NASA Education Express — June 23, 2011

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

Live Webcast — An Evening With Two Mercury Astronauts
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: June 23, 2011

Amendment and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008) — Posted on June 15, 2011
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Due Date: June 29, 2011

Mars Day! 2011 at the National Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: July 22, 2011

Dawn Mission’s Vesta Fiesta
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Aug. 5-7, 2011

2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Sept. 5, 2011


NASA Reveals New Batch of Space Program Artifacts for Loan
Audience: Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Sept. 5, 2011

NASA Kids’ Club Games and Activities
Audience: K-4 Educators and Students

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Live Webcast — An Evening With Two Mercury Astronauts

Join the National Air and Space Museum for a live webcast of a moderated conversation with two original NASA Mercury astronauts. Fifty years after the first human spaceflights, John Glenn and Scott Carpenter will talk about their selection as astronauts, the first human spaceflights and their careers in and out of spaceflight.

The lecture will take place on June 23, 2011, at 8 p.m. EDT.

For more information, visit
http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=2846.

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Amendment and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008) — Posted on June 24, 2011

Amendment and new FAQs will be posted on the CP4SMP+ portal page on NSPIRES on June 24, 2011. Applicants are encouraged to check back daily between June 27 and June 30.

Visit:
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={75AAC7BF-2F69-6C73-2980-B1DCF25EA665}&path=open


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Mars Day! 2011 at the National Air and Space Museum

Mars Day! is an annual National Air and Space Museum event that celebrates the Red Planet with educational and fun family activities. Visitors can take part in a variety of activities, see a real meteorite that came from Mars, talk to scientists active in Mars research, and learn about current and future missions.

Mars Day! 2011 will take place on Friday, July 22, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit
http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=3106.

Questions about this event should be directed to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-1000.

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Dawn Mission’s Vesta Fiesta

After nearly four years and 1.6 billion miles, the Dawn spacecraft is catching up to the object of its first destination in the main asteroid belt: Vesta. Soon scientists will be able to explore this exciting new world up close.

To celebrate, NASA is hosting a Vesta fiesta! Taking advantage of three nights where Vesta is visible for night sky viewing with a telescope, the Dawn mission is inspiring fiestas across the nation on Aug. 5-7, 2011. The flagship fiesta will take place on Aug. 6, in Pasadena, Calif. This event will feature fun activities, engaging scientists and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

To find a Vesta fiesta near you, or to find ideas for hosting your own party, visit
http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/vesta_fiesta.asp.

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2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory are offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

The 2011 Zero Robotics challenge is a continuation and expansion of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics education program using bowling ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are used inside the station to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking. The three satellites that make up SPHERES fly in formation inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment. Test results support satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and spacecraft that fly in formation.

The SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge requires high school student teams to write their own algorithm to fly the satellites in the station. Teams must register before Sept. 5, 2011, at
http://zerorobotics.mit.edu/.

Entries will be evaluated using simulations. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., will host a ground test 2D competition in October. Two elimination rounds in the 3D online simulation will be held in November. The top 27 teams will have their code sent to the station, where an astronaut will program the SPHERES satellites to run their tests.

The Zero Robotics challenge, facilitated by MIT, continues the STEM focus of the SPHERES program. The 2011 challenge expands on a pilot program performed in 2009 and 2010. By making the benefits and resources of the space program tangible to high school students, Zero Robotics is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students will have the opportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. This program builds critical engineering skills for students such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, team work and presentation skills.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA, NASA and other researchers with a long-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation of future satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. The satellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and software at an affordable cost.

For additional information about NASA and MIT’s Zero Robotics program, visit
http://go.nasa.gov/zero-robotics.

For additional information about DARPA, visit
http://www.darpa.mil.

Please e-mail any questions about this opportunity to Jason Crusan at
Jason.Crusan@nasa.gov.

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NASA Reveals New Batch of Space Program Artifacts for Loan

NASA is inviting eligible education institutions, museums and other organizations to examine and request space program artifacts online. Requestors should not talk directly to NASA. This is a limited opportunity for entities eligible to apply to the General Services Administration. Universities and schools not sponsored by the State Agency for Surplus Property, or SASP, must register online at
http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm to gain access to the prescreening module. The registration process requires a valid Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or National Center for Education Statistics number assigned by the Department of Education. After registration is complete, GSAXcess® will email a user ID to the registrant to access the prescreening module.

SASP-sponsored public museums, universities and schools must contact their SASP to request access to the online prescreening module. The SASP determines the organization’s eligibility to screen/receive surplus government property and will assign unique user access IDs.

The items represent significant human spaceflight technologies, processes and accomplishments from NASA’s past and present space exploration programs. On June 15, 2011, NASA posted a new batch of artifacts.

These artifacts are from the Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, Apollo and International Space Station Programs. Examples of artifacts include a space shuttle payload bay mock-up, cockpit seats and Apollo-era glove assemblies.

Each artifact will be available for 42 days. For the first 21 days, internal organizations such as NASA visitor centers, agency exhibit managers and the Smithsonian Institution may request artifacts. Eligible external organizations, including museums, schools, universities, libraries and planetariums, may request artifacts the following 21 days. After the screening period closes, and at the completion of the request process, organizations will be notified about the status of their request.

Artifacts will be released incrementally when they no longer are needed by NASA and in accordance with export control laws and regulations. Artifacts are provided free of charge; however, requesting organizations must pay for shipping and any special handling costs.

For information about NASA’s space shuttle transition and artifacts, visit
https://www.nasa.gov/transition.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Tony Springer at
Tony.Springer@nasa.gov.

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NASA Kids’ Club Games and Activities

Have you visited the NASA Kids’ Club recently? Games and activities have been added just in time for summer!

Check out the new “Why Do We Explore?” storybook. Kids can read this animated online story about exploration or have it read aloud to them as they follow along.
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Why_Do_We_Explore.html

Children can let their creativity shine with the “Color NASA” activity. This interactive coloring book features pictures of plants, birds and animals that live on NASA centers across the U.S.
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Color_NASA.html

Are your kids hungry for a new game to play? The “Space Lunch” game helps them learn about nutrition and healthy eating habits as they hunt for matching food groups.
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Space_Lunch.html

Looking for a fun hands-on activity for a summer afternoon? Check out the “Let’s Fly Away” activity. Children can interact online with an aircraft-covered dodecahedron. Or, print out the activity pages to learn about 12 different aircraft and build their own 3-D dodecahedron!
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Lets_Fly_Away.html

Ever wonder how much you’d weigh on other planets and moons? Play the “Astro-Matic 3000” game to find out!
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Astro-Matic_3000.html

Do you know a child who likes puzzles? Check out the “Put It Together” game to solve puzzles of NASA images. Choose from four different levels of difficulty.
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Put_It_Together.html

For these fun activities and more, visit
https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub.

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Don’t miss out on education-related opportunities available from NASA. For a full list of Current Opportunities, visit https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/current-opps-index.html.

Visit NASA Education on the Web:
For Educators:
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html
For Students:
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html
NASA Kids’ Club:
https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub