NASA EXPRESS Message – April 5, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  #TeacherOnBoard — What Do Baseball and Astronauts Have in Common?
All Educators

Both baseball and astronauts provide fun ways to teach students about physics! Use the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball season to create a learning doubleheader for your young students. Visit the NASA Space Place website to join Carlos and Dr. Doreen in their lively conversation about the “Law of Equal Oomph.” Then, jump over to the STEM on Station website for STEMonstrations — watch astronauts as they demonstrate Newton’s Laws of Motion in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. 

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.

Earth Right Now: Problem-Based Learning — Erosions and Landslides
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: April 9, 2018, at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore the NASA Precipitation Education website and find videos, lesson plans, interactive websites and articles related to the water cycle, weather, climate and societal applications. Participants will discuss how the website’s resources can be used to design a problem-based learning (PBL) lesson. Online registration is required.

  Earth Right Now: Water Filtration and Engineering Design
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: April 10, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Learn about ECLSS — the Environmental Control and Life Support System — aboard the International Space Station that reclaims waste water from crew members’ urine, cabin condensation and waste from spacewalks. Explore lessons that challenge students to create, build and test a water filtration device using commonly available materials. Online registration is required.

Earth Right Now: Weather and Climate
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-8
Event Date: April 12, 2018, at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Learn about weather and how it is forecast, and explore how weather and climate differ. NASA missions, STEM classroom resources and lessons will guide us through a “storm” of classroom activities that address Next Generation Science Standards MS-ESS2-5,6. Online registration is required.

  The Saint Louis Science Center Presents ‘Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission’ Exhibit
Audience: All Educators and Students
Exhibit Dates: April 14 – Sept. 3, 2018

The Saint Louis Science Center is the second 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.

Free Webinar — Shake, Bake and Shout: Materials ISS Experiment-X (MISSE-X)
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Event Date: April 18, 2018, at 6 p.m. EDT

Join NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology educators for a free 60-minute professional development webinar. Learn how NASA is using a series of experiments mounted externally on the space station to investigate the effects of long-term exposure to the harsh environment of space. Using NASA’s BEST engineering design process, participants will test a variety of materials to determine if they would be suitable for long-term use in space. Register online to participate.

  Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Summer Institutes 2018
Audience: K-12 Educators
Registration Deadline for California Institute: June 4, 2018
Registration Deadline for Virginia Institutes: June 15, 2018

The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope program lets educators and students operate a 112-foot radio telescope from the classroom. Join the GAVRT team for a two-day institute to learn about radio astronomy and science campaigns available through GAVRT. 

Four sessions will be offered: June 12-14, 2018 — Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California; June 26-27 and June 28-29, 2018 — National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia; and July 23-24, 2018 — Sydney, Australia.

Free Virtual Reality Program: NASA SLS VR Experience
Audience: All Educators and Students

Do you want to experience the excitement of standing on the launch pad beneath NASA’s massive new rocket, the Space Launch System? The “NASA SLS VR Experience” is a free, virtual reality software program that is available for anyone with an Oculus Rift to download. Users can experience the scale of the SLS and can explore the rocket from multiple angles. Those using the software can even sit in the cockpit during prelaunch activities to see what it’s like to be an astronaut inside the Orion spacecraft.

  Download the New ‘Spacecraft AR’ App
Audience: All Educators and Students

NASA spacecraft travel to far-off destinations in space, but a new mobile app from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory brings spacecraft to you! The new app, called Spacecraft AR, uses the latest augmented reality (AR) technology to put virtual 3-D models of NASA’s robotic space explorers into any environment with a flat surface. Download the new app to explore and snap pictures with 3-D rovers, space probes and more!

NOAA Planet Stewards Webinar — Meteorological Memories: The Hazardous Weather of 2017 and How to Prepare for the Future!
Audience: All Formal and Informal Educators
Event Date: April 9, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. EDT

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center regularly analyzes and forecasts high-impact events ranging from winter storms to devastating floods. Join NOAA’s Planet Stewards Education Project for a free webinar with Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. Look back at an overview of significant weather events from 2017, and learn how to prepare for extreme weather. Space is limited so reserve your spot today!

  DEADLINE EXTENDED/SCOPE EXPANDED: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 Environmental Education Local Grants Program
Educational and Environmental Organizations
Application Deadline: April 11, 2018

The U.S. EPA’s EE Local Grants Request for Proposals, originally issued in January, has been modified in order to expand the scope of the environmental issues that can be addressed. 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.

Free Tour at NASA’s Glenn Research Center: Breeze by the 10- by 10-Foot Wind Tunnel
Audience: All Educators and Students
Registration Opens: April 12, 2018
Event Date: May 12, 2018

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, offers 45-minute tours that take tourists behind the scenes to one of the center’s test facilities. On May 12, visit the 10- by 10-foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel that conducts propulsion testing at supersonic speeds. Learn about this lab’s connections to NASA’s Apollo program and man’s first step on the moon. A bus departs from NASA’s main gate every hour beginning at 9 a.m. The last tour departs at noon. RESERVATIONS are required.

  Earth Day Workshop: Investigating Our Earth From Above and Below
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: April 14, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. PDT

Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for an educator workshop to explore activities to celebrate Earth Day in the classroom. Participants will investigate the water cycle in Southern California and demonstrate curriculum resources that get students exploring rainfall patterns, aquifers and satellite data. Learn how engineering feats have allowed scientists to measure water from space. The workshop will take place at the Chino Basin Water Conservation District in Montclair, California. Pre-registration is required.

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.

  Teacher Innovator Institute at the Smithsonian
Audience: STEM Educators of Grades 5-8
Application Deadline: April 15, 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.

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.

The Vizzies — Visualization Challenge
Audience: Educators and Students Ages 18 and Older
Entry Deadline: April 15, 2018

Do you love animating data, creating science apps, illustrating engineering concepts or taking photographs of the natural world? The Vizzies, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Popular Science, challenges participants to submit their best science or engineering visualization. Entries can be produced by individuals or by teams. Winning entries will be featured online, and winners will receive cash prizes.

  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.

Search for Gravitational Waves With ‘Gravity Spy’ Citizen Science Project
Audience: All Educators and Students

A century after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory made the first direct detection of this phenomenon. LIGO is the most sensitive and complicated gravitational experiment ever created; it is susceptible to instrumental and environmental noise sources called “glitches.” In this online Zooniverse citizen science project, your input will help scientists classify and characterize glitches, which, in turn, will help scientists determine and eliminate the sources of noise.


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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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