NASA Education Express — August 2, 2012

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

Celebrate the Landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover
Audience: All Educators and Students
Landing Date: Aug. 5-6, 2012

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates Through August 2012

Satellites & Education Conference XXV
Audience: All Educators

Event Date: Aug. 9-11, 2012

NASA Office of Education Solicits Proposals for the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR

Audience: Higher Education Institutions in Eligible States
Proposal Deadline: Aug. 14, 2012

Green Strides Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Multiple dates through May 2013


Celebrate the Landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover

In a few weeks, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is set to land on Mars. What will this rover do? Curiosity will look for things that sustain life: signs of long-term water in the past or present and the right chemical ingredients for life (e.g., carbon-based molecules, the chemical building blocks of life). Use this historic occasion to introduce current real-world science and engineering to your students.

Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars at 1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (That’s 10:31 p.m. PDT, Sunday, Aug. 5.) That evening, Mars will be visible in the night sky with a telescope or with the naked eye. Take this opportunity to host a Mars-gazing party! Just after sunset, Mars will be roughly 150 million miles away from Earth, and the Curiosity Rover will be only hours away from arriving to this distant orange dot in the night sky. Submit your events to

— Looking for activities to get students excited about the upcoming landing? A number of short, hands-on activities relating to the mission are available at

— For a basic overview of the Red Planet, visit the following websites:

Basic Information on Mars

Mars Image Collection

3-D Images of Mars

— Want to know more about the area where the Curiosity rover will be landing on Mars? Visit the following websites to learn more about Gale Crater.

Destination Gale Crater: August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm PDT

Gale’s Mount Sharp Compared to Three Big Mountains on Earth

National Parks as Mars Analog Sites

— The Curiosity rover will landing using a bold new landing technique. Check out the “Seven Minutes of Terror” video at the link below to see how rockets, parachutes and a “sky crane” will help Curiosity make a soft landing on Mars.

— Live media coverage of the Curiosity landing begins at midnight EDT (9 p.m. PDT) on NASA TV. To find NASA TV on your local cable provider, or to view the coverage online, visit

— Curiosity also has a presence on Twitter and Facebook.

For up-to-the-minute mission information about the Curiosity rover and progress toward its Mars landing, visit and


Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars throughout July 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-12)
Aug. 9, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

Kepler Mission: Searching for Earth-like Planets (Grades 6-12)
Aug. 13, 2012, 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will discuss NASA’s Kepler Mission.  Kepler has been in space for three years searching for planets that are orbiting stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Participants will learn how transits are used to find planets and determine their sizes and distances from the stars they orbit.

Living and Working in Space (Grades K-5)
Aug. 16, 2012, 10 – 11 a.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Wil Robertson will introduce teachers to some of the obstacles humans face while traveling in space. The webinar will review the major difficulties and concerns of adapting to the space environment, from everyday living and personal hygiene to safety.

“Flying to Mars… In an Airplane?” (Grades 3-9)
Aug. 16, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brian Hawkins will present an overview of the Mars Science Laboratory mission with its Curiosity rover and explore the proposed Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey of Mars, or ARES, mission. ARES is also known as the Mars Airplane. Two hands-on activities will be demonstrated during this session.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through August 2012, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at


Satellites & Education Conference XXV

Join the Satellite Educators Association for an education conference being held Aug. 9-11, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif. The annual conference is for educators interested in discovering ways to use satellites and related technologies in the classroom. Participants learn ways to help students appreciate and understand the complex interrelationships among science, technology, individuals, societies and the environment. Conference attendees learn to develop and apply inquiry and technology skills to study authentic questions and problems.

In conjunction with this year’s conference, a two-day training session for the GLOBE program will take place Aug. 10-11.

The conference is hosted by California State University, Los Angeles. The event is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Aerospace Institute, Boeing, Raytheon, SpaceX, Lockheed-Martin, Sally Ride Science Festivals, Traveling Space Museum, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence’s West location and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this event, please contact conference coordinator Dr. Paula Arvedson at


NASA Office of Education Solicits Proposals for the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Education, in cooperation with NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), and Science Mission Directorates (SMD), the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT), and NASA’s ten Centers, solicits proposals for the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to establish research activities that will make significant contributions to the strategic research and technology development priorities of one or more of the Mission Directorates or the OCT and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and economic development of the jurisdiction. Proposals are due on Aug. 14, 2012.

Public Law 102-588, passed in 1992, authorized NASA to initiate NASA EPSCoR to strengthen the research capability of jurisdictions that have not in the past participated equably in competitive aerospace research activities. The goal of NASA EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research. This capability will, in turn, contribute to the jurisdiction’s economic viability and expand the nation’s base for aerospace research and development. Since its inception, NASA EPSCoR has been closely linked to the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant).

While proposals can be accepted only from institutions for which the NASA EPSCoR Directors are currently serving, all institutions of higher education within the jurisdiction should be given the opportunity and must be made aware of the FY 2012 NASA EPSCoR CAN. The National Science Foundation (NSF) determines overall jurisdiction eligibility for NASA EPSCoR.

Details regarding general eligibility are available at

The following jurisdictions are eligible to submit up to two proposals that must be submitted through the jurisdiction PI to this NASA EPSCoR solicitation: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

South Carolina may submit up to three proposals, provided at least one of the proposals represents a project from the U.S. Virgin Islands (which currently falls under South Carolina’s jurisdiction).

For more information, visit{36283FDE-A756-ED4D-426B-A7C0EA1FD9A3}&path=open.


Green Strides Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Education presents the Green Strides Webinar Series. These webinars feature experts from various federal programs. The webinars are free, and events are scheduled through the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information and registration, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


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

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