will be a webinar broadcast live from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2011, at 3 p.m. EST that explains how to apply. Students and faculty may ask questions, download applications and view other related videos.

Visit to learn how to register for this free webinar.

Please e-mail any questions about this event and registration to


Call for Abstracts: 62nd International Astronautical Congress

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 62nd International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time graduate students attending U.S. universities or colleges respond to this “Call for Abstracts.” The IAC — which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF; the International Academy of Astronautics, or IAA; and the International Institute of Space Law, or IISL, -– is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1000 scientific papers every year. The upcoming IAC will be held Oct. 3-7, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to connect NASA with the astronautical and space international community.

This “Call for Abstracts” is a precursor to a subsequent submission of a final paper, which may be presented at the 62nd IAC. Student authors are invited to submit an abstract regarding an original, unpublished paper that has not been submitted in any other forum. A NASA technical review panel of scientists and/or officials will select abstracts. Many students and professors are involved in NASA-related research. Persons submitting abstracts are strongly encouraged to seek advice from professors who are conducting NASA research and/or from NASA scientists and engineers.

Abstract Preparation
— Abstracts must be 400 words or less.
— Abstracts must be written in English.
— Abstracts cannot include formulas, tables or drawings.
— Select the symposium and session in which you wish to post your abstract. Please view the IAC brochure at for list of sessions and more details.

Abstracts must be related to NASA’s ongoing vision for space exploration and fit into one of the following categories:
Science and Exploration — Systems sustaining missions including life, microgravity, space exploration, space debris and Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI.
Applications and Operations — Ongoing and future operational applications, including Earth observation, communication, navigation, human space endeavors and small satellites.
Technology — Common technologies to space systems including astrodynamics, structures, power and propulsion.
Infrastructures — Systems sustaining space missions including space systems, transportation, future systems and safety.
— Space and Society — Interaction of space with society including education, policy and economics, history, and law.

The full text of the abstract must be submitted electronically in the prescribed format at no later than 11:59:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 7, 2011.

If you have a question or concern about the programmatic or the electronic submission of your abstract, please e-mail, and you will receive a response within two (2) business days.


New “Wings in Orbit” Book Details Space Shuttle History

As NASA’s space shuttle fleet nears retirement, the agency is preparing to release a comprehensive account of the program that managed the spacecraft and the dedicated people who made its accomplishments possible.

The 500-plus-page book, “Wings in Orbit” is available for pre-publication sale. The book describes the scientific, engineering and cultural contributions of the space shuttle through text, photographs and graphics, written or selected by those who worked in the shuttle program.

“Not only is this book informative and beautifully done, it captures the passion of those who devoted their energies to the more than three decades of the shuttle program,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations. “It recognizes and celebrates what NASA has accomplished using the shuttle system.”

Former shuttle program manager Wayne Hale was the book’s executive editor. The book features a wide range of contributors, including the first space shuttle crew and many former flight directors, engineers and program managers.

The book is slated for release in March. To order the book during the pre-publication sale through Dec. 31, 2010, visit

For more information about the space shuttle era, visit


New Educational Materials Available at

The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following items are now available for downloading.

Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars Flier — Grades 9-11

WISH wants female high school juniors to participate in a pilot project. Beginning with an online collaboration in fall 2010, selected applicants will compete to participate in a summer 2011 workshop at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. There they will work alongside female NASA engineers and interns and collaborate in hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The WISH Flier explains how to apply.

Human Exploration Project Series — Grades K-12

This series of curricular units focus on themes that NASA engineers and scientists — as well as future generations of explorers — must consider when planning future human explorations into space. This includes such themes as Energy and Power, Transportation and Lunar Plant Growth Chambers (the STS-118 Design Challenges).


Don’t miss out on education-related opportunities available from NASA. For a full list of Current Opportunities, visit

Visit NASA Education on the Web:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club: