NASA Express Message – March 22, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Bring Astronauts Into Your Classroom!
All Educators

Can you imagine bringing an astronaut into your classroom to teach a STEM lesson? It’s possible and available now! Check out the growing library of STEMonstrations, which are video-taped lessons presented by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Each video features accompanying Classroom Connections — related lesson plans developed by educators for educators and tied to Next Generation Science Standards. Current topics include “Newton’s Second Law of Motion,” “Newton’s Third Law Rocket Races,” and “Exercise.” The library is growing each week so check back often!

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.

Webinar: Meet Parker Solar Probe Project Scientist Dr. Nicky Fox
Audience: Science Enthusiasts
Event Date: March 22, 2018, 1 p.m. EDT

The Parker Solar Probe will be the first mission to touch the Sun! Set to launch later this year, the probe will to fly into the solar corona to study how the corona is heated and how the solar wind and solar energetic particles are accelerated. Join Dr. Nicky Fox of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission for a youth-oriented 30-minute webinar. Fox will describe the mission and its scientific goals, and will answer questions about the Sun and the new solar probe.

  Celebrate Women’s History Month With the ‘NASA Women of STEM’ Website
Audience: All Educators and Students 

Through their accomplishments and dedication, women at NASA embody the essence of Women’s History Month. They serve as role models to young women in their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The “NASA Women of STEM” website features career profiles, videos and news articles about the women helping NASA reach for new heights.

Technology Drives Exploration: Integrating NASA Based Digital Content in Your Classroom
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-9
Event Date: March 26, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Participants will explore a variety of NASA-based digital content and develop strategies for integrating the resources in culturally responsive ways. Online registration is required.

  Technology Drives Exploration: Telescopes — The Exoplanet Hunters
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 27, 2018, at 7 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Telescopes are NASA’s exoplanet hunters. They have gathered critical insights into other solar-system-like star-planet formations that may have “habitable” conditions. Participants will discuss inquiry-based activities covering math and optics concepts related to telescopes from NASA’s Great Observatories and Optics educator guides. Online registration is required.

Technology Drives Exploration: Careers
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 28, 2018, at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Working at NASA is not just being an astronaut. Explore the many NASA STEM careers needed to successfully accomplish the exciting missions that explore and build a better understanding of Earth and the universe beyond. NASA career education lessons and resources will be integrated into this online learning session. Online registration is required.

  Technology Drives Exploration: STEM Interactive Technology
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: March 29, 2018, at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar. Learn to use the NASA Space Place website to investigate the sun, Earth, solar system, universe, technology and science through interactive technology. Use ebooks, games, media and activities to understand STEM content. Online registration is required.

Call for Proposals — NASA Research Announcement for MUREP Aerospace Academy
Audience: Minority Serving U.S. Colleges and Universities
Proposal Deadline: April 20, 2018

NASA invites Minority Serving Institutions to submit proposals to establish a NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy to increase participation and retention of historically underserved and underrepresented K-12 youth in areas of STEM. Supported by evidence-based research, the MUREP Aerospace Academy is generally conducted in an out-of-school setting but may also be offered in a school setting. Successful proposals will be funded as multi-year cooperative agreements not to exceed two years.

  Call for Proposals — NASA Research Announcement for MUREP Innovations in Space Technology Curriculum
Audience: Two-year/Community College Minority Serving Institutions
Proposal Deadline: April 20, 2018

NASA invites two-year/community college Minority Serving Institutions to submit proposals to develop innovations in curriculum and experiential learning opportunities related to NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. STMD is responsible for developing the crosscutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities that NASA needs to achieve its current and future missions. Successful proposals will result in a partnership with a NASA center and funding through a 15-month cooperative agreement.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: April 30, 2018

ARISS-US is accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums and community youth organizations (working individually or together) to host an amateur radio event between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2019. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed, exciting STEAM education plan. Radio events are approximately 10 minutes long. Visit the site for proposal guidelines, forms and upcoming pre-proposal webinars.

  2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
Audience: K-12 Certified Educators Who Are U.S. Citizens Teaching in the U.S.
Event Date: July 11-13, 2018

Registration is open for the 2018 Space Port Area Conference for Educators, or S.P.A.C.E., taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 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. Register today!

‘CineSpace’ Short Film Competition
Audience: All Educators and Students
Submission Deadline: Aug. 1, 2018

NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Society invite professional and aspiring filmmakers to share their works using actual NASA imagery. The “CineSpace” competition will accept all genres, including narrative, documentary, comedy, drama, animation and others, up to 10 minutes long. Entries must use at least 10 percent publicly available NASA imagery. Entries will be judged on creativity, innovation and attention to detail. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top submissions.

  Free Webinar for Girl Scouts and Leaders — Engineering at NASA Goddard
Girl Scout Leaders
Event Date: March 22, 2018, at 4 p.m. EST

Join NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology educators for a free 60-minute webcast for scout leaders and scouts. Interact live with an engineer from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Learn how engineers use the engineering design process to approach problem solving in a real-world setting. Register online to participate.

Technology Drives Exploration: Robotics on a Budget
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-8
Event Date: March 22, 2018, at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar about robotics. Robots are a part of everyday life, but what exactly are they? How are robots used in our lives? How are they used at NASA? Explore answers to these questions and learn how to use robotics inexpensively in your classroom by integrating NASA STEM robotic missions, curriculum and online resources. 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.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Proposals — NASA Fellowship Activity 2018
First-year Master’s or Doctoral Students
Proposal Deadline: March 23, 2018, by 5:50 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.

  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 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
Audience: K-12 Educators
Application Deadline: March 30, 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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  Free Download for Educators: Experience Mars in Virtual Reality With Mars 2030
Audience: All Educators and Museum Staff

Mars 2030 gives players the opportunity to explore the Red Planet. The virtual reality simulation was created using real data to deliver an authentic experience based on what is known about Mars today. A desktop version also is available for players without virtual reality hardware. Complimentary Mars 2030 software is available for educators and museum staff.

NASA GLOBE Clouds: Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge
Audience: All Educators and Students
Challenge Dates: March 15-April 15, 2018

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, invites educators, students, and the public to enter up to 10 cloud observations per day from March 15-April 15, 2018. Observations can be logged using the GLOBE Program’s data entry options or the GLOBE Observer app. Participants with the most observations will be congratulated by a NASA scientist with a video posted on the NASA GLOBE Clouds website.

  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.

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.


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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.

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