NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Aug. 30, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  STEMonstration: Water Filtration
STEM Educators

Have you ever wondered how astronauts aboard the International Space Station get a constant supply of drinking water? The water filtration system in the space station plays a key part in crew survival. In this new episode, Expeditions 56 Commander Drew Feustel discusses the water recovery system used to recycle crew waste water for consumption. Use the lesson plan accompanying this video to allow students to design, build and test their own water filtration device. Be sure to visit for more educational videos using microgravity aboard 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 a yearlong educator presence on the station.

Explore Earth: Sally Ride EarthKAM
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for free 60-minute webinar about the Sally Ride EarthKAM program. Find out how your students can learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space. During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions, students worldwide request images of specific locations on Earth. This image collection and accompanying activities are extraordinary resources to engage students in Earth and space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications and art. Online registration is required.

  Space and Science Festival at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Audience: Public
Event Date: Sept. 20-23

Join the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City for its annual Space and Science Festival. Meet astronauts, explore exhibits from NASA, stargaze on the ship and more during four days of out-of-this-world exhibits.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum—Space and Science Festival Teacher Professional Development
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 22 at 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. EDT

Join the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City for its annual Space and Science Festival Teacher Professional Development. Tour the museum and attend presentations from guest speakers and presenters from NASA and educational organizations. Attend sessions featuring demonstrations of STEM concepts and resources, learning activities and discussions with experts. Visit the site to register in advance.

  Call for Proposals: Partnership Agreement Related to Science Engagement Opportunities for the NASA Mars 2020 Project
Audience: Commercial, Educational and Non-Profit Organizations
Proposal Deadline: Oct. 9

NASA is seeking to partner with a commercial, educational or non-profit organization on a nonreimbursable basis to define, organize and execute a nationwide contest for K-12 students in U.S. schools to select a name for “…the Mars 2020 rover launching in 2020.” NASA seeks proposals from innovative, inspirational organizations that utilize high-impact avenues for reaching a diversity of populations and broadening participation.

Audience: Students in Grades 6-9
Early Registration Deadline: Nov. 21
Registration Deadline:
Dec. 19

Registration is open for the eCYBERMISSION competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. Free to students, this web-based competition challenges teams to identify a problem in their communities to use scientific inquiry or the engineering design process to investigate or propose a solution to that problem. Teams compete for state, regional and national awards of up to $9,000 in U.S. savings bonds. eCYBERMISSION provides a wealth of online resources for student teams and for Team Advisors to assist with project completion.

  Explore Space Technology: Robotics on a Budget
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-8
Event Date: Aug. 30, 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.

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.

  NASA Psyche Inspired Internship
Audience: Undergraduate Students
Application Deadline: Aug. 31

NASA’s Psyche Mission invites full-time, enrolled undergraduate students in any major from universities and community colleges in the U.S. and its territories to apply to become part of this year’s cohort of Psyche Inspired interns! Psyche Inspired is a program that brings undergraduate students together to share the excitement, innovation, and scientific and engineering content of NASA’s Psyche mission with the public through artistic and creative works.

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.

  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.

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.

  Explore Earth: GLOBE Hydrology
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Sept. 4 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar about water and the hydrologic cycle. NASA’s researchers, airborne missions and fleet of satellites address some of the critical challenges facing our planet today. Explore ways to take part via citizen science as part of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, an international science and education program that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process. Online registration is required.

Explore Earth: From Earth to the Moon
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-12
Event Date: Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to explore how Earth is influenced by the Moon. NASA has been studying our Moon for 60 years and will soon celebrate the 50-year anniversary of humans’ arrival to the Moon during the Apollo program. Explore the Earth-Moon relationship and learn to integrate NASA STEM missions, online resources and lessons into your classroom teaching. Online registration is required.

  Explore Earth: Solving STEM Problems with Field Study and Data Collection
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar about the NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. This worldwide, hands-on school-based science education program for grades 6-12 promotes problem solving, communication skills and teamwork while engaging students in problem-based learning that is both fun and relevant. Teacher implementation guides, protocols, activities and resources are integrated in this webinar. Online registration is required.

Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series: Curiosity and Our Evolving View of the Red Planet
Audience: Public, Educators and Students of Grades 7-College
Event Date: Sept. 6 at 8:30 p.m. EDT

The Lunar and Planetary Institute presents “Curiosity and Our Evolving View of the Red Planet” by Dr. Kirsten Siebach of Rice University. Dr. Siebach is also a member of the Curiosity rover team and will discuss how our knowledge of the surface of Mars has changed over the past 50 years of exploration. Attend the event in person at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, or watch the event live online. Archives of past lectures also are available online.

  Free Lecture — NASA@60: The Role of the Robots
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Sept. 6 – 7, 2018, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

Space exploration has changed in the 60 years since NASA’s inception. Despite all the advances, one thing hasn’t changed: we still rely on robotic spacecraft to explore and blaze a trail for human explorers. Join outreach specialist Preston Dyches for a panel discussion on the history and progression of robotic exploration. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge
Problem Solvers of All Ages
Event Date:
Oct. 19-21

The seventh annual International Space Apps Challenge invites tech-savvy innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, educators and students worldwide to use NASA data to develop projects related to this year’s theme: “Earth and Space!” In response to challenges issued by NASA, Space Apps participants collaborate to create solutions from mobile applications, software, hardware and data visualizations to videos, games and art. Visit the website for updates and registration information! You can also apply to host a Space Apps in your area (host application closes Aug. 24).

  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.

Bring Engineering to the Classroom With NASA Glenn’s Engineering Design Challenges
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-12

Engineering design challenges are an exciting way to give students the opportunity to work on real-world challenges in a collaborative, team-based environment. Glenn Engineering Design Challenges connect students, in both classroom and out-of-school settings, with the distinct challenges faced by NASA scientists and engineers as they design the next generation of aeronautic and space vehicles, habitats and technology. Current challenges include Powered and Pumped Up, Let It Glide and Gaining Traction on Mars.

Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2018
Audience: Grades 9-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Sept. 26, 2018

Teams of high school students are challenged to program small satellites called Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) that operate inside the International Space Station. Teams send their final codes to the space station, where an astronaut referees the final competition live! Early registration is strongly encouraged because code for the 2D practice competition must be submitted by Sept. 28, 2018.

  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.

Citizen Science Project: Cosmoquest’s Image Detective
Audience: All Educators and Students

CosmoQuest’s Image Detective, a NASA-funded citizen science project, invites the public to identify Earth features in photographs taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Citizen scientists are asked to help identify geographic features (natural or human-made) in astronaut photographs and then determine the location on Earth where the photo is centered. Your efforts can enhance NASA’s database of images taken by astronauts from the space station.


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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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