NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Sept. 6, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission
All Educators
Mission Dates: September

Sign up for this unique fall opportunity that allows your students to observe Earth from above via a camera on the International Space Station! The Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) program invites students to request images of specific targets on Earth taken by a camera placed in the window of the space station. EarthKAM can be used in any K-12 classroom setting, and is a great way to show students a new perspective of Earth. Visit to learn more and register for this free program. 

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: GLOBE Atmosphere, Clouds and Contrails
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Sept. 13 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 clouds and contrails with the NASA GLOBE Program. GLOBE is an international science and education program that provides students worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. Online registration is required.

  Explore Earth: Using Earth Observations to Talk About Snow and Ice—Earth Science
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-9
Event Date: Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Participants will get an overview of resources discussing the effects of changing snow and ice coverage on the Earth from the Earth Observatory and NASA Earth Observations (NEO) websites. This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standards ESS2 and ESS3. Online registration is required.

An Orientation to EPDC Digital Badging
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Participants will get an overview of the Digital Badging platform used by NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative to deliver free, asynchronous, online professional development. Discussions will include how to sign up and a survey of current badge offerings. Online registration is required.

  Explore Earth: Earth Science from Space
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-12
Event Date: Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore Earth science through the eyes of astronauts and satellites. Learn how observations from space enable us to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it. NASA missions, real data, online resources and classroom lessons, will be used to investigate our planet. Online registration is required.

NASA Mars Science: MAVEN Outreach Webinar—An Overview of a Solar Storm at Mars
Formal and Informal Educators, Parents and Teens
Event Date: Sept. 19 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 Dr. Christina O. Lee of the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory to hear the latest MAVEN news and learn how strong solar activity in September 2017 impacted the space environment around Mars, including its atmosphere and the radiation environment at the surface.

  Earth Right Now: Using NASA Data for STEM Problem Solving
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Are you working on implementing a new vision for science classrooms based on the Framework for K-12 Science classrooms in which teachers support students in science and engineering practices to build and use science ideas to solve real problems? This webinar will explore NASA resources that will guide you and your students through this process with authentic data. Online registration is required.

Museum Day Event at NASA’s Ames Research Center
Audience: Public
Event Date: Sept. 22 at Noon to 4 p.m. PDT

Join us at the visitor center at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, for Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day 2018. Ames is a key facility for NASA’s missions and projects. Come to NASA’s Ames Visitor Center and learn what we’re doing at this amazing NASA facility! Museum Day 2018 will showcase “Women Making History: Trailblazers in arts, sciences, innovation and culture.” Click here for directions.

  NASA Live Event—Earth Science Week: Earth as Inspiration
Audience: Public
Event Date: Oct. 4 at 3:30 p.m. EDT

Join NASA scientists and education specialists for an hour-long educational event to explore and share their perspectives on Earth as an inspiration! In coordination with this year’s Earth Science Week theme, this NASA event will feature a sneak peek into the exciting NASA products included in this year’s Earth Science Week Toolkits. This event will be webcast in real time, and educators and students are encouraged to submit questions for NASA scientists to answer during the event. The event will be livestreamed at

2019 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
NOI Deadline: Oct. 12
Project Plan Submission Deadline: Nov. 15

The 2019 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts—Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge is an engineering design and technology demonstration contest for eligible college students. Teams have the opportunity to design and build prototype hardware that can extract water and assess subsurface density profiles from a simulated off-world test bed. Up to 10 teams will be chosen to receive a stipend to build and demonstrate their systems’ capabilities in June 2019 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

  2019 RASC-AL Competition
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Optional NOI Deadline: Oct. 15
Entry Deadline: Jan. 17, 2019

The 2019 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts—Academic Linkages (RASC-AL) invites teams of university students to respond to one of four themes with creative ideas to improve our ability to access and explore cis-lunar space via the Gateway: 1. Gateway Logistics as a Science Platform, 2. Gateway-based Cis-lunar Tug, 3. Gateway-based Human Lunar Surface Access, 4. Gateway Uncrewed Utilization and Operations. Up to 14 teams will be chosen to participate in a competitive design review at the RASC-AL Forum in June 2019.

See Yourself in Space With New ‘NASA Selfies’ App
Audience: Public

Create your own selfies from outer space! “NASA Selfies” lets you put your photo in a virtual spacesuit in front of captivating images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telecope. (Images from other NASA missions will appear in future versions of the app.) Share these space selfies on social media, and learn about the science behind the pictures. Available for iOS and Android devices.

  Take a Guided Tour of the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System With the ‘Exoplanet Excursions’ App
Audience: Public

In NASA’s “Exoplanet Excursions” virtual reality (VR) app, VR users are taken on a guided tour of the only known exoplanet system to host seven planets that are roughly Earth-size. Users of the app are navigated around five of the seven planets, surrounded by the blackness of space and the faint lights of distant stars. The VR app is available for Oculus and Vive. A 360-degree video is also available on Youtube that allows viewers to explore the virtual TRAPPIST-1 system on their desktop computers, smartphones or with a smartphone-based 360-viewer.

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.

  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.

Free Tour at NASA’s Glenn Research Center: Go With the Flow in the 8- by 6-Foot Wind Tunnel
Audience: All Educators and Students
Registration Opens: Sept. 13, 2018
Event Date: Oct. 13, 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 Oct. 13, tour the 8- by 6-foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel, which has contributed to decades of aeronautic research and is testing models for the next generation of supersonic aircraft. A bus departs from NASA’s main gate every hour beginning at 9 a.m. The last tour departs at noon. RESERVATIONS are 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.

  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.

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.

  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.

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).

  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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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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