NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Aug. 9, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  #TeacherOnBoard Ricky Arnold Completes Christa McAuliffe’s Lost Lessons
STEM Educators

More than 32 years ago, Christa McAuliffe planned to conduct lessons during the Challenger 51L mission. McAuliffe, along with the rest of the crew, died tragically on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, when the shuttle broke apart 73 seconds after launch. As a tribute to Christa, her legacy and teachers around the world, astronaut Ricky Arnold filmed Christa’s planned lessons. The first video and accompanying lesson plan focus on chromatography and are available at the STEM on Station website. Check often for more of Christa’s lost lessons on topics including effervescence, liquids in microgravity and Newton’s law. 

Find more ways to bring NASA into your classroom during NASA’s A Year of Education on Station, a celebration of a yearlong educator presence on the station.

Explore Space Technology: Thermal Protection
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Aug. 14 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 NASA Beginning Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) design challenges. Learn how to use the engineering design process to design, create and test a prototype of a spacecraft that can withstand tests simulating the harsh conditions in space. This webinar is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Online registration is required.

  Explore Space Technology: X-rays on Earth and From Space
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Get an overview of scientific concepts behind the observations of Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and explore NASA hands-on classroom activities about x-rays and black holes. Online registration is required.

NASA Mars Science: MAVEN Outreach Webinar—Challenges of Resurrecting the Martian Atmosphere
Formal and Informal Educators, Parents and Teens
Event Date: Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. EDT

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Outreach Webinars are virtual gatherings of staff from the MAVEN mission to offer professional development for formal and informal educators, and others interested in MAVEN and Mars science. Join MAVEN co-investigator Dr. Robert Lillis of the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory to hear the latest MAVEN news and learn about the new research just released on the challenges of re-creating a thicker Martian atmosphere.

  Explore Space Technology: Roving on Mars
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Learn how the Curiosity rover was built to withstand the hard climate of Mars, and how we continue to keep it safe from harm from here on Earth. Topics will tie into several engineering design lessons to use with students in your classroom. The activities in this webinar are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Online registration is required.

Explore Space Technology: Solar Sail
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Aug. 21 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 the Beginning Engineering Science & Technology (BEST) curriculum, and use the engineering design process to design and create a solar sail. The activities in this webinar are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Online registration is required.

  International Space Station: A Day in the Life Aboard the Station With Problem-based Learning
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live and work in space? Follow astronauts on the International Space Station in a series of videos as they explain their daily routines. Educators can use these videos and resources to enhance K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula. Online registration is required.

NASA Educational Resources for Teaching Life Skills: Expeditionary Skills for Life
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: Aug. 23 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 a series of educational activities designed to take you through educational expeditions that will help students learn life skills they can apply in almost every aspect of life. Online registration is required.

  Call for Participants: Apollo Dialogues Workshop
Audience: Scholars and Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Aug. 31
Event Date: Dec. 7

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing offers an opportunity to reflect on what we know about the Apollo era and its legacies. The National Air and Space Museum Space History Department and NASA History Division invite colleagues whose research and writing extend our understanding of Apollo, the Apollo era, human spaceflight, future space and related areas to join together in assessing the current state of the field, suggesting new lenses for analysis and interpretation, and considering new paths for future scholarship.

2019 BIG Idea Challenge: Marsboreal Greenhouse Design
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Optional NOI Deadline: Oct. 5
Entry Deadline: Jan. 6, 2019

NASA’s 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge seeks innovations in the design and operation of a Mars Greenhouse. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. Top teams present their concepts via a design review at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. Eligible students on teams that advance to the BIG Idea Forum will have the opportunity to compete for one of five NASA summer internship slots.

  CubeSat Launch Opportunity
Audience: K-12, Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 20

NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch or be deployed from the International Space Station between 2019 and 2022. The CubeSat Launch Initiative gives students, teachers and faculty a chance to get hands-on flight hardware development experience while designing, building and operating small research satellites. This opportunity is open to U.S. nonprofit organizations and accredited educational organizations.

See Yourself @ NASA With Updated Careers Site for Students
All Students 

Are you interested in working at NASA? Do you know a student considering a STEM career? Check out the recently updated Exploring Careers @ NASA website. 

Visit the site to read profiles of NASA interns and employees to see the many career paths that lead to NASA. Explore the different locations across the U.S. that NASA calls home. And find out how to start your own out-of-this-world career journey with internships, fellowships and job opportunities.

  New Resources Available—X-57 Electric Airplane: STEM Learning Module
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-8

Bring the concepts of alternative energy, physics, engineering and teamwork into your classroom with a new educator guide and student activities from NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Learn about NASA’s X-57 Maxwell experimental aircraft by watching NASA animations, taking part in hands-on activities and completing digital challenges. The X-57 is designed to test operating multiple electric motors for use in turning 14 propellers. The goal is to demonstrate an all-electric airplane that is more fuel efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly. The STEM learning module is available online and free to download.

Elementary GLOBE: Climate Change
Audience: Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore science-based storybooks designed to introduce students to key concepts related to water, soil, clouds, seasons, aerosols, climate and Earth system studies. The Elementary Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program explores classroom learning activities complementing the science content covered in each storybook that are designed to further engage students in GLOBE’s investigation areas. Online registration is required.

  Free Lecture — The Incredible Continuing Adventures of the Spitzer Space Telescope
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Aug. 9 – 10, 2018, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

Launched in 2003, the Spitzer Space Telescope was designed to observe the universe in infrared light for five years. Fifteen years later, the telescope continues to exceed expectations. Join project manager Dr. Sean Carey for a discussion about the telescope’s extended mission and scientific discoveries. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

Astronomy and Night Sky Summer Series Event—Perseid Meteor Shower
Event Dates: Aug. 11 at 7:30-9:45 p.m. EDT

Join NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia for the Astronomy and Night Sky Summer Series, and discover the night sky from Assateague Island National Seashore, Virginia District. This special event corresponds with the Perseid Meteor Shower and begins with an Astronomy 101 presentation. Afterwards, participants will look for meteors and stargaze with telescopes (weather permitting). The event is free and open to the public; however, refuge entrance fees apply.

  NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center Programs
Event Dates: Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Through Aug. 31

The NASA Visitor Center at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is offering free educational programs for visitors of all ages. Programs are scheduled each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday throughout July and August. Programs include solar system tours, “Science on the Sphere” presentations, hands-on STEAM Labs, and rocketry. Scout troops, home school and youth groups are encouraged to attend. Please call ahead for group larger than eight people.

World Space Week 2018
Audience: Educators and Students
Event Dates: Oct. 4-10, 2018

World Space Week, as declared by the United Nations, is the world’s largest public celebration of space. This event commemorates the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty on Oct. 10, 1967, to regulate peaceful use of space by all countries. During this week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities to excite students about science and technology. Visit the World Space Week website for event locations and related educational materials.

  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.

  Project Mars: International Art and Film Contest
Audience: College Students and Early Career Professionals
Entry Deadline: Aug. 31, 2018

NASA is leading human space exploration in the vicinity of the Moon and on to Mars. Project Mars invites college students and recent graduates with fewer than 5 years of experience in the film or graphic arts industry to learn about NASA’s deep space endeavors and create a visualization of what this expedition may look like. Entries can be short films (two to five minutes in length) or posters (standard-size sheets, 27 by 41 inches). Winners will receive cash prizes.

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

NASA spacecraft travel to far-off destinations in space, but a mobile app from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory brings spacecraft to you! The 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 app to explore and snap pictures with 3-D rovers, space probes and more!

  Create Art Inspired by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope
Audience: All Educators and Students

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is inviting artists to create artwork inspired by the James Webb Space Telescope. Artwork can include painting, poetry, sculpture, textiles, music, video production, 3-D design, jewelry, posters, etc. Browse through the collection of Webb telescope images and videos. See what inspires you. Create art and share it with NASA on social media with #JWSTArt, or email with your art. There’s no deadline for submissions.

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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.



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