NASA Education Express — March 14, 2013

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

NASA Exploration Design Challenge
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Virtual Crew Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014

Meteorology:How Clouds Form Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: March 14, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EDT

OSSI — Summer2013 Opportunities
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: March 15, 2013

Pre-Service Teacher Institute at NASA’s KennedySpace Center
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: March 15, 2013
Institute Dates: May 28-June 7, 2013

2013 NASA Glenn ResearchCenter High School Internship Project
Audience: Students in Grades 10-11
Application Deadline: March 15, 2013

Pennsylvania Space GrantWorkshops
Audience: 4-12 Educators
Workshop Dates: Multiple dates July – August2013
Application Deadline: March 17, 2013

Celebrate Solar Week –Spring 2013
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Event Dates: March 18-22, 2013

Engineering Design Challenge:Spacecraft Structures Web Seminar
Audience: 5-9 and Informal Educators
Event Date: March 20, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EDT

Sun-Earth Days’SolarMAX Anime’ Contest
Audience: Students ages 13 and older
Entry Deadline: March 20, 2013

Heat Transfer: MESSENGER — MyAngle on Cooling Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: March 21, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Free Lecture –GPS for Humanity — The Stealth Utility
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Event Date: March 21, 2013, at 8 p.m. EST

Sun-Earth Days2013: Solar Max — Storm Warning: Effects on the Solar System
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: March 22, 2013

Sun-Earth DaysObserving Certificate Challenge
Audience: Students ages 13 and older
Entry Deadline: March 22, 2013

Heritage Family DayEvents at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Next Event Date: March 23, 2013

MAVEN Educator AmbassadorWorkshop
Audience: Middle School and High School Teachers
Application Deadline: March 31, 2013
Workshop Dates: July 8-12, 2013

The Challenge of Discovery! Educator Workshops
Audience: All Educators
Registration Deadline: April 1, 2013
Workshop Date: April 6, 2013

CallerQuestions With Answers from the Feb. 20, 2013 Pre-Proposal Teleconference — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program forScience Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus OtherOpportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of FederalDomestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Due Date: April 9, 2013

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Opportunityfor Students at Minority Serving Institutions
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Proposal Deadline: April 17, 2013

Global Precipitation Measurement MissionAnime Challenge
Audience: Artists ages 13 and older
Entry Deadline: April 30, 2013

SOFIA Airborne Astronomy AmbassadorProgram
Audience: All Educators
Application Deadline: May 3, 2013

National Space Biomedical ResearchInstitute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: June 7, 2013

2013 Lunar Workshops for Educators
Audience: 6-9 Educators
Workshop Dates: June 24-28, and July 8-12, 2013

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

Don’t miss out onupcoming NASA education opportunities.
For a full list of events, opportunities andmore, visit the Educator and Student Current Opportunity pages on NASA’swebsite:
— Educators
— Students


NASA Exploration Design Challenge

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to playa unique role in the future of human spaceflight through participation in NASA’sExploration Design Challenge, or EDC. NASA EDC invites students around the worldto think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles ofdeep space long-duration exploration — the dangers associated with spaceradiation. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan anddesign improved radiation shielding aboard the Orion Multi-Purpose CrewVehicle, currently being developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partnersto carry astronauts to space, venturing farther than humans have ever gonebefore.

Through a series of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM,engagement activities, students in grades K-8 will analyze different materialsthat simulate space radiation shielding and recommend materials that best blockradiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will think and actlike engineers as they apply what they learn to design shielding to protect asensor on the Orion crew module from space radiation. After a review of thedesign solutions submitted by teams in the grades 9-12 challenge, five finalistteams will be selected and matched with a mentor from NASA to test their designsin a virtual simulator. The winning team will build a prototype radiationshield that will be analyzed and submitted to Lockheed Martin for flightcertification on the inaugural flight of the Orion Exploration Flight Test, orEFT-1.

The five U.S. finalist teams from the grades 9-12 challenge will be invited toattend the EFT-1 launch, currently scheduled for November 2014. The names ofall students, grades K-12, participating in the NASA EDC will fly aboard thespacecraft as honorary virtual crewmembers for Orion’s first flight. Thedeadline to register students for the virtual crew is March 14, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit

For more information about Orion, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to


Meteorology: How Clouds Form Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, theNASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association arehosting a free 90-minute Web seminar on March14, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Learn about the relationships between airpressure, temperature, volume and cloud formation. Get an overview of thenecessary conditions for cloud formation and then see how to make a cloud in abottle. Information will be provided about an extension activity, the S’COOLProject, which involves student participation in authentic science.

This is the last time this seminar will be offered during the current schoolyear.

For more informationand to register online, visit URL

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NASA Explorer Schools helpdesk at


OSSI — Summer 2013 Opportunities

The NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative, or OSSI,strives to provide students at all institutions of higher education access to aportfolio of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered byNASA mission directorates and centers.

Visit the Office of Education InfrastructureDivision LaunchPad to find information on internship, fellowship andscholarship opportunities. The site features the OSSI online application forrecruiting NASA Interns, Fellows and Scholars, or NIFS. This innovative systemallows students to search and apply for all types of higher-education NASAinternship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in one location. A singleapplication places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by allNASA mentors.

Applications for summer 2013 opportunities aredue March 15, 2013.

To find available opportunities and to fill outan OSSI online application for recruiting NIFS, visit

Inquiries about the OSSI should be submitted via


Pre-Service Teacher Institute atNASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has partneredwith Oklahoma State University to offer a 10-day Pre-Service Teacher Institute takingplace May 28-June 7, 2013, in Florida. The Pre-Service Teacher Institute is forcollege students who are preparing to teach elementary or secondary science.

The institute will focus oninquiry-based learning and the incorporation of technology into curriculum.Education specialists from the Kennedy Space Center Educator Resource Centerwill provide participants with training to inspire student learning of sciencecontent through the use of education resources based on NASA missions ofresearch and discovery. Participants will work in small groups to developlesson plans using NASA educational resources and present these activities to localelementary level students.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. Lodging and astipend, as well as transportation for participants who live outside ofFlorida, will be provided.

Applications are due March 15, 2013.

For more information and toapply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


2013 NASA GlennResearch Center High School Internship Project

The NASA Glenn Research Center High School Internship Project provides paidsummer internship opportunities, eight weeks in duration, to studentsinterested in careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics andprofessional administration at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland,Ohio. This project offers opportunities for students in grades 10 and 11 who willbe juniors and seniors in the upcoming school year, and is sponsored by theEducational Programs Office.

To be eligible for this project:

— The applicant must be a U.S. citizen and 16years old on or before the project start date (June 17, 2013).
— The applicant must be a permanent resident ofOhio and currently enrolled in a high school located within a 50-mile radius ofGlenn Research Center.
— The applicant must be a current sophomore orjunior at the time of application.
— The applicant must have a minimum cumulativegrade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
— The applicant must be available on afull-time basis (Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week) from June 17, 2013,through Aug. 9, 2013.

Applications are due March 15, 2013. Formore information, visit

Please email any questions about thisopportunity to


PennsylvaniaSpace Grant Workshops

Keep pace with the latest science research,engage in standards-based classroom activities and explore ways to make sciencefun while working with Penn State faculty during these summer workshops forinservice science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, educators.Network with peers and earn graduate credits. Workshops are aligned with thenational science education standards and Pennsylvania standards for science andtechnology.

All workshops take place on Penn State campusfacilities in Pennsylvania. Grants are awarded to all participants to coverlodging, parking, some meals and partial tuition.

Applications for all workshops are due March 17, 2013.

Black Holes: Gravity’s Fatal Attraction (Grades6-12) — July 15-19, 2013
Delve into the predicted properties of black holes, the astronomicalevidence for their existence and their importance in the cosmos. Modern ideasabout gravity, space and time will also be explored.

Astrobiology for Educators: Is There Life BeyondOur Planet? And How Would We Know? (Grades 4-12) — July 22-26, 2013
Participants will be introduced to sciencecontent related to the cutting-edge field of astrobiology. Participants willexplore the latest discoveries in the search for conditions needed to supportlife on other planets.

Hands-On Particle Astrophysics (Grades 9-12) –July 22-26, 2013
Participants will get a brief overview of modernparticle physics and explore various astrophysics topics. Instructors will helpparticipants build and use devices made from household materials to detect airshowers generated by cosmic-ray protons.

Telescopes: Tools for Astronomical Discovery andthe Search for Life on Other Planets (Grades 6-12) — July 29 – Aug. 2, 2013
Participants will build a simple telescope andlearn how to use the Falcon Telescope Network. Modern telescopes that may helpscientists discover other habitable planets will also be discussed.

Questions about the Pennsylvania Space Grantworkshops should be directed to Heather Nelson at


Celebrate SolarWeek — Spring 2013

Solar Week provides a weeklong series ofWeb-based educational classroom activities and games with a focus on thesun-Earth connection geared for grades 5-8. Students learn about solareclipses, sunspots, solar flares and solar storms through a series ofactivities, games and lessons. In addition, there’s a message board whereclassrooms can submit a question to leading solar scientists.

Solar Week is ideal for students studying thesolar system, the stars or astronomy in general, and now Solar Week features aday focused on solar energy. Solar Week is also for kids pondering possiblecareer choices and wondering what it’s like to be a scientist. Participation makesfor a fun computer lab activity as well. After doing the activities, studentscan interact on the bulletin board with leading scientists at the forefront ofsun-Earth research. It’s a great place for any studentinterested in our nearest star, the sun.

Solar Week takes place March 18-22, 2013.

To learn more and to register to participate,visit

Questions about Solar Week may be emailed to


Engineering Design Challenge:Spacecraft Structures 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 March 20, 2013, at 7:30p.m. EDT. Learn how to incorporate the excitement of rocketry into yourclassroom during this Web seminar and receive an overview of the studentengineering design challenge, Spacecraft Structures, where students design andconstruct a strong, but lightweight, structure that can withstand the launch ofa water bottle “rocket.”

This is the final offering of this Web seminar during the current school year.

For more information and toregister online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to


Sun-Earth Days ‘SolarMAX Anime’ Contest

NASA’s Sun-Earth Days program wants to see yourbest anime artwork. SolarMAX is the official superhero mascot for Sun-EarthDays. But keeping an eye on space weather is a big job for just one superhero.The Sun-Earth Days team is looking for students ages 13 and older to create andsubmit a new and original anime-style character to help SolarMAX. The charactermust have a visible space weather related super power.

The Sun-Earth Days team will select fivecharacters to be added to the Sun-Earth Days superhero team! The first twowinning characters will be selected and announced on the live Sun-Earth Dayswebcast on March 22, 2013. Winner characters also will appear as part of a newSun-Earth Days desktop wallpaper!

Entries must be submitted online by March 20, 2013.

For more information, including instructions forsubmitting a character design, visit

Questions about this opportunity should bedirected to


Heat Transfer: MESSENGER — MyAngle on Cooling Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, theNASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hostinga 90-minute Web seminar on March 21,2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how the MESSENGER mission to Mercury takesadvantage of passive cooling methods to keep the spacecraft functioning in ahigh-temperature environment. You will also see how to use the mission’s StayingCool activities to lead students through an examination of different solutionsto the problem of how to deal with too much sunlight and energy.

This is the final time this seminar will be repeated during the current schoolyear.

For more informationand to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to


Free Lecture –GPS for Humanity — The Stealth Utility

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, hasbecome a ubiquitous, but often invisible, part of modern life. On March 21, 2013, Dr.Bradford Parkinson, chief architect and original program director for GPS inthe 1970s, will present the history, applications and future of GPS and theGlobal Navigation Satellite System.

The lecture begins at 8 p.m. at the National Airand Space Museum in Washington, D.C. For those unable to attend in person, thelecture will be webcast live.

For more information, visit

Questions about this lecture should be directedto


Sun-Earth Days2013: Solar Max — Storm Warning: Effects on the Solar System

Join NASA in celebrating Sun-Earth Days with a series of programs andevents that occur throughout the year, culminating with a celebration on March 22, 2013. Thisyear’s theme, “Solar Max — Storm Warning: Effects on the Solar System,”invites participants to explore the violent nature of our sun at the peak ofsolar activity and the discoveries coming from the heliophysics and planetarymissions during this exciting period. During solar maximum, there are manysunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, all of which can affectcommunications and technology on Earth.

Learn about solar maximum and how it, along withspace weather in general, affects our daily lives. Find out why scientists andengineers find it important to track space weather, much like meteorologiststrack storms on Earth. And learn about NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility onVirginia’s Eastern Shore and its role in launching rockets to explore weatheron Earth and in space.

On March22, 2013, join the Sun-Earth Days team for a live Sun-EarthDays webcast. For this webcast, the team will combine forces with theaward-winning NASA EDGE team known for their offbeat, funny and informativelook behind the NASA curtain.

For more information, educational resources andsocial media connections, visit the Sun-Earth Days website at

Questions about Sun-Earth Days events should beemailed to


Sun-EarthDays Observing Certificate Challenge

Attention amateur astronomers! NASA’s Sun-Earth Days program wantsto feature your astronomy photographs and videos (up to 90 seconds each) of ouractive sun. Images will be featured on the Sun-Earth Days Solar Maximum Flickrpage. And each week, a different image will be selected to highlight on theNASA Sun-Earth Days home page.

Once your image or video is uploaded with the proper supporting information,you will be able to download a certificate of appreciation from the NASASun-Earth Days team.

Participants are also invited to upload images of Sun-Earth Days Solar MAXevents, celebrations, activities and star parties. These images often provideothers with inspiration and new ideas! Make sure to include your name, club ororganization’s name and a description of the event.

Images and videos must be submitted online by March 22, 2013.

For more information, including instructions for submitting images and videos,visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


Heritage FamilyDay Events at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum

The 2013 Heritage Family Day event seriescelebrates the diverse ethnic and cultural communities that have contributed toaviation and space exploration. Events will commemorate historic and currentcontributions through presentations and activities for the entire family. Theevents will take place at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum Steven F.Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., and at the Smithsonian’s National Air andSpace Museum in Washington, DC. The events are free and open to the public.

Women in Aviation and Space
March 23, 2013, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
Celebrate the incredible contributions of womenin aviation, science and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers,a theatrical presentation, book signings and Flights of Fancy story time forour youngest visitors.

Explore the Universe Day: Everyone Looks Up!
June 1, 2013, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
Everyone looks up! People around the world havealways looked to the sky, but they don’t always see the same things. Experiencehow different people study the sky and hear their stories.

A Century of Women in Aerospace
Sept. 14, 2013, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
For over 100 years, women have contributed totechnological advances in aviation and space. Hear about the historic women whohave inspired today’s role models.

Hispanic Heritage Month:Innovators in Air and Space
Sept. 24, 2013, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
Oct. 5, 2013, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
Celebrate Latin America’s historicalcontributions to aviation and space exploration. Meet current Hispanicscientists and engineers through the Smithsonian Latinos in STEM initiative.Listen to bilingual stories and participate in hands-on activities. The eventsare free and open to the public.

Questions about this series of events should bedirected to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-1000.


MAVEN Educator AmbassadorWorkshop

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission will explore theplanet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the solar wind. Setto launch in November 2013, the mission will provide invaluable insights intothe history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water and planetaryhabitability.

The MAVEN Educator Ambassador, or MEA, workshop will bring together educatorsfrom around the country for in-depth learning experiences around MAVEN science.The goal of the MEA program is for participants to develop the knowledge andskills needed to train other teachers on NASA’s educational resources.Participants will attend a weeklong professional development workshop andreceive training on a variety of standards-based classroom activities, as wellas receive follow-up support for several years. The expectation is thatparticipants will implement some of the lesson plans and resources in theirclassrooms, as well as conduct teacher trainings in their local areas on theMAVEN mission and related educational activities.

A $700 travel stipend is offered, along with a $700 honorarium after a localworkshop is conducted. Housing and meals are provided.

Applications are due March 31, 2013.

For more information aboutthe workshop and to apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Stephanie Renfrow at


The Challenge of Discovery! Educator Workshops

You want to go where? What does it take tomake a NASA mission happen, and who are the people that drive these tremendousprojects?

In Discovery Program’s third annual multisite professional developmentworkshop, we delve into the stories behind some amazing NASA missions, fromconception to science results. Learn how scientists, engineers and missionoperators collaborate to meet the challenges of complex missions to assure thescience goals are met. Investigate what it takes to move a fantastic idea fromdream to reality.

The Challenge of Discovery workshop will take place on April 6, 2013, infour locations.
            — NASA’s Jet PropulsionLaboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
            — NASA’s Johnson SpaceCenter, Houston, Texas
            — University of Arizona,Tucson, Ariz.
            — Johns Hopkins UniversityApplied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

All sites will offer special speakers,hands-on activities for K-12 and out-of-school-time educatorsand resource packets.

The cost of the workshop is $25. Lunch and snacks will be provided.Registration closes on April 1, 2013.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Mary Cullen at


CallerQuestions With Answers from the Feb. 20, 2013 Pre-Proposal Teleconference — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program forScience Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus OtherOpportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of FederalDomestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)

Twenty-six caller questions with answersfrom the Feb. 20, 2013 Pre-Proposal Teleconference were posted on the CP4SMP+portal page on NSPIRES on March 11, 2013.



Reduced Gravity Education Flight Opportunityfor Students at Minority Serving Institutions

NASA is offering undergraduate students from minority serving institutions anopportunity to test experiments in microgravity aboard NASA’s reduced gravityaircraft.

This opportunity is a partnership between the Minority University Research and EducationProgram and NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, which givesaspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced-gravityexperiment. Selected teams will test and evaluate their experiments aboardNASA’s reduced-gravity airplane. The aircraft flies about 30roller-coaster-like climbs and dips during experiment flights to produceperiods of weightlessness and hypergravity ranging from 0 gravity, or g,to 2 g.

Proposals are due April17, 2013.

All applicants must be full-time undergraduate students, U.S. citizens and atleast 18 years old.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Suzanne Foxworth at


Global Precipitation MeasurementMission Anime Challenge

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission has teamedup with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to hold a design challenge forpeople around the world to develop an anime character to represent the GPMmission. GPM is an international satellite mission that will use multiplesatellites orbiting Earth to collect rain and snow data worldwide every threehours.

Participants should learn about the GPM mission and design their characters torepresent the mission’s objectives. The winningcharacter will star in a comic series that will teach the public about GPM andprecipitation science.

Participants must be at least 13 years old. Entries must be submitted by April 30, 2013.

For more information, including instructions for submitting a character design,visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


SOFIA Airborne AstronomyAmbassador Program

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a 747SPaircraft carrying a 2.5 meter-diameter telescope. The SOFIA Airborne AstronomyAmbassadors Program is seeking educator teams of two to participate in anupcoming SOFIA flight. One of the team members must be a middle- or high-schooleducator. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents teaching in aU.S. school.

Applications are due May 3, 2013.

For more information and to apply online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Pamela Harman at


National Space BiomedicalResearch Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, seekssolutions to health concerns facing astronauts on long-duration missions. Thisresearch also benefits patients on Earth. The NSBRI is currently solicitingapplications for its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

NSBRI’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides support for postdoctoralfellows in any U.S. laboratory carrying out space-related biomedical orbiotechnological research. Funding is for a two-year period with an option fora third year of support. Applicants must prepareproposals with the support of a mentor, and all proposals are evaluated by apeer-review panel.

Applications are due June 7, 2013.

For detailed information on the application process, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


2013Lunar Workshops for Educators

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, mission is sponsoring a pair ofworkshops for educators of students in grades 6-9. These workshops will focuson lunar science, exploration and how our understanding of the moon is evolvingwith the new data from current and recent lunar missions.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has allowed scientists to measure the coldestknown place in the solar system, map the surface of the moon in unprecedenteddetail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity,characterize the radiation environment around the moon and its potential effectson future lunar explorers and much, much more!

Workshop participants will learn about these and other recent discoveries,reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, gain tools to helpaddress common student misconceptions about the moon, interact with lunarscientists and engineers, work with LRO data and learn how to bring these dataand information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grades6-9 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks.

Workshops will take place: June 24-28and July 8-12, 2013, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,Md. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to tour the LRO MissionOperation Center and the Goddard spacecraft testing facilities.

Each workshop will be limited to 25 participants. Interested educators areencouraged to apply early to secure a spot. Qualified applicants will beaccepted in the order they apply.

For more information and to register for the workshops, visit

Questions about these workshops should be directed to Katie Hessen at


What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

Earth Day is coming up April 22. What is the most abundant component of Earth’ssurface? Water, of course. Water is such a big part of life on Earth that wemay take it for granted. But where did it come from? What makes it liquid,solid or gas? And why should we care? Lots of NASA’s Earth studies are aboutwater in all its forms.

What’s New?
Many students are surprised to know that during July, Earth is at its farthestpoint from the sun, and during January it is at its closest. But that fact hasnothing to do with why there are seasons. This new article explains andillustrates the reason for the seasons and why some in the U.S. are putting onswimsuits to play in a recently icy lake, just as some in southern Chile andNew Zealand are digging out their skates as their lakes freeze over. Check itout to help you enlighten your class at

La Tierra en Español
¿Es la Tierra en parte un cometa? Now you can read in Spanish, as wellas English, about where our oceans may have originated. With new spacetelescopes that can analyze the composition of passing comets, we can actuallybegin to tease apart these 4-billion-plus-year-old mysteries. Learn what theyare finding out at

Spotlight on Mission Chronicles
Some NASA missions don’t get nearly as far off the ground as you might think.Operation IceBridge is one that uses instruments on an airplane rather than asatellite to study the elevation and thickness of ice at the North and SouthPoles. So, although it may be a while before any NASA scientists make it to themoon, they can have a pretty alien-world experience right here on Earth.Christy Hansen, manager of the Operation IceBridge Mission, and her team took atrip to the South Pole and lived to tell the tale at

For the Classroom
Clouds, of course, are another form of water. But it’s not easy to tell fromthe ground how much water is actually in the clouds above us. They may lookvery threatening but produce very little precipitation. In the classroomactivity called “Sizing Up the Clouds,” the teacher sets up three simulatedclouds representing three different cloud types. Students use different methodsto estimate precipitation contents of each cloud type. Each method is roughlyanalogous to methods actually used in weather forecasting. Finally, theprecipitation from each cloud is released, and the students will compare theirestimates to what is actually experienced on the ground. “Precipitation” inthis activity is represented by colored chocolate candies, which may help tokeep the students’ attention! Find the activity in PDF format at

For Out of School Time
The “Go With the Flow” game presents puzzles in which the player must figureout how to place salt (which makes water denser) and heat (which makes waterless dense) in an underwater grid scenario in order to create a current thatwill move a tiny, unpowered submarine to a floating key, which will then open atreasure chest at the bottom of the sea. We have watched kids playing thisgame, with or without their parents, at our take your child to work days. Wecan hardly tear them away! Go to

Special Days

March 5, 1979: Voyager 1 flew pastJupiter.
Another spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter and will spend a lot more timethere.

March 10, 1876: First telephone call.
Alexander Graham Bell called Thomas Watson. How do spacecraft exploring thesolar system call home?

March 14: Pi Day! or p Day
All circles are 3.14… (ad infinitum, as far as we know) times as big around asacross, a value called pi. What would pi be in binary numbers?

April 10: Encourage a Young Writer Day
Invite students to write about our future in space.

April 22: Earth Day
It’s important, and fascinating, to study Earth’s history. Like where didEarth’s water come from?

April 28: Tell a Story Day
Check out some of the stories on The Space Place. They could be called creativenonfiction, always a fun genre!

A Great Earth Resource
Check out other activities and articles under the Earth menu on The SpacePlace. Remember, NASA has many more missions to planet Earth than to all of theother planets in the solar system combined. Earth is a very interesting planet!

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use The Space Place in yourteaching. Send to

Don’t Forget…
You can find dozens of other ideas and rich resources for theclassroom and out-of-school time at our Parents & Educators page,


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:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club: