NASA Education Express — Oct. 16, 2014

Check out the latest NASA Education opportunity announcements.

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

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems — Become a Disk Detective!
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Timeframe: Now Through 2018

“Offset”: A New Educational iPhone/iPad Game Now Available
Audience: Learners Ages 8-80

MissionSTEM Video: Addressing the STEM Education Challenges Ahead
Audience: All Educators and Students

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Available While Supplies Last

Earth Science Week 2014 Contests
Audience: All Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 17, 2014

2015 GLOBE Calendar Art Competition
Audience: Students in Grades K-12
Entry Deadline: Oct. 17, 2014

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Spring 2015 Policy Internship Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Oct. 17, 2014

NASA IV&V Team America Rocketry Challenge Webinars
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 7-12
Next Webinar Date: Oct. 18, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. EDT

Open House 2014: NASA’s Ames Research Center
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Oct. 18, 2014

Witness History at NASA Social Event During Orion’s First Flight Test Launch in Florida
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014

Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Request Deadline: Oct. 20, 2014

NASA’s ESTEEM “Ask US” Online Professional Development Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Oct. 21, 2014, at 4:15 p.m. EDT

Free Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development — K-5 NASA Education Series
Audience: K-5 In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators
Next Event Date: Oct. 21, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

NASA Challenge: Build an App That Uses OpenNEX Climate and Earth Science Data
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Deadline: Oct. 21, 2014

Museum Alliance Webcast: Planning Your Orion First Flight Event
Audience: Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 22, 2014, at 4 p.m. EDT

Free Education Webinar From NASA Educator Professional Development — Space Mathematics: Active Math
Audience: 5-8 In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 22, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

NOAA Education and Science Forum 2014
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Event Dates: Oct. 26-29, 2014

Celebrate Solar Week — Fall 2014
Audience: Educators of Students in Grades 5-9
Event Dates: Oct. 27-31, 2014

Sally Ride EarthKAM Announces 2014 Fall Mission
Audience: Middle School Educators and Students, and the Informal Education Community
Mission Dates: Oct. 28-31, 2014

Free Educational Materials — Space Racers′ Space/STEM Educator Toolkit
Audience: Educators Pre-K through Grade 5
Tool Kit Request Deadline: Oct. 30, 2014

Send Your Name on the First Orion Flight and Beyond!
Audience: Educators and Students Worldwide
Deadline: Oct. 31, 2014

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Next Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2014

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 8 to the International Space Station
Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities
Inquiry Deadline: Nov. 15, 2014

Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s STEM Takes Flight Program
Audience: Community College Educators and Students in Virginia
Application Deadlines as Early as Nov. 17, 2014

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 12, 2015

NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Event Date: May 18-22, 2015

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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Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems — Become a Disk Detective!

Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you’ll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature.

This project is ongoing and expected to run through 2018. For more information and to start hunting for planets, visit http://www.diskdetective.org/.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Marc Kuchner at marc.j.kuchner@nasa.gov.

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“Offset”: A New Educational iPhone/iPad Game Now Available

Check out the latest educational game from NASA′s Space Place — ″Offset.″ Take matters into your own hands and help reduce carbon emissions to slow the pace of global warming. Part “Pong,” part resource management and 100 percent retro, this game is challenging, exciting and educational. Players learn how the global carbon cycle works, about different sources of carbon and about the ways alternative energy and reforestation can help offset those sources. If players want to succeed, they will need quick fingers and strong multitasking skills. Download it today at http://tinyurl.com/p8rcrwn.

For more science and technology resources geared toward elementary students, visit the Space Place website at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/.

Questions about the game should be directed to info@spaceplace.nasa.gov.

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MissionSTEM Video: Addressing the STEM Education Challenges Ahead

NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity invites you to view a new set of videos in its Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Series. The “Addressing the STEM Education Challenges Ahead” series is available at http://missionstem.nasa.gov/diversityInclusionLeadrshp.html.

The videos feature top university leaders addressing the current challenges that universities face in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. The leaders also discuss their recommendations on how to address those challenges that lie ahead based on their experiences and innovations.

NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity hopes you will find the program insightful and thought provoking. Questions or commentary may be directed to http://missionstem.nasa.gov/ask.html.

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Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions and museums to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and other special items offered on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last. Organizations previously allocated thermal protective tiles may request an additional three tiles.

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit http://gsaxcess.gov/htm/nasa/userguide/Special_Item_Request_Procedure.pdf.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

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Earth Science Week 2014 Contests

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a series of contests to celebrate Earth Science Week 2014. This year’s celebration takes place Oct. 12-18, 2014.

Earth Science Week 2014 Photography Contest — Open to All Ages
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/photography/index.html
Earth science is the study of the geosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air) and biosphere (living things). These spheres — or earth systems — are continually affecting and influencing one another. In our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces and in our public gathering places, we can observe the dynamic interactions of “earth system science.” In a photograph, capture evidence of the connections of earth systems in your community.

Earth Science Week 2014 Visual Arts Contest — Open to Students in Grades K-5
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/visualarts/index.html
Earth scientists — or geoscientists — study land, water, air and living things. In particular, these scientists pay attention to the ways these “connected systems” affect each other. For example, scientists study how water shapes the land, how living things use air and how air and water act on each other. How do these connected systems affect you? Use artwork to show how land, water, air and living things are connected in the world around you.

Earth Science Week 2014 Essay Contest — Open to Students in Grades 6-9
http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/essay/index.html
Our planet’s land, water, air, and living things each affect and are affected by one another. Earth scientists observe these interactions among earth systems — the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Scientists study these interactions to seize opportunities and address challenges in areas such as harnessing energy, farming land, ensuring safe water, preparing for natural disasters, protecting the environment and building communities. Explain one way that geoscientists’ study of Earth’s connected systems is helping to improve the world today.

The entry deadline for all three contests is Oct. 17, 2014. Visit the contest websites for full details.

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

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2015 GLOBE Calendar Art Competition

The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, Program is sponsoring an international art competition to encourage students to highlight and document GLOBE communities around the world. GLOBE is asking students to draw, paint or show via some other artistic medium the relationship between Earth-observing satellites and GLOBE communities around the world.

Winning entries will be featured in the 2015 GLOBE calendar, which is viewed by students, teachers, scientists and community members from around the world. All participants will receive a calendar.

Entries are due Oct. 17, 2014. For full contest details and rules, visit http://www.globe.gov/events/competitions/calendar-art-competitions/art-for-2015-calendar.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to science@globe.gov.

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White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Spring 2015 Policy Internship Program

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP, is seeking students for spring 2015 internships. The OSTP advises the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The office serves as a source of scientific and technological analyses and judgment for the president with respect to major policies, plans and programs of the federal government

Policy internships are open to interested students from all majors and programs, including law school programs. Law students (and any other students) who are interested in policy may apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are enrolled, at least half-time, in an accredited college or university during the period of volunteer service. Students in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in all fields are encouraged to apply.

While these positions are without compensation, the assignments provide educational enrichment, practical work experience and networking opportunities with other individuals in the science and technology policy arena.

Applications for spring 2015 internships are due Oct. 17, 2014.

For more information, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/about/student.

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Rebecca Grimm at rgrimm@ostp.eop.gov.

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NASA IV&V Team America Rocketry Challenge Webinars

The Team America Rocketry Challenge, or TARC, is the world’s largest rocket contest. The event is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry. Created in the fall of 2002 as a one-time celebration of the Centennial of Flight, enthusiasm about the event was so great that the contest is now held annually.

As the registration deadline for next year’s competition approaches, a series of webinars is being held for interested teams. These online webinars will be delivered by NASA education specialists and engineers along with experts from the National Association of Rocketry and other partners.

This IS Rocket Science: Oct. 18, 2014, Noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT
This session will focus on the physics behind model rocketry along with ways to improve your team′s performance using science. NASA Engineer Tom Benson, author of NASA′s Beginner′s Guide to Rockets, will be your guide to the many forces acting upon your rocket along with scientific explanations, mathematical calculations and practical applications. We will cover Newton′s three laws of motion, how to determine a rocket’s center of pressure and center of gravity, and the conditions that guarantee a successful and stable flight. Your participation in this webinar will earn you the envious title of rocket scientist for your TARC team. New and veteran teams are encouraged to participate in this session.

Rocket Design and Simulation: Nov. 1, 2014, Noon to 1:30 p.m. EDT
The most successful TARC teams aren′t lucky… they engineer success through the use of design and simulation software for model rocketry. Most TARC teams use software to capture their design ideas, evaluate potential motors, determine how many and what size fins to add, and ensure a safe and stable flight. This webinar will demonstrate how these tools work, explain how to access freely available online training materials, and describe how to design, test and modify a rocket based on this year′s rules. New teams and veterans who are not comfortable using the simulation software are encouraged to attend this session.

Participating in TARC: Dec. 6, 2014, Noon to 1:30 p.m. EST
Join Team America Rocketry Challenge Manager Miles Lifson and NASA Education Specialist Fred Kepner for an overview of the TARC competition, an introduction to model rocketry and a live demonstration of how to design and build a TARC rocket. Potential and new teams are encouraged to participate in this session to jump start your season.

For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit http://www.rocketcontest.org/webinars.cfm.

For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, visit http://www.rocketcontest.org/index.cfm.

Questions about Team America Rocketry Challenge and the free webinar series should be directed to rocketcontest@aia-aerospace.org.

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Open House 2014: NASA’s Ames Research Center

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is hosting an open house.

On Oct. 18, 2014, the public is invited to visit NASA’s center in Silicon Valley. Take a 2-mile walking tour through the center, and visit with Ames engineers and scientists in booths set up in front of their facilities. After the walking tour, visit the plaza to learn about Ames’ missions. Food, drinks and mementos will be available for purchase.

General visitor parking will be offsite, and tickets with reserved entry times will be required to attend the event.

For more information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/ames/openhouse2014/.

Questions about the Ames Open House event should be directed to Sharon Lozano at sharon.k.lozano@nasa.gov.

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Witness History at NASA Social Event During Orion’s First Flight Test Launch in Florida

NASA invites social media followers to a unique two-day NASA Social event on Dec. 3-4, 2014, in Florida. The event will bring 150 social media users together to witness the first launch of the Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1, or EFT-1.

NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. This historic event is open to 150 individuals to come to the Kennedy Space Center, participate in two days of fun-filled activities that, weather and launch constraints cooperating, culminate in the launch of EFT-1 on Dec. 4. Please note that registration for the event is only for a single person and is nontransferable. Because of space limitations, the registration does not allow for guests; if you know of others who would like to participate, they will have to complete their own registration.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:
— View the launch of the Delta IV heavy rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft.
— Hear first-hand accounts of the mission and research goals from NASA engineering teams from around the agency and other organizations.
— Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (Note: All sites on KSC / CCAFS are subject to closure due to mission or operation requirements.), including potential opportunities to get an inside look of the Vehicle Assembly Building, tour Orion′s production facility and go inside the Launch Control Center.
— Meet and interact with astronaut(s) and representatives from NASA and other organizations.
— Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media.
— Meet members of NASA’s social media team.

Event organizers are also planning an extra event for educators participating in the NASA Social. More details about this additional activity will be available closer to the date of the Social.

Registration is open until 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 19, 2014. NASA will select 150 participants at random from Web registrants. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Each participant must be age 18 or older.

For more NASA Social and sign up information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/social-orionflighttest-kennedy/.

To join and track the conversation online during the NASA Socials, follow the hashtags #NASASocial and #Orion.

To learn more about the Orion spacecraft, visit https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/orion/index.html.

Questions about this NASA Social event should be directed to HQ-Social@mail.nasa.gov.

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Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical artifacts of significance to spaceflight. This is the 23rd screening of artifacts since 2009.

Eligible schools, universities, museums, libraries and planetariums may view the artifacts and request specific items through Oct. 20, 2014. Online registrations should include an assigned Department of Education number. Registration also may be made through the requester’s State Agency for Surplus Property office. For instructions, to register and to view and request artifacts online, visit http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.

The artifacts are free of charge and are offered “as-is.” Organizations must cover shipping costs and any handling fees. Shipping fees on smaller items will be relatively inexpensive; however, larger items may involve extensive disassembly, preparation, shipping and reassembly costs. NASA will work closely with eligible organizations to address any unique handling costs.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

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NASA’s ESTEEM “Ask US” Online Professional Development Series

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, is sponsoring a series of GooglePlus Hangout professional development events for K-12 educators. The Earth Systems, Technology and Energy Education for MUREP, or ESTEEM, team will lead the once-per-month sessions that will cover a variety of climate topics. This month’s webinar topic is:

Cycles: Teachers Exploring Climate Change from a Native American PerspectiveOct. 21, 2014, at 4:15 p.m. EDT
Clarify misconceptions about climate change and discover effective, culturally congruent resources focused on the impact of changing climate on our ecosystems. Cycles is a three-year professional development program focused on place-based climate change education merging Native American philosophy with scientific explanations of the natural world. A powerful learning experience for native and non-native student populations is achieved by incorporating NASA data, models and simulations with hands-on activities.

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request.

For more information on this event and upcoming webinar sessions, visit https://nice.larc.nasa.gov/asknice/. Questions about this series should be sent to Bonnie Murray at bonnie.murray@nasa.gov.

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Free Education Webinar Series From NASA Educator Professional Development — K-5 NASA Education Series

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a free series of webinars designed to specifically for elementary educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your K-5 classroom.

K-5 NASA Education Series: Part 1 — Literacy Component
Audience:
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Oct. 21, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
During this 60-minute webinar, participants will learn about NASA’s K-5 literature publications that may be used to teach science vocabulary, scientific thinking and the scientific process.

K-5 NASA Education Series: Part 2 — Art and the Cosmic Connection
Audience:
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Oct. 23, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT
During this 60-minute webinar, participants will learn about NASA lesson plans, educator guides and interactive websites that bring art and science together.

K-5 NASA Education Series: Part 3 — Science Component
Audience:
Pre-service and In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Oct. 27, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
During this 60-minute webinar, participants will learn about NASA’s resource for elementary classrooms with a focus on life science, earth science and physical science.

For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit https://paragon-tec.adobeconnect.com/admin/show-event-catalog.

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NASA Challenge: Build an App That Uses OpenNEX Climate and Earth Science Data

NASA recently made available, through Amazon Web Services, a large collection of climate and earth sciences satellite data. In coordination with this data release, NASA is challenging application developers to create new and exciting ways to use the data.

The challenge uses the Open NASA Earth Exchange, or OpenNEX. NEX is a data, computing and knowledge platform where users can share modeling and analyses codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise to solve big data challenges in the earth sciences. A component of the NASA Earth Exchange, OpenNEX provides users through the Amazon Web Services a large collection of climate and earth science satellite data sets, including global land surface images, vegetation conditions, climate observations and climate projections.

The latest challenge tasks participants to create an app that uses the climate and earth science data in new and exciting ways. NASA is offering between $10,000 and $25,000 in awards for the development of an application or algorithm that promotes climate resilience using the OpenNEX data based on ideas from the first stage of the challenge. NASA will announce the overall challenge winners in December.

To educate citizen scientists on how the data on OpenNEX can be used, NASA is releasing a series of online video lectures and hands-on lab modules. To view this material, and for information on registering for the challenges, visit https://nex.nasa.gov/OpenNEX.

The deadline for the challenge is Oct. 21, 2014.

Complete details of the challenge are available at https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933585?cc=NASA3585&utm_source=NASA&utm_campaign=9933585&utm_medium=landing+page. Specific questions about this challenge should be directed through the challenge website after registration.

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Museum Alliance Webcast: Planning Your Orion First Flight Event

Join the excitement of the next step in human space exploration as NASA′s new Orion spacecraft launches on its inaugural flight, Dec. 4, 2014! The Orion team invites your institution to host an Orion First Flight Viewing Event and share the excitement with your community. The Museum Alliance is hosting a webcast on Oct. 22, 2014, at 4 p.m. EDT to illustrate how you can enhance the entire mission experience from launch through splashdown in your museum, science center or planetarium.

In this presentation, NASA′s Robin Hart-Prouse and Patricia Moore will share and demonstrate event resources such as hands-on activities, videos, imagery, graphic files and an event planner′s guide. They will also share event planning tips for a launch-viewing breakfast, splashdown bash or weekend celebration.

Questions for Hart-Prouse and Moore may be submitted before and during the event at the following email address: jsc-orion-outreach@mail.nasa.gov.

To view the webcast, visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-jsc.

To learn more about planning an Orion Launch Celebration event, visit www.ExploreDeepSpace.com.

Additional Orion resources may be found at https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasaorion.

After the webcast event, presentation materials will be posted on the Museum Alliance member site at https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/Conversations. A downloadable copy of the webcast and transcript will be posted a week or so later at the same location. Username and password are required to access the member site.

To learn how to become a Museum Alliance member, visit https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/About.

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Free Education Webinar From NASA Educator Professional Development — Space Mathematics: Active Math

Join NASA Educator Professional Development on Oct. 22, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. EDT for an hourlong webinar for educators of grades 5-8. Participants will explore the use of inquiry to reinforce mathematics skills while engaging students with hands-on activities. NASA resources that can be used in the classroom to make the critical link between math and science will be shared.

For more information and to register online, visit https://events-na11.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1088539485/en/events/event/shared/1097653603/event_landing.html?sco-id=1233475920.

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NOAA Education and Science Forum 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s, or NOAA, Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center located on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will co-host the Educational Partnership Program seventh biennial Education and Science Forum Oct. 26-29, 2014. This year’s theme is “Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability.”

This year’s event kicks off with a series of student development workshops and an evening networking event on Sunday, Oct. 26.

The following day, the forum opens with plenary sessions featuring invited members of Congress and senior NOAA officials including Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the agency administrator. Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, a distinguished scientist who holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space.

In addition to nationally recognized researchers, the forum typically attracts several hundred participants, including college students, postdoctoral fellows, academic and community leaders, government officials and private-sector representatives interested in promoting future workforce diversity in STEM disciplines.

Seventy-two oral and 150 poster presentations are expected and will span sciences and social sciences that encompass the environment — atmosphere, marine and fisheries as well as remote sensing science and technologies.

For more information about how to participate and to register to attend, visit www.eppforum2014.com.

Questions about the forum should be submitted via https://eppforum.meetingservicesinc.com/contact/.

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Celebrate Solar Week — Fall 2014

Interact live with solar scientists during Solar Week, Oct. 27-31, 2014. Solar Week provides a weeklong series of Web-based educational classroom activities and games with a focus on the Sun-Earth connection. Students in grades 5-9 can learn about solar careers, sunspots, solar energy and solar storms through a series of activities, games and lessons.

Solar Week is ideal for students studying the solar system, the stars or astronomy in general. Many lessons are suitable for fun computer lab activities as well. After doing the activities, students can interact on the bulletin board with leading scientists at the forefront of Sun-Earth research. Solar Week is great for learning about our nearest star, the Sun.

To learn more and to register to participate, visit http://www.solarweek.org.

Questions about Solar Week may be emailed to solarweek@solarweek.org.

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Sally Ride EarthKAM Announces 2014 Fall Mission

Students and educators are invited to participate in Sally Ride EarthKAM this fall. The 2014 fall mission is scheduled to take place Oct. 28-31, 2014. Guide your students in hands-on research as they program a camera aboard the International Space Station to take pictures of specific locations on Earth. The optional online curricula at the Sally Ride EarthKAM website are targeted at middle school students but are adaptable for other grade levels. All students and educators are welcome, including participants in afterschool programs.

For more information and to register for an upcoming mission, visit the Sally Ride EarthKAM home page at https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/.

If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please email ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

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Free Educational Materials — Space Racers′ Space/STEM Educator Toolkit

Space Racers™ is a new, original animated TV series that provides young children with exposure to key aspects of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, curricula. Produced in collaboration with NASA experts, the series follows a group of talented young spaceship cadets at the Stardust Bay Space Academy. Kids will travel with speedy Eagle, strong Hawk, smart Robyn, brave Starling and competitive Raven as they soar through the solar system learning about the power of scientific investigation and observation, the wonders of space exploration and the importance of working as a team.

A toolkit filled with lesson plans and activities related to the Space Racers episodes is now available. The toolkit includes a CD-ROM and DVD with lesson plans and activities related to various Space Racers episodes. These resources are ideal for classroom and educator use with students in grades Pre-K through 2.

To request a free copy of the toolkit please send an email to press@spaceracers.org with the following information by Oct. 30, 2014:

Name
Address
Phone
School Name
Grade Level

Lesson plans can be previewed and downloaded from the “Parents & Educators” section of the Space Racers website at http://spaceracers.org/en/parents-educators.

For more information on Space Racers, go to www.SpaceRacers.org.

Questions about these materials and the Space Racers series should be submitted via http://spaceracers.org/en/parents-educators/contact-us.

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Send Your Name on the First Orion Flight and Beyond!

NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency′s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4, 2014, on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4½-hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion′s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn′t end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars.

The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass″ on Orion′s test flight closes Oct. 31, 2014. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

To submit your name to fly on Orion′s flight test, visit http://mars.nasa.gov/participate/send-your-name/orion-first-flight/.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.

For information about Orion and its first flight, visit https://www.nasa.gov/orion.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Brandi Dean at brandi.k.dean@nasa.gov.

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NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships

The NASA Postdoctoral Program, or 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 fellowships 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 doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing 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.

Interested applicants may apply by one of three annual application deadlines: March 1, July 1 and November 1.

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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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 8 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 8 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 ISS. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a real microgravity research minilaboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment and all launch services to fly the minilab to the space station in fall 2015 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 minilab. 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 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. 15, 2014. 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 8 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/2014/10/new-flight-opportunity-for-school-districts-announcing-student-spaceflight-experiments-program-ssep-mission-8-to-the-international-space-station-starting-february-2015/.

SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a national laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (http://www.iss-casis.org/) is a national partner on SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit http://ssep.ncesse.org/national-partners/.

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

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Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s STEM Takes Flight Program

Virginia’s community college students pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, also known as STEM, fields have access to new scholarships, research experiences, internships and courses thanks to a two-year NASA grant to the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Community College faculty in STEM fields will have access to professional development at NASA.

The Consortium′s new program, STEM Takes Flight at Virginia′s Community Colleges, provides $5,000 mentored scholarships, paid industry internships, NASA research experiences and new courses to foster STEM career awareness and workplace skills. The goal is community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation with an associate′s degree or transfer to a four-year institution.

Application deadlines are as early as Nov. 17, 2014.

For more information, visit www.vsgc.odu.edu/stemtakesflight.

Please email any questions about this program to vsgc@odu.edu.

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2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.

This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.

The second challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multiuser virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team′s design solutions.

Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME.

The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.

For more information, visit http://itpo.gsfc.nasa.gov/optimus/.

Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2014 Hasbro. All rights reserved.

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NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015

The Sixth Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition will be held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center May 18-22, 2015. NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition is for university-level students, enrolled in a U.S. college or university. Teams are challenged to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a collector bin within 10 minutes. There is particular relevance to NASA’s recently announced mission to find an asteroid by 2016 and then bring it to cislunar space. NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative excavation concepts from universities, which may result in ideas and solutions that could be applied to an actual excavation device or payload.

The winning team will receive the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence trophy, KSC launch invitations, team certificates for each member and a monetary team scholarship. Awards for other categories include monetary team scholarships, a school trophy or plaque, team and individual certificates, and KSC launch invitations.

Design teams must include at least one college or university faculty member and at least two undergraduate or graduate students. NASA has not set an upper limit on team members. A team should have a sufficient number of members to successfully operate their mining robot. Teams will compete in up to five major competition categories, including onsite mining, systems engineering paper, outreach project, slide presentation and demonstration (optional) and team spirit (optional).

Registration opened on Sept. 3, 2014, and is limited to 50 teams.

For more information, visit https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/centers/kennedy/technology/nasarmc.html.

Follow the NASA Robotic Mining Competition on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NASARMC.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Bethanné Hull at Bethanne.Hull@nasa.gov.

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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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