NASA Education Express — May 3, 2012

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

Astronaut Don Pettit Shares Space Physics “Science Off the Sphere”Videos
Audience: All Educators and Students

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

Celebrate Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: May 5, 2012

Engineering Design: Forces and Motion –Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge Web Seminar
Audience: 6-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 7, 2012

QuadraticFunctions: Exploring Space Through Math — Weightless Wonder Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 9, 2012

Live Video Chat: How SpaceStation Research Affects Life onEarth
Audience: Grades 7-12
Event Date: May 11, 2012, 2-3 p.m. EDT

Pre-Service TeacherInstitutes at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: May 11, 2012
Institute Dates: July 14-27, 2012

For High School Juniorsand Seniors: 2012 Lunabotics University/College Recruitment Fair
Audience: 9-12 Students
Application Deadline: May 11, 2012
Event Date: May 26, 2012

2012-2013 NationalStudent Solar Spectrograph Competition
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Deadline to register and apply for build awards: Sept. 30, 2012

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

Additional FrequentlyAsked Questions — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program forScience Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centersand Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number:NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008) –Available For Download
Audience: Informal Education Institutions

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Astronaut Don Pettit Shares Space Physics”Science Off the Sphere” Videos

NASA astronaut and Expedition 31 crew member DonPettit continues to examine how microgravity affects scientific principlesthrough “Science Off the Sphere,” a video series featuring unique physicsexperiments performed on the International Space Station using everydayobjects.

NASA and the American Physical Society, or APS, have partnered to share thevideos with students, educators and science fans around the world.

In the short, downloadable videos, Pettit has used knitting needles and waterdroplets to examine static electricity, demonstrated capillary flow by creatinga zero-gravity tea cup, used thin water films to experiment with fluid motion,shared infrared imagery of Earth and more.

APS, the professional society for physicists, shares new “Science Off the Sphere” videos every other Thursday on itsoutreach website, Physics Central. The website also features educationalcontent on the physics topics demonstrated in space by Pettit and facilitates aphysics-oriented challenge based on the experiments. APS reviews the responsesand identifies a winner, who is recognized by Pettit in a future installment.

For more information and to view the science demonstrations, visit: http://www.physicscentral.com/sots.

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Free Education Webinar Series from the AerospaceEducation Services Project

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

NASA and Education Resource Access (Grades K-12)
May 3, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Sonya Williamswill explain NASA’s mission directorates and their purposes. Learn about theK-12 educational materials created by each of the directorates and howeducators can access these materials free of charge. Learn about citizenscience opportunities, student design challenges and many other NASA resourcesthat educators can incorporate into their classrooms.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
May 3, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertsonwill demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling thestory of 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.

Animals in Space (Grades K-5)
May 5, 2012, 9 – 10 a.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertsonwill demonstrate how teachers can use stuffed animals as props in telling thestory of 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 Core LiteracyStandards for elementary grades. Web resources will be provided.

Food for Thought: Space Food and Nutrition inthe Classroom (Grades 4-9)
May 5, 2012, 11 a.m. -noon EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivanwill share “Food for Thought,” a new NASA educator guide designed toexplore space food and the nutritional needs of astronauts that includes a menuof inquiry activities and other resources to address this exciting topic.

Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)
May 7, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.EDT

Aerospace education specialist John Weis willdemonstrate language arts activities using NASA materials and lessons foundwithin NASA educator guides. Materials discussed will cover readingcomprehension and composition for grades K-12. Lesson plans and strategies willbe shared.

NASA’s S’COOL Program (Grades 4-12)
May 8, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Les Gold willintroduce NASA’s Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line, or S’COOL, program. Theprogram engages students to make observations of cloud type and cover and thenshare it with NASA. Scientists use the data to assist their understanding ofglobal climate change. After sending in observations, teachers receivesatellite images for comparison to student data.

Free Planetarium Program for Your Computer(Grades K-12)
May 15, 2012, 3:30 -4:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Les Gold willintroduce participants to a free planetarium program. Participants will learnhow to use the program to demonstrate day/night cycles, the sun’s changingposition in the sky, as well as seasons, phases of the moon, constellations andmore.

Looking at Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-9)
May 15, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivanwill integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, orSTEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculumproducts, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate aninquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processesthat shape it.

Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic Historyof Mars (Grades 5-12)
May 16, 2012, 7:30 -8:30 p.m.

Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt willshare an inquiry-based lesson that presents a critical-thinking approach ofstudying the surface of Mars. This process is similar to the approach used byNASA scientists. This lesson will teach students to examine geologic featuresof a planetary surface and use relative-age dating techniques to analyze theinformation and interpret the geologic history.

Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)
May 21, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.EDT

Aerospace education specialist John Weis willdemonstrate language arts activities using NASA materials and lessons foundwithin NASA educator guides. Materials discussed will cover readingcomprehension and composition for grades K-12. Lesson plans and strategies willbe shared.

Toys in Space (Grades 4-9)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m.EDT

Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivanwill share NASA’s Toys in Space videos and activities. In this program,astronauts took toys from around the world with them into space. Studentspredict, observe and record how the toys behave without the effects of Earth’sgravity, putting Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Participants will receivecopies of the astronaut videos for use in the classroom.

Sun-Earth-Moon Relationships (Grades K-8)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m.EDT

Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner willintroduce sun-Earth-moon models that help to explain the phases of the moon andboth lunar and solar eclipses. Additionally, the activity “KinestheticAstronomy” will be introduced for its explanation of the seasons.

For more information about these webinars, andto see a full list of webinars taking place through June 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars shouldbe directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at Gwendolyn.H.Wheatle@nasa.gov.

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Celebrate Space Day at the National Air andSpace Museum

Celebrate Space Day at the National Air andSpace Museum, on Saturday, May 5, 2012.This event is sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

Space Day is an annual favorite at the National Air and Space Museum. Visitorsenjoy hands-on activities; meet NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers; findout how space suits are made; design a mission patch; and learn about spacefrom museum experts.

Visit the Museum’s National Mall building in Washington, D.C. to see the BuzzLightyear action figure that flew in space. Or get an up-close look at spaceshuttle Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

For a list of scheduled events, visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/dateRange.cfm?date=5/5/2012.

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EngineeringDesign: Forces and Motion — Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences foreducators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science TeachersAssociation are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminarfor educators on May 7, 2012, at 6:30p.m. EDT. This Web seminar will introduce the Forces and Motion: BalloonAerodynamics Challenge for students. This activity provides first-handinformation about density, neutral buoyancy and drag, which is then used to solvea problem. The activity provides many opportunities for incorporating nationalmathematics, science and technology learning standards into your curriculum.

For more information and to registeronline, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar23.aspx.

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

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at NASA.Explorer.Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Quadratic Functions: Exploring Space Through Math — Weightless Wonder

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences foreducators, the NASA Explorer Schools project is hosting a 60-minute Web seminaron May 9, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT.Investigate the characteristics of quadratic functions to solve real-worldproblems involving the parabolic flight path of NASA’s Weightless Wonder C-9jet. Get an overview of a student investigation, solve related quadraticequations and evaluate and graph quadratic functions. A graphing calculatorwill be used to demonstrate concepts; however, you do not need a calculator forthis professional development seminar.

For more information and toregister online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-quadratic-functions/.

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: How Space Station Research Affects Life on Earth

The NASA Explorer Schools project is offering students in grades 7-12 anopportunity to ask questions of Tara Ruttley, the associate program scientistfor the International Space Station. Join the video chat on May 11, 2012, from 2-3 p.m. EDT.Ruttley will answer questions submitted during this live video chat aboutconducting research on the space station and the benefits of this research toastronauts living and working in space and to life on Earth.

Students do not need to be in a school participating in the NASA ExplorerSchools project in order to ask questions during this video chat.

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

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

For more information and to view the video chat, visit https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/research-ruttley-chat.html.

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

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Pre-Service Teacher Institutes at NASA’sMarshall Space Flight Center

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has partneredwith Oakwood University to offer a two-week Pre-Service Teacher Institutetaking place July 14-27, 2012, in Huntsville, Ala. This residential session isfor education majors preparing to teach grades 4-8.

Participants will engage in hands-on learningexperiences designed to develop their skills for teaching science, technology,engineering and mathematics using NASA-developed curriculum resources.Full-time undergraduate students in their junior or senior year at minorityinstitutions are invited to apply. Housing, meals, travel assistance and astipend will be provided.

Applications must be postmarked by May 11, 2012.

For more information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/education/msfc/psti.

Please email any questions about thisopportunity to Marilyn Lewis at marilyn.h.lewis@nasa.gov.

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For High School Juniors and Seniors: 2012Lunabotics University/College Recruitment Fair

As part of NASA’s Third Annual Lunabotics MiningCompetition, a University/College Recruitment Fair will be held on May 26,2012, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Top colleges and universitiesfrom across the U.S. will be at the fair to share information about science,technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities at their schools. NASAscientists and engineers will be available to answer questions about specificmajors and technical career paths.

Students interested in attending this freerecruitment fair are asked to register online before May 11, 2012. Toregister, visit http://www.secorstrategies.com/nasa-lunabotics.

Inquiries about this event should be directed toMary Baker at Mary@SecorStrategies.com.

To learn more about NASA’s Lunabotics MiningCompetition, visit www.nasa.gov/lunabotics.

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2012-2013 National Student Solar SpectrographCompetition

The National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition is the Montana Space Grant Consortium’sEducation Program for NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS,mission. IRIS will use spectrography and imaging in ultraviolet wavelengths toreveal the dynamics of the sun’s chromospheres and transition region.

This yearly competition is open to undergraduate interdisciplinary teams fromcolleges and universities across the U.S. Teams are challenged to design andbuild a working ground-based solar spectrograph and demonstrate thecapabilities of the spectrograph as defined by their science goal. Typicalteams have three to six students and must have a faculty advisor.

Both substantial scholarship prizes and travel prizes will be given in fourcategories: best design, best build, best science observations and bestpresentation of results. Teams may apply for funding of $2,000 per team forproject materials. Priority for build funds will be given to minority-servinginstitutions, community colleges and institutions with less aerospace activity.

Applications for build awards and registrations are due on Sept. 30, 2012.

The competition will be held in Bozeman, Mont., in May 2013.

For more information and to register online, visit http://www.spacegrant.montana.edu/IRIS/index.html.

Please email any questions about this competition to RandyLarimer at rlarimer@ece.montana.edu.

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What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

The Space Place is a NASA website for elementary school-aged kids, theirteachers and their parents.

     Space is harsh! It’s vicious!
     It reminds us every day.
     There‛s heat and cold and sun thatblasts
     All objects in its way,
     The zero-g, no gravity!
     A galactic cosmic ray!
     And not a whiff of air to breathe.
     Nor guide to show the way.

At the Space Place, we have plenty to remind you of the nature of nature whenyou leave Mother Earth.

New at spaceplace.nasa.gov
It was a dark and stormy August night in 1859 … solar stormy, that is. Asolar storm caused such bright Northern Lights that gold miners in the Rockieswere frying up bacon and eggs at 1 a.m. thinking the sun was up.

Violent storms on the sun blast out charged particles and radiation that candamage satellites, power grids, and communication and navigation systems. Inthe new game “Shields Up!” you are in charge of protecting threesatellites by putting them into safe mode whenever bad stuff is coming theirway. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series, orGOES-R, monitors the sun’s surface and warns the other satellites when theyneed to get ready for the worst.

Put your “Shields Up!and save those satellites at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/shields-up.

Space Place en Español
Black Hole Rescue!,
enespañol, is a challenging game in which you must spell out black-hole-relatedvocabulary words by clicking on moving letter tiles that have been dropped intoa swirling vortex of matter that is slowly being devoured by a black hole. Talkabout a harsh environment. So time is of the essence!

This is a good language arts game for Spanish speakers or learners. Accentedletters must be matched too. No substituting an “n” for an “ñ” or an “e” for an“é.” Rescue words from the black hole at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sp/black-hole-rescue.

New Space Place “Listmania®”
“Customers who bought this item also bought . . .” is a commonmarketing ploy on popular retail websites. Well, The Space Place team knows agood idea when we see one, and we are not above borrowing. You will now findrecommendations at the bottom of every Space Place article, game or activity.There’s a lot of cross-pollination on the site, so these suggestions shouldhelp visitors deepen their appreciation for any topic that engages theirinterest.

For the Classroom
What’s the weirdest, most alien place you can imagine? Well, nomatter how extreme your imaginary world, there’s probably something like itsomewhere in the universe, probably in our own galaxy. Even our own solarsystem has some real doozies. Methane rain on Saturn’s moon Titan? Crushingpressures in Jupiter’s atmosphere? A surface hot enough to melt lead on Venus?So, how do space scientists and engineers know what kinds of scienceinstruments (cameras, spectrometers, etc.) to put on spacecraft that aredestined for one of these strange places? The classroom activity “Designing forthe Barely Imaginable” explains these planetary science instruments asextensions of our five senses, with each type of instrument analogous to eyes,ears, noses, etc. The activity invites students to imagine and describe analien world, then design a pretend mission to explore that world and give theresults! This activity involves engineering design, physics, earth science andlanguage arts. Find it at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/classroom-activities/#alienworld.

Forout-of-school time
Here’s a classic physics experiment with a space exploration twist.Crush an aluminum can without even touching it. This version of the activity ispresented in the context of testing a new spacecraft material. How would thismaterial work in the harsh vacuum of space? The activity requires pouring asmall amount of boiling water into an empty soft-drink can, which an adult cando, but the rest is very doable by a child. And the result is a dramaticdemonstration (and explanation) of atmospheric pressure. It makes it look as ifwe ourselves withstand a measure of harshness under the weight of our ownatmosphere. It’s at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/soda-can-test.

Special Days

May 2, 1953: First Commercial Jet Flight
Why can’t we just fly into space? Read about a rocket that hitches anairplane ride for part of the trip to space. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/galex-pegasus.

May 17: Pack Rat Day
You can’t afford to be a pack rat whenyou are packing for a trip to Mars. Trythis fun, geometry-oriented activity for your class. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/classroom-activities/#marspacking

May 18, 1980: Mount St. Helens Erupted, Completely Blowing Off Its Top
Volcanoes look amazing from space. See Mount St. Helens and others at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gallery-earth/#volcanos.

June 5: World Environment Day
How are satellites helping us understand and care for the environment? Oneway is by tracking migrating endangered animals. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/migration

June 15: Nature Photography Day
Kids can make their own cameras and take awesome nature pictures whilelearning about light. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/classroom-activities/#pinhole

June 16, 1914: Birthday of LymanSpitzer, Jr.
He was a great scientist, and the Spitzer Space Telescope is named for him.Read how it was invented to make a dream come true. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/story-lucy

And anotherthing…
If you are taking a vacation from the classroom, have a wonderful,restorative summer. Before you let those kids go, however, remind them to visitThe Space Place in between their other screen-related activities!

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Additional Frequently Asked Questions — NASAResearch Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums andPlanetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other InformalEducation Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog ofFederal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008) — Available For Download

Four Frequently Asked Questions received afterthe proposal due date have been added to the CP4SMP+ portal page on NSPIRES atthe following URL:

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7b75AAC7BF-2F69-6C73-2980-B1DCF25EA665%7d&path=closed

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Don’t miss out on education-related opportunities available from NASA. For afull 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