NASA Education Express — Nov. 14, 2013

Check out the latest NASA Education opportunity announcements.

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

NES Web Seminar — Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 14, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EST

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Next Application Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Students and Faculty
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013

2014 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Faculty and Students
Informational Q&A Teleconference: Nov. 15, 2013
Application Deadline: Dec. 20, 2013

Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Nov. 16, 2013, at 5:15 p.m. EST

“Animal Collections” IGES Art Contest
Audience: Students in Grades 2-4
Entry Deadline: Postmarked by Nov. 18, 2013

Green Strides Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Nov. 19, 2013, at 3 p.m. EST

GLOBE Next Generation Science Standards Webinar Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Nov. 20, 2013, at 1 p.m. EST

NES Web Seminar — Heat, Temperature and Energy: MESSENGER — Cooling with Sunshades
Audience: 6-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 20, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 6 to the International Space Station
Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities
Inquiry Deadline: Nov. 20, 2013

“Ask NICE” Online Professional Development Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Nov. 21, 2013, at 4 p.m. EST

NES Web Seminar — Linear Equations: NASA CONNECT — Breaking Barriers
Audience: 6-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 21, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EST

2013-14 Texas High School Aerospace Scholars
Audience: 11th-grade Students in Texas
Application Deadline: Nov. 21, 2013

2014 NASA Student Launch
Audience: Higher Education Students
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 22, 2013, at 9 a.m. EST

Discover Mapping with NASA
Audience: All Grade Levels
Event Date: Nov. 22, 2013, at 3 p.m. EST

National Science Foundation — East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes
Audience: Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 25, 2013

NASA CubeSat Space Missions
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 26, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. EST

2013 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 26, 2013

2013-2014 National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Deadline to Register and Apply for Build Awards: Nov. 30, 2013

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission — “Unique Perspectives” Photo and Video Contest
Audience: All Educators and Students Age 13 and Older
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2013

2014-15 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
Audience: K-12 STEM Educators
Application Deadline: Dec. 4, 2013

2014 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 8, 2013

NASA’s Center for Astronomy Education Workshop for Astronomy and Space Science Instructors
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Event Dates: Jan. 4-5, 2014

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2014-2015 Academic Year
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 3, 2014

Engineering for You Video Contest
Audience: All Educators and Students in Grades 6-College
Entry Deadline: March 31, 2014

NASA Exploration Design Challenge
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Virtual Crew Registration Deadline: July 31, 2014

NASA Sponsors Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem — The Stackable Structure
Audience: All Educators and Students
Visit Website for Regional Competition Dates

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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NES Web Seminar — Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots

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 Web seminar on Nov. 14, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EST. Discover a unique way of integrating robotic technology into your algebra classes. Robotic missions engage students and provide a unique way of bringing to life the concepts you are teaching. Learn to use programmable Texas Instruments, or TI, calculators and Norland Research Robots to solve problems requiring substituting values for variables in formulas.

This seminar provides an overview of using robotics in algebra so you can make an informed decision about purchasing the robots and other equipment. You do not need to have a Norland Research Robot or programmable TI calculator to participate in this seminar, or know how to program the calculator.

The featured activity provides many opportunities for addressing grades 6-8 Common Core State Mathematics Standards.

This Web seminar will be offered again on May 7, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES4/webseminar1.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@mail.nasa.gov.

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NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) supports NASA’s goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live.

Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP Fellows complete one- to three-year Fellowship appointments that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA.

These opportunities advance NASA’s missions in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and space operations, and astrobiology. Opportunities are available at NASA Centers and other NASA-approved sites.

As a result, NPP Fellows contribute to national priorities for scientific exploration, confirm NASA’s leadership in fundamental research, and complement the efforts of NASA’s partners in the national science community.

U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a Research Scholar may apply. Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing the degree requirements. Applicants who earned the Ph.D. more than five years before the deadline date are categorized as Senior Fellows; all applicants, no matter their category, must apply and become eligible for an NPP award via the same process.

The next deadline for applications has been extended to Nov. 15, 2013.

For more information and application procedures, go to http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to nasapostdoc@orau.org.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge

NASA and Development Projects Inc., or DPI, of Dayton, Ohio, have opened registration for the 2014 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge. The $500,000 prize competition is scheduled for April 2014 in Indiana.

Teams from across the nation will travel to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center and compete to meet technology milestones, fostering development of technologies that may reduce the technical challenges of safely operating autonomous unmanned aircraft systems in commercial airspace.

Early bird registration closes on Nov. 15, 2013. Registration fees increase after this date. The final registration deadline is March 31, 2014.

For more information, including how to register a team for the 2014 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Airspace Operations Challenge, visit http://uasaoc.org.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Garry Qualls at garry.d.qualls@nasa.gov.

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2014 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity

NASA is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near-space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard the High-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium.

A question-and-answer teleconference for interested parties will be held on Nov. 15, 2013, at 11 a.m. EST.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 20, 2013.

For application information and technical details about the program, visit http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp.

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platform opportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik at guzik@phunds.phys.lsu.edu.

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Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series

Curious about our nearest star, water on Mars, the first trip to Pluto and other wonders of the universe? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series presented by Smithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. These speakers will share behind-the-scenes details about how their research is done and technologies that advance new discoveries. The lectures will be held at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. ET and is followed by a question-and-answer session. A Discovery Station activity will take place at 4 p.m. prior to each lecture. Stay after the lecture to visit the museum’s observatory, weather permitting.

Nov. 16, 2013 — Rivers and Lakes on Mars
Mars was warm and wet early in its history. Impact craters that once held lakes, dried river channels and ancient deltas tell us about early Martian climate. Dr. Ross Irwin will discuss rivers and lakes on the Red Planet.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/smithsonian-stars/.

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000.

The Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.

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“Animal Collections” IGES Art Contest

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, or IGES, invites young scientists and artists to explore groups of animals. Students in grades 2-4 are encouraged to think about their favorite animal group and find the collective noun that describes it. Examples include an army of ants, a lounge of lizards, a parliament of owls and a school of sharks.

After completing their research, students should create a piece of artwork (no larger than 16″x20″) to show what they have learned. Winning artists will receive gift cards, framed color certificates and have their artwork showcased on the IGES website.

Entries must be postmarked by Nov. 18, 2013.

For full details on the contest, resources on animal groups and to download an entry form, visit http://strategies.org/education/student-contests/art-contest/2013-animal-collections/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Emily McLaughlin at emily_mclaughlin@strategies.org.

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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 Nov. 19, 2013, at 3 p.m. EST.

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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GLOBE Next Generation Science Standards Webinar Series

The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program is presenting a series of webinars titled “Aligning the GLOBE Program with Next Generation Science Standards.” This series covers the basics of the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS, how GLOBE fits with the standards and how educators can be involved in the initiative.

The next webinar, “What Does It Mean, and How Do You Do It?” will take place on Nov. 20, 2013, at 1 p.m. EST. GLOBE partners Dr. Lisa Gardner, Spark/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and Dr. Matt Gilmore, University of North Dakota, will discuss what NGSS means to their organizations and how they are preparing for the alignment and adoption of NGSS.

For more information and to view previously recorded webinars in the series, visit http://www.globe.gov/teaching-and-learning/professional-development-resources/webinars/ngss-webinars.

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NES Web Seminar — Heat, Temperature and Energy: MESSENGER — Cooling with Sunshades

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on Nov. 20, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn how to use the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury to motivate your students to investigate energy and the electromagnetic spectrum and provide a real-world context to concepts you already teach. In the lesson, “Cooling with Sunshades, students emulate the work of MESSENGER satellite engineers by building and testing a sunshade that will minimize the damaging effects of the sun’s energy on their payload and calculate the cost efficiency of their sunshades.

The activity provides opportunities for incorporating national science, technology and mathematics learning standards into the curriculum as well as addresses Next Generation Science Standards.

This seminar will be repeated on April 9, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES4/webseminar20.aspx.

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

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 6 to the International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announce an authentic science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest flight opportunity, Mission 6 to the International Space Station, or ISS, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment, and all launch services to fly the mini-lab to the space station in fall 2014 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community — engaging typically 300+ students — allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community’s reserved mini-lab. Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional SSEP programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a learning community model for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.

This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations are also encouraged to participate. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than Nov. 20, 2013. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 6 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/2013/10/new-flight-opportunity-for-school-districts-announcing-student-spaceflight-experiments-program-ssep-mission-6-to-the-international-space-station-for-2014/.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org.

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“Ask NICE” Online Professional Development Series

Join the NASA Innovations in Climate Education, or NICE, team for a series of Google+ Hangout professional development sessions. Planned for the third Thursdays of upcoming months, the sessions will cover a variety of climate topics, including:

Earth From Near and Far
Nov. 21, 2013, at 4 p.m. EST

The Green Ninja: A Climate Action Superhero
Dec. 19, 2013, at 4 p.m. EST

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request. Additional session dates are TBD.

For more information, visit https://nice.larc.nasa.gov/asknice/.

This series is sponsored by Minority University Research and Education Program and NICE, and is part of the Digital Learning Network program to expand the reach of NICE projects.

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NES Web Seminar — Linear Equations: NASA CONNECT — Breaking Barriers

NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Nov. 21, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EST. During this professional development session, participants will receive information about the applications of linear equations at NASA and learn how to implement the “Breaking Barriers” student activity. “Breaking Barriers” provides students with an opportunity to step into the shoes of a NASA engineer to design, build and test an X-1 balloon.

The featured activity provides many opportunities for incorporating national science, technology and mathematics learning standards into curricula as well as addressing middle school Next Generation Science Standards.

This seminar will be repeated on May 28, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES4/webseminar22.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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2013-14 Texas High School Aerospace Scholars

The Texas High School Aerospace Scholars project is accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year. This unique NASA opportunity is for Texas high school juniors who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Selected students begin their journey with an interactive online learning experience that starts in late November and continues through April. During this time, students will create technical writings and drawings, solve math problems, participate in discussion forums and take part in chat sessions with NASA engineers and scientists.

In April, students who successfully complete the online portion of the project will be qualified to be selected to attend a six-day internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Selected students will learn firsthand from NASA engineers and scientists who not only speak to the group, but also serve as mentors for the teams.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, Texas residents, and have access to the Internet. Applications are due Nov. 21, 2013.

For additional information on the project and to apply online, visit http://has.aerospacescholars.org/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to jsc-aeroscho@mail.nasa.gov.

This program is sponsored by NASA and funded by the State of Texas, Rotary NASA, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, at no cost to participants.

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2014 NASA Student Launch

NASA’s Student Launch is accepting proposals from colleges and universities across the nation. Student Launch is a research-based, competitive and experiential exploration project that provides relevant and cost-effective research and development to support the Space Launch System, or SLS. The project involves teams in an eight-month commitment to design, build and fly payloads or vehicle components that support SLS on high-power rockets.

Proposals are due Nov. 22, 2013, by 9 a.m. EST.

For more information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/Student_Launch.html.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Julie Clift at julie.d.clift@nasa.gov.

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Discover Mapping with NASA

For over 50 years, NASA earth science has transformed the way we look at our planet. Celebrate Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 17-23) and discover a world of resources for real NASA images and data so you and your students can explore the most pressing Earth mysteries.

GeoWeek is an annual public awareness program established in 1987 to highlight geography as a discipline and as a part of everyday life. On Nov. 22, 2013, participate in a Spanish-language webinar and find out how ocean data collected from space can answer questions about processes on Earth.

Find details about these events, NASA educational resources, articles, blog posts and more related to how NASA contributes to the world of mapping on http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2013.

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National Science Foundation — East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes

The National Science Foundation’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes, or EAPSI, program provides U.S. graduate students an opportunity to spend eight weeks (10 weeks for Japan) during the summer conducting research at one of seven host locations in East Asia and the Pacific: Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. The program is a collaboration between the National Science Foundation and counterpart agencies in each host location.

EAPSI is open to graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are enrolled in a research-oriented master’s or doctoral program in science or engineering. Applicants must propose a research project in a field of science, engineering or STEM education supported by NSF, including Engineering; Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Biological Sciences; Geosciences; Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; Education (STEM); and Multidisciplinary Research in these fields.

The National Science Foundation provides EAPSI Fellows with a $5,000 stipend and roundtrip airplane ticket to the host location. Our foreign counterparts provide in-country living expenses and accommodations (arrangements vary by host location).

The application submission deadline for summer 2014 institutes is Nov. 25, 2013.

For additional information, visit http://www.nsf.gov/eapsi.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to oiia-ise-eapsi@nsf.gov.

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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 https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CubeSats_initiative.html.

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2013 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

National Community College Aerospace Scholars, or NCAS, is an interactive online learning experience featuring engineering career possibilities. It is highlighted by an onsite experience where selected students are encouraged to study mathematics, science, engineering or computer science by interacting with engineers at NASA.

The only cost to participants is a $30 registration fee. NASA covers travel, food and lodging. NCAS is open to community college students throughout the United States. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have access to the Internet.

Applications are due Nov. 26, 2013.

For more information and to apply online, visit http://ncas.aerospacescholars.org/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to jsc-ncas@mail.nasa.gov.

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2013-2014 National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition

The National Student Solar Spectrograph Competition is the Montana Space Grant Consortium’s Education Program for NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission. IRIS will use spectrography and imaging in ultraviolet wavelengths to reveal the dynamics of the sun’s chromospheres and transition region.

This yearly competition is open to undergraduate interdisciplinary teams from colleges and universities across the U.S. Teams are challenged to design and build a working ground-based solar spectrograph and demonstrate the capabilities of the spectrograph as defined by their science goal. Typical teams have three to six students and must have a faculty advisor.

Both substantial scholarship prizes and travel prizes will be given in four categories: best design, best build, best science observations and best presentation of results. Teams may apply for funding of $2,000 per team for project materials. Priority for build funds will be given to minority-serving institutions, community colleges and institutions with less aerospace activity.

Applications for build awards and registrations are due on Nov. 30, 2013.

The competition will be held May 14-16, 2014, in Bozeman, Mont.

For more information and to register online, visit http://www.spacegrant.montana.edu/IRIS/index.html.

Please email any questions about this competition to Randy Larimer at rlarimer@ece.montana.edu.

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NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission — “Unique Perspectives” Photo and Video Contest

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission announces the “Unique Perspectives” photo and video contest.

There are many ways to view precipitation. Rain gauges collect water as it hits the ground. Weather radars detect rain and snow as it falls through the air. Research aircraft can measure moisture while flying through clouds, and satellites like the GPM Core Observatory can view precipitation from space.

The GPM team wants to see your photos and videos of precipitation from unique perspectives. Check out weather from all angles — far away, up close, above, below and inside — the more creative and unique, the better.

All entrants must be 13 years old or older. The deadline for submitting photos and videos is Dec. 1, 2013.

For more information and instructions for submitting an entry, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/gpm-unique-perspectives-photo-and-video-contest/.

Questions about this contest should be emailed to Jacob Reed at jacob.b.reed@nasa.gov.

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2014-15 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship

Applications are currently available for the 2014-15 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program. This program is open to current public or private elementary and secondary mathematics, technology, engineering and science classroom teachers with demonstrated excellence in teaching. Applications are due 5 p.m. EST Dec. 4, 2013.

Selected teachers spend a school year in Washington, D.C., sharing their expertise with policy makers and program managers. Einstein Fellows may serve with one of several government agency sponsors, such as the Department of Energy, NASA or the National Science Foundation.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and be currently employed full time in a public or private elementary or secondary school or school district. Applicants must have been teaching in a STEM field full time for at least five of the last seven years.

For more information about this opportunity and to apply online, visit http://science.energy.gov/wdts/einstein/.

Inquiries about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program should be directed to Brian O’Donnell at sc.einstein@science.doe.gov.

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2014 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2014 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops, also known as RASC-AL Robo-Ops, competition. This design competition is aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL Robo-Ops contest challenges participants to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities in field tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard. Up to three members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) may travel to Johnson Space Center for the onsite testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct mission control tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the mission control team members and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing a variety of tasks that include sample collection and acquisition. The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through onboard rover video camera(s) or other onboard sensors.

Interested teams are encouraged to submit a notice of intent by Nov. 15, 2013, and teams must submit a project plan for their proposed project by Dec. 8, 2013. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops Steering Committee of NASA experts will evaluate the project plans and select as many as eight teams to compete against each other at the Rock Yard in June 2014.

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. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit http://www.nianet.org/RoboOps.

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

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NASA’s Center for Astronomy Education Workshop for Astronomy and Space Science Instructors

NASA’s Center for Astronomy Education, or CAE, announces a workshop for astronomy and space science educators. Hosted in conjunction with the 223rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the workshop will take place Jan. 4-5, 2014, in National Harbor, Md.

The workshop will teach participants how to create effective and productive active-learning classroom environments. Workshop leaders model best practices in implementing many different classroom-tested instructional strategies. During microteaching events, participants will have the opportunity to role-play the parts of student and instructor, and will assess and critique each other’s implementation. Participants try unfamiliar teaching techniques with mentors and peers before using them with students.

For more information and to register for the workshop online, visit http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=117.

Inquiries about this workshop should be directed to Gina Brissenden at gbrissenden@as.arizona.edu.

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NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2014-2015 Academic Year

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, or NESSF, is soliciting applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, for the 2014-2015 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for the NESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate’s four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics.

Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for no more than two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflected in academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the faculty advisor) and the availability of funds.

The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $30,000 per year.

Proposals for this opportunity are due Feb. 3, 2014.

For more information about this solicitation, visit http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={95EC29B1-C074-F67B-F246-79B14642063D}&path=open.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to:

For Earth Science, Claire Macaulay at Claire.I.Macaulay@nasa.gov.

For Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics, Dolores Holland at hq-nessf-Space@nasa.gov.

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Engineering for You Video Contest

In celebration of its upcoming 50th anniversary, the National Academy of Engineering, or NAE, is launching the Engineering for You, or E4U, video contest to highlight the impact that engineering has or will have on society.

In the last 50 years, engineering achievements include helping to land astronauts on the moon, creating the Internet and decoding the human genome. What will engineering create in the next 50 years? Rev up your creativity, pull out your camera or phone and produce a one- to two-minute video showing the world how you see engineering enhancing quality of life and serving the needs of society.

The video must highlight a period during the years 1964-2064. The main prize is $25,000, and videos will be accepted through March 31, 2014.

For more information, visit www.e4uvideocontest.org.

Questions about the E4U Video Contest should be directed to E4Uvideocontest@nae.edu.

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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 July 31, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/spacelife/explorationdesign/overview/index.html.

For more information about Orion, visit https://www.nasa.gov/orion.

Email any questions about this opportunity to nasaedc@nianet.org.

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NASA Sponsors Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem — The Stackable Structure

NASA is sponsoring the Odyssey of the Mind Long-Term Problem — The Stackable Structure.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that offers creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Participants apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretations of literary classics. The teams then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state and international levels.

This year’s problem requires teams to design and build a structure made up of separate components stacked on top of one another. The structure components must be made of balsa wood and glue only, and will be tested by balancing and supporting weights after they are stacked. Teams will be scored for the number of components they use in their final structure. Before they are stacked, the separate components will be integrated into an artistic representation of Earth. The team will include the stacking of the components, placement of the weights and Earth into the theme of its performance.

For more information and to find dates for regional competitions, visit http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email info@odysseyofthemind.com.

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What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

The Space Place isn’t just a great place to find material for formal school lessons, it also has exciting hands-on activities and fun interactive Web games for afterschool, too. Check out the Do and Play menus and start planning your afterschool activities today.

What’s New? Space Volcanoes
Did you know that there are volcanoes all around our solar system? From the dormant volcanoes of Mars to the mysteriously active cryovolcanoes of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, there’s a whole lot of cool volcanism in our solar system. Space Place has a new “Space Volcano Explorer” that lets students and teachers alike navigate through the solar system to find images and descriptions of some of the coolest volcanic features around. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/volcanoes. Want to learn more about volcanoes? Check out its new companion article “What is a Volcano?” http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/volcanoes2.

Spotlight on Solar Fun
The sun is vitally important for literally every aspect of life, yet many students and educators know very little about how it actually works. Space Place’s newest Web game, “Solar Tricktionary,” aims to fix that in characteristically silly fashion. In this game, the student is given a term to define and four possible answers. Three of the answers are hilariously incorrect. Obviously solar wind is not “what happens when the sun eats too many beans,” but at least students will be entertained as well as educated as they follow a chain of incorrect answers to the correct one. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-tricktionary.

Spotlight on Comets
With Comet ISON fast approaching its brightest stage in our night sky in late November, now’s a great opportunity to teach a little something about why scientists care about comets in the first place. One big reason is that the water in our oceans may have come from the ice that makes comets. Space Place’s article “Thirsty? Have a Comet!” explains why scientists think this could be the case and how incredibly precise telescopes can actually identify subtle chemical clues to figure out where these ocean-forming comets could have come from. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/comet-ocean/.

For the Classroom
Not only a sun and a collection of planets, our solar system is full of small bodies like moons, dwarf planets, comets, asteroids and meteors. Space Place has created a new four-page brochure, geared toward a middle-school-and-up audience, that explains what these smaller objects are, and why they are important for understanding our solar system’s history. The brochure is formatted to be printed easily and can make a great addition to any teacher’s bulletin board. Download it here: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/posters#small-bodies.

For Out of School Time
Figure out what’s inside a closed box by creating a handmade topographic map of its contents. This clever activity is a fun way to keep students entertained and educated outside of the classroom. Have your students challenge each other to figure out what each of them put inside their boxes. As they get more and more invested, they will become intimately familiar with how topographic maps work. Use an important lesson that feels like a fun game. Take a look: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/topo-bear/.

Special Days

Nov. 17, 2013: Leonid meteor shower at maximum early this morning.
What causes a meteor shower? http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/meteor-shower

Nov. 28, 2013: Thanksgiving Day
Did the pilgrims on the Mayflower navigate by the stars? With our starfinders, they could have. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder

Nov. 28, 2013: Comet ISON makes closet approach to the sun.
What’s inside a comet anyway? http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/comet-nucleus/

Dec. 4, 1973: Pioneer 10 flew past Jupiter.
Play “JunoQuest,” a game about a new mission to Jupiter. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/junoquest

Dec. 14, 2013: Geminids meteor shower at maximum early this morning.
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/meteor-shower

Dec. 25, 2013: Christmas Day
If you get an iPad or iPhone for Christmas, we have some more gifts for you. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ios

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use The Space Place in your teaching. Send to info@spaceplace.nasa.gov.

iPhone and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

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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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