NASA Education Express — Nov. 15, 2012

Check out the followingNASA opportunities for the education community. Full descriptions are listedbelow.

NASAEducation Launches New Clubhouse
Audience: K-4 Educators and Students

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

NASA Social Event at the AmericanGeophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012

2012-2013 RealWorld Design Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students — U.S. Only
Registration Deadline: Nov. 16, 2012

Free Smithsonian’s StarsLecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Nov. 17, 2012

NASA CubeSat SpaceMissions
Audience: Higher Education Educators &Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 20, 2012

Distance/Rate/Time Problems: Smart Skies Web Seminar
Audience: 5-9 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 28, 2012

2012 OPTIMUS PRIMESpinoff Video Contest
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Dec. 15, 2012

2013 NASA and Worcester PolytechnicInstitute Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Jan. 7, 2013

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposalsfor 2013-2014 Academic Year
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 1, 2013


NASA Education Launches NewClubhouse

A new room awaits kids on the NASA Kids’ Clubwebsite. Find your way to the new Clubhouse from the mission control console onthe NASA Kids’ Club page. Journey with Nebula, the Clubhouse commander, andexplore games and interactive features designed for K-4 audiences. Look throughthe porthole in the floor to see pictures of Earth taken from space; read aboutwhy NASA explores; play a game about what astronauts eat in space; discoverwhat your age and weight would be on a moon or another planet; color picturesof wildlife living on NASA centers; assemble a polygon featuring NASA aircraft;and check out the “hot spots” that come to life upon contact.

In addition to the many games NASA Kids’ Club offers, its “Now in Space” areaprovides current and past information about the astronauts on the InternationalSpace Station. Look in the “More Pictures” section for incredible NASA images.

NASA Kids’ Club is an award-winning educational website designed for childrenin kindergarten through fourth grade. Content is based on education standardsand designed to engage young children in science, technology, engineering andmathematics.

Click the link below to begin your NASA Kids’Club adventure.


FreeEducation Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

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

Here an Earth, There an Earth, Everywhere an Earth: The Kepler TelescopeSearch for Habitable Planets Beyond Our Solar System (Grades 5-12)
Nov. 15, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will discuss NASA’s Keplertelescope and its search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.Participants will learn how to use Johannes Kepler’s Third Law and actualKepler telescope data to construct graphs to record and interpret data thatdetermine if a planet orbiting a star in another solar system is a possiblecandidate to support life.

Robotics on a Budget (Grades 5-12)
Nov. 28, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EST
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


NASA Social Event at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012

NASA and the American Geophysical Union areinviting social media followers to a unique behind-the-scenes NASA Social onTuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in San Francisco. The event will bring 20 social mediausers together with some of the world’s best and brightest scientific minds atthe world’s largest Earth and solar system science conference.

NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the agencythrough Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. Participants willget special access to parts of the AGU meeting and meet with NASA and otherscientists presenting research on Earth’s climate, deep ocean exploration andthe latest findings from Mars. Additionally, guests will sit in on a pressconference, attend a panel on deep ocean exploration with film-maker JamesCameron and a NASA astrobiologist, explore the expansive exhibit hall, and meetfellow science enthusiasts who are active on social media.

Registration is open until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. NASA and the AGU will select20 participants at random from Web registrants. Additional applicants will beplaced on a waiting list. Because of space limitations, those selected will notbe permitted to bring a guest. Each participant must be age 18 or older.

For more NASA Social and sign up information, visit

To join and track the conversation online during the NASA Socials, follow the hashtags#NASASocial and #AGU12.

The AGU Fall Meeting attracts as many as 20,000 attendees and offers a platformfor scientists to present their most cutting-edge work. For more information onthe meeting, visit

Questions about this NASA Social event should be directed to


2012-2013 RealWorld Design Challenge

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual U.S. competition that givesstudents in grades 9-12 the opportunity to work on real-world engineeringchallenges in a team environment. This year, NASA is teaming up with other RWDCpartners on the Aviation Challenge. This challenge invites students to designan unmanned aerial system to help locate a lost child.

Participating schools receive real engineeringsoftware and partner with mentors who are professional engineers. The contestprovides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom toreal technical problems.

The deadline for team registration is Nov. 16, 2012. Entriesmust be submitted by Jan. 18, 2013.

For more information about the challenge, visit

Questions about the Real World Design Challenge should be directed to RalphCoppola at


Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series

Curious about our nearest star, moon rocks, volcanoes and other wonders ofthe universe? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars, a series of 10 lectures bySmithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars,galaxies and the universe. These speakers will share behind-the-scenes detailsabout how their research is done and technologies that advance new discoveriesat the Smithsonian Institution.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. and is followedby a question-and-answer session. A Discovery Station activity will take placeat 4 p.m. prior to each lecture. Stay after the lecture to visit theobservatory, weather permitting.

Nov. 17, 2012 — The Dynamic Sun
The sun is even more dynamic, mysterious andbeautiful than you probably imagine. Astrophysicist Mark Weber will explorethis incredible star with observations from some of the most advancedtelescopes. Learn what scientists have discovered and what they are onlybeginning to understand.

Dec. 1, 2012 — A Universe of Data
This century has seen stunning cosmicdiscoveries. The digital age has given everyone free access to space data; thetrick is to turn that data into quantitative science and pictures that tell astory. Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell will use images from the Chandra SpaceTelescope to help explain how astronomers study space in the computer age.

Dec. 15, 2012 — TheMission of the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity
Since landing on Mars in early August 2012, the Mars Science LaboratoryCuriosity rover has returned an array of stunning data that is being used toevaluate whether Mars may have harbored habitable environments. Geologist JohnGrant will delve into the recent findings from Curiosity.

For more information about the Smithsonian’sStars Lecture Series and to see a full schedule of upcoming lectures, visit

Questions about this lecture series should bedirected to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000.

The Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series is madepossible by a grant from NASA.


NASA CubeSatSpace Missions

NASA is seeking proposals for small satellitepayloads to fly on rockets planned to launch between 2013 and 2016. Theseminiature spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be auxiliary payloads onpreviously planned missions.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraftcalled nanosatellites. These cube-shaped satellites are approximately fourinches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds.

Proposed CubeSat investigations must beconsistent with NASA’s Strategic Plan and the NASA education vision and goals.The research must address aspects of science, exploration, technologydevelopment, education or operations.

Applicants must submit proposals electronicallyby 4:30 p.m. EST, Nov. 20, 2012. NASA will select the payloads by Jan. 31,2013. Selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. The selectedspacecraft will be eligible for flight after final negotiations when a launchopportunity arises. NASA will not provide funding for the development of thesmall satellites.

NASA recently announced the results from thethird round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. From the first three launchinitiatives, 64 payloads made the short list for launch opportunities between2011 and 2014. They are eligible for launch pending an appropriate opportunityand final negotiations. The satellites come from 25 states: Alabama, Alaska, California,Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, NewMexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

For additional information about NASA’s CubeSatLaunch Initiative program, visit


Distance/Rate/Time Problems: Smart Skies 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 professional development Web seminar for educators on Nov. 28, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learnhow to use an innovative air traffic control simulator to engage your studentsas they explore the mathematics involved in the role of an air trafficcontroller. In the three-plane problem featured in this lesson, the challengeis to change routes and speeds to line up the planes safely, with properspacing, at a given route intersection.

This seminar will be repeated on Apr. 3, 2013.

For more information and toregister online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

E-mail any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at


2013NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., are seekingteams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with apotential $1.5 million prize purse.

During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate arobot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and variedterrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourageinnovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies.Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability toexplore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’srobotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.

NASA provides the prize money to the winning team as part of the agency’sCentennial Challenges competitions, which seek unconventional solutions toproblems of interest to the agency and the nation. While NASA provides theprize purse, the competitions are managed by nonprofit organizations that coverthe cost of operations through commercial or private sponsorships. Thecompetition is planned for June 2013 in Worcester and is anticipated to attracthundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.

Early bird registration and fees for the competition are due by Jan. 7, 2013. Teams wishing to registerafter this date are subject to approval by the judging committee.

For more information about the Sample Return Robot Challenge and to registeronline for the competition, visit

The Centennial Challenges program is part of NASA’sSpace Technology Program, which is innovating, developing, testing and flyinghardware for use in NASA’s future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Program andthe Centennial Challenges are creating new technological solutions for NASA andour nation’s future. For more information about NASA’s Centennial Challengesand the Space
Technology Program, visit

Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to


2012 OPTIMUSPRIME Spinoff Video Contest

NASA has opened registration for the 2012OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest. Featuring OPTIMUS PRIME, the leader fromthe popular TRANSFORMERS brand, the contest highlights spinoffs from NASAtechnologies that are used on Earth. The goal is to help students understandthe benefits of NASA technology to their daily lives.

Each student, or group of students, will submita three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed inNASA’s 2011 “Spinoff” publication. Videos must demonstrate an understanding ofthe NASA spinoff technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as thecommercial application and public benefit associated with the spinofftechnology.

Participants must register for the contest by Dec. 15, 2012.

Video entries will be posted on the NASA YouTubechannel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. Thetop five submissions from each of the three grade groups (elementary [3rd-5th],middle [6th-8th] and high school [9th-12th]) will advance for final judging. ANASA panel will select a winning entry from each group. The students submittingthe winning entries will be the guests of honor at the OPTIMUS PRIME SpinoffContest awards ceremony in May 2013. While there, the winners will receive theOPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest trophy and have the opportunity to meet NASAVIPs, astronauts and actor Peter Cullen, who voices the character OPTIMUSPRIME.

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks ofHasbro and are used with permission. © 2012 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, visit

Questions about this contest should be directedto Darryl Mitchell at


NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposalsfor 2013-2014 Academic Year

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, or NESSF, is solicitingapplications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individualspursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or relateddisciplines, for the 2013-2014 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensurecontinued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed toachieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitiveselection will be training grants to the respective universities, with theadvisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for theNESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate’s four sciencedivisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics.

Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for no morethan two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflectedin academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the facultyadvisor) and the availability of funds.

The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $30,000 per year.

Proposals for this opportunity are due Feb. 1, 2013.

For more information about this solicitation, visit{BC1C168E-1D9B-0BD1-816B-14E1C31BB0D3}&path=open.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to:

For earth science, Claire Macaulay at

For heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics, Dolores Holland at


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:
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