NASA Education Express — April 12, 2012

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

Join the Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2012 Campaign
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Now through April 20, 2012

NASA’s Digital Learning Network PresentsSpace Shuttle Discovery “Fly-Out” Celebration
Audience: Grades 4-12
Event Date: April 16, 2012, 1 – 2.:30 p.m. EDT

Live Video Chat: Space ShuttleDiscovery Fly Out
Audience: Grades 4-12
Event Date: April 16, 2012, 1 – 2:30 p.m. EDT

Free Education WebinarSeries from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates for April 2012

Airborne ResearchExperiences for Educators and Students Academy
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Application Deadline: April 16, 2012

Student Flight MissionChallenge — Improving Earthquake Monitoring
Audience: 7-9 Educators
Notice of Intent Deadline: April 16, 2012
Teacher Submission Deadline: May 21, 2012

Educator Workshop:Greenhouse Gases and Their Roles on Earth
Audience: Grade 6-12 Educators
Registration Deadline: April 17, 2012
Event Date: April 21, 2012

NASA’s Digital Learning Network Presents”Beautiful Earth”
Audience: Grades 5-12
Event Date: April 18, 2012

Algebraic Equations: CalculatorControlled Robots Web Seminar
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: April 18, 2012

Zero RoboticsAutonomous Space Capture Challenge
Audience: Anyone 13 years or older who meets eligibility requirements
Registration Deadline: April 20, 2012

Mars Student Imaging Project
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Submit Interest By: April 27, 2012

2012 Summer Workshops –Climate Science Research for Educators and Students
Audience: 9-12 Educators
Application Deadline: June 1, 2012

Sun-Earth Day Webcast to CommemorateVenus Transit
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: June 5, 2012


Join the Worldwide GLOBE at Night 2012 Campaign

GLOBE at Night is a worldwide, hands-on scienceand education program for primary and secondary schools. The GLOBE at Nightproject encourages citizen-scientists worldwide to record the brightness of thenight sky. During four select sets of dates, children and adults match theappearance of a constellation (Orion or Leo in the northern hemisphere, andOrion and Crux in the southern hemisphere) with seven star charts ofprogressively fainter stars. The map is located at then submit their choice of star chart online with their date, timeand location to help create a light-pollution map worldwide.

The GLOBE at Night 2012 campaign runs through April 20, 2012. Over68,000 measurements have been contributed from more than 115 countries over thelast six years of two-week campaigns.

Children and adults can submit theirmeasurements in real time if they have a smart phone or tablet. To do this, usethe Web application at smart phones and tablets, the location, date and time are put inautomatically. And if you do not have a smart phone or tablet, there areuser-friendly tools on the GLOBE at Night report page to find latitude andlongitude.

Through GLOBE at Night, students, teachers,parents and community members are amassing a data set from which they canexplore the nature of light pollution locally and across the globe. Make adifference and join the GLOBE at Night efforts in 2012. Activity packets,one-page flyers and postcards advertising the campaign are available at

Please email any questions about GLOBE at Nightto


NASA’sDigital Learning Network Presents Space Shuttle Discovery “Fly-Out”Celebration

NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, is hosting a special event on April 16, 2012 at 1 p.m. EDT, tocommemorate the departure of space shuttle Discovery. Join DLN hosts DamonTalley and Rachel Power as they broadcast live from NASA’s Kennedy SpaceCenter’s Space Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. The space shuttle Discoveryis being prepared to fly on the back of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, amodified 747. The flight will take Discovery to its final destination at theSmithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s
Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

The Space Shuttle Discovery “Fly-Out” celebration will include special gueststhat have worked on the space shuttle over the years, both on land and inspace!

For more information and to watch the webcasts online, visit the DLN website at

Do you have a question you would like to see answered live during the webcast?Send questions to

Inquiries about this webcast should be directed to Damon Talley at


Live Video Chat: Space Shuttle Discovery Fly Out

Join NASA Explorer Schools, or NES, on April16, 2012, at 1 p.m. EDT, for a live webchat from the Space Shuttle LandingFacility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Preparations are underwayto transport space shuttle Discovery on the back of a modified 747 to its finaldestination at the Smithsonian National Air andSpace Museum’s
Udvar-Hazy Center inVirginia. This special flight will take place on April17, 2012. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your students ask NASA expertsquestions about the shuttle program and the future of space exploration.

Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to

To learn more about NES, visit the website.

For more information and to view the video chat, visit

If you have any questions about the video chat, contact


Free Education Webinar Series from the AerospaceEducation Services Project

Aerospace Education Services Project ispresenting a series of free webinars through June 2012. All webinars can beaccessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn aboutactivities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into yourclassroom.

Messenger’s Mission to Mercury (Grades K-12)
April 16, 2012, 5 – 6p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brandon Hargiswill provide an overview of the Messenger mission to the planet Mercury andwill share lessons and activities connected with the mission. Participants willlearn where to find online resources to bring the excitement of exploringMercury into the classroom. Attendees will learn about geological processes andcreate a labeled illustration of lava layering.

Start a Space Garden (Grades K-5)
April 18, 2012, 4 – 5p.m. EDT

Aerospace education specialist Tom Estill willshare how to start a school garden using seeds from NASA’s Seeds in Spaceproject and the Canadian Space Agency’s Tomatosphere project. Over the past 10years, Tomatosphere has evolved into a regular component of the curriculum formore than 13,700 classrooms in Canada and the United States. At the end of theworkshop, a NASA space seeds surprise awaits you.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
April 18, 2012, 6:30 -7:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson willdemonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling the storyof the animals that preceded humans in space. The program is geared forteachers in K-5 with a special focus of aligning the topic with the CoreLiteracy Standards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

NASA Literature and Science (Grades K-5)
April 25, 2012, 4 – 5p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Lester Moraleswill share an array of NASA literature to enrich students’ vocabulary andscientific skills. During this session Morales will review The Air weBreathe, Echo the Bat and Amelia the Pigeon.Participants will practice the scientific method and remote sensing in both thecity and in the wild.

For more information about the webinars listedabove, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through May 2012, visit

Questions about this series of webinars shouldbe directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at


Airborne Research Experiences for Educators andStudents Academy

The NASA Airborne Research Experiences forEducators and Students, or AREES, program is recruiting science, technology,engineering and mathematics, or STEM, educators of students in grades 5-12 toparticipate in a two-week residential Academy in Palmdale, Calif. The Academywill be offered June 18-29, 2012. The dynamic training program providesresearch-based experiences for educators using NASA’s unique flight platforms.Participants will engage as science practitioners by becoming involved in aNASA earth science mission.

The workshop is designed to combine research-basedopportunities for educators with NASA content-based curriculum andstudent-focused design challenges in a program that focuses on three educationgoals:
1. Engage participants in NASA’s unique,airborne research-based missions.
2. Increase educators’ core scientific andresearch knowledge bases.
3. Develop NASA’s airborne research-basedcurriculum and student activities.

Experiences will include technical contentinstruction by scientists and engineers, hands-on learning of airborne datacollection methods and operations, and a field site investigation to collectground truth data from the Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay, Calif., forcomparison to data collected from NASA’s ER-2 high-altitude airborne scienceaircraft. Further, participants may attend pedagogic workshops in problem-basedlearning, engineering design, inquiry-based instruction and integration oftechnology and data-focused curricula into the classroom. Experiences will betranslated into classroom practice through the development of STEM action plansutilizing NASA thematic, curriculum modules based on the foundation that AREESprovides and in context with on-going research.

Applications are due April 16, 2012.

For more information, visit Questions about thisopportunity should be directed to Shaun Smith at

The AREES program is sponsored by NASA’sTeaching from Space project, NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and NASA’sAirborne Science Program, and administered through a partnership with theAerospace, Education, Research and Operations Institute in Palmdale, Calif.,the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research and CNL World inNebraska.


Student Flight Mission Challenge — ImprovingEarthquake Monitoring

The National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration is gaining a better understanding of earth science processes suchas earthquakes through airborne science research platforms. Using a speciallymodified Gulfstream-III jet, NASA engineers and scientists are using radar tocollect data on how quakes change the Earth’s surface, which may eventuallyhelp scientists forecast earthquakes. NASA hopes to collect baseline data incritical areas in order to improve our understanding of how quakes affect notonly the immediate area of the quake, but also the state of stress in thesurrounding faults. This will help them improve their forecast models of quakeprobability and magnitude.

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and JetPropulsion Laboratory are in process of identifying several new areas tocollect baseline data for earthquake studies. Educators, grades 7-9, are invitedto engage students in the NASA Student Flight Mission Challenge. Through thischallenge, students will have the opportunity to investigate, evaluate, designand present a solution to a real-world problem that will expand ourunderstanding of earthquakes at the global level. Students will form smallmission teams to create multimedia presentations that suggest a site for a newearthquake science investigation. The challenge will engage students aspractitioners of science through exploration of the airborne science researchprocess that NASA scientists and engineers use to study earth system science.Students will:

— Investigate the science.
— Select a site for earthquake monitoring.
— Prepare a flight plan.
— Develop a multimedia proposal for submittalto NASA.

The challenge can be implemented in a classroom,after-school or other formal and informal teaching environment. Onestudent team proposal can be submitted per educator. Proposals will be reviewedand ranked by NASA staff. Select student teams will receive recognition asearth system science investigators, and up to three teachers will be invited toattend the Airborne Research Experiences for Educators and Students, or AREES,2012 summer academy.

To submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for theStudent Flight Mission Challenge, visit

The deadline to submit an NOI is April 16, 2012.
The deadline to submit a student team’s proposalis May 21, 2012.

To obtain the curriculum materials and to learnthe science and pedagogical content knowledge to prepare students for thischallenge, enroll in the online course Earth System Science throughNASA’s electronic Professional Development Network at course is free, self-directed and technology and standards-based.

This activity is offered through the Aerospace,Education, Research and Operations Institute in Palmdale, Calif., inpartnership with NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and the Teaching FromSpace program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The G-IIIaircraft is operated from the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdalein collaboration with instrument investigators from NASA’s Jet PropulsionLaboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

For more information about the AREES activity,refer to the website at


Educator Workshop: Greenhouse Gases and TheirRoles on Earth

Greenhouse gases are both naturally occurringand man-made gases that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere and play a vital rolein maintaining a habitable climate. However, human activity is quicklyincreasing the concentration of these gases on Earth and causing concern aboutthe future of our planet.

On April 21, 2012, NASA’s Jet PropulsionLaboratory, or JPL, in Pasadena, Calif., will host an educator workshop thatwill examine the role of greenhouse gases in our complex global system, andexplore the ways that media deliver science content and discusses climatechange. The workshop is open to formal and informal educators teaching grades 6through 12. Attendees will take part in a group discussion, sciencepresentations and a hands-on activity/discussion on the media’s portrayal ofscience and climate change. Teachers will receive a certificate for continuingeducation hours.

Registration for this workshop closes on April 17, 2012. A $30registration fee includes continental breakfast, beverages, snacks, a box lunchand incidentals.

For more information, directions to the workshoplocation and to register online, visit

Please direct questions about this workshop toMary K. Kuehn at


NASA’sDigital Learning Network Presents “Beautiful Earth”

NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centeris hosting a special event on April 18,2012 at 1 p.m. EDT, to celebrate our beautiful planet. This event will usesimulated spaceflight imagery to present views of Earth’s water in all of itsforms: solid, liquid and vapor. See our planet from scientific, artistic andcultural perspectives.

For more information and to watch the webcasts online, visit the DLN website at

Inquiries about this event should be directed to Erin McKinley at


AlgebraicEquations: Calculator Controlled Robots 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 on Apr.18, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. EDT. Discovera unique way of integrating robotic technology into your algebra classes.Robotic missions engage students and provide a unique way of bringing to lifethe concepts you are teaching. Learn to use programmable Texas Instruments, orTI, calculators and Norland Research Robots to solve problems requiringsubstituting values for variables in formulas.

This seminar provides an overview of using robotics in algebra so you can makean informed decision about purchasing the robots and other equipment. You donot need to have a Norland Research Robot or programmable TI calculator toparticipate in this seminar, or know how to program the calculator.

For more information and to registeronline, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NASA Explorer Schools helpdesk at


Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research ProjectsAgency, or DARPA, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT’s SpaceSystems Laboratory are offering the opportunity to design experiments that willbe tested in space aboard the International Space Station.

The Zero Robotics Autonomous Space CaptureChallenge is a programming tournament that uses bowling ball-sized sphericalsatellites aboard the International Space Station. These Synchronized PositionHold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are used insidethe space station to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomousrendezvous and docking.

This challenge opens the SPHERES satelliteresearch platform to the general public for the first time. The goal of thetournament is to write a computer program to control a satellite to dock with aspace object that may be tumbling through space. The best algorithm submissionsfrom simulation competitions will be tested in microgravity on real SPHERESsatellites aboard the International Space Station.

The Zero Robotics Autonomous Space CaptureChallenge is open to anyone 13 years of age or older who meets eligibilityrequirements. Participants may work individually or in teams of up to 50members to write their own algorithms to fly the satellites in the station.

The contest runs March 28 – April 25, 2012. Registrationis now open and teams must join the competition by April 20, 2012. For more information, visit

The Zero Robotics project, a component of theISS National Laboratory Education Project, or NLEP, is facilitated by MIT,TopCoder and Aurora Flight Sciences, continues the science, technology,engineering and mathematics, or STEM, focus of the SPHERES facility. The ZeroRobotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge expands on a pilot programperformed in 2009, 2010 and 2011. By making the benefits and resources of thespace program tangible to high school and college students, Zero Robotics isdesigned to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students will have theopportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. This programbuilds critical engineering skills, such as problem solving, design thoughtprocess, operations training, team work and presentation skills.

MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory startedoperations of SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA, NASA and other researchers witha long-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’sZero Robotics program, visit

For additional information about DARPA, visit

Please email any questions about thisopportunity to


Mars Student Imaging Project

The Mars StudentImaging Project is seeking educators and classroom teams to participate in anauthentic research opportunity for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school yearand the summer of 2012. Students will have the ability to formulate and ask aresearch question about Mars, interact with Mars scientists, target an image ofMars using a special camera on the Mars Odyssey Spacecraft and use their Marsdata to answer their research question. This is an opportunity for students tobuild on their science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM,experiences, and possibly make a new discovery on Mars!

The Mars Student Imaging Project strongly aligns to National Science EducationStandards and the new National Research Council’s Science Framework and workingwith data helps to build students’ essential 21st century workforce developmentskills. Participation is free and open to teams from grades 5-12 across theU.S.

Interested educators are asked to submit an Online Interest Form by April 27, 2012.

To get started and learn more about the project, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Jessica Swann at or Anthony Zippay at


2012 Summer Workshops — Climate ScienceResearch for Educators and Students

The Institute for Earth Science Research andEducation, in collaboration with Queens College/City University of New York, isseeking participants for summer professional development workshops in thesecond year of its Climate Science Research for Educators and Students project.Funded by the NASA Innovations in Climate Education program, this project seeksto improve student engagement in climate science by helping teachers andstudents develop authentic climate-related science research projects.

During summer 2012, two climate scienceworkshops will take place in New York City. The first workshop will be held inlate June or early July. The workshop will focus on understandingsun/Earth/atmosphere interactions and Earth’s radiative balance, a fundamentalconcept for climate science. All participants will build pyranometers,instruments for monitoring solar radiation. A follow-up workshop will takeplace in August. During the summer, participants are expected to conduct theirown research. 

All workshop participants in 2011 were from NewYork City or within commuting distance. In 2012, teachers from other places areencouraged to attend the early summer workshop, with follow-on activities to beconducted online in place of attendance at the August workshop. On-campushousing at Queens College should be available, and travel support for teachersfrom outside the NYC area may be available.

Applications are due June 1, 2012.

For more information, visit

Questions about this competition should bedirected to David Brooks via email at brooksdr@drexel.eduor by phone at 610-584-5619.


Sun-EarthDay Webcast to Commemorate Venus Transit

NASA’s Sun-Earth Day team has joinedforces with NASA EDGE to celebrate the Transit of Venus with a live webcastfrom Hawaii. On June 5, 2012, tune in for a live webcast from Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

The Venus Transit event will not be visible from the continental U.S. in itsentirety, so the NASA EDGE and Sun-Earth Day teams are heading to Hilo, Hawaii.A mountainside location on Mauna Kea will give a wonderful view of the entiretransit with little chance of cloud cover. Viewers will be able to seereal-time images of the transit for the duration of the event in variouswavelengths of light.

This webcast will emphasize the history and importance of Hawaiian astronomyand its connections to NASA space science. Using the backdrop of Mauna Kea, theUniversity of Hawaii, NASA scientists and Hawaiian cultural leaders will weavemultigenerational stories combining ancient ways of knowing with modernscientific discoveries.

For more information about the Venus Transit webcast, visit

To learn more about the Transit of Venus and to find activities related to thisonce-in-a-lifetime event, visit

Inquiries about this event should be directed toElaine Lewis at


Don’t miss out on education-related opportunities available from NASA. For afull list of Current Opportunities, visit

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