NASA Education Express — Sept. 27, 2012

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

REGISTERNOW — REGISTRATION CLOSES SEPT. 28 –Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2012
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Sept. 28, 2012

Free Education Webinar Series from the AerospaceEducation Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During October 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

EngineeringDesign Challenge: Water Filtration Web Seminar
Audience: Physics Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 2, 2012

Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote SensingIces on Mars Web Seminar
Audience: 8-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 4, 2012

Celebrate World SpaceWeek
Audience: All Educators
Event Date: Oct. 4-10, 2012

NASA’s Digital Learning Network CelebratesWorld Space Week Special Events Featuring Curiosity!
Audience: Grades 5-12
Event Dates: Oct. 4-10, 2012

Celebrate World Space Week With Free EducationWebinars from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Oct. 4-9, 2012

2013 Texas High School AerospaceScholars
Audience: 9-12 Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 2, 2012

NASA Sponsors Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem — It’s How You Look atIt
Audience: All Educators and Students
Visit Website for Regional Competition Dates


REGISTERNOW — REGISTRATION CLOSES SEPT. 28 –Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2012

NASA, the Defense Advanced Research ProjectsAgency, or DARPA, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s, or MIT’s, SpaceSystems Laboratory are proud to announce that the next Zero Robotics HighSchool Tournament will take place this fall, offering high school students theopportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

Zero Robotics challenges high school studentteams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold,Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition startsonline where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors.Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code, all from aWeb browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists areselected to compete in a live championship aboard the International SpaceStation!

Teams may register now:
1) Go to
2) Log In or Create an Account. (Note: You canstart programming in the online integrated development environment at thispoint!)
3) Click “Tournaments” and registerfor the High School Tournament.
4) Create a team and invite other users.
5) Visit Resources to get started.

Registration closes on Sept. 28, 2012. Visitthe site now to create an account and join the competition!

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2012 isbrought to you by NASA and DARPA, and facilitated by the MIT Space SystemsLaboratory, TopCoder and Aurora Flight Sciences.

To see a promotional video for the competition,visit

Please email any questions about thisopportunity to


FreeEducation Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

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

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/collaborative learning community. Participants will also learn howto use NEON to find appropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfystate-specific teaching standards.

Applying the Engineering Process to STEM (Grades K-12)
Oct. 2, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will discuss the uses of theEngineering Design Process as a method of problem solving in subject areasother than engineering.

Engineering Is Elementary (Grades 3-8)
Oct. 3, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brandon Hargis will discuss ways toincorporate the engineering design process using NASA-developed engineeringdesign challenges for students in grades 3-8. These challenges will engage students’creativity, foster their curiosity, and encourage their interest in space.

Solar System and the Periodic Table(Grades 3-8)
Oct. 17, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Sandy Kaszynski will lead this standards-basedwebinar that teaches participants basic principles of what the periodic tablerepresents, using the solar system as an exciting basis for understanding. Thisis an introductory lesson with a concluding game.

Investigating the Climate System (Grades 5-12)
Oct. 24, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will introduce participants to thefive problem-based learning educator guides in the NASA Investigating theClimate System series. Topics addressed will include wind, precipitation,energy, clouds and extreme weather. This webinar is part of the Department ofEducation Green Strides webinar series.

Robotics on a Budget (Grades 5-12)
Oct. 30, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will explore how to use robotics toenhance your students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering andmathematics, or STEM. Participants will also learn about NASA STEM roboticsmissions, curriculum and activities that are available.

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


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 theirscience goal. Typical teams have three to six students and must have a facultyadvisor.

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


Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration WebSeminar

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 Oct. 2, 2012, at 6:30p.m. EDT.

Earth recycles water naturally. Water is also recycled in processing plants andin the Water Recycling Assembly on the International Space Station. During thisseminar, participants will receive background information about the principlesthat apply to all three systems, and then see how to incorporate theinformation into an exciting hands-on, inquiry-based challenge requiringstudents to solve a problem in the best way they can create.

For more information and toregister online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to


ElectromagneticSpectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars 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 Oct.4, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to use authentic NASA mission data toinvestigate the composition and distribution of ices in the high-latituderegions of Mars through analysis of visible light, infrared light and gammarays. The seminar includes information about a unique student extensionactivity, where students access a free computer simulation illustrating howgamma rays are used to determine the chemical composition of Mars.

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 NES Help Desk at


Celebrate World Space Week

Join educators and space enthusiasts around theworld to celebrate World Space Week, Oct.4-10, 2012. This international event commemorates the beginningof the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957.

World Space Week is the largest public spaceevent in the world, with celebrations in more than 50 nations. During WorldSpace Week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities. The themefor 2012, “Space for Human Safety and Security,” has been chosen tocelebrate the many ways in which mankind’s activities in space improve our dailylives.

To find NASA educational resources that can beused during World Space Week, visit the Educational Materials Finder:

To learn more about World Space Week, search forevents in your area and find educational materials related to the event, visit


NASA’sDigital Learning Network Celebrates World Space Week Special Events FeaturingCuriosity!

Join NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, for a trio of special events tocelebrate World Space Week (Oct. 4-10, 2012).

On Oct. 4, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. EDT,NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and Goddard Space Flight Centerin Maryland are teaming up to celebrate the landing of the Curiosity rover onMars! This live event will explore NASA’s latest rover on the Red Planet, andstudents will learn from NASA experts about how both centers contributed to themission.

On Oct. 9, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. EDT and Oct. 10, 2012, at 6 p.m. EDT, the DLNpresents opportunities for students to interact with experts at NASA’s JetPropulsion Laboratory in California. During these special live events, studentscan discuss the Curiosity mission to Mars with NASA experts who helped designthe mission. Visit the DLN website to learn how your class can participate.

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

Inquiries about these events should be directed to Caryn Long at


CelebrateWorld Space Week With Free Education Webinars from the Aerospace EducationServices Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is celebratingWorld Space Week with a series of free webinars taking place Oct. 4-9, 2012.All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists tolearn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bringNASA into your classroom.

Kepler Mission (Grades K-12)
Oct. 4, 2012, 6 – 7:30 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt as he discusses NASA’sKepler mission to find Earth-like planets. Participants will also learn aboutKepler-related educational materials and how to use the activities with their students.

The International Space Station: Life in Space (Grades 4-12)
Oct. 4, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
The International Space Station is a unique and exciting classroom inspace. Join aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan as he shares inquiryactivities and online resources for your classroom on Earth. NASA STEMresources, space food and nutrition, and Newton’s Laws of Motion are just someof the topics integrated during the out of this world webinar.

The Origins of the Solar System: The Dawn Mission (Grades 4-12)
Oct. 5, 2012, 1 – 2 p.m. EDT and 4 – 5 p.m.
Join aerospace education specialist Rachelle Oblack as she discussesthe Dawn mission. Learn how this mission will characterize the early solarsystem and the processes that dominated its formation by studying asteroidVesta and dwarf planet Ceres, celestial bodies believed to have accreted earlyin the history of the solar system.

Exploring Strange New Worlds (Grades K-12)
Oct. 8, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Most of our knowledge about the solar system and objects beyond our celestialneighborhood comes to us through remote sensing, fly-by, orbiter and roboticmissions. Join aerospace education specialist Rick Varner as he discusses theseinformation gathering techniques. Participants will be introduced to the”Strange New Worlds” classroom activity.

Solar System Resources (Grades 2-12)
Oct. 9, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialists John Weis and Brandon Hargis for anoverview of NASA resources available for teaching about the solar system.Resources will focus on hands-on activities and include topics such as scale,missions, moons and eclipses.

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


2013Texas High School Aerospace Scholars

The Texas High School AerospaceScholars project is an interactive, online learning experience. It ishighlighted by a six-day internship where selected students are encouraged tostudy mathematics, science, engineering or computer science by interacting withengineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars project is open to high schooljuniors throughout Texas. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have access tothe Internet.

The application deadline is Nov. 2, 2012.

For additional information on the project and to apply online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


NASA Sponsors Odyssey of the Mind Long-TermProblem — It’s How You Look at It

NASA is sponsoring the Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem — It’s How YouLook at It.

Odyssey ofthe Mind is an international educational program that offers creativeproblem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.Participants apply their creativity to solve problems that range from buildingmechanical devices to presenting their own interpretations of literaryclassics. The teams then bring their solutions to competition on the local,state and international levels.

This year’s NASA-sponsored problem requires teams to create andpresent an original humorous performance that includes two characters that actnaturally — to them — but odd to those around them. One scene will establishthe “normal” behavior of one character that, at some point in the performance,finds itself among others who react to the out-of-place behavior. The othercharacter’s behavior will stand out too, but this character will end up in asetting where its odd behavior is considered normal. The performance will alsoinclude a meter that indicates the degree of odd/normal behavior and a creativescene change.

For more information and to find datesfor regional competitions, visit

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please


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: