NASA Education EXPRESS Message — Dec. 7, 2017

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Train Like the #TeacherOnBoard
Elementary Educators and Students

Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut is an international educational challenge focusing on fitness and nutrition. Teams of elementary students learn principles of healthy eating and exercise, compete for points and get excited about space. Lead your students in fun activities including Touchdown Charlie, What’s Your Space Height and many more. 

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 aboard the International Space Station.

Space Math – Active Math
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Dec. 11, 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 the classroom. In this session, “Part 2 — Active Math,” participants will explore the use of inquiry to reinforce mathematics skills while engaging students with hands-on activities. Online registration is required.

  POLAR-PALOOZA: The Importance of the Polar Areas
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-12
Event Date: Dec. 12, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Polar-Palooza is a multimedia effort to explain the importance of the polar areas and clear up misconceptions some may have about them. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NASA, the project brings the poles to life through stories told by scientists who travel to and study them, and through hands-on classroom activities. Online registration is required.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Mission Geography, 6-12
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: Dec. 14, 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.

  NASA’s Langley Research Center 2018 Art Contest
K-12 Students in the U.S.
Entry Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017

Calling all artists, grades K-12! NASA’s Langley Research Center invites you to take part in its 2018 Art Contest. The theme for this year’s contest is “The Next 100 Years.” Artwork entries may consist of drawings, paintings, mixed media and digital creations. Prizes will be awarded to the top entries in each grade level. Plus a grand prize winner will be chosen from all contest entries. Each entry will receive a certificate of participation.

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management — 2018 Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internships
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students at Accredited Minority-Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Jan. 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management is seeking applicants for 10-week summer internships at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories. Interns will complete research projects aligned with ongoing DOE efforts. Students also will be involved in enrichment activities that may include laboratory and site tours, professional development seminars, workshops and lectures. A stipend or salary will be provided. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

  Free Program — Cubes in Space™
Audience: Students Ages 11-18 and Educator Mentors
Registration Deadline: Feb. 2, 2018

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Langley Research Center, along with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and idoodledu, inc., are offering a free STEAM education program for students ages 11-18. Cubes in Space™ lets students design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, in late June 2018 or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in late August 2018.

3-D Printed Habitat Challenge — Phase 3
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Feb. 15, 2018

NASA is offering $2 million in prize money in Phase 3 of the 3-D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a three-part competition asking citizen inventors to use readily available and recyclable materials to print habitats for future space explorers. Phase 3 challenges competitors to fabricate sub-scale habitats using indigenous materials with or without mission-generated recyclables. NASA may use these technologies to construct shelters for future human explorers to Mars

  Sign Up for the Department of Energy’s STEM Rising Newsletter
All Educators
Contact: AnneMarie.Horowitz@Hq.Doe.Gov 

Interested in STEM news from the Department of Energy? Sign up for the new STEM Rising newsletter, bringing you a monthly update on the latest science, technology, engineering, and math opportunities and resources. STEM is core to the Department of Energy’s workforce and cutting-edge energy innovation. The newsletter highlights STEM outreach activities at the DOE, including K-12 learning resources, student competitions, field trips, events, internship and research opportunities, and tools for STEM teachers.

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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants
Informal Education Institutions; K-12 Schools and School Systems; Higher Education Institutions; State, Local and Tribal Governments
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.

Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions
Audience: Faculty Members at Minority Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Dec. 29, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions provides faculty and student research teams the opportunity to do research at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at an eligible MSI at the time of application. Selected faculty will be invited to submit a team application including a research project proposal developed in collaboration with a DHS Center researcher and applications from one or two qualified students.

  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.

Future Engineers: Two for the Crew Challenge
Audience: K-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Dec. 19, 2017

Calling all students! Use your ingenuity to create a tool that combines the functions of two objects already being used by crew aboard the International Space Station! Visit the challenge website to find out about space station tools and to get brainstorming resources to help you create a design. The site provides links to free 3-D design software. The winning design will be 3-D printed on the station. Prizes include “3-D Printing in Space” prize packs, a 3-D printer for your school and a trip to Washington, D.C.!

  Generation Nano Challenge: Superheroes Inspired by Science!
Audience: Students in Grades 6-12
Submission Deadline: Jan. 8, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative invite middle and high school students to use scientific research to imagine an original science-powered superhero. Entries consist of two parts: a written section, and either a short comic or a 90-second video. Entrants should introduce their superhero, demonstrate how scientific research is incorporated into their superhero’s story and explain how it drives them on their mission.

Be a Citizen Scientist With the ‘Aurorasaurus’ Project
Audience: All Educators and Students 

Aurorasaurus is a citizen science project that gathers real-time data about aurora sightings and sends out notifications to users when the northern or southern lights are likely visible in their area. Registered users get location-based notifications and a real-time monitor of space weather activity. The project also allows users to help verify tweets and search for real sightings. Plus, the website features answers to science and aurora questions.


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 “Science WOW!” newsletter for science opportunities delivered to your inbox “Weekly on Wednesdays!”



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