NASA Education EXPRESS Message — Dec. 14, 2017

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Educators Have Friends in High Places
Elementary Educators and Students

Join #TeacherOnBoard Joe Acaba for a STEMonstration! These educational demonstration videos are designed as a support tool for teachers and tie directly to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Former classroom teacher and astronaut Joe Acaba sets off the STEMonstration series with a video about exercise in space and how microgravity affects bone density and muscles. Check out the video and be sure to download the accompanying Classroom Connections for grab-and-go lesson plans related to the video. 

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.

The Chemistry of Space Exploration
Audience: Educators of Grades 7-12
Event Date: Dec. 18, 2017, at 7 p.m. EST

Engineering is only one of many disciplines at play in designing a mission to space. Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to see how chemistry is involved in mission planning. Using several demos and highlighting NASA educational material, we will explore the important role chemistry plays in designing spacecraft and keeping astronauts safe in space. Online registration is required.

  NASA Satellite Observations in Science Education – Hunting Icebergs
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Dec. 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to explore the NASA Wavelength lesson, “Hunting Icebergs.” The resource uses three modules that engage students with real NASA data: Identifying; Sizing Up; and Tracing Data. Online registration is required.

The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards 2018
Audience: Students and Former Students Ages 18 and Older
Nomination Deadline: Dec. 31, 2017

Did you have a teacher who inspired you? One who changed your life? Did a teacher help you become the person you are today? Nominate them for the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards. Teachers of all grade levels and subjects are eligible. Winners receive $10,000 and are showcased on the awards website. Visit the site to learn more and share your story.

  2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge
Audience: College Students and Faculty
Registration Deadline: Jan. 1, 2018

Imagine that the same technology used to power NASA’s Cassini spacecraft could be used in your home but run on renewable biomass rather than radioisotopes. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, in partnership with the Alliance for Green Heat, is challenging inventors, universities and manufacturers to design an integrated thermoelectric generator and wood stove optimized for both home heat and electrical power output. Participants will compete for up to $50,000 in prizes.

NASA Aeronautics: Forces and Motions of Flight
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-8
Event Date: Jan. 4, 2018, at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Learn how to explore the principles and physics of flight by flying things in your classroom. Using NASA online resources and simple, inexpensive STEM classroom activities and design challenges, investigate the parts of an airplane, what makes an airplane fly, and how to design and build aircraft that can fly in a classroom.  Online registration is required.

  Free Webinar — Parachuting on Mars: Developing Crosscutting Breakthrough Technologies
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Event Date: Jan. 17, 2018, at 6 p.m. EST

Join NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology, or BEST, educators for a free 60-minute educator professional development webinar. Learn how NASA is developing large, sturdy and lightweight systems to deliver the next generation of rovers and landers to Mars. Using NASA’S BEST engineering design process, participants will design a prototype of new drag devices to potentially land humans, habitats and rovers safely on Mars. Register online to participate.

Free Lecture — Explorer 1’s 60th Anniversary
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Jan. 25 and 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. EST)

The Explorer 1 satellite marked the start of the Space Age for the United States. For the world, it heralded the study of Earth from space. Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory documentarian Blaine Baggett and historian Dr. Erik Conway as they go on a multimedia journey from the dawn of Earth science exploration to today’s modern fleet of satellites dedicated to studying our home planet. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

  Free Lecture — The InSight Mission to Mars
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Feb. 22 and 23, 2018, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

The InSight mission, scheduled to launch in May 2018, will be the first NASA mission to observe the deep interior of Mars. Join technologist Troy Lee Hudson for a discussion about Earth’s next trip to Mars. Learn how the Red Planet’s interior will teach us about the history and evolution of the other rocky planets in the solar system. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

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.

  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.

  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.!

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.

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles and Blankets Available for Educational Use
Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations

NASA invites U.S. educational institutions to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles, space shuttle thermal protective blankets, and other special items offered on a first-come, first-serve basis while quantities last. A nominal shipping fee must be paid online with a credit card.

  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.

  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.

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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