NASA Education Express Message — Nov. 9, 2017

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  #TeacherOnBoard — How Does Your Garden Grow?
All Educators and Students

In late October, astronaut Joe Acaba harvested three types of lettuce, giving himself and his crew the ingredients for a salad. Gardening on the space station is the latest step toward growing food on long-duration missions like the trip to Mars. The lettuce was harvested as part of the Veggie, or Veg-03, experiment and is just one example of cool science that astronauts are working on. 

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Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: My NASA Data
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-12
Event Date: Nov. 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar featuring an overview of the My NASA Data website. Participants will explore resources that use authentic data on topics from climate system interactions to ocean ecology to forest fires. Use of the Live Access Server for data analysis also will be discussed. The activities shared in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards ESS2 and ESS3. Online registration is required.

  Space Mathematics: Linking Math and Science
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Nov. 14, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Space Mathematics is a two-part series designed to help educators make the critical linkage between mathematics and science. In this session, “Part 1 — Linking Math and Science,” participants will survey some of the available NASA resources and discuss the use of science as a vehicle for mathematics instruction. Online registration is required.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: The Scoop on Soil
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Nov. 15, 2017, at 5 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar to explore the GLOBE program. Participants will learn how to bring outdoor inquiry-based experiences to students. Learn how NASA’s SMAP mission collects data about soil moisture. Explore the Elementary GLOBE resources including teacher guides, protocols, activities, storybooks and related STEM activities designed for grades K-12. Online registration is required.

  Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Comets
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Nov. 16, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar to learn about comets with hands-on activities. Participants will get an overview of assessment strategies, including a discussion of specific applications of these strategies, and NASA STEM comet resources for the classroom. Online registration is required.

2018 NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators
Application Deadline: Jan. 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Fellowship Dates: June 4 – Aug. 10, 2018

The NASA Glenn Faculty Fellowship Program provides opportunities for STEM faculty to do research for 10 weeks during the summer at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. Applicants must work full time at an accredited university or college in the United States. The program provides stipends and covers limited travel expenses. Qualified male and female faculty from majority- and minority-serving universities and colleges, including underserved groups and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.

  Be a Mosquito Habitat Mapper With ‘GLOBE Observer’ App
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Dates: Now Through Nov. 10, 2017

Citizen scientists can use the “GLOBE Observer” app, available for Apple and Android phones, to help those who are working to understand and reduce mosquito-borne diseases. The app helps users identify and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. This local, ground-based information helps NASA by supporting satellite-based research of environmental conditions that indicate possible outbreaks of mosquitoes.

NASA’s 2018 Drop Tower Challenge: Microgravity Expulsion From Water
Audience: 9-12 Students
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 10, 2017

NASA challenges teams of high school students to design and build objects that sink in water in normal gravity but will be expelled as far as possible out of water during free fall in NASA’s 2.2 Second Drop Tower at Glenn Research Center. The expulsion must result from hydrophobic surface properties of the object. Top-performing teams will be invited to present their results in a poster session at the 2018 meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research. Visit the website to learn more.

  Virginia Earth System Science Scholars Program
Audience: Virginia High School Juniors and Seniors
Application Deadline: Nov. 12, 2017

VESSS is an interactive online STEM learning experience for Virginia high school juniors and seniors. Participants will complete seven web-based modules and a final project. Those who perform well in the online course may be selected for a one-week residential summer academy at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Participants will be eligible to receive college credits through Thomas Nelson Community College with costs underwritten by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

Free Educator Workshop — Technology Drives Exploration: NASA Technology and Engineering Design Challenges
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-8
Registration Deadline: Nov. 12, 2017 (maximum of 30 participants)
Event Date: Nov. 16, 2017, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. CST

Join the Stennis Space Center Office of Education for a free, activity-filled technology and engineering workshop highlighting NASA’s cutting-edge space exploration missions. Explore NASA STEM engineering design challenges and apps. The workshop will be held at the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington, Mississippi. (Map).

  OPERATION BioenergizeME: ‘Invite a Bioenergy Expert’ Webinar With Devinn Lambert
Grades 5-12 Educators and Students
Event Date: Nov. 15, 2017, 4 – 5 p.m. EST

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office invites students to attend a webinar with technology manager Devinn Lambert. Learn more about using biomass — plant, algae and organic waste materials — to produce renewable fuels and everyday products like cosmetics, plastic bottles, cleaners, clothing and more. Lambert will share details about her current projects and help students understand how they can make the leap from the classroom to an exciting, rewarding STEM-based career.

2017-2018 University Student Design Challenge at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Audience: Undergraduate Students
Registration Deadline: Nov. 15, 2017

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio is hosting a 2017-2018 University Student Design Challenge with aeronautics and space themes. The competition is open to teams of full-time undergraduate students who are juniors or seniors enrolled at accredited U.S. academic institutions. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. Each university or college team must have at least one faculty advisor. Participants will have access to Glenn subject matter experts who will serve as mentors for the student teams.

  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 15, 2017

ARISS-US is accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, science centers and community youth organizations (working individually or together) to host an amateur radio event between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes long.

2018-2019 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
K-12 STEM Educators
Application Deadline: Nov. 16, 2017, at 8 p.m. EST

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, mathematics, engineering and technology teachers. Einstein Fellows spend a school year in the Washington, D.C., area serving in a federal agency or on Capitol Hill. Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently employed full time in a U.S. elementary or secondary school or school district. Applicants must have been teaching STEM full time for at least five of the last seven years.

  2018 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge Competition
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Project Plan Submission Deadline: Nov. 16, 2017

This engineering design and technology demonstration contest challenges teams to design, build and test prototype systems capable of extracting water from simulated Martian subsurface ice. Up to 10 teams will be selected to participate in a multi-day competition in June 2018 at NASA’s Langley Research Center. In addition to the technology demonstrations, participation includes the submission of a technical paper and poster presentation to NASA and industry judges that details the team concept’s “path-to-fight” (i.e. essential modifications required to operate their system on Mars).

CubeSat Launch Opportunity
Audience: K-12, Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 21, 2017

NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch or be deployed from the International Space Station between 2018 and 2021. The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on, flight hardware development while designing, building and operating small research satellites. This opportunity is open to U.S. nonprofit organizations and accredited educational organizations.

  2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
Audience: K-12 Educators
Proposal Deadline for Presentations: Nov. 30, 2017
Event Date: July 11-13, 2018

Save the date for the 2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators, or SPACE, taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This conference is for K-12 educators who are U.S. citizens teaching in the United States. Experience stimulating presentations from astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts; tour Kennedy and surrounding facilities. Get ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse your classroom with STEM and multifaceted, space-related content. 

Are you interested in presenting at the conference? Presentation proposals are due Nov. 30, 2017, for priority review. Proposals received after this date will be reviewed based on availability.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Research Fellowships for 2018
Predoctoral, Postdoctoral and Non-Academic Researchers
Application Deadline: Dec. 1, 2017

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is accepting applications for research fellowships for 2018. Fellowships are available for predoctoral, postdoctoral and non-academic researchers. Fellows work closely with museum staff and have access to the museum’s archival collections. Proposals must reflect that the research to be undertaken is intended for publication in peer-reviewed books and journals.

 Line drawing of an exoplanet Fly Your Exoplanet on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
Audience: All Educators and Students
Submission Deadline: Nov. 20, 2017

Set to launch in June 2018, TESS is an explorer-class planet finder and will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants. As the TESS team prepares for launch, it invites the public to ponder what exoplanets might look like and share their ideas in the form of sketches and graphics. This opportunity is open to all ages and skill levels.

BIG Idea Challenge 2018
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Entry Deadline: Nov. 30, 2017

NASA’s 2018 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge seeks innovations in the design, installation and sustainable operation of a large solar power system on Mars. Top teams present their concepts via a design review at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia or NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The winning team will receive NASA internship offers.

  Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut — Walk Around the Earth Challenge
Audience: All Educators and Students
Challenge Dates: Oct. 2 – Dec. 7, 2017

To prepare for an Earth-to-moon journey in 2018, online mascot Astro Charlie is making a trip around Earth. Mission X is challenging Fit Explorers to work together to perform activities that will move Astro Charlie the 66 million steps required to walk around Earth! That’s 25,000 miles, or 40,000 kilometers! Visit the website for full challenge details and to do your part to help reach the globe-trotting goal.

Are you looking for NASA educational materials to support your STEM curriculum?
Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at

Find NASA science resources for your classroom. NASA Wavelength is a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels — from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs.

Check out the ‘Explore NASA Science’ website! Science starts with questions, leading to discoveries. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit

Take part in a Year of Education on Station. September 2017 – September 2018: Although on different crews, astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold – both former teachers – will work aboard the International Space Station. Visit NASA’s A Year of Education on Station website for out-of-this-world resources and opportunities for K-16 students and educators.

Do you just want to receive weekly updates on NASA Education opportunities relating to science? Sign up for the NASA Education “Science WOW!” newsletter for science opportunities delivered to your inbox “Weekly on Wednesdays!”



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