NASA Education Express — August 23, 2012

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

2012-2013 NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative
Audience: Higher Education Students
Proposal Deadline: Aug. 31, 2012

Become a NASA Galileo EducatorNetwork Fellow
Audience: K-12 Educator Professional Development Providers
Application Deadline: Aug. 31, 2012

Minorities Striving and Pursuing HigherDegrees of Success in Earth System Science
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Aug. 31, 2012

Presenters Neededfor 2013 Space Exploration Educators Conference
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Sept. 6, 2012

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Education Professional Development Survey
Audience: All Educators
Survey Deadline: Sept. 10, 2012

2013 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Limited to 50 Teams

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

New DIYPodcast Module Available — Recycling
Audience: 5-12 Educators and Students

New NASA eClips Videos Available
Audience: 6-12 Educators

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


2012-2013 NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative

NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative, orUSLI, is a competition that challenges university-level students to design,build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload toone mile above ground level. The project engages students in scientificresearch and real-world engineering processes with NASA engineers.

Once selected, teams design their rockets and payloads throughout the academicyear. USLI requires a NASA review of the teams’ preliminary and criticaldesigns. The project also requires flight and launch readiness reviews beforethe rockets and payloads are approved for launch. Teams complete a Post-LaunchAssessment Review to include conclusions from their science or engineeringexperiment and the overall flight performance. The Preliminary Design Review,Critical Design Review and Flight Readiness Review are conducted by a panel ofscientists and engineers from NASA, NASA contactors and external partners.

NASA’s Student Launch Projects are sponsored by ATK Aerospace Systems. Theannual launch event is hosted at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala., and launchservices are provided by the National Association of Rocketry. The 2012-2013launch will be on April 20, 2013. Proposals are due Aug. 31, 2012.

The Statement of Work and instructions for submitting a proposal can be foundon the USLI website at

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Julie Clift at


Becomea NASA Galileo Educator Network Fellow

The NASA Galileo Educator Network is accepting applications for a professional development institute in September 2012, atthe Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Ill.

The 15-hour institute will focus on the integration of science content, sciencepractices and the nature of science as outlined in thenational Framework for K–12 Science Education. The goal of this program is totrain participants to assist K-12 teachers with the implementation of the NextGeneration Science Standards, in the context of astronomy and space science.

Lodging support for out-of-town participants and stipends for all participantsare available.

Applications are due Aug. 31,2012.

For more information about the NASA Galileo Educator Network and to apply forthe professional development institute online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Brian Kruse at


MinoritiesStriving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science

The Minorities Striving and Pursuing HigherDegrees of Success in Earth System Science, or MS PHD’S, initiative wasdeveloped by and for underrepresented minorities to facilitate increasedparticipation in earth system science. Each year, the initiative engages approximately 25 minorityundergraduate and graduate students in a series of activities.

The project starts with orientation and a broad earth system science andengineering exposure during MS PHD’S community-building activities at the American Geophysical Union fallmeeting in San Francisco, Calif.

Participants will engage in additional professional development activities atone of the MS PHD’S organizational partners’ meetings. These activities couldinclude attending meetings of the American Meteorological Society, the Associationfor the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the National Association ofBlack Geologists and Geophysicists, and the Ecological Society of America,among others. Each participant will attend the meeting that most closely alignswith his or her specific academic and professional interests.

The final phase will occur at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., whereparticipants will visit government agencies and engage in dialogs withprofessional society and foundation representatives. Each student will alsoreceive a scholarship award of up to $1,000 and participate in a tour of NASA’sGoddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The deadline for submitting the online applicationis Aug. 31, 2012.

For more information about the MSPHD’S initiative and how to apply, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to


Presenters Needed for 2013 Space ExplorationEducators Conference

The 19th Annual Space Exploration EducatorsConference, or SEEC, is taking place Feb. 7-9, 2013, at Space Center Houston.The goal of SEEC is to encourage K-12 educators to use space to teach allsubjects in their classrooms. Over 700 educators gather for this event eachyear.

Conference organizers are looking for 170interactive sessions that present exciting classroom activities. All sessionsmust have a hands-on component; lecture sessions will not be accepted.Proposals are due Sept.6, 2012.

For more information, visit

If you have any questions about the conference,please call 281-244-2149 or email


NASA’s Science Mission Directorate EducationProfessional Development Survey

NASA’s Science MissionDirectorate, or SMD, is strongly committed to enhancing the nation’s science,technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. As part of thatcommitment, each of the four divisions within the SMD established an Educationand Public Outreach, or E/PO, Forum. Each Forum consists of a team ofscientists and educators that coordinates activities using NASA sciencecontent, expertise and facilities.

One of the areas for the Forums is teacher professional development. In aneffort to continue offering the most valuable professional developmentexperience possible, the Forums are seeking your expert input.

Please fill in the survey found at the website listed below. The survey shouldtake less than 20 minutes. We are asking for your response by Sept. 10,2012.

Please email any questions about this survey toTheresa Schwerin at

Thank you very much for your contribution to NASA Science E/PO Forums!

The NASA Science E/PO Forums
Cassie Soeffing, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Earth Science Forum

Lindsay Bartolone, Adler Planetarium
Astrophysics Forum

Ruth Paglierani, University of California, Berkeley
Heliophysics Forum

Sheri Klug Boonstra, Arizona State University
Planetary Science Forum

Liz Burck, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Wyle Information Systems, LLC
Earth Science Forum


2013 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

NASA is challenging U.S.and international undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and builda telerobotic or autonomous excavator, called a Lunabot, that may result inclever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual lunar excavationdevice or payload. The lunabot must be able to mine and deposit a minimum of 10kilograms (22 pounds) of lunar simulant in 10 minutes.

Design teams must include one faculty advisor from a college or university andat least two undergraduate or graduate students. Universities may work incollaboration, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

Selected teams will compete in the Lunabotics Mining Competition at NASA’sKennedy Space Center in Florida on May 20-24, 2013. Registration is limited tothe first 50 approved teams. Registration is limited to one team per universitycampus. Internationally, registration is limited to five teams per country.

Registration will end when NASA approves 50applications.

For more information about the competition andto apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Susan Sawyer at

Like NASA Lunabotics on Facebook at
Watch Lunabotics videos on YouTube at
Follow Lunabotics on Twitter at!/NASALunabotics.


Green Strides Webinar Series

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

For more information and registration, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directedto


New DIY Podcast Module Available — Recycling

NASA’s Do-It-Yourself Podcast offers resources for educators and students tocreate podcasts using free NASA images, video footage and audio clips. Thenewest DIY Podcast topic module focuses on recycling. While recycling may be arelatively new task for humans, it is common practice for Mother Nature. Air andwater are constantly recycled by nature for use on Earth. NASA recycles too, onEarth and in space.

NASA centers recycle paper, plastic, batteries, excess materials fromconstruction and demolition projects, and other items. But what does NASArecycle in space?

NASA uses special purification systems on the space station to recycle water,sweat, urine and air so that astronauts have clean water to drink and use andhave fresh air to breathe.

Challenge your students to brainstorm about how to make recycling a common partof their lives. And then visit NASA’s DIY Podcast site today to integratepodcasting into your classroom. Encourage your students to mashup audio andvideo clips to develop informative and creative podcasts about recycling. Videoand audio clips feature interviews with astronauts and NASA specialists. Thesite also provides background information on recycling.

Additionally, educators may visit the DIY Podcast blog for tips and ideas onhow to use podcasting in your lessons.

For more information and to access the Recycling topic module, visit NASA’s DIYPodcast site today at

If you have questions or comments about NASA’s DIY Podcast, please email


NewNASA eClips Videos Available

Check out the new videos that NASA eClips™ has rolled out for August.

RealWorld: NASA Harnesses Half Life (Grades 6-8) — Learn about isotopes andradioactive decay. See how NASA uses the predictable decay of certain elementsto power spacecraft in remote locations. Find out why a Radioisotope PowerSystem, or RPS, provides dependable energy for the Mars Science Laboratory.
Launchpad:What Are Radioisotope Power Systems? (Grades 9-12) — NASA usesRadioisotope Power Systems, or RPS, to convert heat from radioactive decay toelectricity, creating predictable, continuous power for long missions inextreme environments. But learn how a next generation Radioisotope StirlingEngine will perform four times more efficiently and help NASA use even less ofa precious resource.
Launchpad:History, Benefits and Safety of Radioisotope Power Systems (Grades 9-12) –With safety designed from inside out and outside in, see how NASA has usedRadioisotope Power Systems, or RPS, for more than 20 missions over the last 50years. Discover the advantages of an RPS that allow spacecraft like Voyager todo important scientific maneuvers even after being in the extreme environmentof space for 30 years! Find out where an RPS could take us in the future.

To learn more about NASA eClips, visit

Follow NASA eClips on Facebook and Twitter!


What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

NASA’s Curiosity rover gears up tobegin its study of Mars just in time for the start of school. FollowingCuriosity’s adventures of exploration can help keep kids excited about scienceand space. The Space Place, along with our new mobile applications, can helptoo.

Introducing Space Place Prime!
Space Place Prime is a spinoff of The Space Place, but for the iPad and amultigenerational audience. It is a content presentation app, updated daily viawireless connection, which gathers some of the best and most recent offeringsfrom NASA. It taps timely educational and easy-to-read articles from thewebsite, as well as daily updates of NASA space and Earth images and the latestinformative videos.

The interface is a grid of images, which you can slide with your finger anywhich way to your heart’s content. Each feature is represented by a uniqueimage, labeled with an icon to show whether it is an image, video, article oractivity. Tapping on the image takes you to the feature.

For a more organized view, a list mode presents separate menus of images,videos and articles (including activity articles).

You can share the images and short videos with your class using a digitalprojector and a high-definition multimedia interface adapter for the iPad.

Space Place Prime is available free in the Apple App Store. See iTunes previewat

New Resource for Space Place enEspañol
This year has been an amazing one for daytime sky watchers. On May20, we had a solar eclipse, partial or annular, depending on your viewinglocation. And on June 5 (or 6), a very rare Venus transit occurred, which issimilar to an eclipse. Both of these events and the basic concept of eclipsesare explained in a new “Explore” page in both English and Spanish on The SpacePlace. Check it out at

Spotlight on Mars
“Let’s go to Mars!” The Mars adventure game gives kids the task ofpicking items that would be useful to take on a long trip to Mars. The player’sgame success depends on the usefulness and practicality of the items chosen.For example, dumb-bells wouldn’t be very useful for exercising in a weightlessenvironment. And potato chips take up too much space. But notepaper and somecrayons might come in handy, as would a first-aid kit. Blast off at

For the Classroom
What’s the difference between a comet and an asteroid? Most of usknow that a comet has a tail and maybe a certain level of predictability. Butwhat, fundamentally, distinguishes one from the other? Or is there a fuzzy areawhere either term could apply? Our new “Comets vs. Asteroids” four-page flyertells all with pictures, easy explanations, fun facts and even a word searchpuzzle. Download and print it at

Forout-of-school time
Make Space Place t-shirts. Print our beautiful Space Place art oniron-on transfer paper you can buy at a crafts store. Iron the transfer ontoany t-shirt, old or new. You can also iron a colorful solar system transfergraphic onto the back of the shirt to help students (either the ones wearingthe shirt or the ones looking at their backs) learn the names of the planets.

Alternatively, Lands’ End® has created an embroidered Space Placeinsignia, which you can order on any Lands’ End® shirt, hat, bag or otherproduct. Either way, go to get started.

Special Days

Sept. 15: Respect for the Aged Day in Japan
(Why don’t we have such a holiday in the U.S.?) A fun way to observe thisday is to play the “How Old Do I Look?” game. Go to

Sept. 16: Collect Rocks Day
You never know when the rock you pick up might have fallen from Mars oranother extraterrestrial locale. See what rock collecting did for one NASAscientist by watching a Space Place Live episode at

Sept. 23, 1846: Johan G. Galle Discovered Neptune
This smallest of the gas giants would still hold 60 Earths! Find out moreabout Neptune and all the other planets by reading the interactive or .pdfstorybook, “The First Annual Planet Awards!” It’s at

October: Energy Awareness Month
The “Power Up!” game on our sister website, NASA’s Climate Kids, will helpstudents become more aware of renewable energy sources. Go to

Oct. 13: Train Your Brain Day
Flex your memory muscles by playing “Spitzer Concentration.” Match spaceimages from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Go to

Oct. 21: Orionids Meteor Shower Peaks
Find out all about meteor showers and the best way to watch them at

The Space Place monthly wall calendar for this school year isavailable to print at, back issues of this newsletter are available, with timeless suggestionson using The Space Place to enrich classroom and out-of-school experiences forstudents. Check them out at

iPad and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.


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:

One thought on “NASA Education Express — August 23, 2012”

Comments are closed.