NASA Education Express — Jan. 19, 2012

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

Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar

Audience: 7-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Jan. 23, 2012

Voting Open — YouTube Space Lab Competition
Audience: All Educators and Students
Voting Deadline:
Jan. 24, 2012

Geometry: Space Math Problems — Solar Storms Web Seminar
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Jan. 24, 2012

Live Video Chat:
Sea Level Rising
Audience: 4-9 Educators and Students
Event Date: Jan. 25, 2012, noon EST

Educator Resource Showcase Webcast — New Microgravity Website and Activities
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Jan. 25, 2012

Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar

Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Jan 25, 2012

RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenge
Audience: 7-12 Educators and Students
Deadline: Jan. 27, 2012

National Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge
Audience: 5-8 Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Mar. 16, 2012


2011-2012 NASA Aeronautics High School Contest
Audience: 9-12 Students
Deadline: March 19, 2012

RockOn 2012 University Rocket Science Workshop
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: May 1, 2012
Workshop Dates: June 16-21, 2012

2010-2011 Green Aviation University Engineering Contest
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: May 7, 2012

What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website
Audience: K-6 Educators

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Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute professional development Web seminar for educators on Jan. 23, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Participants will learn to use the data from NASA’s research satellite program in their meteorology lessons. This Web seminar features “Monitoring the Global Environment,” one of eight modules within the Satellite Meteorology course. The activities within this module incorporate the use of authentic data acquired by NASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites. Attendees will learn how to locate and download satellite data, create graphs and learn how to interpret them.

For more information and to register online, visit URL http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar5.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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Voting Open — YouTube Space Lab Competition

Vote in the YouTube Space Lab Competition!

NASA has collaborated with Space Adventures©, Google, and BioServe Space Technologies to conduct student-designed life sciences and physics experiments on the International Space Station later this year through the YouTube Space Lab Competition.

Until Jan. 24, 2012, you can vote for your favorites from the 60 finalists selected from 2,000 submissions representing over 80 countries. This is even better than American Idol® because the ideas all came from middle and high school students wanting to do real science in microgravity!

Check out the finalist videos at
https://www.youtube.com/user/spacelab/spacelab and vote for the best entries once a day. The winners get an experience that is truly out of this world, whether they choose to watch their experiments launch from Japan or take cosmonaut training in Russia when they turn 18.

Do your part to help inspire the next generation of space scientists!


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Geometry: Space Math Problems — Solar Storms Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Jan 24, 2012, at 8 p.m. EST. Solar Storms provides teachers with a unique opportunity to have students use their knowledge of geometry and trigonometry to analyze NASA images of a solar tsunami. During this seminar, participants will get an overview of the problem sets, preview a video about solar storms, get suggestions for implementing best practices and some learn about some extension activities.

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

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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Live Video Chat: Sea Level Rising

Students have the opportunity to ask questions of a NASA oceanographer and climate scientist. Dr. Josh Willis is an oceanographer and climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Having served as the deputy project scientist and member of the science team on Jason 1 and 2 projects, Willis currently serves as the lead project scientist for the Jason 3 project.

One result of global climate change is the melting of ice sheets around the world. Over the past century, many mountain glaciers and large portions of the ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica have lost mass. During this video chat, Willis will answer student questions about the effects of sea-level rise and climate change caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The live video chat will take place on Jan. 25, 2012, at noon EST.

Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to
NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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

To view the video chat or for more information, visit
https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/chat-sea-level.html.

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

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Educator Resource Showcase Webcast — New Microgravity Website and Activities

Join host Elaine Lapka and presenters Teresa Sindelar and Dynae Fullwood from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for an hourlong, free webcast on Jan. 25, 2012, at 3 p.m. EST.

This webcast will provide a virtual tour of NASA’s new Microgravity Education website. Use the resources on this new website to learn about NASA’s microgravity laboratories on Earth and in space. The webcast hosts will also demonstrate an inquiry-based student activity that K-12 educators can use to investigate the microgravity environment.

For more information and to view the webcast, visit
https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/index.html.

Check out the Microgravity Education website at
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/microgravity/home/index.html
.

If you have any questions about the webcast, please email them to Renee Elias at
RElias@lcjvs.net
.

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Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar for educators on Jan 25, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. EST.

Become familiar with the MY NASA DATA activity, “Solar Cell Energy Availability From Around the Country.” Compare monthly averages of downward radiation in locations around the U.S. and analyze areas where conditions would be conducive to having solar panels. Access data on the NASA Live Access Server as you “journey” around the U.S. to determine the amount of solar radiation and analyze overlay plots to compare data from NASA satellites.

For more information and to register online, visit
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar6.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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RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenge

There is still time to submit entries to RealWorld-InWorld, or RWIW, NASA’s engineering design challenge. The activity encourages students in grades 7-12 to explore and build skills essential for successful science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, careers through a RealWorld (face-to-face) and an InWorld (unique online virtual reality) phase of project-based learning and team competition.

RealWorld (Phase 1): Teams of middle- and high-school-aged students with support of their sponsoring adult work collaboratively as engineers and scientists to explore and design solutions related to the James Webb Space Telescope and Robonaut 2.

NOTE: The RealWorld Phase can be completed by teams in about two weeks.

RealWorld Phase ends: Jan. 27, 2012. To be considered to move to the InWorld phase, all RealWorld work must be submitted by this deadline.

Recognition: Submitted final project solutions will be featured on the RWIW website, and teams will receive recognition for their work once they complete the RealWorld challenge and InWorld registration.

InWorld (Phase 2): Participating college students select teams of two to four middle- and high-school-aged students 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 environment using 21st century tools to refine designs and to create 3-D models of their design solutions.

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

Recognition: InWorld teams will compete for cash awards ($1,000 per member, including team leader, for each winning team). Contest rules apply.

To learn more about the challenge and to register for online resources for this free and flexible project, visit www.nasarealworldinworld.org.

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National Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge

Students in grades 5-8 throughout the United States are invited to participate in Spaced Out Sports, a national design challenge that applies Newton’s Laws of Motion by designing a game for the International Space Station astronauts to play in space. The goal is for students to learn the science behind the game on Earth and in microgravity.

Students will submit game demonstrations via a playbook and video. Submissions will be accepted from schools, home school groups, after-school or enrichment programs. Awards include: First Place — NASA school-wide or program-wide celebration (U.S. teams only); top three teams — games played on the space station and recorded for a future broadcast; all contributing schools and programs — opportunity to participate in a Digital Learning Network webcast with astronauts on the space station.

Entries are due March 16, 2012.

Spaced Out Sports student and educator resources include posters, bookmarks, curriculum guides, career videos and Digital Learning Network modules. All include NASA astronauts, engineers and celebrity sports figures engaging students in relevant space-sports connections by explaining and demonstrating the science behind their work and/or games. Featured are: former astronaut and NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin and astronaut Nicole Stott; Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin; NASCAR’s Juan Pablo Montoya; basketball’s Temeka Johnson; football/Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints; and hockey’s Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche.

Spaced Out Sports is managed by NASA’s Stennis Space Center Education through the Teaching From Space Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston.

For more information and to register for the challenge, visit
http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/spacedoutsports.

If you have questions about Spaced Out Sports, please email inquiries to
SpacedOutSports@nasa.gov.


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2011-2012 NASA Aeronautics High School Contest

The Environmentally Responsible Aviation project invites students in grades 9-12 to submit a well-documented research paper up to 12 pages to demonstrate understanding of the environmental impact of aircraft noise and emissions. Specific topics are listed on the contest website.

Participants must be enrolled in an accredited high school, secondary school or home school.
International students may participate but are not eligible for cash prizes. The deadline to enter is March 19, 2012.

For more information about the contest, visit
http://aero.larc.nasa.gov/competitions_high_era.htm.

Questions about the contest should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.


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RockOn 2012 University Rocket Science Workshop

U.S. university faculty and students are invited to a weeklong workshop to learn how to build and launch a scientific experiment into space. NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is hosting the RockOn 2012 workshop June 16-21, 2012, in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia. The registration deadline for the workshop is May 1, 2012.

The hands-on workshop teaches participants to build experiments that fly on sounding rockets. During the week, participants will work together in teams of three to construct and integrate a sounding rocket payload from a kit. On the fifth day of the workshop, the experiments will fly on a sounding rocket expected to reach an altitude of more than 70 miles.

Each experiment will provide valuable scientific data, analyzed as part of the student-led science and engineering research. The program engages faculty and students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills critical to NASA’s future engineering, scientific and technical missions.

For more information about RockOn and to register online, visit
http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/rockon/2012/index_2011.html.

Questions about the workshop or the registration process should be directed to Chris Koehler by email at
koehler@colorado.edu or by telephone at 303-492-3141.


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2011-2012 Green Aviation University Engineering Contest

The Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project invites undergraduate and graduate students to submit a well-documented design paper for a large cargo aircraft that produces less noise, fewer emissions and is more fuel efficient than current models.

Participants, either teams or individuals, must be enrolled full time in an accredited college or university. International students may participate but are not eligible for cash prizes or student internships. Entries are due May 7, 2012.

For more information about the contest, visit http://aero.larc.nasa.gov/era_univ/competitions_univ_era.htm.

Questions about the contest should be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.


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What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

Science and technology permeate all our activities from driving a car to cooking to writing poetry. So when we study science and technology, why not incorporate some of those other activities? Why not use interests like art and music to think about and express our understanding of nature? The Space Place has lots of cross-disciplinary opportunities to help make nature unforgettable.


New at spaceplace.nasa.gov
Get the key to the treasure chest! The new “Go with the Flow” game at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ocean-currents/en/
has you playing with salinity and heat, which have opposing effects on vertical water movement. Using heat and salt as tools, as well as horizontal currents and walls, you set up flow patterns that your little submarine can follow in order to reach the key that will open the treasure chest and get the gold.

After playing “Flow,” students are not likely to forget the roles that heat and salinity play on ocean currents. These are important principles to learn in order to understand the potential effects of climate change.


Space Place en español

¡Haz un mapa topográfico! But first, make a clay sculpture of a mountain. This hands-on arts and crafts activity shows how 3-D topography can be represented very accurately on a 2-D map. Using clay (or our recipe for modeling dough), dental floss, paper, pencil, ruler and toothpicks, students make a mountain of any shape, slice it horizontally using dental floss and outline the slices on a piece of paper. It could be an art project or a geography project. Either way, it’s lots of fun, and clearly explains the mystery of topo maps, which many people never understand. Go to http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sp/topomap-clay.

Spotlight on Music
Music is science and technology in the service of art. At least that’s one way to look at it. See (and hear) an example at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/violins
. Musical instruments are technologies. The most exquisite-sounding instruments represent technological excellence. But what makes the best instrument sound better than the second best instrument? In the case of Stradivarius violins, it’s believed to be the unique density of the wood, which grew only during a certain period of history. Why? Because of a lack of sunspots!

Another example of technology as a delivery mechanism for art is the Golden Records on each of the two Voyager spacecraft, now nearing interstellar space. These records are meant as messages from Earth in the event that intelligent alien beings someday encounter the probes. Students can see some of the photos of Earth and try to guess the identity of some of the sounds on the records at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/voyager-to-stars.


For the classroom
Drumming is a form of music, but it can also be a form of precise verbal communication.

When people figured out how to add meaning to an electromagnetic wave, which is essentially a rhythm, a universe of possibilities opened up. Speaking in Phases is a classroom activity that demonstrates the difference between amplitude modulated (AM), frequency modulated (FM) and phase modulated signals. It’s not as hard as you might think. In this case, all that’s required is something to beat on — like drums or desks — and maybe a metronome or electronic keyboard that can make a steady beat.

Students learn the basics of how information is added to a carrier signal. Then they add their own meaning to the signal and communicate with each other using only the timing of beats. It truly teaches the most basic concept underlying all electronic communication, including radio, TV, phones, satellites and spacecraft far away in deep space. See
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/classroom-activities/#phases.


For out-of-school time
Almost everyone loves to eat. Why not make it even more fun by combining snack preparation with space exploration? The Space Place has several projects you can make, and then eat.

One project is Asteroid Potatoes, spaceplace.nasa.gov/asteroid-potatoes. To cut down on mess, you can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time, and let the kids do the sculpting, baking (with supervision) and eating.

Another creative activity is making edible spacecraft or rockets. Tortillas make a wonderful base. You can even paint them (or paint small, cut-out pieces) with food coloring. Also provide colorful vegetables and fruits of many kinds, olives, cream cheese (for glue), chips and anything else you can think of that’s good to eat. Take pictures before they’re gobbled up. See some examples and recipes at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/tortilla-spacecraft.


Special Days

January is National Whale Watching Month
Some species are endangered. See how satellites can help, and play “Migration Concentration” at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/migration
.

Jan. 6: Take a Poet to Lunch Day
Try writing some cosmic poetry such as the poems at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/art
.

Jan. 17, 1706: Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday
He learned a lot about electricity flying a kite during a lightning storm. You can learn about electricity using a balloon (and without risking your life) at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ion-balloons
.

Feb. 12, 1809: Charles Darwin’s Birthday
Darwin is known for his theory of the evolution of species. Play with the “Emoticonstructor” and see one way evolution works at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/emoticonstructor
.

Feb. 22: Thinking Day
Exercise your brain by going “Vec
àTouring” at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/vec-touring
.

Feb. 25: Quiet Day
Even the most violent events in space make no sound. Make a Sound Cone to hear even very quiet sounds. See how at
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sound-cone
.

Last words . . .
Have a wonderful and productive 2012. We hope you continue to find The Space Place helpful in your important work.


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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