NASA Education Express — Sept. 20, 2012

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

FreeEducation Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During September 2012

“Curiosity Has Landed inYour Classroom” Educator Conference
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Sept. 21, 2012
Conference Date: Sept. 29, 2012

Live Video Chat: Life as an Astronaut
Audience: Grades 4-12
Event Date: Sept. 25, 2012, 1-1:45 p.m. EDT

2012 Gregory G. LeptoukhOnline Giovanni Workshop
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Workshop Dates: Sept. 25-28, 2012

Solar System Ambassadors Program Accepting Applications
Audience: All Educators
Application Deadline: Sept. 30, 2012

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

2013 RASC-AL Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: Jan. 19, 2013

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

New NASA iPad Magazine “Space PlacePrime” Now Available
Audience: Educators of Grades 3-14

Have a Blast Learning About the Moon With NewSelene Video Game
Audience: All Educators and Grade 5-HigherEducation Students

Discovery Dome Loaner Program
Audience: Informal Educators and Museum Curators


FreeEducation Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project ispresenting a series of free webinars throughout September 2012. All webinarscan be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn aboutactivities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into yourclassroom.

Putting NEON to Work for You (Grades K-12)
Sept. 20, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss explains how to use theNASA Educators Online Network, or NEON’s, most important feature: the interestgroups. Participants will role-play several scenarios to find out how NEON’svarious tools can be used to find NASA activities that align to state-specificstandards.

Are Microbes Alive? (Grades 5-12)
Sept. 25, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will discuss how scientists definelife and what characteristics are common to living things. This webinar willfocus on a problem- based learning activity that connects the concept ofrequirements for life and serves as a bridge to activities in whichparticipants speculate on the possibilities of life (possibly microbial life)on other planets in our solar system.

Are Microbes Alive? (Grades 5-12)
Sept. 25, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will discuss how scientists definelife and what characteristics are common to living things. This webinar willfocus on a problem- based learning activity that connects the concept ofrequirements for life and serves as a bridge to activities in whichparticipants speculate on the possibilities of life (possibly microbial life)on other planets in our solar system.

Mission to Planet Earth: Remote Sensing (Grades 2-8)
Sept. 26, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
The world around us is constantly changing. Sometimes these changes happensuddenly and are easily observed. In many cases, changes in the Earth are not easilyseen, yet are readily apparent in comparisons made over time. Join aerospace educationspecialist Rick Varner for this session designed to help teachers and studentsappreciate these changes and study the impacts of Earth’s natural systems andhow humans affect their environment.

I’m Signed up for NEON — Now What? (Grades K-12)
Sept. 29, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss will introduce participants tobasic features of the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON, professional/collaborativelearning community. Participants will also learn how to use NEON to findappropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfy state-specificteaching standards.

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

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to KatieHayden at


“CuriosityHas Landed in Your Classroom” Educator Conference

Learn how to bring STEM concepts from NASA’s newestMars rover, Curiosity, into your classroom during a free educator conference atArizona State University! Special presenters from NASA’s Mars team will sharethe latest news and discoveries from the Red Planet, and education specialistswill showcase hands-on activities to help educators extend their students’science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, learning.

A certificate for 6.5 professional development clock hours will be given forthis conference. Conference participants will receive lesson plans, NASAmaterials and resources.

The conference will take place on Sept. 29, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thedeadline to register is Sept. 21, 2012.

For more information and to register, visit

Questions about this conference should be directed to


Live Video Chat: Lifeas an Astronaut

NASA Explorer Schools is offering students in grades 4-12 an opportunity to askquestions of Bob Cabana, astronaut and Director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.Join the video chat on Sept. 25, 2012,from 1-1:45 p.m. EDT to ask Cabana questions about his education, astronauttraining, living and working in space and the future of space exploration.

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

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


2012 Gregory G. Leptoukh Online GiovanniWorkshop

Join the NASA Goddard Earth Science Data andInformation Services Center for the 2012 Gregory G. Leptoukh Online GiovanniWorkshop taking place Sept.25-28, 2012. This workshop will focus on the use of thepioneering data visualization and analysis tool, Giovanni. The online workshopwill be organized around four main themes: Earth system research utilizingGiovanni; Giovanni applications (air quality, disaster management,environmental monitoring, etc.); planned and desired augmentation of Giovanni;and educational use of Giovanni.

The workshop will primarily consist of onlineauthor-led presentations coupled with real-time discussions about thesepresentations. Presentations and chat logs will be available online for reviewfor those unable to participate in live sessions.

To learn more, visit

Questions about this workshop should be directedto Dr. James G. Acker at


Solar System Ambassadors Program AcceptingApplications

The NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassadors, or SSA, Program,a nationwide network of space enthusiast volunteers, is accepting applicationsthrough Sept. 30, 2012.

Highly motivated individuals will be given the opportunity to represent NASA’sJet Propulsion Laboratory as volunteer Solar System Ambassadors to the publicfor a one-year, renewable term beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

While applications are being sought nationwide, interested parties from thefollowing states are especially encouraged to apply: Iowa,North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and southern Arizona (nearTucson). Successful applicants from southern Arizona will also have theopportunity to support the University of Arizona locally as OSIRIS-RExAmbassadors. The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource IdentificationSecurity Regolith Explorer, also known as OSIRIS-Rex, is a NASA planetaryscience mission that will send a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016.

To learn more about the Solar System Ambassador Program and to apply online,visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, contact Kay Ferrari, SSA Coordinator,by email at


2012-2013 National Student Solar SpectrographCompetition

The National Student Solar SpectrographCompetition is the Montana Space Grant Consortium’s Education Program forNASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission. IRIS will usespectrography and imaging in ultraviolet wavelengths to reveal the dynamics ofthe sun’s chromospheres and transition region.

This yearly competition is open to undergraduateinterdisciplinary teams from colleges and universities across the U.S. Teamsare challenged to design and build a working ground-based solar spectrographand demonstrate the capabilities of the spectrograph as defined by their sciencegoal. Typical teams have three to six students and must have a faculty advisor.

Both substantial scholarship prizes and travelprizes will be given in four categories: best design, best build, best scienceobservations and best presentation of results. Teams may apply for funding of$2,000 per team for project materials. Priority for build funds will be givento minority-serving institutions, community colleges and institutions with lessaerospace activity.

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

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

For more information and to register online,visit

Please email any questions about thiscompetition to Randy Larimer at


2013 RASC-AL Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2013 RevolutionaryAerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage, or RASC-AL, Competition. RASC-ALis a design project competition aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL contest challenges participants to design projects based on realNASA projects. Participants can choose from three different themes. Conceptsderived from the design projects potentially could be implemented by NASA.

Interested teams are encouraged to submit a notice of intent by Nov 9, 2012,and teams must submit an abstract for their proposed project by Jan. 19, 2013. The RASC-AL SteeringCommittee of NASA and industry experts will evaluate the proposals and selectas many as 10 undergraduate and five graduate teams tocompete against each other at a forum in June 2013 in Florida.

The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate studentsmajoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. Universitydesign teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a universityaffiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group ofuniversities may also work in collaboration on a design project entry.Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Shelley Spears at or Stacy Dees at


New DIY Podcast Module Available — Failure Prevention

For every NASA mission, the goal is success. If a vehicle, hardware or systemfails, it can cost time, equipment, money or even lives. NASA’s Do-It-YourselfPodcast’s newest module is “Failure Prevention.” In this module, youwill find background information on how failure plays a role in the engineeringdesign process. Audio and video clips contain interviews with NASA specialistswho analyze failure, as well as clips of vehicle and system tests that haveboth failed and succeeded.

Visit NASA’s DIY Podcast site today to introduce your students to this topic.Integrate technology into your lessons by asking your students to make apodcast. Students may use the information in the overview as a starting point,then develop a script for their podcasts as they add audio and video clips tosupport their topics.

Come on! Integrate to educate: your students will love it! And what’s more,there are teaching tips and hints on the DIY Podcast blog.

NASA’s DIY Podcast: Failure Prevention

NASA’s DIY Podcast Blog

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


New NASA iPad Magazine “Space PlacePrime” Now Available

Announcing “Space Place Prime,” the newNASA magazine for iPad. This brand new app gathers some of the best and mostrecent Web offerings from NASA. It taps engrossing articles from The SpacePlace website, enlightening NASA videos and daily images such as the AstronomyPicture of the Day and the NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day.

“Space Place Prime” targets a multigenerational audience. Kids, teachers,parents, space enthusiasts and everyone in between will find fascinating featureson this new, free NASA app.

For more information about the new magazine, visit

iPad is a registered trademarks of Apple Inc.


Have a Blast Learning About the Moon With NewSelene Video Game

Use your computer to journey back some 4.5billion years, and prepare to blast away — you’re going to make a moon justlike Earth’s. All you need to do is to register to play the award-winning”Selene” online video game from the Center for EducationalTechnologies, or CET. CET is the home of NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Futureat Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va.

In “Selene: A Lunar ConstructionGame,” you and your students learn about basic geological processes onEarth and in the solar system while helping educational researchers study howand when people learn through educational video games.

Funded by NASA and the National ScienceFoundation, “Selene” has won numerous awards, and research has shownthat the game aids learning. But we need players. To register your students,email with your contact infoand times when you would be available for a short 30-minute orientation.

New for the 2012-2013 school year is aSpanish-language version of the game. The game is open to ages 9 and up and canbe played anytime, anyplace. To learn more about “Selene,” readtestimonials about it or see how it aligns with national and state sciencestandards. Visit the “Selene” website at


DiscoveryDome Loaner Program

Thanks to NASA support fromthe Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums, museums, sciencecenters, Challenger centers and other 501(c)(3) community organizations areeligible for a free Discovery Dome loaner program.

The Discovery Dome is available for monthlong loans. The dome includes the show”We Choose Space,” but will also include other NASA-sponsoredplanetarium shows. Stellarium star software and WorldWide Telescope galacticexploration software will also be included. In addition, a free immersive game”Monster Trucks on the Moon” is included. This game allowsparticipants to test their driving skills by navigating a truck on the moonwithout turning it over or spilling its cargo.

To watch the “We Choose Space” show for free, to download educationalresources, and to order the show on DVD, visit

To watch all of the planetarium shows, visit

In order to receive a loaner Discovery Dome, your organization must:

— commit to sending someone to Houston, Texas, or Washington, D.C., fortraining (or pay travel expenses for a trainer to come to your site).
— pay for one-way return shipping of the system to Houston (or to its nextlocation).
— have insurance or guarantee for any loss or damage. If the mirror is damagedduring use, the cost will vary from $100 (minor scratch) to $1,000(replacement). Total financial commitment is approximately $2,000 or less.
— commit for a person to operate the dome, at least part time. Venues areallowed to sell tickets or otherwise charge (especially if offsite travel isinvolved), but to maximize usage it is requested that fees are kept to aminimum.

Organizations that are accepted must keep usage statistics for NASA metrics andfill out an evaluation form.

Preference will be given to rural sites, sites more than 100 miles from adigital planetarium and sites serving minority groups.

Interested organizations should fill out the online application form at

Questions about this opportunity should bedirected to Patricia H. Reiff at or 713-348-4634.


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

Visit NASA Education on the Web:

For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club: