NASA Education Express — Aug. 29, 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. 30, 2013, at 4 p.m. EDT

Have a Blast Learning About the Moon With Award-Winning Selene Video Game
Audience: All Educators and Grade 5-Higher Education Students
Suggested Registration Deadline: Aug. 31, 2013

Green Strides Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Sept. 4, 2013, at 4 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

Heritage Family Day Events at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum
Audience: All Educators and Students
Next Event Date: Sept. 14, 2013

National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events
Audience: All Educators and Students
Next Event Date: Sept. 14, 2013

Solar System Ambassadors Program Accepting Applications
Audience: All Educators
Application Deadline: Sept. 30, 2013

Celebrate Earth Science Week 2013 With NASA
Audience: All Grade Levels
Event Date: Oct. 13-19, 2013

NASA Visitor Centers: Passport to Explore Space
Audience: All Educators and Students

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 September 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 for Life — Past and Present (Grades 4-9)
Aug. 30, 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.

My NASA Data: Using Live-Access Weather and Climate Data (Grades K-12)
Sept. 2, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Marilé Colón Robles will lead participants through a series of lessons using the live access server of the My NASA Data website. Participants will learn how to search and download lesson plans from the My NASA Data website. These lessons allow students to analyze real NASA climate data.

Solar System Mission Exploration: The Past, Present and Future (Grades 3-9)
Sept. 3, 2013,
at 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will discuss the process NASA researchers use to design missions to collect data to learn about distant worlds. Participants will learn about the different NASA missions exploring the solar system and ways to integrate creative modeling into curriculum to help students better understand the true scope of the solar system.

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

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


Have a Blast Learning About the Moon With Award-Winning Selene Video Game

“Use your computer to journey back 4.5 billion years, and prepare to blast away — you’re going to make a moon just like Earth’s.” Start your students on this journey of scientific discovery with the award-winning “Selene” video game and its standards-based earth and space science. To take advantage of all of the great opportunities that fall provides to observe the moon, please register by Aug. 31, 2013. Contact to schedule your orientation.

Designed for players ages 9 and older, “Selene: A Lunar Construction Game,” teaches users about basic geological processes on Earth and in the solar system. Players fire away at what will quickly become a full-fledged, pockmarked moon like our own.

Educators and youth leaders can incorporate “Selene” into classroom curriculum and other activities. Follow game play with “MoonGazers,” hands-on activities that take players outside to explore the moon and its phases from their own backyards.

“Science” magazine and the National Science Foundation honored “Selene” in 2013 as one of the top educational games or apps in the world. To learn more about “Selene,” read testimonials about it, or see how it aligns with national and state science standards, visit

“Selene” is now available in Spanish. For more info, visit

Successful “Selene” players earn Badges for NASA Activities ( and may register for a Mozilla Open Badge Backpack.


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 Sept. 4, 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.


Heritage Family Day Events at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum

The 2013 Heritage Family Day event series celebrates the diverse ethnic and cultural communities that have contributed to aviation and space exploration. Events will commemorate historic and current contributions through presentations and activities for the entire family. The events 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 and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The events are free and open to the public.

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

To see a list of all upcoming Heritage Family Days events, visit

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


National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events

Join the National Air and Space Museum on the second Saturday of each month during 2013 for Super Science Saturday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. Each event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Admission is free, and parking is $15.

Upcoming topics include:

Sept. 14, 2013 — Living and Working in Space
Oct. 12, 2013 — Balloons and Blimps
Nov. 9, 2013 — The Moon and Beyond
Dec. 14, 2013 — The Wright Brothers

For more information, visit

Questions about this series of lectures should be directed to


Solar System Ambassadors Program Accepting Applications

The NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassadors, or SSA, Program, a nationwide network of space enthusiast volunteers, will accept applications from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, 2012.

Highly motivated individuals will be given the opportunity to represent NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as volunteer Solar System Ambassadors to the public for a one-year, renewable term beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

While applications are being sought nationwide, interested parties from the following states are especially encouraged to apply: Alaska, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. SSA hopes to add 100 new volunteers to the program in 2014.

To learn more about the Solar System Ambassador Program and to apply online, visit The Announcement of Opportunity and application form will be available beginning Sept. 1, 2013.

If you have questions about this opportunity, contact Kay Ferrari, SSA Coordinator, by email at


Celebrate Earth Science Week 2013 With NASA

Discover educational resources about the role of mapping in NASA Earth science for Earth Science Week 2013. Under the theme “Mapping Our World,” ESW 2013 celebrates the importance of maps to represent complex phenomena about our planet. NASA will once more play a key role in this annual celebration, which has been organized by the American Geosciences Institute since 1998.

Earth Science Week takes place Oct. 13-19, 2013, but the celebration lasts year-round! Celebrate with NASA to learn more about how the agency contributes to the world of mapping and how you, too, can take part in mapping our planet. Plan ahead with the NASA Earth Science Week poster featuring data from more than a dozen NASA Earth science missions. NASA also has educational samplers on mapping-related resources in English and Spanish, and an educators booklet with sources of NASA images and data. Visit the site to find innovative ideas about how to incorporate these into your teaching.

To download these and other resources and learn more about NASA events planned for Earth Science Week and beyond, visit and follow @NASAESW on Twitter.


NASA Visitor Centers: Passport to Explore Space

Join the Passport to Explore Space program and get ready to explore and experience NASA’s universe of diverse Visitor Centers and the museums. Your mission is to visit all 14 visitor centers and space shuttle locations.

Each NASA Visitor Center offers a unique focus and scope of work, contributing to the overall mission of America’s space program. Learn about mission control and astronaut training at Space Center Houston. Check out the control center for the Curiosity Mars Rover at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., to learn about science experiments taking place on the International Space Station and to see firsthand how much power it took to get man to the moon. These adventures and more await you at the NASA Visitor Centers and space shuttle locations.

Membership in the free Passport to Explore Space program includes:

— An official 8-page Passport to Explore Space.
— A commemorative stamp on the inside of your passport at every NASA Visitor Center and space shuttle location certifying your visit.
— Savings on admission, tours, food and retail (offers vary by location, offers not available at some locations).
— The Space Flyer, a quarterly newsletter featuring the latest happenings at each NASA Visitor Center and shuttle orbiter location.

For more information, visit


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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