NASA Education EXPRESS Message — Nov. 30, 2017

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Space Is the Place for #TeacherOnBoard
All Educators and Students

Space is the place where astronauts, including former classroom teacher Joe Acaba, are living and working as they orbit Earth at 17,500 mph on board the International Space Station. The NASA Space Place website uses the wonder of space exploration to engage young students in STEM learning by using fun apps, crafts and videos. Elementary students can get science project ideas or play games like “Black Hole Rescue!” or “Shoot a Cannonball Into Orbit.” The website, available in English and Spanish, has a special section for educators. 

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.

Teachable Moment — What’s a Supermoon and Just How Super Is It?
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Supermoon Date: Dec. 3, 2017

The term “supermoon” has been popping up in the news and on social media over the past few years. But what are supermoons? Why do they occur, and how can they be used as an educational tool? Plus, are they really that super? Learn more and find ways to bring the supermoon phenomenon into the classroom with the latest Teachable Moment resources from JPL Education.

  Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Using Earth Observations to Talk About Snow and Ice
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-9
Event Date: Dec. 4, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Explore the Earth Observatory and NASA Earth Observations websites and discuss resources related to the effects of changing snow and ice coverage on Earth. The activities in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards ESS2 and ESS3. Online registration is required.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: GLOBE Hydrology
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 5, 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 water and the hydrologic cycle using GLOBE, an international science and education program that gives students the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process. Discover ways to contribute to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Online registration is required.

  Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA:  Water Filtration
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 6, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Explore the space station’s Environmental Control and Life Support System that reclaims waste water from crew members’ urine, cabin condensation and waste. Learn about hands-on experiments and physical demonstrations that can be used in the classroom to create, build and test a water filtration device using common materials. Online registration is required.

NASA Food for Thought
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: Dec. 7, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Explore the NASA Food for Thought education guide that investigates space food and guides students to construct sample space food meals based on the nutritional needs of the astronauts on a journey to Mars. Explore a menu of inquiry activities and other resources to satisfy your STEM appetite. Online registration is required.

  2018 Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Exploration Science Summer Intern Program
Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Jan. 19, 2018

Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a 10-week program for graduate students in geology, planetary science, planetary astronomy and related programs. Learn how to integrate scientific input with exploration activities in a way that mission architects and spacecraft engineers can use. Activities will support missions to the Moon that use the Orion crew vehicle, the Deep Space Gateway and robotic assets on the lunar surface. Interns will receive stipends and travel expense reimbursement.

2018 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge
Students in Grades 3-12
Deadline for Glog + InWorld Presentation Track (Grades 7-12): Feb. 20, 2018
Entry Deadline for Glog Only Track (Grades 3-12): March 5, 2018

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center invites you to enter the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge, or OPSPARC. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. This contest challenges students to create a multimedia poster using a tool developed by Glogster. An optional InWorld component is available for students in 7-12. Winners will be invited to a behind-the-scenes workshop at Goddard, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME. OPTIMUS PRIME is a trademark of Hasbro and is used with permission. © 2017 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  Project Mars: International Art and Film Contest
Audience: College Students and Early Career Professionals
Entry Deadline: Aug. 31, 2018

NASA is leading human space exploration in the vicinity of the Moon and on to Mars. Project Mars invites college students and recent graduates with fewer than 5 years of experience in the film or graphic arts industry to learn about NASA’s deep space endeavors and create a visualization of what this expedition may look like. Entries can be short films (two to five minutes in length) or posters (standard-size sheets, 27 by 41 inches). Winners will receive cash prizes.

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.

  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.

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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  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).

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.

  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.

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.

  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.

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.

Department of Energy’s Scholars Program 2018
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students; Postgraduates
Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Scholars Program introduces college students and recent college graduates to the Department of Energy’s mission and operations. Participants apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and be an undergraduate, graduate or recent postgraduate of an accredited institute of higher education. Internships typically last 10 weeks during the summer months, and stipends are provided.


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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