NASA Education Express — July 18, 2013

Check out the latest NASA Education opportunity announcements.

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

Guidance for Education and Public Outreach Activities Under Sequestration

NASA has taken the first steps in addressing the mandatory spending cuts called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law mandates a series of indiscriminate and significant across-the-board spending reductions totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

As a result, NASA has been forced to implement a number of new cost-saving measures, policies, and reviews in order to minimize impacts to the mission-critical activities of the Agency. Guidance regarding conferences, travel, and training that reflect the new fiscal reality in which the agency must operate has been provided.

For specific guidance as it relates to public outreach and engagement activities please reference the following webpage.


Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: July 18, 2013, at 4 p.m. EDT

Center for Gulf Studies Summer Speaker Series
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Dates: Each Monday at 11 a.m. CDT through August 2013

MAVEN Workshop — Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!
Audience: Teachers of Grades 3-5
Application Deadline: July 24, 2013
Workshop Date: Aug. 24, 2013

NASA Night Rover Energy Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Early Registration Deadline: July 26, 2013
Regular Registration Deadline: Oct. 25, 2013

Mars Day! 2013 at the National Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: July 26, 2013

NASA Partners With the LEGO Group for Design and Build Contest
Audience: Anyone Age 13 or Older
Entry Deadline: July 31, 2013

REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Competition Begins: Sept. 7, 2013

2014 GLOBE Calendar Art Competition
Audience: Students in Grades K-12
Entry Deadline: Sept. 30, 2013

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

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


Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars throughout July 2013. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Satellite Meteorology: How Clouds Form (Grades 4-9)
July 18, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Lester Morales will introduce participants to cloud formation, cloud types and NASA resources that aid in the understanding and study of clouds. Participants will also learn about the Students’ Cloud Observations Online, or S’COOL, Project that involves students in real science via cloud observations.

Looking at the Sun (Grades 3-8)
July 23, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will discuss how life on Earth is inherently connected to our relationship with our closest star. This webinar will look at NASA’s solar missions, share sun-Earth classroom activities and introduce an activity that uses current sun data to track sun spots.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-9)
July 24, 2013, at 11 a.m. – Noon EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will discuss how we explore Earth from above using NASA satellites, maps and astronaut observations. Participants will explore how to integrate NASA resources into their existing science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography curriculum to better understand the processes that shape our planet.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through July 2013, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Chris Gamrat at


Center for Gulf Studies Summer Speaker Series

The INFINITY Science Center in Mississippi invites the public, both young and old, to meet some of the leading researchers in the world studying the Gulf of Mexico. INFINITY is hosting the First Annual Center for Gulf Studies Summer Speaker Series. These lectures will take place each Monday at 11 a.m. CDT through August. The lectures are free with paid admission to the INFINITY Science Center.

Researchers associated with the Center for Gulf Studies will discuss what they are learning and discovering about the Gulf and its importance to our living, playing and working in and around its waters. Next week’s lecture on July 22, 2013, will include a discussion titled ” Sargassum — Seaweed Islands in the Gulf ” led by Dr. Frank Hernandez.

For more information, including a full list of upcoming lectures, visit


MAVEN Workshop — Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the solar wind. Set to launch in November 2013, the mission will provide invaluable insights into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water and planetary habitability.

Join the MAVEN education team for a one-day workshop on the MAVEN mission and the accompanying program for grades 3-5, Red Planet: Read, Write Explore! This program features six standards-based lessons that combine science, literacy and art to help students understand planetary habitability and the MAVEN mission. The workshop will introduce participants to these lessons and concepts. The workshop also will have a session devoted to Spanish speaking English Language Learner and English as a Second Language students. Attendees will receive free classroom materials.

The workshop will take place Aug. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles, Calif. Applications are due July 24, 2013, but space is limited so interested educators are encouraged to apply early.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


NASA Night Rover Energy Challenge

Registration is open for teams seeking to compete in the $1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and the Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif.

To win, a team must demonstrate a stored-energy system that can power a simulated solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate through multiple cycles of daylight and extended periods of darkness.

During the Night Rover Challenge, energy storage systems will receive electrical energy from a simulated solar collector during daylight hours. During darkness, the stored energy will be used for simulated thermal management, scientific experimentation, communications and rover movement. A winning system must exceed the performance of an existing state-of-the-art system by a predetermined margin. The winning system will be the one that has the highest energy-storage density.

The challenge is extended to individuals, groups and companies working outside the traditional aerospace industry. Unlike most contracts or grants, awards will be made only after solutions are demonstrated successfully.

Early registration closes on July 26, 2013. Regular registration closes on Oct. 25, 2013.

For information about the Night Rover Challenge and how to register a team, visit

This is a Centennial Challenge in which NASA provides the prize purse for technological achievements by independent teams while the Cleantech Open manages the competition as NASA’s allied organization. For more information about the Cleantech Open, visit

NASA’s Centennial Challenges program is part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and its Centennial Challenges program, visit


Mars Day! 2013 at the National Air and Space Museum

Mars Day! is an annual National Air and Space Museum event that celebrates the Red Planet with educational and fun family activities. Visitors can see a real meteorite that came from Mars, talk to scientists active in Mars research and learn about current and future missions.

Mars Day! 2013 will take place on Friday, July 26, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit

Questions about this event should be directed to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-1000.


NASA Partners With the LEGO Group for Design and Build Contest

NASA and the LEGO Group are partnering to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers by offering a new design competition. The competition will spur students of all ages to use the toy bricks in building models of future airplanes and spacecraft.

The “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build” competition is now open with an entry deadline of July 31, 2013. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials and announced Sept. 1, 2013.

The first category in the contest is “Inventing Our Future of Flight.” In this challenge, participants will design and build their idea for an aircraft of the future based on real concepts and new technology NASA’s aeronautics innovators are working on to increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions and noise.

In addition to building a model from LEGO bricks or using the LEGO Digital Designer computer program, participants in this category also must prepare and write a technical paper. The paper will explain how the contest design takes advantage of NASA’s ideas and potentially improves on them.

This category divides entrants into two groups: young student builders ages 13 to 18 and an open group for anyone age 13 and older. The two winners will receive a custom-made LEGO trophy and a collection of NASA memorabilia.

The second contest category is “Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth.” In this challenge, participants will use their imaginations to design and build a futuristic vehicle from LEGO bricks that might travel through the air or in space. It could be an airplane, rotorcraft, rocket, spacecraft, satellite, rover or something else. The design can be based in reality or purely a flight of fancy. This competition is open to entrants 16 or older. The grand prize is a LEGO set signed by the set’s designer and a collection of NASA memorabilia. There also is a runner up prize.

To read the complete rules and guidelines for submitting the LEGO model and technical paper, visit

LEGO Systems, Inc. is the North American division of The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of creatively educational play materials for children. For more information and to visit the virtual LEGO world, go to

For more information about NASA aeronautics research and space exploration, visit


REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013 will take place this fall, offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

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

Teams may register now:
1) Go to
2) Log in or create an account. (Note: You can start programming in the online integrated development environment at this point!)
3) Click Tournaments and register for the High School Tournament 2013.
4) Create a team and invite other users.
5) Visit Resources to get started (Note: new, improved tutorials will be available in late August).

The High School competition starts on Sept. 7, 2013, with a live webcast kickoff event. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 8, 2013, and you can try out the site right now by creating an account.

Zero Robotics is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and TopCoder, and is sponsored by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to


2014 GLOBE Calendar Art Competition

The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, Program is sponsoring an international art competition to encourage students to highlight and document GLOBE communities around the world. GLOBE is asking students to draw, paint or show via some other artistic medium how their local community is unique. Do not send photographs, please!

The GLOBE calendar is viewed by students, teachers, scientists and community members from around the world. This is an opportunity for students to show off their local environment!

Winning entries will be featured in the 2014 GLOBE calendar. All participants will receive a calendar.

Entries are due Sept. 30, 2013. For full contest details and rules, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


NASA Exploration Design Challenge

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight through participation in NASA’s Exploration Design Challenge, or EDC. NASA EDC invites students around the world to think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles of deep space long-duration exploration — the dangers associated with space radiation. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, currently being developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners to carry astronauts to space, venturing farther than humans have ever gone before.

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

The five U.S. finalist teams from the grades 9-12 challenge will be invited to attend the EFT-1 launch, currently scheduled for November 2014. The names of all students, grades K-12, participating in the NASA EDC will fly aboard the spacecraft as honorary virtual crewmembers for Orion’s first flight. The deadline 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


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:

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