NASA Education Express Message — Nov. 22, 2017

  Thanksgiving Brings Food for Thought to #TeacherOnBoard
All Educators and Students

A big part of Thanksgiving is enjoying good food, and it’s the same for astronauts on the space station. Since the very early days of the U.S. space program, NASA scientists have focused on the challenges involved in providing astronauts with nutritious and tasty foods. NASA’s Food for Thought Educator Guide uses the idea of food in space to help educators teach topics such as caloric content and nutrition while challenging students to build space robots and design a better coffee cup for microgravity.

Find more ways to bring NASA into your classroom during NASA’s A Year of Education on Station, a celebration of an almost 12-month presence of a teacher on board the International Space Station.

NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants
Informal Education Institutions; K-12 Schools and School Systems; Higher Education Institutions; State, Local and Tribal Governments
Informational Teleconference: Nov. 29, 2017, 2-4 p.m. EST
Application Deadline: Dec. 19, 2017

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a competitive funding opportunity for education projects that will strengthen the public’s and K-12 students’ knowledge of ways to make their community more resilient to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards. Successful projects will relate to NOAA’s mission and build environmental literacy necessary for community resilience to the weather and other environmental hazards associated with a community’s location.

  Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: GLOBE Atmosphere
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Nov. 29, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Participants will learn about clouds and contrails using the GLOBE program, an international science and education program that gives students and the public the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process. They are able to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Online registration is required.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Mission Geography, K-5
Audience: Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Nov. 30, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Learn about NASA’s Mission Geography resources featuring Earth science lessons that integrate STEM, geography and the language arts with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. Discover ways to use the unique perspective from space to investigate Earth and the processes that shape it, both natural and human-influenced. Online registration is required.

  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Planet Stewards December Webinar — Not Just Talking Trash: Marine Debris and What We Can Do About It!
K-12, Higher Education and Informal Educators
Event Deadline: Dec. 11, 2017, 7:30 – 9 p.m. EST
Contact: Bruce.Moravchik@NOAA.GOV 

Marine debris — trash in the ocean or Great Lakes — is one of the greatest pollution problems facing our waters today. The NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project invites you to attend an education webinar with Kristina Stegemann, communications and education specialist for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Learn about the science of marine debris, how to talk about and connect to the issue, and how to get involved in the solution. Everyone can be part of addressing this problem and the first step is figuring out where to start.

2018 High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2017

The Louisiana Space Consortium, or LaSPACE, is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space. The annual project, supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office and LaSPACE, provides near-space access for 12 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.

  NOAA’s Planet Stewards Education Project
K-12, Higher Education and Informal Educators
Application Deadline: Nov. 27, 2017
Contact: Bruce.Moravchik@NOAA.GOV 

The NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project seeks applications from formal and informal educators working with elementary- through university-age students to join the 2018 Stewardship Community. Accepted educators will take part in professional development and will receive collaborative tools and support to develop a stewardship project. Projects should be hands-on and action-based to conserve, restore, or protect human communities and natural resources related to NOAA’s mission.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2017-2018 University Student Design Challenge at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Audience: Undergraduate Students
New Registration Deadline: Nov. 30, 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.

  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.

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.

  Help Nickname New Horizons’ Next Flyby Target
All Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: 3 p.m. EST on Dec. 1, 2017

On New Year’s Day 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, frozen world at the outer edge of our solar system. Officially, the small world is known as “(486958) 2014 MU69.” NASA and the New Horizons team are asking for help in giving “MU69” a nickname. Visit the site to submit ideas and to vote on names currently under consideration. Submissions and voting closes at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Dec. 1, 2017. NASA and the New Horizons team will announce the winning nickname in January.

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.

  Aviation Space Writers Foundation Award
Researchers of Aerospace Topics
Application Deadline: Dec. 1, 2017

The National Air and Space Museum is offering a $5,000 grant to support research on aerospace topics that results in a product suitable for potential public dissemination in print, electronic, broadcast or other visual medium. Potential topics include contemporary aviation or space events of interest to the public; significant persons, historical events or trends that illuminate the history of human flight in air and space; records; or compendia of aerospace source material.

Free Educator Workshop — Network of States II: Classroom Lunacy and EV3 Robotics
Audience: NASA Network of States Educators Phase 2 and In-service STEM Educators of Grades 5-12 Interested in Joining the NASA Network of States Educator Institute
Registration Deadline: Dec. 4, 2017 (maximum of 30 participants)
Event Date: Dec. 9, 2017, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST

Join the Stennis Space Center Office of Education for a free workshop to train in the use and security of lunar and meteorite sample disks. Workshop participants will be certified to borrow lunar and meteorite sample disks from NASA for use in the classroom. The workshop also will include a short EV3 robotics follow-up training session. The workshop will be held at the Infinity Science Center in Pearlington, Mississippi. (Map).

  NASA Earth & Space Air Prize
Audience: Higher Education Students and Faculty
Registration Deadline: Dec. 13, 2017

Tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, can contribute to a variety of health problems. NASA is working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to ask teams or individuals to design and develop easy-to-maintain, small and affordable aerosol sensor technology that is useful in spaceflight as well as on Earth. Three finalists will receive $50,000 each to build a functioning sensor according to their proposals. The winner will receive a $100,000 award.

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.

  eCYBERMISSION Competition, Sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program
Audience: Students in Grades 6-9
Registration Deadline: Dec. 13, 2017

Registration is open for eCYBERMISSION competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. Free to students, this web-based competition challenges teams to identify a problem in their community and use scientific inquiry or the engineering design process to investigate or propose a solution to that problem. Teams compete for state, regional and national awards of up to $9,000 in U.S. savings bonds. eCYBERMISSION provides a wealth of online resources for student teams and for team advisors to assist with project completion.

Call for Proposals — NASA Research Announcement for Use of the NASA Physical Sciences Informatics System: Appendix D
Audience: Graduate Students
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 15, 2017

NASA invites graduate students and established researchers to submit proposals for ground-based research that uses NASA’s Physical Sciences Informatics system to develop new analyses and scientific insights. This solicitation appendix focuses on five research areas: combustion science, complex fluids, fluid physics, fundamental physics and materials science. Research and development efforts will take place over two years. The typical award will be $100,000 per year, for up to two years.


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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