NASA Education Express — Sept. 8, 2011

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


AdditionalFrequently Asked Questions — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) CompetitiveProgram for Science Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASAVisitor Centers and Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+)(Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance(CFDA) Number: 43.008)—Available For Download

Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA WebSeminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 12, 2011

4th Digital Media and Learning Competition Kick-Off Event
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 15, 2011

Properties of Living Things: Searchingfor Life on Mars
Audience: 4-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 15, 2011

DEADLINEEXTENDED: 2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge

Audience: High School Students

Deadline: Sept. 16, 2011, or until 200 teams have registered

Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators to Experience Microgravity
Audience: K-12 Educators
Proposal Deadline: Sept. 21, 2011

Global Water Experiment Webcast
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 22, 2011


Fall 2011 CassiniScientist for a Day
Audience:5-12 Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 26, 2011

2012NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition
Audience:Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011


2012RASC-AL Competition
Audience:Higher Education Students
Deadline: Jan. 20, 2012

Solving the Challenges of Space in the RealWorld and InWorld
Audience: 7-12 Educators and Students
Deadline: Jan. 27, 2012



AdditionalFrequently Asked Questions


NASAResearch Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums andPlanetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other InformalEducation Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog ofFederal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)—Available For Download
Audience:Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Due Date: June 29, 2011

Four Frequently Asked Questions received after the proposal due date have beenadded to the CP4SMP+ portal page on NSPIRES at the following URL:




AnalyzingSolar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, theNASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association arehosting a 90-minute web seminar for educators on Sept. 12, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn to use satellite data fromNASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and Polar OperationalEnvironmental Satellites missions in your meteorology lessons. Access websitescontaining authentic GOES and POES data and imagery files and learn how to downloadand use this data to supplement your curriculum.

For more information and toregister online, visit URL

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

E-mail any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at


4thDigital Media and Learning Competition Kick-Off Event

Today learning happens anytime, anyplace, at any age. How can 21st-centurylearners demonstrate their knowledge and skills? Digital badges can inspirelearning, unlock jobs, encourage educational and civic opportunities, and opennew pipelines for talent.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration withMozilla and HASTAC, invites you to an event on Sept. 15, 2011, to explore thepotential of Badges for Lifelong Learning. Badges are a new assessment toolthat will help identify skills mastered in formal and informal settings; virtuallyand in physical spaces; and in schools, workplaces and communities.

Featured speakers include:
— The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
— Charles F. Bolden Jr., Administrator, NASA.
— Emily Stover DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute and theNational Center for the American Workforce.
Mark Surman, Executive Director, MozillaFoundation.

The event will feature the announcement of the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition,which will provide up to $2 million in grants for innovations in the use ofBadges for Learning.

To watch a live video stream of the event from the Hirshhorn Museum inWashington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2011,from 9 a.m-10:30 a.m. EDT, visit

For more information about the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition,visit


Properties of Living Things: Searching for Life onMars

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, theNASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association arehosting a 90-minute Web seminar for educators on Sept. 15, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Review criteria for determiningif something is alive and learn how students can apply the criteria in ahands-on activity. A video will be shown that connects the activity to a NASAmission. Attendees will collaborate with other participants about ways of usingand adapting the activity. Extension activities for students interested in thetopic will be provided.

For more information and toregister online, visit URL

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

E-mail any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at


DEADLINEEXTENDED: 2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge

The newdeadline for the Zero Robotics registration is Sept. 16, 2011, or when200 teams are reached, whichever is first! The competition will continue onschedule, but you may join even after the Kickoff.

The Kickoff event will be held Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT(10 a.m. PDT). Are you not sure if you’re interested? Watch the Kickoff,transmitted LIVE on NASA TV and via webcast (link at Kickoff will describe this year’s game and tournament structure and willintroduce the online programming environment.

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and MassachusettsInstitute of Technology’s Space Systems Laboratory are offering high schoolstudents 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 usingbowling-ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, orSPHERES, are used inside the station to test maneuvers for spacecraftperforming autonomous rendezvous and docking. The three satellites that make upSPHERES fly in formation inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-containedwith power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment. Test resultssupport satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and spacecraft that fly information.

The SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge requires high school student teams to writetheir own algorithm to fly the satellites in the station. Teams must registerbefore Sept. 16, 2011, at

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

The Zero Robotics challenge, facilitated by MIT, TopCoder and Aurora FlightSciences, continues the STEM focus of the SPHERES program. The 2011 challengeexpands on a pilot program performed in 2009 and 2010. By making the benefitsand resources of the space program tangible to high school students, ZeroRobotics is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students willhave the opportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. Thisprogram builds critical engineering skills for students such as problemsolving, design thought process, operations training, teamwork and presentationskills.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), NASA and other researchers with along-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation offuture satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. Thesatellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and softwareat an affordable cost.

For additional information about NASA and MIT’s Zero Robotics program, visit

For additional information about DARPA, visit .

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Jason Crusan at




Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators toExperience Microgravity

TeachingFrom Space, a NASA Education office, in partnership with the Reduced GravityEducation Flight Program announces the opportunity for students and educatorsacross the country to collaborate on an experiment to be tested aboard amicrogravity aircraft. This incredible opportunity is open to any current K-12classroom educator in the United States. Educators must also be U.S. citizens.

The Microgravity Experience begins with students and educators developing andproposing a reduced gravity experiment. Selected educator teams will then beengaged in a suite of activities that include online professional developmenton classroom resources for microgravity, collaboration with a NASA mentor and areduced-gravity flight. With combined input from their students and mentor,educator teams will design and fabricate their experiments to be tested andevaluated aboard an aircraft that flies approximately 30 roller-coaster-likeclimbs and dips to produce periods of micro and hyper gravity, ranging fromzero gravity to 2 g.

Seven teams of four to five educators will be selected from this applicationprocess to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Educatorswill participate in Reduced Gravity Flight Week Feb. 6-11, 2012, and flytheir own experiments aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft (Note: Thisopportunity is contingent upon the NASA Education budget).

Educator teams interested in participating in this unique MicrogravityExperience need to submit a proposal no later than Sept. 21, 2011. Formore information, check out send an e-mail to


Global Water Experiment Webcast

Duringthe International Year of Chemistry 2011, students around the world are invitedto explore one of Earth’s most critical resources, water. The results of theirinvestigations will contribute to a global experiment, which will possiblybecome the biggest chemistry experiment ever.

Join specialists from NASA and the American Chemical Society, on Sept. 22, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT, as theydiscuss this experiment and how water filtration affects our lives on Earth andin space.

Check out the webcast at

To learn more about the experiment, visit


Fall 2011 CassiniScientist for a Day
Audience:5-12 Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 26, 2011

The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASAscientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observationstaken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientificresults. This choice must then be supported in a 500-word essay. Teamwork isencouraged. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassiniscientists.

The contest is open to all students in the United States from grades 5-12,working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essays will be dividedinto three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’original work. Each student can submit one entry.

Deadline for Fall 2011 submissions is noon Pacific time (3 p.m. EDT) on Oct.26, 2011.

For more information, visit If you have questionsabout this contest, please e-mail your inquiries to


2012NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

NASA ischallenging U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate student teams todesign and build a telerobotic or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot, thatcould be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The lunabotmust be able to mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of lunarsimulant in 10 minutes.

Design teams must include one faculty advisor from a college or university andat least two undergraduate or graduate students. Universities may work incollaboration, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Selected teams will compete in the Lunabotics Mining Competition at NASA’sKennedy Space Center in Florida on May21-26, 2012. Registration is limited to the first 60 approved teams.Registration is limited to one team per university campus. Internationally,registration is limited to 10 teams per country.

Registration will end when NASA approves60 applications, or on Nov. 30, 2011, whichever occurs first.

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

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Susan Sawyer at


Like NASA Lunabotics on Facebook at
Watch Lunabotics videos on YouTube at
Follow Lunabotics on Twitter at!/Lunabotics.



2012RASC-AL Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2012 RevolutionaryAerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage Competition. RASC-AL is a designproject competition aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL contest challenges participants to design projects based on realNASA projects. Participants can choose from four different themes. These designprojects potentially could be implemented by NASA.

Interested teams are requested to submit a notice of intent as soon aspractical, and teams must submit an abstract for their proposed project by Jan. 20, 2012. The RASC-AL SteeringCommittee of NASA and industry experts will evaluate the proposals and selectas many as ten undergraduate and five graduate teams to compete against eachother at a forum in June 2012 in Florida.

The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate studentsmajoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. Universitydesign teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a universityaffiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group ofuniversities may also work in collaboration on a design project entry.Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Shelley Spears at



Solving the Challenges of Space in the RealWorldand InWorld

The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering DesignChallenge encourages students in grades 7-12 to explore and build skillsessential for successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematicsthrough two phases of project-based learning and team competition.

RealWorld (Phase 1):Teams of middle- and high-school-aged students with support of theirteachers/coaches/parents work collaboratively as engineers and scientists toexplore and design solutions related to the James Webb Space Telescope andRobonaut 2.

RealWorld Phase begins:September 1, 2011.
RealWorld Phase ends: January 27, 2012. To be considered to move to theInWorld phase, all RealWorld work must be submitted by this deadline.

Recognition: Submitted finalproject solutions will be featured on the RealWorld-InWorld website, and teamswill receive recognition for their work once they complete the RealWorldchallenge and InWorld registration.

InWorld (Phase 2): Participatingcollege students select teams of two to four middle- and high-school-agedstudents who have completed the RealWorld phase to build their InWorld teams.Participation is limited to U.S. citizens. Teams work in a 3-D virtual onlineenvironment using 21st Century tools to refine designs and to create 3-D modelsof their design solutions.

InWorld Phase begins: January 28, 2012.
InWorld Phase ends: April 20, 2012.

Recognition: InWorld teams willcompete for cash awards ($1,000 per member, including team leader, for eachwinning team). Contest rules apply.

NASA scientists and engineers visit and “chat”virtually throughout both phases of the challenge.

To learn more about the challenge and to register for online resources for thisfree and flexible project, visit


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

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

2 thoughts on “NASA Education Express — Sept. 8, 2011”

  1. This is a technological
    development that is
    extraordinary, hopefully will be good development in the technology lane

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