Monthly Archives: October 2011

NASA Education Express — Oct. 27, 2011

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

NASA History Division Spring and Summer 2012 Internships
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Spring 2012 Application Deadline: Oct. 30, 2011
Summer 2012 Application Deadline: Feb. 4, 2012

Vector Addition: Math and Science @ Work — Lunar Surface Instrumentation Web Seminar
Audience: Physics Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 1, 2011

Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various dates through Dec. 20, 2011

NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Year of the Solar System
Audience: 8-12 Educators and Students
Event Date: Nov. 3, 2011

Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration Web Seminar
Audience: Physics teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 3, 2011

Expedition 31 and 32 In-flight Education Downlink Opportunity
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 21, 2011

2011 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 3, 2012
Video Submission Deadline: Jan. 17, 2012

2011-2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education
Audience: Higher Education Educators
Workshop Dates: Jan. 3-4, 2012

Electronic Professional Development Network Courses
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Using Robotics to Enhance STEM Learning: Jan. 18-Feb. 28, 2012
Technology Integration — Vodcasts: Feb. 8-March 13, 2012
Don’t Just Show Me the Numbers; Make Sense of the Information: Feb. 29-April 3, 2012
Project-Based Inquiry Learning: March 14-April 17, 2012
Technology Integration — 3-D Visualizations: March 21-April 24, 2012
Technology Integration — Turn Your Classroom Digital: April 4-May 8, 2012


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NASA History Division Spring and Summer 2012 Internships

The NASA History Division is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for spring and summer 2012 internships. The History Division maintains archival materials to answer research questions from NASA personnel, journalists, scholars, students at all levels and others from around the world. The division also edits and publishes several books and monographs each year. It maintains a large number of websites on NASA history.

Students of all majors are welcome to apply. While detailed prior knowledge of the aeronautics and space fields is not necessary, a keen interest and some basic familiarity with these topics are needed. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential. Experience with computers, especially HTML formatting, is a plus.

Intern projects are flexible. Typical projects include handling a variety of information requests, editing historical manuscripts, doing research and writing biographical sketches, updating and creating websites, and identifying and captioning photos.

Applications for spring 2012 internships are due Oct. 30, 2011. Summer 2012 internship applications are due Feb. 4, 2012.

For more information, visit
http://history.nasa.gov/interncall.htm.

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Steve Garber at
stephen.j.garber@nasa.gov.

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Vector Addition: Math and Science @ Work — Lunar Surface Instrumentation Web Seminar

NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar on Nov. 1, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how students can apply their knowledge of vectors to a hypothetical lunar instrument-servicing mission. Information and tools will be provided to help engage students and relate the lesson to their background knowledge. Participants will collaborate about ways to adapt and modify the problem.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar18.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars

Expedition Earth and Beyond is designed to motivate students to gain an interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Using stunning images, the program encourages students to not only want to learn about earth processes but to provide them with the opportunity to get involved with NASA in the process of exploration, discovery and science.

Check out the following webinar sessions to bring rigor and relevance to your classroom and transform your students into scientists as they explore Earth and other planetary bodies in our solar system. A telephone and a computer with Internet access are required to join these sessions.

Blue Marble Matches Activity Training Webinar
Nov. 1, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. EDT
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_11012011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will introduce participants to the Blue Marble Matches classroom activity. This activity is designed to spark interest and provide background information on geological processes on Earth and other planetary bodies in our solar system.

Training Webinar: Student Research in the Classroom — Getting Started
Nov. 8, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_11082011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will focus on important aspects of student scientist research in the classroom. The session will include useful information to share with students about things to consider as they conduct a research investigation in the classroom.

Mars Rovers and Landers — Past, Present and Future
Nov. 15, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_11152011.cfm
Join this interactive presentation to connect your students with a NASA scientist who will show images and share exciting stories about exploring Mars. The presentation will focus on Mars rovers and landers of the past, present and future. The session will include information on the upcoming launch of NASA’s Mars Science Lab rover.

Training Webinar: Student Scientist Guidebook Training — Modeling the Process of Science, Steps 1-3
Nov. 29, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_11292011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will focus on steps 1, 2 and 3 of the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. The session will provide tips to help students with preliminary questions, initial observations and background research.

Training Webinar: Student Scientist Guidebook Training — Modeling the Process of Science, Steps 4-5
Dec. 6, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_12062011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will focus on steps 4 and 5 of the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. The session will provide tips to help students with experiment design and collecting and compiling data.

Training Webinar: Student Scientist Guidebook Training — Modeling the Process of Science, Steps 6-9
Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_12132011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will focus on steps 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. The session will provide tips to help students with data displays, analyzing and interpreting data, drawing conclusions and ideas on sharing research.

Training Webinar: Follow-Up Session: Student Scientist Guidebook Training — Modeling the Process of Science
Dec. 20, 2011 at 6 p.m. EST
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_12202011.cfm
This teacher training webinar session will focus on the previous sessions about the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. The follow-up session will be useful for those who have additional questions or want a quick overview of previous sessions.

For more information about the Expedition Earth and Beyond program, visit
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/index.cfm.

If you have questions about these webinars, please contact Paige Graff at paige.v.graff@nasa.gov.

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NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Year of the Solar System

NASA Explorer Schools invites students in grades 8-12 from across the U.S. and Departments of Defense and State schools to participate in a live video webchat with Jim Adams, NASA’s deputy director of planetary science. NASA spacecraft will be heading for key locations within the solar system during the “Year of the Solar System,” a Martian year covering almost two Earth years. Adams will answer students’ questions about recent planetary missions, discoveries and upcoming launches. Learn about his career path and some of the most rewarding moments in his 22-years working with NASA. The hourlong live webchat begins at 2 p.m. EDT on Nov 3, 2011.

Email questions to be answered during the live chat to
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

You do not need to be a participant of the NASA Explorer Schools, or NES, project to participate in the video chat.

To find out more about the Year of the Solar System, visit
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/index.cfm.

Read about Jim Adams at
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/people/profile.cfm?Code=AdamsJ.

To learn more about NES, please visit the
explorerschools.nasa.gov website.

For more information about this NES live video chat, visit https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/adams-chat.html.

If you have any questions about the webcast, contact
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar on Nov. 3, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Get background information about water recycling on the International Space Station, and then see how to incorporate the information into an exciting hands-on, inquiry-based challenge requiring students to solve a problem. Participants will watch a video showing students engaged in the challenge and discuss possible modifications to the challenge in order to adapt it for different students and classroom situations.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar19.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Expedition 31 and 32 In-flight Education Downlink Opportunity

NASA is seeking formal and informal educational organizations, individually or working together, to host a live, in-flight education downlink during Expedition 31 and 32 (approximately from March 2012 to September 2012). To maximize these downlink opportunities, NASA is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the downlink into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Dec. 21, 2011.

During Expeditions 31 and 32, crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in downlinks. Downlinks are approximately 20 minutes in length and allow students and educators to interact with astronauts through a question and answer session. Downlinks afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space. Downlinks are broadcast live on NASA TV and are streamed on the NASA website. Because of the nature of human spaceflight, organizations must demonstrate the flexibility to accommodate changes in downlink dates and times.

Interested organizations should contact Teaching From Space, a NASA Education office, to obtain information related to expectations, format, audience, guidelines and forms by sending an email to JSC-Teaching-From-Space@mail.nasa.gov or calling 281-244-7608.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/teachingfromspace/students/downlinks.html.

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2011 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest

NASA has opened registration for the 2011 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. Last year’s contest was open to students in grades 3-8 and resulted in 76 video submissions from over 190 students in 31 states.

For 2011, the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest has been expanded to include students in grades 3-12. Each student, or group of students, will submit a three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed in NASA’s 2010 “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 Jan. 3, 2012. Video entries are due Jan. 17, 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. Among other prizes, a crystal OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award Trophy will be given to winners at a special awards ceremony being held in Florida in April 2012. The innovators associated with the NASA technology highlighted in the winning videos also will receive trophies, as will their commercial partners.

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, visit the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest website at http://ipp.gsfc.nasa.gov/optimus.

Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.

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2011-2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education

Applications are now being accepted for the 2011-2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education, also known as FINESSE. This two-day workshop will assist university and community college science and education faculty in preparing future teachers in science. The 2012 institute will incorporate the theme of Our Solar System in a New Light, in conjunction with the Year of the Solar System.

FINESSE workshops are free, and participants receive a $300 stipend and lunch. During the workshop, NASA Earth and space scientists and educators share inquiry activities, data and resources.

This year’s FINESSE workshop will take place will take place Jan. 3-4, 2012, during the in Association for Science Teacher Education conference in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/facultyInstitutes/.

Inquiries about the FINESSE workshop should be directed to Christine Shupla at shupla@lpi.usra.edu.

To learn more about the Year of the Solar System, visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/.

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Electronic Professional Development Network Courses

NASA’s Learning Environments and Research Network and the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to create the electronic professional development network, or e-PDN, an initiative dedicated to preparing K-12 teachers to engage their students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, through the use of NASA-developed learning materials and resources.

If you are looking for a way to enhance your instructional skills, meet your professional development goals or find new and exciting resources to use in your learning environments, apply to one of our free courses today!

Applications are now open for the following courses:

Using Robotics to Enhance STEM Learning — Jan. 18-Feb. 28, 2012
Learn how to build and program LEGO Mindstorms robots and use them to promote student engagement and conceptual understanding of mathematics, science and engineering. Explore robotic manipulators and end effectors like the ones NASA uses on the International Space Station, and integrate multiple sensors into your robot to allow for systematic control. Join your colleagues in the Grand Challenge to design, build and program a robot to explore an environment and return with a sample for investigation.

Technology Integration — Vodcasts Feb. 8-March 13, 2012
Participants will use various audio and video editing software tools to create video podcasts, or vodcasts. Each participant will begin by creating an enhanced podcast and build up to a vodcast through the creation of video and audio files. During the course, you will examine and use many of the NASA public domain resources for infusing STEM concepts into your projects.

Don’t Just Show Me the Numbers; Make Sense of the Information Feb. 29-April 3, 2012
Strengthen your understanding of the statistics content included in the Common Core Standards while deepening your understanding of data analysis, sampling and inference. Participants will use the four-step investigative approach for problem solving using statistics. Learn to use online interactive applications, NASA data sets and electronic collaborative tools for data collection.

Project-Based Inquiry LearningMarch 14-April 17, 2012
Develop skills in designing and using project-based inquiry learning, or PBIL, to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning and problem solving in standards-based classrooms. Experience and analyze two NASA-oriented PBIL projects firsthand; learn PBIL curriculum design strategies and methods; and design a PBIL unit for use in your classroom.

Technology Integration — 3-D Visualizations — March 21-April 24, 2012
Participants will learn how to use 3-D visualization tools to create models of complex objects. Introduction to systems engineering and the multidisciplinary engineering design processes such as product lifecycle management and integrated product and process development principles will be introduced.

Technology Integration — Turn Your Classroom Digital — April 4-May 8, 2012
Attendees
will learn how to create their own online course from start to finish. Participants will get an overview of online teaching models, learning management systems, instructional design models, Web 2.0 collaborative tools and online assessments. Participants will then combine the pieces and create an online course in a free learning management system.

To learn more about these free courses and to apply online, visit http://nasaepdn.gatech.edu/nasa_certificates.php.

For more information on the e-PDN and the resources it offers to K-12 teachers, visit www.nasaepdn.gatech.edu.

Questions about these courses should be directed to Kristen Anderson at kristen.anderson@dlpe.gatech.edu.

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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

NASA Education Express — Oct. 20, 2011

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

Chemical Elements: Genesis — What Are We Made Of? Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 20, 2011

Center of Mass and Center of Pressure: Engineering a Stable Rocket Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 24, 2011

Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math – Space Shuttle Ascent Web Seminar
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 25, 2011

Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Web Seminar
Audience: 4-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 26, 2011

NASA’s DEVELOP Program — 2012 Spring and Summer Sessions
Audience: 9-12 and Higher Education Educators and Students
Spring Session Deadline: Nov. 14, 2011
Summer Session Deadline: Jan. 30, 2012

2011 National Mars Education Conference: Bring Curiosity Into Your Classroom
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Nov. 18, 2011
Event Dates: Nov. 25-27, 2011

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Summer Internship Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 31, 2011

Centennial Challenge: Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Jan. 2, 2012

NASA Releases New Interactive Space Communications Game
Audience: All Educators and Grade 5-Higher Education Students

Astronomy Curriculum: Afterschool Universe
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators

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Chemical Elements: Genesis — What Are We Made Of? Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 20, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to use the “What Are We Made Of?” hands-on activity to integrate mathematics and physical science in your classroom. Discover how students can use statistical sampling to estimate the chemical composition of the sun by analyzing data in a way similar to the one used by scientists who analyzed solar particles collected by the Genesis spacecraft.

For more information and to register online, visit
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar15.aspx

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov
.

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Center of Mass and Center of Pressure: Engineering a Stable Rocket Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 24, 2011, at 8:15 p.m. EDT. Learn how to incorporate rocketry into your curriculum. The featured lesson is the “High-Power Paper Rockets” activity from NASA’s Rockets Educator Guide. This seminar provides an overview of the activity, explores the NASA connections, shares tips and tricks for implementing this lesson in the classroom and discusses possible modifications or extensions.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar16.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.


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Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math — Space Shuttle Ascent Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, Projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 25, 2011, at 7 p.m. EDT. Discover how you can use the Space Shuttle Ascent activity to construct a knowledge bridge for your students between the algebra concepts they learn in your classroom and space exploration.

For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-linear-regression/.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 26, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn to incorporate space exploration problems into your technology or life science classes. Use the engineering design process to have students design, build and evaluate the effectiveness of lunar plant growth chambers while engaging them in research- and standards-based learning experiences.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar17.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.


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NASA’s DEVELOP Program — 2012 Spring and Summer Sessions

DEVELOP is a NASA Science Mission Directorate Applied Sciences-sponsored internship that fosters the training and development of students in the atmospheric and earth sciences. The DEVELOP Program extends the application of NASA earth science research and technology to meet societal needs.

Students conduct projects that focus on the practical application of NASA’s earth science research and demonstrate how results can benefit partner organizations and local communities. Advisors and mentors, from NASA and partner institutions, provide guidance and support for the program. Students gain experience using NASA science and technology in a professional setting.

Students from high school through doctoral levels are selected through a competitive application process. Students chosen by DEVELOP work on teams onsite at 10 locations nationwide. Activities are conducted during three 10-week terms per year: spring, summer and fall. To apply to a DEVELOP center at a NASA location, applicants must be a citizen of the U.S. However, international students currently registered at an accredited school in the U.S. are eligible to apply to DEVELOP regional locations. International applicants must already have a visa that permits them to work in the U.S.

Applications for the spring 2012 session are due Nov. 14, 2011. Summer 2012 applications are due Jan. 30, 2012.

For more information about this unique internship opportunity, please visit the DEVELOP website at http://develop.larc.nasa.gov.

Questions about the DEVELOP Program should be directed by email to NASA-DL-DEVELOP@mail.nasa.gov or by telephone to 757-864-3761.

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2011 National Mars Education Conference: Bring Curiosity Into Your Classroom

NASA is preparing to launch the Mars rover named Curiosity. Educators are invited to join NASA in Florida for an educator conference and a potential launch viewing. The educator conference is filled with standards-aligned activities, mission team speakers, a tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and learning materials to take home.

The conference will take place Nov. 25-27, 2011, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. A conference fee of $125 per participant is due by Nov. 18, 2011.

For more information about this unique opportunity, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/curiosity.

Questions about the 2011 National Mars Education Conference should be directed to marsed@mars.asu.edu.


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National Space Biomedical Research Institute Summer Internship Program

Interns selected for the NSBRI’s summer program join ongoing project activities and gain hands-on experience in space biomedical research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; or Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The program is open to graduate students, medical students and undergraduate students who have completed their second year of studies.

Applicants are asked to send a curriculum vitae or resume, a letter of interest, two letters of recommendation, and college transcripts. Applicants must be available during the dates of May 28 through Aug. 3, 2012.

The program is open to U.S. citizens.

Applications for the 2012 program are due Dec. 31, 2011.

For more information and to apply online, visit http://www.nsbri.org/summerinternship/. Questions about this opportunity should be directed to info@nsbri.org.

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Centennial Challenge: Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize purse.

During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.

NASA provides the prize money to the winning team as part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges competitions, which seek unconventional solutions to problems of interest to the agency and the nation. While NASA provides the prize purse, the competitions are managed by nonprofit organizations that cover the cost of operations through commercial or private sponsorships. The competition is planned for June 2012 in Worcester and is anticipated to attract hundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.

Early bird registration and fees for the competition are due by Jan. 2, 2012. Teams wishing to register after this date are subject to approval by the judging committee.

For more information about the Sample Return Robot Challenge and to register online for the competition, visit http://challenge.wpi.edu.

The Centennial Challenges program is part of NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. For more information about NASA’s Centennial Challenges and the Office of the Chief Technologist, visit https://www.nasa.gov/oct.

Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to challenge@wpi.edu.


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NASA Releases New Interactive Space Communications Game

NASA has released an interactive, educational video game called NetworKing that depicts how the Space Communication and Navigation, or SCaN, network operates. The release of the video game coincided with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2011.

Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NetworKing gives players an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.

To successfully construct fast and efficient communication networks, players first must establish command stations around the world and accept clients conducting space missions, such as satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients. Players can use accumulated resources strategically to enhance and increase their networks’ capabilities.

Players with the most integrated communications networks will have the ability to acquire more complex clients, such as the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler mission.

NetworKing is available to the public for play on the NASA 3D Resources website. Players can access the game using an Internet browser. It can be downloaded and run on both a PC and Macintosh operating system. To play the NetworKing game, visit https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/scan.html.

In conjunction with NetworKing, the 3D Resources website also links visitors to the Station Spacewalk Interactive Game and the SCaN Interactive Demo that demonstrates the interaction between SCaN’s ground-and-space facilities and NASA spacecraft.

Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, World Space Week is an annual international celebration of science and technology commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty. The theme for World Space Week 2011 was “50 Years of Human Spaceflight.”

For more information about SCaN, visit https://www.spacecomm.nasa.gov/spacecomm/default.cfm.

For more information about NASA’s education programs, visit https://www.nasa.gov/education.

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Astronomy Curriculum: Afterschool Universe

Afterschool Universe is a hands-on astronomy curriculum targeted at middle school out-of-school-time settings. Developed in 2006 and rigorously pilot-tested and evaluated, the 12-session program explores basic astronomy concepts through engaging hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the universe beyond the solar system.

To learn more about the program, visit http://universe.nasa.gov/afterschool/.

The Afterschool Universe team has released a new series of activity videos to be used as supplements to the program’s manual and training workshops. To view the videos, visit the Afterschool Universe YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/AfterschoolUniverse.

Questions about this program should be directed to http://universe.nasa.gov/au/webcont.html.

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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

NASA Education Express — Oct. 13, 2011

Posted on by .

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

Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures Web Seminar
Audience: 5-9 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 17, 2011

Mathematical Models: Black Holes Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 19, 2011

NASA NPP Educator Launch Conference
Audience: K-12 and Informal educators
Event date: Oct 26-27, 2011

DEADLINE APPROACHING — NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project:  K-12 Educator Fellowships
Audience: K-12 Educators
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2011

International Space Station EarthKAM Fall 2011 Mission
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Event Date: Nov. 1-4, 2011

2012 Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars
Audience: 9-12 Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 4, 2011

2012 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program
Audience: Higher Education Students

Application Deadline: Nov. 15, 2011

YouTube Space Lab Experiment Design Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Dec. 7, 2011

2012 Texas High School Aerospace Scholars
Audience: 9-12 Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 9, 2011

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Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 17, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to incorporate the excitement of rocketry into your classroom during this Web seminar and receive an overview of the student engineering design challenge, Spacecraft Structures, where students design and construct a strong, but lightweight, structure that can withstand the launch of a water bottle “rocket.”

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar14.aspx .

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov
.

________________________________________________________________

Mathematical Models: Black Holes Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 19, 2011, at 8 p.m. EDT. Misconceptions about black holes will be addressed, as you get background information about the structure and behavior of one of our universe’s most mysterious and spectacular bodies. You will see how to derive the equations used in the Black Hole Math problem set for your students to better understand the physics of black holes.

For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-mathematical-models/.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.


________________________________________________________________

NASA NPP Educator Launch Conference

Attend this education conference in California on Oct. 26-27, 2011, to witness the launch of NASA’s next-generation weather and earth science mission NPP, short for NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project.

This conference will provide close-up viewing of the powerful Delta-II launch vehicle on the launch pad before and during launch, as well as hands-on practical educator workshops and presentations by principal investigators from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and other practitioners.

Conference attendees will attend a dinner at the Vandenberg Air Force Base Officers’ Club where they can interface one-on-one with formal and informal STEM educators, scientists and engineers.

To learn more about the conference and to register online, visit
http://endeavourinstitute.org/launch_conference.html.

The NPP mission will help link the current generation of Earth-observing satellites called the Earth Observing System to a next-generation of operational polar-orbiting environmental satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NPP’s data products will help meteorologists improve weather forecasts and advance earth and climate science. The remote-sensing instruments aboard NPP will measure Earth’s atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity and pressure profiles, land and ocean biological activity and cloud and aerosol properties. NOAA meteorologists will incorporate the data into their weather and climate prediction models to produce accurate life-saving forecasts and warnings. NPP will also help emergency responders monitor and react to natural disasters.

To learn more about NPP and for educational resources about the mission, visit
http://npp.gsfc.nasa.gov/nppy.html.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Steve Kliewer at
director@endeavourinstitute.org.

________________________________________________________________

DEADLINE APPROACHING — NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project: K-12 Educator Fellowships

NASA’s Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project awards 12-18-month fellowships each year to 50 formal educators. Cohort 4 begins in January 2012. NASA Endeavor Fellows take five online graduate courses in an innovative, live format from the comfort of their homes or schools. In these courses, participants gain STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professional development and mastery of STEM pedagogical strategies. They learn to apply these strategies and cutting-edge STEM content to their classroom contexts while becoming part of a network of like-minded educators across the nation.

Endeavor Fellows earn and are awarded a NASA Endeavor Certificate in STEM Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Fifteen graduate credits are awarded from regionally accredited higher education partners.

Collaborating with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Endeavor has arranged for an option whereby fellows may put their work from the STEM certificate toward becoming nationally board certified in mathematics or science.

Applications for Cohort 4 will be accepted through
Oct. 31, 2011.

For more information, visit http://www.us-satellite.net/nasa/endeavor/index.cfm.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
nasa_endeavor@us-satellite.net.

________________________________________________________________

International Space Station EarthKAM Fall 2011 Mission

Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station EarthKAM Fall 2011 Mission from Nov. 1-4, 2011. Find out more about this exciting opportunity that allows students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera aboard the International Space Station.

International Space Station EarthKAM is a NASA-sponsored project that provides stunning, high-quality photographs of Earth taken from the space shuttle and the space station. Since 1996, EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the World Wide Web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and, currently, on the space station.

For more information about the project and to register for the upcoming mission, visit the EarthKAM home page
www.EarthKAM.ucsd.edu.

If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please email
ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

________________________________________________________________

2012 Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars


The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars, or VASTS, program is a free interactive online science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning experience highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Students selected to participate are immersed in NASA-related research through interaction with scientists, engineers and technologists. Participating students earn up to four college credits.

The VASTS program is
open to high school juniors throughout Virginia. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.7 and have access to the internet.

The application deadline is Nov. 4, 2011.

For additional information on the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program and to apply online, visit
www.vasts.spacegrant.org.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
info@vasts.spacegrant.org.

________________________________________________________________

2012 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

National Community College Aerospace Scholars is an interactive, online learning experience featuring engineering career possibilities. It is highlighted by an on-site experience where selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers at NASA.

The only cost to participants is a $30 registration fee. NASA covers travel, food and lodging. NCAS is open to community college students throughout United States. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have access to the internet.

Applications are due Nov. 15, 2011.

For more information and to apply online, visit
http://ncas.aerospacescholars.org/

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
jsc-ncas@mail.nasa.gov.

________________________________________________________________

YouTube’s Space Lab Challenges Students to Design an Experiment for the International Space Station

NASA has partnered with Space Adventures and YouTube on a global competition that challenges 14- to 18-year-old students to design a science experiment that can be performed in space. The winning experiment will be conducted aboard the space station in 2012.

Students, either alone or in groups of up to three, are invited to submit a video describing their experiments to YouTube.com/SpaceLab. Six regional finalists will gather in the United States in March 2012 to experience a zero-gravity flight and receive other prizes. From the finalists, two global winners will be announced and will see their experiments performed in space and streamed online that summer. Additionally, the global winners will get to choose a unique space experience as a prize: either a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off to the space station, or a trip to Star City, Russia, for an authentic space training experience at the Russian cosmonaut facility.

Videos will be accepted through Dec. 7, 2011.

For more information about the challenge, visit
https://www.youtube.com/spacelab.

For more information on NASA education programs, visit https://www.nasa.gov/education.

________________________________________________________________

2012 Texas High School Aerospace Scholars


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 is Dec. 9, 2011.

For additional information on the project and to apply online, visit
http://has.aerospacescholars.org/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
jsc-aeroscho@mail.nasa.gov.

________________________________________________________________

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

NASA Education Express — Oct. 6, 2011

Posted on by .

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

Celebrate Earth Science Week 2011
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Dates: Oct. 7-15, 2011


Derivatives: Math and Science @ Work — Space Shuttle Auxiliary Power Units Web Seminar
Audience: Calculus Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 11, 2011

Electrolysis of Water: Math and Science @ Work — A Breath of Fresh Air Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 12, 2011

NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Honoring Hispanic Heritage — Sí se Puede: del Barrio Hasta la NASA
Audience: 4-12 Educators and Students
Event Date: Oct. 13, 2011, Noon – 1 p.m. EDT

DEADLINE APPROACHING — NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project: K-12 Educator Fellowships
Audience: K-12 Educators
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2011

2011 NASA Postdoctoral Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011

GRAIL Spacecraft Naming Contest
Audience: K-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Nov. 11, 2011

2012 Space Exploration Educators Conference
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Feb. 2-4, 2012

NASA to Seek Applicants for Next Astronaut Candidate Class
Audience: All Educators and Higher Education Students

________________________________________________________________

Celebrate Earth Science Week 2011

Earth Science Week, or ESW, 2011 is almost here! Check out the list of related events below to help bring this international event into your classroom.

Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 — ESW Introduction/Promo Video: This video provides information about the Earth Science Week Kit. http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2011

Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 — ESW Introduction/Promo Video: This video provides information about the Earth Science Week Kit. http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2011

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 — Set to launch later this month, the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project, also known as NPP, will play a key role in studying climate change.
To learn more about NPP and its polar bear mascot NPPy, visit http://npp.gsfc.nasa.gov/kids.html.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011 — Check out two webcast events geared toward earth science.

Our Ever-Changing Earth: NASA’s Power of Perspective — DLN Webcast with NASA’s Chief Scientist, Waleed Abdalati — Oct. 12, 2011, 1-2 p.m.
Join NASA Goddard Space Flight Center live for an educational event as scientists share how NASA’s space-based perspective provides a window on changes within the earth system on a global scale. Middle and high school students are invited to view this webcast and learn how earth science is all around!

Earth Science and You! — Oct. 12, 2011, 1-2 p.m.
Earth is a dynamic system that, like the human body, includes diverse parts interacting in complex ways. Join NASA specialists live on Oct. 12, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT for an hourlong educational event as NASA scientists share how NASA’s space-based perspective provides a window on changes and interactions within the earth system on a global scale! This special event will explore topics such as Earth’s atmosphere, the Texas drought and other recent weather phenomena, and climate change. The event will be webcasted and available for students and teachers on the DLiNfo Channel, and participants will be able to submit questions for the guests to answer during the program!

For more information on these events, please visit the DLiNfo Channel at http://dln.nasa.gov.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 — Female earth scientists: Check out these profile articles on the NASA education website at https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html. The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies produced these profiles as part of the NASA Earth and Space Science Explorers series.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies — Rosenzweig is a senior research scientist at the GISS where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She is a co-editor of the report “Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (ARC3).” A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to predict future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions.

Erika Podest, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — Originally from Panama, Podest is a scientist with the Water and Carbon Cycles Group in JPL´s Earth Science Division and a visiting associate researcher in the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering at UCLA. Her research focuses on using Earth-observing satellites for characterizing and monitoring wetland ecosystems and seasonal freeze/thaw dynamics in the northern high latitudes as related to the global carbon and water cycles and climate change.

Erica Alston, NASA’s Langley Research Center — Alston grew up in North Carolina. She works with the Chemistry and Dynamics Branch of the Science Directorate at Langley. Her work focuses on national fisheries resources and atmospheric science, including air quality.

Claire Parkinson, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center — Claire Parkinson has been project scientist for the Aqua mission (formerly PM-1) since the spring of 1993. She’s a climatologist at Goddard, where she has worked since July 1978, with a research emphasis on sea ice and its role in the global climate system.

Friday, Oct.14, 2011 — Archived Earth Science Week Events: Did you miss an event from earlier in the week? Visit this site to find an archive of events from this year and years past. http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/Gallery/EarthScienceEducation.html

More information about Earth Science Week, along with educational guides and activities, can be found at http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2011/.

Questions and feedback about Earth Science Week should be submitted at http://climate.nasa.gov/feedback/index.cfm?ReferPg=ESW.

________________________________________________________________

Derivatives: Math and Science @ Work — Space Shuttle Auxiliary Power Units Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 11, 2011, at 8 p.m. EDT. The Space Shuttle Auxiliary Power Units student activity featured in this seminar is a problem set from the Mission Control series of NASA’s Math and Science @ Work project. Participants will assume the role of a student. Attendees will work the problem set, score their results and share best practices with other participants for implementing this problem set into the classroom.

For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-derivatives/.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.


________________________________________________________________

Electrolysis of Water: Math and Science @ Work — A Breath of Fresh Air Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 12, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to implement a chemistry lab activity called A Breath of Fresh Air where students create their own electrolysis apparatus to generate oxygen and use a TI-Nspire calculator to collect data during the activity. Participants do not need to have a TI-Nspire calculator during this Web seminar.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar13.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

________________________________________________________________

NASA Explorer Schools Live Video Chat: Honoring Hispanic Heritage — Sí se Puede: del Barrio Hasta la NASA

Mark your calendar for Oct. 13, 2011, from noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT when Félix Soto Toro joins NASA Explorer Schools for their first ever bilingual chat! The first half of the chat will be in English, and the second half will be in Spanish! Tune in and have your students find out what it was like for this astronaut applicant and electrical engineer to grow up in Puerto Rico with few advantages and what inspired him to pursue a career with NASA.

You do not need to be a participant of the NASA Explorer Schools, or NES, project to participate in the video chat.

To learn more about NES, please visit the
explorerschools.nasa.gov website.

For more information about this NES live video chat, visit
https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/chat-index.html.

If you have any questions about the webcast, contact
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

________________________________________________________________

DEADLINE APPROACHING — NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project: K-12 Educator Fellowships

The NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project awards 12-18-month fellowships each year to 50 formal educators. Cohort 4 begins in January 2012.

In partnership with state departments of education, Endeavor Fellows take five graduate courses in an innovative, online format from the comfort of their homes or schools. In these courses, participants gain science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, professional development. Participants learn to apply research-based pedagogical strategies and cutting-edge STEM content to their classroom contexts while becoming part of a network of like-minded educators across the nation.

Endeavor Fellows earn and are awarded a NASA Endeavor Certificate in STEM Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Fifteen graduate credits are awarded from regionally accredited higher education partners.

Collaborating with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Endeavor has arranged for an option whereby fellows may put their work from the STEM certificate toward becoming nationally board certified in mathematics or science.

Applications for Cohort 4 will be accepted through
Oct. 31, 2011.

For more information, visit
http://www.us-satellite.net/nasa/endeavor/index.cfm.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
nasa_endeavor@us-satellite.net.

________________________________________________________________

2011 NASA Postdoctoral Program

The NASA Postdoctoral Program, or NPP, offers scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research at a NASA Center or other location stipulated by the program. NPP serves as a source of talent to ensure the continued quality of the NASA research workforce. Each fellowship opportunity is designed to advance NASA research in a specific project related to space science, earth science, aeronautics, space operations, exploration systems, lunar science or astrobiology. Applicants apply for a specific research opportunity and, if selected by NPP’s competitive process, are offered one- to three-year fellowship appointments.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctorate degree before beginning the fellowship. Applicants must have U.S. citizenship, Lawful Permanent Resident status, an Employment Authorization Document with pending LPR status, or a J-1 Visa status as a Research Scholar before beginning the fellowship. An H-1B Visa status is not acceptable because the NPP is not an employment program.

Stipend rates for Postdoctoral Fellows start at $50,000 per year. Moderate supplements are given for high cost-of-living areas and for certain academic specialties. Limited relocation assistance is provided and health insurance is available through the program. Fellows also receive $8,000 per appointment year to support travel to conferences, meetings and other activities (i.e., travel to field sites or observatories to collect data or for required training) that directly support their research projects.

The next round of applications is due Nov. 1, 2011.

For further information about this opportunity and to apply online, visit http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc/description/index.htm. Questions regarding this opportunity may be submitted by email to nasapostdoc@orau.org.

________________________________________________________________

GRAIL Spacecraft Naming Contest

Launched on Sept. 10, 2011, the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory mission, also known as GRAIL, will allow scientists to study the moon like never before. Using two twin spacecraft orbiting the moon at very precise distances, the GRAIL mission is designed to create a gravity map of the moon. This map will enable scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition, and give scientists a better understanding of the moon’s origin. Accurate knowledge of the moon’s gravity could also be used to help choose future landing sites on the moon.

Now that they’re on their way to the moon, the two robotic spacecraft, currently dubbed GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B, need real names — ones that capture the spirit and excitement of lunar exploration. And NASA is looking for students to help with the naming duties.

U. S. students in grades K-12 are eligible. Entries should include the chosen names for the spacecraft, along with an explanation of why those names should be selected. Justification can be any length, from a short paragraph to a 500-word essay.

Entries are due Nov. 11, 2011. All entries must be submitted by teachers.


For more information about the GRAIL mission and to submit entries via the online entry form, visit
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/grail/namingcontest.cfm.

If you have questions about the GRAIL Naming Contest, please email
grailcontest@jpl.nasa.gov.

________________________________________________________________

2012 Space Exploration Educators Conference

Make plans to attend the 18th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference, to be held Feb. 2-4, 2012, at Space Center Houston. This conference is for all K-12 educators. Activities presented use space-related themes to teach across the curriculum and can be used for science, language arts, mathematics, history and more.

Attend sessions hosted by scientists and engineers working on the International Space Station, Mars exploration and the planets beyond. Hear from astronauts who will be leading the charge in exploration. Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready-to-implement classroom ideas. Attendees can earn up to 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

For more information, visit http://spacecenter.org/TeachersSEEC.html.

If you have any questions about the conference, please call 281-244-2149 or email seec@spacecenter.org.

________________________________________________________________

NASA to Seek Applicants for Next Astronaut Candidate Class

In early November, NASA will seek applicants for its next class of astronaut candidates who will support long-duration missions to the International Space Station and future deep space exploration activities.

A bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or mathematics and three years of relevant professional experience are required in order to be considered. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.

After applicant interviews and evaluations, NASA expects to announce the final selections in 2013 and training to begin that August.

For more information, visit
http://astronauts.nasa.gov/.

Additional information about the Astronaut Candidate Program is available by calling the Astronaut Selection Office at 281-483-5907.

________________________________________________________________

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