NASA Education Express Message – Feb. 8, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Astronauts Inspire Students in Unexpected Ways
All Educators and Students

We all know astronauts inspire students to work hard in STEM studies, but they also offer words of wisdom about the not-so-obvious people skills required for success. Watch Scott Tingle, currently living aboard the space station with #TeacherOnBoard Joe Acaba, as he explains how being in a teenage rock band helped him achieve STEM career success. After you watch Scott rock the guitar, check out what other astronauts say about the importance of people skills in Expeditionary Skills for Life, a K-12 curriculum based on astronaut training. 

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.

2018 NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest
Audience: Students in Grades 7-12
Submission Deadline: Feb. 15, 2018

Design a space settlement! These settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to a place to work for a few months and then go home. Designing a space settlement involves physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science and many other disciplines. This contest is open to students in grades 7-12 throughout the world. Individuals or teams may enter. Grade levels are judged separately, except for the grand prize. Each participant will receive a NASA certificate.

  ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ Webcast
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Feb. 22, 2018, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Celebrate National Engineers Week with NASA. “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” is Thursday, Feb. 22! NASA will host 30-minute events every hour on the hour starting at 9 a.m. EST to highlight women in science and engineering across the agency. Watch any event on the NASA Virtual Appearances live stream. Participate in the live Q&A via Twitter using #NASAdeep or the chat window next to the video player. Contact to learn more.

Free Webinar — Green Propellant: Developing Breakthrough Technologies
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Event Date: Feb. 26, 2018, at 6 p.m. EST

Join NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology educators for a free 60-minute educator professional development webinar. Using NASA’s BEST engineering design process, participants will design and build a simple spacecraft. They also will develop an environmentally friendly “green” propellant for the spacecraft. Learn how to incorporate engineering challenges and the engineering design process into your middle school science program. Register online to participate.

  New FAQs Posted: Call for Proposals — NASA Research Announcement for NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II)
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 28, 2018

NASA is seeking proposals for the NASA Research Announcement: NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions. Eligible proposers include U.S. nonprofit science museums, planetariums, youth-serving organizations and libraries. Selected parties will offer inquiry- or experiential-based opportunities that include NASA education and research and directly align with major NASA missions related to space exploration, space science or microgravity. Projects shall use network partnerships. 

The NASA Office of Education has posted new information for its 2018 NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Announcement Number NNH18ZHA001N. To view, visit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 Environmental Education Local Grants Program
Educational and Environmental Organizations
Application Deadline: March 15, 2018

The U.S. EPA seeks proposals for grants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental and conservation literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques. Up to $3 million in funding is available via 30-35 grants nationwide. Applicant organizations must be located in the U.S. or its territories.

  Celebrate Solar Week – Spring 2018
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-9, Informal Educators
Event Date: March 19-23, 2018

Solar Week provides a weeklong series of web-based educational activities with a focus on the sun-Earth connection. Students ages 10-14 can learn about solar careers, sunspots, solar energy and solar storms through a series of games and lessons. This spring’s Solar Week activities will highlight the ionosphere. In constant motion, this mysterious region of Earth’s upper atmosphere is our interface to space. In 2018, the ionosphere’s secrets will be probed by two NASA satellite missions, GOLD and ICON.

Library of Congress 2018 Summer Institutes — Teaching With Primary Sources
Audience: K-12 Educators
Application Deadline: March 21, 2018
Institute Dates: Multiple Dates in June – August 2018

The Library of Congress is accepting applications for its summer institutes for K-12 educators. Educators and school librarians of all grade levels and subject areas are encouraged to apply. During each five-day institute, participants work with Library of Congress education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn how to use primary sources in the classroom effectively, while exploring digitized historical artifacts and documents on the library’s website. Tuition and materials are free.

  ISS YES: Teamwork Strategies
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Feb. 8, 2018, at 5 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Learn how NASA helps crew members develop skills to prepare to live and work together during space missions. The webinar’s activities help students learn and practice skills applicable in everyday life. Activities on the following topics will be presented: Self Care/Team Care, Cultural Competency, Leadership/Followship and Teamwork Communication. Online registration is required.

Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series: Diving Into Ocean Worlds — Titan: A World With Two Styles of Ocean
Audience: All Educators and Grade 9-Higher Education Students
Event Date: Feb. 8, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. CST (8:30 p.m. EST)

Earth is not the only ocean world in the solar system. The exploration of ocean worlds in the outer solar system is a hot topic of research in the planetary science community. Join Dr. Ralph Lorenz from Johns Hopkins University for a discussion of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and the two styles of oceans found there. Attend the event in person at the Lunar Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, or watch the event live online. Archives of past lectures also are available online.

  National Science Foundation’s 2017-2018 Community College Innovation Challenge
Community College Students and Faculty
Entry Deadline: Feb. 14, 2018

The National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge is seeking teams to propose innovative STEM-based solutions for real-world problems. Teams must include three to five community college students, a faculty mentor and an industry partner. Submissions consist of a written portion and a 90-second video. Finalists will be invited to attend an Innovation Boot Camp, which is a professional development workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship. First- and second-place teams win cash awards.

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

  2018 Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program
Audience: Undergraduate Students Majoring in Geology or a Related Science
Application Deadline: Feb. 21, 2018

The Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program pairs qualified undergraduate students with NASA-funded investigators at research locations across the U.S. for eight weeks during the summer. Undergraduate students majoring in geology or related sciences are eligible to apply. Students graduating in 2018 who have not yet started graduate school are also eligible. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

NASA Marshall Faculty Fellowship Program 2018
Audience: Higher Education Researchers Who Are U.S. Citizens
Application Deadline: Feb. 22, 2018
Fellowship Dates: June 4 – Aug. 10, 2018

The NASA Marshall Faculty Fellowship Program provides opportunities for STEM faculty to do research for 10 weeks during the summer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Applicants must be U.S. citizens working full time at an accredited university or college in the U.S. 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.

  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
Audience: K-12 Educators
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is accepting applications for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. This award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning. PIAEE winners and their local education agencies will each be awarded up to $2,500.

Summer Institute — Liftoff 2018: Reach New Heights, Reveal the Unknown, Benefit All Humankind
Application Deadline: March 30, 2018
Institute Dates: June 24-29, 2018

The 2018 LiftOff Summer Institute is a weeklong training event sponsored by NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium and held at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The theme is ” Reach New Heights, Reveal the Unknown, Benefit All Humankind.” The event will celebrate all that NASA has contributed and the engineering behind its accomplishments. Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently employed as classroom teachers of grades 4-12, with at least one year teaching experience prior to the institute.

  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award
Audience: K-12 Students
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award recognizes outstanding environmental projects by students in grades K-12. Submissions can include projects developed by individuals, school classes, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations. Recent winning projects included forming recycling programs for pencils and books, starting an environmental news YouTube channel, and creating a better method to protect migratory birds from airplanes.

NASA Internships and Fellowships — Summer 2018 Opportunities
High School, Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Application Deadline:
March 1, 2018

NASA Internships and Fellowships provide students at all types of institutions access to a portfolio of opportunities offered agencywide. The online application for NASA Internships and Fellowships enables students to easily access, register and complete the application, as well as search and apply for up to 15 opportunities. A completed application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.

  2018 NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Internship
Audience: Current High School Sophomores and Juniors
Application Deadline: March 1, 2018

NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research have joined forces to encourage high school students’ interest in STEM careers. The SEES project allows students to work remotely prior to their onsite internship in Austin, Texas, July 14-28, 2018. Participants will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work. Housing, transportation and meals will be 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 “Science WOW!” newsletter for science opportunities delivered to your inbox “Weekly on Wednesdays!”



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