NASA Education Express — March 24, 2011

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

PBS Design Squad Nation: ‘One Giant Leap’
Audience: 5-12 and Informal Educators

NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Women at NASA
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Event Date: March 29, 2011

Join the Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2011 Campaign
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Now through April 6, 2011

$5,000 Grants Available for 2012 University Student Launch Initiative
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Informational Videoconference: April 6, 2011
Application Deadline: May 31, 2011

NASA LEARN and NES Offering Webinars
Audience: 5-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: April 6, April 13, April 20, April 27 and May 4, 2011


PBS Design Squad Nation: ‘One Giant Leap’

A new full-length episode of PBS Design Squad Nation is now available online. In this episode, engineers Judy and Adam invite Felipe — an accomplished 15-year-old pilot from Miami, Fla. — to compete in the 2010 Red Bull Flugtag competition. Together, they team up with NASA to design and build a human-powered flying machine. With their NASA-inspired glider design, Team One Giant Leap soars off a 30-foot high deck, impressing the judges with distance and style.

Click the links below to view the episode online.
Part One:
Part Two:

For more information and to find more Design Squad Nation videos and resources, visit


NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Women at NASA

NASA Explorer Schools invites students in grades K-12 from across the U.S. and Department of Defense schools to participate in a live video chat with three outstanding women at NASA. The event will take place on March 29, 2011, at 2 p.m. EDT. Students and teachers can submit questions to Erika Alvarez, Mallory M. Johnston and Monsi C. Roman during this hour-long chat. The women will answer students’ questions about their careers in science and engineering.

Go to the chat page on the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus website to participate in the webchat. You do not need to be a participant of the NASA Explorer Schools project to join the chat. To learn more about NES, please visit and click on the What Is NES? video or the About NES link.

To learn more about the women participating in the webchat, visit


Join the Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2011 Campaign

GLOBE at Night encourages citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of the night sky. During 2 weeks of moonless evenings, children and adults match the appearance of a constellation (Leo in the northern hemisphere and Crux or Leo in the southern hemisphere) with 7 star charts of progressively fainter stars found at Participants then submit their choice of star chart online with their date, time and location to help create a light pollution map worldwide.

The GLOBE at Night 2011 campaign dates are March 22-April 4, 2011, (for the Northern Hemisphere) and March 24-April 6, 2011, (for the Southern Hemisphere). Over 60,000 measurements have been contributed from more than 100 countries over the last 5 years of two-week campaigns.

This year children and adults can submit their measurements in real-time if they have a smart phone or tablet. To do this, use the web application at With smart phones and tablets, the location, date and time are put in automatically. And if you do not have a smart phone or tablet, there are user-friendly tools on the GLOBE at Night report page to find latitude and longitude.

Through GLOBE at Night, students, teachers, parents and community members are amassing a data set from which they can explore the nature of light pollution locally and across the globe. Make a difference and join the GLOBE at Night efforts in 2011. Activity packets, one-page flyers and postcards advertising the campaign are available at

Please email any questions about GLOBE at Night to Connie Walker at


$5,000 Grants Available for 2012 University Student Launch Initiative

The NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute, or MICI, will be offering Minority Serving Institutions the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 grant to assist the school in entering the 2012 NASA University Student Launch Initiative. USLI is a competition that challenges university-level students to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level. The project engages students in scientific research and real-world engineering processes with NASA engineers. It culminates in an actual launch competition near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Those interested in this grant opportunity should visit to register for a free, live videoconference on April 6, 2011, at 3 p.m. EDT in which MICI organizers will explain how to apply. Additional video conference sessions concerning USLI will be held during the remainder of the month of April. These sessions will include Dr. Clement Allen explaining how to create a Senior Design Course around USLI; the 2010 Florida A&M Student USLI team describing their experience at the contest; and NASA representatives from USLI explaining how the contest works and how to prepare in advance. Dates and times for all of these sessions will be posted at

Applications are due May 31, 2011.

Please email any questions about the grant opportunity and informational videoconferences to Mary Baker at


NASA LEARN and NES Offering Webinars

NASA Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, and NASA Explorer Schools have teamed up to offer exciting webinars featuring NASA educational resources for educators. Below are four offerings in April 2011 and the first May 2011 event. The webinars are presented from 9-10 p.m. EST to ensure 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:

Black Hole Math — April 6, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
This session provides teachers with information about one of the most exciting yet misunderstood space phenomenon — black holes. Learn about black hole structure and behavior, and get information on some common misconceptions about black holes.

Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber — April 13, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future. This webinar will highlight the science of the lunar environment, basic plant needs, the current focus of NASA’s plant research and the systems that are being developed for future missions.

Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration — April 20, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
This webinar will highlight the water recovery and management function of the Environmental Control and Life Support System, or ECLSS, on the International Space Station. Students will design, build, test and measure the performance of a water filtration device, analyze the data collected and use this information to work toward an improved filtration design.

Exploring Space Through Math — April 27, 2011, 9 p.m. EST
During this unique webinar, you’ll 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 — May 4, 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.


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: