NASA Education Express — Dec. 13, 2012

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

Comet Quest Game Now Available in Spanish, French and German
Audience: All Educators and Students

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

Weatherand Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. EST

2013 NASA High-AltitudeStudent Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators andStudents
Application Deadline: Dec. 14, 2012

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

Free Smithsonian’s StarsLecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Dec. 15, 2012

2013 Texas High SchoolAerospace Scholars
Audience: 9-12 Students
Deadline: Dec. 16, 2012

Chemistry ofWater: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars? Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 17, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Social Media Users Invited to Apply for Credentials to Attend NASA Social Media Event at TDRS-K Launch in Florida
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: 3 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2012

Engineering Design: Forces and Motion –Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge Web Seminar
Audience: 6-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. EST

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Womenin STEM High School Aerospace Scholars
Audience: Female High School Juniors
New Deadline: Jan. 3, 2013

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2013RASC-AL Lunar Wheel Design Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Students
New Deadline: Jan. 19, 2013

NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2013


Comet Quest Game Now Available in Spanish, French and German

NASA’s popular “Comet Quest” game fromNASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is now available for free in three additionallanguages. The game can be downloaded from the iTunes Apps store in Spanish,French and German (as well as English).

Players of “Comet Quest” learn about comets and the European SpaceAgency’s international Rosetta mission. The game mimics the real Rosettamission, and enables you to control the spacecraft. Players drop a lander on acomet’s nucleus, then observe and record events (cracks in the comet, coma andtail getting brighter and more) as they occur. Players must avoid hazards andsuccessfully transmit data to Earth, earning points for each accomplishment.

The free “CometQuest” app is available for download for iPhone and iPad from theiTunes Store at

To learn more about the Rosetta mission, visit

iPhone, iPad and iTunes Store are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.registered in the U.S. and other countries.


FreeEducation Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

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

Ignite Learning Using the RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering DesignChallenge (Grades 8-12)
Dec. 13, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Sharon Bowers will introduce participants to theRealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge, a free web-basedengineering design challenge that offers students a change to redesigncomponents of the James Webb Space Telescope.

How Do We Know the Climate Is Changing? NASA Climate Kids (Grades 2-8)
Dec. 18, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will lead participants on anexploration of the “Climate Kids” and “Eyes on the Earth” educator materials.Participants will also learn how to use real-time data to explain the effectsof climate change on the arctic ice caps.

Chipmunk Cheeks and Chicken Legs: Body Systems and Life in Space (GradesK-12)
Dec. 19, 2012, 4 – 6 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Rachelle Oblack will lead participants on anexploration of the circulatory, nervous, vestibular and musculoskeletal systemswith hands-on activities and demonstrations. A full downloadable educator guidewill be shared. This webinar is part of the Department of Education GreenStrides webinar series.

For more information about these webinars, visit

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


Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology 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 Dec. 13, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Participants will learn to use the data from NASA’s research satellite programin their meteorology lessons. This Web seminar features “Monitoring theGlobal Environment,” one of eight modules within the satellite meteorologycourse. The activities within this module incorporate the use of authentic dataacquired by NASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and PolarOperational Environmental Satellites. Attendees will learn how to locate anddownload satellite data then use the data to create graphs.

For more informationand to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at


2013 NASA High-Altitude Student PlatformOpportunity

NASA is accepting applications from students atU.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge ofspace on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near-spaceaccess for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by aNASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hoursand reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellitesor prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard theHigh-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stacklaunched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in FortSumner, N.M. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform toencourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellitepayloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills andresearch abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering andmathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and theLouisiana Space Grant Consortium.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 14, 2012.

For application information and technicaldetails about the program, visit

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platformopportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik at


2012 OPTIMUS PRIME 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


FreeSmithsonian’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.

Dec. 15, 2012 — The Mission of the Mars ScienceLaboratory, Curiosity
Since landing on Mars in early August 2012, theMars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has returned an array of stunning datathat is being used to evaluate whether Mars may have harbored habitableenvironments. Geologist John Grant will delve into the recent findings fromCuriosity.

Jan. 5, 2013 — Trees in the City
Tree cover is an important element of the urbanenvironment that plays an increasingly larger role in ecosystem processes.Geographer Andrew Johnston will discuss how satellite data is used to makereliable observations about urban tree cover variability, why it matters tourban residents and how these same data are used to map changes in tree cover.

Feb. 2, 2013 — VolcanoBreath
Join Global Volcanism Program Director LizCottrell for a lecture about volcanoes on a global scale. Learn how the gaseouscontents of volcanoes propel their explosions and impact our climate. Hear thelatest about volcanic gas research and explore the latest discoveries about howthe deep Earth is recycling the air we breathe.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s StarsLecture 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.


2013 Texas High School Aerospace Scholars

The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars projectis an interactive, online learning experience. It is highlighted by a six-dayinternship where selected students are encouraged to study mathematics,science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers atNASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars projectis open to high school juniors throughout Texas. Applicants must be U.S.citizens and have access to the Internet.

The application deadline has been extended to Dec. 16, 2012.

For additional information on the project and toapply online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should bedirected to


Chemistryof Water: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars? Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators,the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Associationare hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on Dec.17, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST. “Chemistry of Water: Mars Exploration –Is There Water on Mars?” is an inquiry-based lesson on how atmosphericpressure and vapor pressure affect the boiling point of water. See why theboiling point of water is pressure-dependent, rather thantemperature-dependent. Then, by extension, you will deduce if there could beliquid water on Mars.

This seminar will be repeated on March 12, 2013.

For more information and toregister online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Social Media Users Invited to Apply for Credentials to Attend NASA Social Media Event at TDRS-K Launch in Florida

NASA will give 70 of its social media followers an
insider’s look at America’s space program and the opportunity to see
a launch in-person. The NASA Social, scheduled for Jan. 28-29 to
coincide with the launch of NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay
Satellite-K (TDRS-K), will be held at the agency’s Kennedy Space
Center in Florida.

NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the
agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks.

TDRS-K is targeted to launch at 8:52 p.m. EST Jan. 29 on a United
Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

Registration for the NASA Social opens at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13,
and closes at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec.19. Participants will be selected
from online registrations. Because portions of this event may take
place in restricted areas, registration is limited to U.S. citizens.
Participants will have unique behind the scenes experiences with NASA,
which they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite
social networks. Guests will view the launch, tour facilities at
Kennedy, speak with representatives from NASA and the Space
Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Office, visit the Atlas V launch
pad, and meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media
and members of NASA’s social media team.

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is a space-based
communication system used to provide tracking, telemetry, command,
and high bandwidth data return services to its many customers. A
major component of the system is the spacecraft itself, TDRS.
Currently, there are 7 operational satellites that provide in-flight
communications with spacecraft operating in low-Earth orbit. Aboard
each satellite are multiple antennae that send and receive signals
both to and from the ground to multiple satellites simultaneously. As
a result, TDRS provides a wide variety of services to meet customers’
needs and demands.

For more information on the NASA Social and to register, visit:

To find all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit:

To learn more about TDRS, visit:

EngineeringDesign: Forces and Motion — Balloon Aerodynamics Challenge Web Seminar

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 Dec. 19, 2012, at 6:30p.m. EST. This Web seminar will introduce the Forces and Motion: BalloonAerodynamics Challenge for students. This activity provides firsthandinformation about density, neutral buoyancy and drag, which is then used tosolve a problem. The activity provides many opportunities for incorporatingnational mathematics, science and technology learning standards into yourcurriculum.

This seminar will be repeated on Apr. 17, 2013.

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


DEADLINEEXTENDED: Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars

Engineer your dream job! The adventure begins in2013. NASA wants you to become part of the workforce of tomorrow as we offerthe opportunity to dream, engineer and WISH. The Women in STEM High SchoolAerospace Scholars, or WISH, project offers a one-of-a-kind experience forfemale high school juniors to jump-start their future by engaging inopportunities relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Participation starts in an online community andculminates with a summer experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston,Texas, during the summer of 2013. Get ready to collaborate with girls fromacross the country as you complete online activities, design unique projects,work with NASA personnel and present mission accomplishments. Start your dreamnow!

To be eligible, applicants must be:
— U.S. citizens.
— Female high school juniors during the2012-2013 school year.
— Interested and excited about science,technology, engineering and mathematics.
— Committed to a one-year relationship withNASA’s Johnson Space Center.
— Able to access the Internet and email (athome, school or public library).
— A scholar with a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.0or higher.

The application deadline has been extended to Jan.3, 2013.

For more information and to download theapplication, visit

Questions should be directed to


DEADLINEEXTENDED: 2013 RASC-AL Lunar Wheel Design Challenge

Due to an initially aggressive schedule that resulted from a delayed launch ofthe 2013 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage, orRASC-AL, Lunar Wheel Design Challenge, the new deadline to submit projectplans has been extended to Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013, at midnight EST.

The RASC-AL Lunar WheelDesign Challenge invites student teams to design and build a lunar wheelprototype and demonstrate its capabilities while mounted on a utility vehicleduring the “Roll-Off” (field tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard)in July 2013. Teams are challenged with developing a wheel that needs littlemaintenance, can travel at higher speeds needed for human rovers and canwithstand several years of harsh temperature swings, abrasive regolith, intensesun radiation and lack of an Earth-like atmosphere.

In addition to the fieldtests, teams will present their wheel concepts to a design review panelcomprising Space Exploration Vehicle, or SEV, engineers. Presentations will bebased on each team’s technical paper that details the wheel concept’spath-to-flight (i.e., how the design can be applied to actual planetaryexploration on an SEV).

Based on a review of eachteam’s proposal, up to eight teams will be selected to compete at the“Roll-Off” in July 2013. Qualifying teams will receive a minimum of $9,000 todevelop and test their wheel designs. Winning teams will receive cash prizes.

The challenge is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoringin engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teamsmust include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation andtwo or more undergraduate or graduate students.

Student teams and their faculty advisors are invited to submit an onlineNotice of Intent (NOI)and a projectplanof their proposed wheelconcepts by Jan. 19, 2013. Multi-disciplinary teams and internationalcollaborations are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit

If you have questions aboutthis competition, please contact Shannon Verstynen at orShelley Spears at


NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest

So you want to be a NASA producer? NASA islooking for talented high school students to create videos that engage studentsin earth science.

Students are consuming over 10 hours of media each day, and video isincreasingly important to reach and engage this audience about science. NASAearth science missions are kicking off a new video contest challenging highschool students to produce a two-minute video for middle school students. Thevideos should focus on one of three topics: Ozone in the Stratosphere, ShipTracks and Our Environment, or The Water of the Water Planet.

Winning videos will be posted on NASA’s website. Winners will also get theopportunity to be a NASA producer working with NASA scientists andcommunication experts in July 2013 to produce an earth science feature video.

The deadline for submitting videos is Feb.15, 2013.

 — NEW! Director’s CutVideo from NASA Producer Ali Ogden —

NASA producer Ali Ogden created a video, whichshares her insight about producing a video feature for NASA. In this director’scut version of her Montreal Protocol story, Ali providespractical advice about audience, thinking visually, story and post-production.These practical tips for video production will help students with the REELScience Contest. To view Ogden’s video, visit

For more information and instructions for submitting a video, visit

Questions about this contest should be emailed to Ginger Butcher at


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

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