NASA Express Message – March 8, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Educators Have Friends in High Places
All Educators

Check out the new STEMonstration — Newton’s Second Law of Motion, featuring astronaut Randy Bresnik as he tests the laws of physics in the microgravity environment of the space station. STEMonstrations feature astronauts demonstrating STEM concepts in fresh ways. Each STEMonstration video is designed as a support tool for educators and offers corresponding grab-and-go lesson plans linked to Next Generation Science Standards. The growing library of STEMonstrations is available on the STEM on Station website. 

Later this month, #TeacherOnBoard Ricky Arnold, a former classroom teacher, will travel to the space station where he and his crewmates will continue in their work to reach teachers and students throughout the world during NASA’s A Year of Education on Station.

NASA Pi Day Challenge 2018
Educators and Students in Grades 6-12
Challenge Release Date: March 9, 2018
Pi Day: March 14, 2018

Celebrate Pi Day with NASA! On March 9 — in advance of the math world’s favorite holiday, Pi Day (March 14) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will release the fifth installment of its popular Pi Day Challenge. The illustrated math problem set gets students and adults thinking like NASA scientists to find solutions to real problems posed in space and planetary exploration. Visit the site to learn more and to check out challenges from past years.

  Technology Drives Exploration: BEST GPIM
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 13, 2018, 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 find out how technology drives exploration. Using the Beginning Engineering Science and Technology curriculum, participants will learn how to use the engineering design process to build a satellite and test green propellant. They also will learn about current research at NASA, specifically the Green Propellant Infusion Mission. Online registration is required.

Technology Drives Exploration: Engineering Design in Your Classroom
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 15, 2018, at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore engineering design and the engineering design process with its application to real-world problem solving. Learn about NASA engineering design challenges and other NASA STEM classroom resources. Engineering design is a common topic in each grade level of the Next Generation Science Standards and an important concept in understanding our world. Online registration is required.

  Free Lecture — Planning Cassini’s Grand Finale: A Retrospective
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: March 22 and 23, 2018, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

On Sept. 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn for a mission-ending grand finale. Join systems engineer Erick Sturm from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a look back at the various scenarios envisioned and contingency plans made by the Cassini team as they steered the spacecraft into unexplored territory. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

Teacher Innovator Institute at the Smithsonian
Audience: STEM Educators of Grades 5-8
Application Deadline: April 1, 2018
Institute Dates: July 9-20, 2018

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is accepting applications for its inaugural Teacher Innovator Institute. Participants will spend two weeks in Washington, D.C., working with education and STEM experts to explore the connections between informal STEM education and authentic learning. Each attendee will develop an individual project to take back to their school. There is no cost for teachers to participate — travel, food, lodging and supplies are all provided.

  2019 eXploration Systems and Habitatation Academic Innovation Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Faculty and Students
Proposal Deadline: April 27, 2018

The X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge encourages university-level students to develop innovative design solutions for deep-space human exploration systems. The winners of the challenge will receive $15,000 to $50,000 to design and produce studies or functional products that will increase knowledge and foster risk reduction for space exploration capabilities. Awardees will follow a tailored systems-engineering process with projects being completed in the May 2019 timeframe.

Technology Drives Exploration: Marsbound
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-12
Event Date: March 8, 2018, at 5 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Observation and inference are important to scientific research. NASA remote-sensing data can help explain how air, water and impact events provide evidence in Mars exploration. Multiple inquiry-based activities will deepen the understanding of the behavior of Earth’s geologic features and how they compare to Mars’. Online registration is required.

  Heritage Family Day at the Smithsonian — We Can Do It! Women in Aviation and Space
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: March 10, 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST

Women will have an immense impact on the future of space, aviation and other STEM fields. Celebrate Women’s History Month with a day of hands-on activities for families at the “Women in Aviation and Space” Family Day taking place at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Take a look back at ground broken by women of the past and forward to what can and will be achieved by women in the future.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Abstracts: 69th International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time U.S. Graduate Students Attending U.S. Universities
Submission Deadline: March 10, 2018

NASA is seeking abstracts from full-time graduate students interested in presenting at the 69th International Astronautical Congress taking place Oct. 1-5, 2018, in Bremen, Germany. Abstracts must be original, unpublished papers that have not been submitted in any other forum. Abstracts must be 400 words or less, written in English and related to NASA’s ongoing vision for space exploration.

  2018-2019 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Community College STEM Scholarship
Audience: Virginia Community College Freshmen
Application Deadline: March 12, 2018

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering $2,000 scholarships to students at schools in the Virginia Community College System. Applicants must be majoring in a STEM field. The consortium strongly supports students who are preparing to transfer to institutions of higher learning while developing the essential skills for a competitive global workforce. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The scholarship will be awarded for the sophomore year.

2018-2019 Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarships
Audience: Minority Undergraduate Students (Underclassmen) at Virginia Space Grant Consortium Member Institutions Listed Below
Application Deadline: March 12, 2018

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering renewable scholarships to undergraduate students studying STEM. The STEM Bridge Scholarships are $1,000. They are available to students who are U.S. citizens from any federally recognized minority group and are enrolled full time at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, or Virginia Tech. Scholarships are awarded for the academic year following application. Applicants must be classified as a sophomore during the 2018-2019 academic year.

  Free ‘STEM in 30’ Webcast — Staying Safe Is No Accident: The Science of Safety
Audience: Grade 6-8 Educators and Students
Event Date: March 14, 2018, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT

Do you feel safe when you travel in a car or plane? A lot of engineering and science goes into making sure the vehicles we use every day are safe and secure. Join the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for this fast-paced webcast to explore the science of safety.

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.

  DEADLINE EXTENDED: NASA Internships — Summer 2018 Opportunities
High School, Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Application Deadline:
March 16, 2018

NASA Internships provide students at all types of institutions access to a portfolio of opportunities offered agencywide. The online application for NASA Internships 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.

  NASA Education Call for Reviewers for Informal STEM Education Proposals
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Application Deadline: March 16, 2018

The NASA Research Announcement 2018 NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) management team is actively recruiting qualified peer reviewers who volunteer to externally review NASA TEAM II proposals during winter/spring 2018. A diverse reviewer pool is sought, including but not limited to practicing or retired informal education leadership, managers, educators, and evaluators (e.g., K-12; informal; youth groups; public outreach), scientists, engineers, higher education faculty, and other experts (including individuals without a current institutional affiliation) with experience or knowledge of activities described in the Announcement NNH18ZHA001N. To view, visit

Volunteer at Although NASA cannot guarantee an invitation to review will result, we thank you for your consideration and/or referrals. Selected reviewers will be expected to disclose all conflicts of interest, including situations that may give the appearance of bias.

Space Center Houston Presents ‘Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission’ Exhibit
Audience: All Educators and Students
Exhibit Dates: Oct. 14, 2017 – March 18, 2018

Space Center Houston is the first of four stops for a new exhibit featuring the Apollo 11 command module. The exhibit will feature more than 20 one-of-a-kind mission artifacts. They include a lunar sample return container; astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s extravehicular visor and gloves; astronaut Michael Collins’ Omega Speedmaster Chronograph; a star chart; a survival kit; and more. Space Center Houston will be the only location where visitors can see the capsules for both the first (Apollo 11) and last (Apollo 17) lunar landings.

  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.

  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.

Call for Proposals — NASA Fellowship Activity 2018
First-year Master’s or Doctoral Students
Pre-proposal Teleconference Dates: Jan. 30, 2018, at 5 p.m. EST; Feb. 5, 2018, at 10 a.m. EST
Proposal Deadline: March 20, 2018, by 5:59 p.m. EDT

The NASA Office of Education Fellowship Activity funds candidates for graduate research at their respective campuses during the academic year under the guidance of their faculty adviser and a NASA researcher. To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. or naturalized citizens who hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field earned before Aug. 31, 2018. Candidates must enroll in a master’s or doctoral degree program no later than Sept. 1, 2018, and intend to pursue a research-based master’s or Ph.D. program in a NASA-relevant field.

  NASA/Applied Physics Laboratory Summer Internship 2018
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Application Deadline: March 30, 2018

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, is offering summer internships for students interested in working on NASA missions or space-related research opportunities. A stipend and housing will be provided for the 10-week program. Eligible students include undergraduate rising sophomores through doctoral students as of fall 2018. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.Students graduating in 2018 who have not yet started graduate school are also eligible. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Award
Audience: K-12 Students
Application Deadline: March 30, 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.


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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