NASA Education Express — Sept. 5, 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.

https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/sequestration-NASA-education-guidance.html

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Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Sept. 5, 2013, at 7 p.m. EDT

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

Going to Mars With MAVEN Campaign
Audience: Educators and Students Worldwide
Deadline: Sept. 10, 2013

Green Strides Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Sept. 11, 2013, at 2 p.m. EDT

NES Web Seminar — Engineering Design Process: On the Moon Educator Guide
Audience: 6-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 11, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

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

MAVEN Workshop — Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!
Audience: Teachers of Grades 3-5
Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2013
Workshop Date: Sept. 21, 2013

Training Workshops for Afterschool Universe Astronomy Program
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Sept. 14, 2013
Workshop Date: Sept. 23-24, 2013

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

Earth Science Week Contests Announced for 2013
Audience: All Educators and Students
Deadline for Entries: Oct. 18, 2013

2013 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
Audience: 5-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 25, 2013

2014 RASC-AL Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: Jan. 19, 2014

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

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 https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/current-opps-index.html
— Students https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/current-opps-index.html

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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.

Meteorology: How Clouds Form (Grades 4-9)
Sept. 5, 2013, at 7 – 8 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.

Engineering Design Process: Part 1 — Ask, Imagine and Plan (Grades 3-12)
Sept. 9, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan 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.

Physics Resource Overview — Elementary (Grades K-5)
Sept. 12, 2013,
at 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist John Weis as he demonstrates simple activities and resources for teaching physics concepts at the elementary school level. Topics and resources covered will include Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Lesson plans and modification strategies will be discussed.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through September 2013, visit http://aesp.psu.edu/programs/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Chris Gamrat at gamrat@psu.edu.

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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 http://www.zerorobotics.org.
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 zerorobotics@mit.edu.

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Going to Mars With MAVEN Campaign

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, also known as MAVEN, is set to launch to the Red Planet in November 2013. And your name could hitch a ride to Mars!

Names that are submitted to the Going to Mars With MAVEN website will be placed on a DVD that will be carried aboard the MAVEN spacecraft. Participants who submit their names to the Going to Mars campaign will be able to print a certificate of appreciation to document their involvement with the MAVEN mission.

Names are due Sept. 10, 2013.

The MAVEN spacecraft will also carry personal messages from three contest winners. The Message to Mars contest collected personal messages in the form of haiku poems to send to the Red Planet. The public voted to select the top three entries. Visit the MAVEN website to see the winning haiku poems.

For more information and to submit your name, visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars/send-your-name/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven/goingtomars/contact/.

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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. 11, 2013.

For more information and registration, visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/green-strides/webinar.html.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Green.Ribbon.Schools@ed.gov.

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NES Web Seminar — Engineering Design Process: On the Moon Educator Guide

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar on Sept 11, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

As a result of this seminar, you will be able to use two lessons from the “On the Moon” educator guide: “On Target” and “Feel the Heat.” Learn how to use the engineering design process to challenge students to solve problems related to exploring the moon. This session will fully prepare you to implement these activities in your classroom. These activities provide opportunities for incorporating national science, technology and mathematics learning standards into the curriculum as well as addressing the Next Generation Science Standards.

This Web seminar will be repeated again on Jan. 29, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES4/webseminar14.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NASA Explorer Schools help desk at NASA-Explorer-Schools@nasa.gov.

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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 NSPIRESWebexRSVP@nasaprs.com.

Any questions you may have may be included with your registration, or sent separately to NSPIRESWebexRSVP@nasaprs.com, 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.

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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 will also have a session devoted to Spanish speaking English Lanaguage Learner and English as a Second Language students. Attendees will receive free classroom materials.

The workshop will take place on Sept. 21, 2013, in Boulder, Colo. Registration is $15 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Participants may purchase a 1/2 Graduate Teacher Education (GRTE) credit from the University of Colorado Boulder for $60. Applications are due Sept. 13, 2013, but space is limited so interested educators are encouraged to apply early.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/education-outreach/for-educators/red-planet/boulder-workshop/.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to epomail@lasp.colorado.edu.

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Training Workshops for Afterschool Universe Astronomy Program

Afterschool Universe is a hands-on astronomy program targeted at middle school out-of-school-time settings. The program explores basic astronomy concepts through hands-on activities and focuses on a journey through the universe beyond the solar system.

A free, 2-day in-person training workshop for U.S. citizens is being held on Sept. 23-24, 2013, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. This training will prepare participants to lead the program or train others to do so. Most of the materials to run the program are easily available at grocery stores and craft supplies stores. Workshop attendees receive a certificate that documents their participation in the training.

Registration for this training session is due Sept. 14, 2013. Register by visiting http://universe.nasa.gov/au/register.html.

For more information about the program, visit http://universe.nasa.gov/afterschool/.

Questions about this program should be directed to the project coordinator at Sarah.E.Eyermann@nasa.gov.

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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.
http://airandspace.si.edu/events/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=4836

To see a list of all upcoming Heritage Family Days events, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/heritage-days/.

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

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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 http://airandspace.si.edu/events/superscience/.

Questions about this series of lectures should be directed to nasmpubliclectures@si.edu.

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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, 2013.

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 http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador/. 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 ambassad@jpl.nasa.gov.

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Earth Science Week Contests Announced for 2013

Take part in the following contests to celebrate Earth Science Week. This year’s celebration takes place Oct. 13-19, 2013.

Earth Science Week 2013 Photography Contest — Open to All Ages
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/photography/index.html

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a photography contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2013. Photographs should support the topic “Mapping My Community” and show how maps are used in communities. Any resident of the United States or any AGI International Affiliate may enter. Entries must be submitted electronically. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Entries are due Oct. 18, 2013.

Earth Science Week 2013 Visual Arts Contest — Open to Students in Grades K-5
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/visualarts/index.html

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a visual arts contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2013. Artwork should focus on the topic “Making Maps Through the Ages.” The contest is open to students in grades K-5 who are residents of the United States. Participants should submit an original two-dimensional visual arts project that shows themselves as earth scientists making maps. Entries are due Oct. 18, 2013, and must be submitted by mail.

Earth Science Week 2013 Essay Contest — Open to Students in Grades 6-9
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/essay/index.html

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring an essay contest to celebrate Earth Science Week 2013. Essays should focus on the theme “How Geoscientists Use Maps.” The contest is open to students in grades 6-9 who are residents of the United States. Participants should submit an original essay no more than 300 words in length, typed and formatted to fit on one page. Entries must be submitted electronically. The deadline for submitting entries is Oct. 18, 2013.

If you have any questions about these contests, please email the Earth Science Week staff at info@earthsciweek.org.

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2013 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest

The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This year’s targets are Saturn and its moons Iapetus and Dione. After researching the three options, students write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice.

The contest is open to all students in the United States in grades 5-12. The essays will be divided into three groups for scoring: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Participants may enter as individuals or as part of a team of up to four students.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 25, 2013.

For more information, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/.

International participants also are encouraged to enter. Deadlines for individual countries vary. To see if your country is participating, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday12thedition/international/countries/.

If you have questions about this contest, please email scientistforaday@jpl.nasa.gov.

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2014 RASC-AL Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2014 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage, or RASC-AL, Competition. RASC-AL is a design project competition aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL contest challenges participants to design projects based on real NASA projects. Concepts derived from the design projects could potentially be implemented by NASA. Participants can choose from three different themes:

— Enabling Long-Duration Missions through Holistic Habitat Design
— Human-Assisted Sample Return
— Tele-Operated Robot

Interested teams are encouraged to submit a notice of intent by Nov 8, 2013, and teams must submit an abstract for their proposed project by Jan. 19, 2014. The RASC-AL Steering Committee of NASA and industry experts will evaluate the proposals and select as many as 13 undergraduate and five graduate teams to compete against each other at a forum in June 2014 in Florida.

The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group of universities may also work in collaboration on a design project entry. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit http://nia-cms.nianet.org/RASCAL/index.aspx.

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Shelley Spears at Shelley.Spears@nianet.org or Stacy Dees at stacy.dees@nianet.org.

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What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

The National Science Teachers’ Association recently has published the Next Generation Science Standards. From the NSTA website, these K-12 standards “… establish learning expectations for students that integrate three important dimensions — science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts…” After reviewing these new standards carefully, we have found that many of the modules on The Space Place website support one or more. Stay tuned for a helpful index page that will allow you to search for Space Place content by each of the three dimensions in the NGSS.

What’s New?
Kids end up with their own wacky, loopy stories in the “Loopy Legends” activity. As with “Mad-Libs,” they fill in requested words with whatever they can imagine. Then their words are folded into a story about an interesting science-related event. For example, a meteor falls through a boy’s roof and lands on his bedroom floor in the middle of the night — or some loopy variation thereof. The student’s version of the story is followed by a short explanation of the science. Earth science and physical science (astronomy and heliophysics) topics are included. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/loopy-legends.

Spotlight on the Space Place Calendar
Have you discovered The Space Place Calendar? You can find it at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/calendar. Each month has its own page, with a beautiful space- or Earth-related image. The images plus 10 or 12 “special days” for each month are highlighted with links to relevant pages on the website. The calendar is a valuable resource to help you make connections with history, science and just plain silliness, in some cases. For example, Sept. 5 is “National Cheese Pizza Day.” That means you can use the round cardboard from take-out pizza to make our beautiful Galactic Mobile. Other real-life events may connect with science articles. Sept. 22 is the autumnal equinox. What does that mean? What causes the seasons, anyway? That date links to http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/seasons.

Spotlight on Cool Subjects — Birds and Radar
As the sun sets in late fall, migratory birds all across North America take to the skies for a long journey. Direct your students to the latest Space Place article, where they can find out how NASA radar helps scientists better understand these birds’ travels. When the students are done, be sure to check out our fun new hands-on activity — make your own bird-feeder wreath! Kids can use their bird feeders to see what birds are in their neighborhood. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/birds.

For Out-of-School Time
Board games are in. Of course, so are video games. Space Place has a hybrid of the best of both, plus it’s educational! The “Wild Weather Adventure” game is an online game for one to four players. If there’s only one player, the computer is the opponent, with its skill level selectable. Two or more players take turns, as in any other board game. There are playing pieces (research ships with different colors and names), a spinner (in lieu of dice), a map of the world (for a playing “surface”), and blocks and boosts along the way. To advance, players must answer multiple choice questions related to weather and Earth science. Players can choose whether their question will be easy, medium or hard. Of course, right answers to harder questions are rewarded proportionally. Decision points present unknown risks and rewards. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/wild-weather-adventure.

Special Days

Sept. 6: Read a Book Day
Several fun books are on the Space Place at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/menu/storybook.

Sept. 11: Make Your Bed Day
Ask students, “How would your bed look through an infrared camera if you had just gotten out of bed?” The Infrared Photo Album will give a clue. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ir-photo-album

Sept. 23, 1846: Neptune Discovered
Students can find Neptune’s place in the solar system and play mini-games with the planets at the Solar System Explorer. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-system-explorer.

Oct. 1-31: Computer Learning Month
Introduce the simple on/off language of computers. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/binary-code2

Oct. 4, 1957: Sputnik, the first satellite, was launched by the Soviet Union.
All Sputnik did was beep! Show your students what satellites can do now by directing them to the “Missions to Planet Earth” card game at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/earth-card-game.

Oct. 21: Orionids Meteor Shower
Check out http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/meteor-shower. Then look for “shooting stars” in the part of the sky near constellation Orion the Hunter.

A Personal Note …
As webmaster and writer of The Space Place for 14 years (and 30 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab), it was with mixed feelings that I retired this summer. Being part of this creative team has been challenging, grueling and more fun than any job I could have ever imagined for my English-major self. It has been a joy to create resources intended to help students and educators to enrich their experience and, I hope, make learning more fun.

Our new writer and webmaster is Alex Kasprak, a young man with glowing credentials, great new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm. He will bring his own unique touch to The Space Place.

We wish you a wonderful year, and remember to smile and laugh.

— Diane K. Fisher

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Don’t miss out on education-related opportunities available from NASA. For a full list of Current Opportunities, visit https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/current-opps-index.html.

Visit NASA Education on the Web:
For Educators: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html
For Students: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html
NASA Kids’ Club: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub

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