NASA Education Express — Aug. 22, 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: Aug. 23, 2013, at 4 p.m. EDT

2014 MUREP Scholarship
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Aug. 23, 2013

DLN Rockets 2 Racecars Educator Professional Development Opportunity at Richmond International Raceway
Audience: All Educators
Event Dates: Virtual Workshops Available Aug. 26-29, 2013

Green Strides Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Aug. 27, 2013, at 2 p.m. EDT

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

NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) Overview for External Users
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Event Date: Sept. 12, 2013, at 3 p.m. EDT

NASA CubeSat Space Missions
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 26, 2013

2014 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 7, 2014

2014 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards
Audience: K-12 Educators
Application Deadline: Feb. 3, 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 August 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.

Exploring the Surface of Mars: Searching for Clues of Life — Past and Present (Grades 4-9)
Aug. 23, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt as he discusses the history of Mars exploration. The quest to find life on another planet has centered on Mars for the past four decades. Learn about the missions, past and present, and the clues they have uncovered on the Red Planet.

Engineering Design Process: Part 1 — Ask, Imagine and Plan (Grades 3-12)
Aug. 26, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler for this first part in a hands-on webinar series to provide details on the first three steps of the engineering design process. Participants learn about problem identification, brainstorming and design challenges using the “Spaghetti Anyone?” tower building activity.

Satellite Meteorology: Demonstrations and Activities for Science (Grades 6-12)
Aug. 27, 2013,
at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Marilé Colón Robles as she shares a series of online resources that use NASA data and imagery to monitor cloud cover, observe global weather patterns and examine information related to climate change. Participants will look at lessons, activities and simulations related to weather and climate.

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

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


2014 MUREP Scholarship

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting applications for Minority University Research and Education Program Scholars. The MUREP Scholarship is a competitive opportunity that focuses on underserved and underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines, thereby addressing the critical shortage of qualified STEM professionals that the nation is facing.

Eligible students include rising sophomores and juniors at the undergraduate level. The goal is to address the agency’s mission-specific workforce needs and target areas of national need in minority STEM representation. The scholarship includes up to a $9,000 academic scholarship, based on tuition amount, and $6,000 for a Summer 2014 10-week internship at a NASA center.

Applications are due Aug. 23, 2013.

Applications should be submitted through the NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative at Applicants should be sure to select “scholarship” for the type of application.


DLN Rockets 2 Racecars Educator Professional Development Opportunity at Richmond International Raceway

Calling all teachers — Join NASA’s Digital Learning Network at the Richmond International Raceway and learn how to get your students revved about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the NASA Rockets 2 Racecars program.

Teachers attend one of the 90-minute virtual sessions offered Aug. 26-29, 2013, then come to Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 7, 2013, to get their hands dirty in the VA529 Kid Zone, showing off their newly acquired skills. On Sept. 6, 2013, teachers are invited to join us at the NASCAR Nationwide race, and watch the launch of NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, mission that will study the moon.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to teach and view the science of racing and to acquire professional development credit hours.

For more information and to register to attend, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Marilé Colón Robles at


Green Strides Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Education presents the Green Strides Webinar Series. These webinars feature experts from various federal programs. The webinars are free, and events are scheduled throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

The next webinar takes place on Aug. 27, 2013.

For more information and registration, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


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


NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) Overview for External Users

NASA’s Office of Education, Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) along with NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS) will conduct an overview of the NSPIRES application submission process on Sept. 12, 2013, at 3 p.m. EDT.

MUREP engages underrepresented populations through a wide variety of opportunities. Multiyear grants are awarded to assist Minority Serving Institution (MSI) faculty and students in research pertinent to NASA missions. The project focuses on recruiting underrepresented and underserved students in STEM disciplines through completion of undergraduate or graduate degrees to enable their entry into the scientific and technical workforce.

Submitting a proposal in NSPIRES is not a difficult process, however a tutorial of the process will assist with successful submission of your proposal.

If you are interested in participating in the webinar, please register by sending your name, email address and phone number to

Any questions you may have may be included with your registration, or sent separately to, no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sept. 11, 2013. Live questions will be answered during the session, however questions received in advance will allow the call leaders to prepare a more focalized discussion.


NASA CubeSat Space Missions

NASA is now accepting proposals for the CubeSat Launch Initiative. Proposals must be submitted electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST Nov. 26, 2013.

From the submissions, NASA will select the best proposals by Feb. 7, 2014. Developers whose proposals are selected may have the opportunity to see their creations launched as an auxiliary payload on a mission between 2014 and 2017. NASA will not provide funding for the development of the small satellites and selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity.

CubeSats are a class of cube-shaped research spacecraft called nanosatellites. They are approximately 4 inches long, have a volume of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.

CubeSat investigations should be consistent with NASA’s strategic plan and educational vision and goals. The research should address specific aspects of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.

From the first four rounds of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative, 89 payloads from 25 U.S. states made the short list for launch opportunities in 2011 through 2016. Of the selected CubeSats, 12 satellites have already launched. Twenty-one Cubesats are scheduled for launch later this year.

For additional information on NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit


2014 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.495 million prize purse.

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

NASA provides the prize money to the winning team as part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges competitions, which seek unconventional solutions to problems of interest to the agency and the nation. While NASA provides the prize purse, the competitions are managed by nonprofit organizations that cover the cost of operations through commercial or private sponsorships. The competition is planned for June 11-13, 2014 in Worcester and is anticipated to attract hundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.

The registration deadline for this competition is Jan. 7, 2014.

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

To learn about other competitions offered by the Centennial Challenges Program, visit

The Centennial Challenges program is part of NASA’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, visit

Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to


2014 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards

Do you know K-12 teachers or district-level administrators who are making a difference in education through the use of technology? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or in the professional development of teachers.

Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are eligible for this award. School principals, superintendents or associate superintendents may nominate eligible candidates. The award will be presented in May 2014 at the Space Foundation’s 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The deadline for applications is Feb. 3, 2014.

Applications and more information are available online at

Questions about this award should be directed 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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