NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Sept. 20, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Bring Science Aboard the Station Into Your Classroom!
All Educators

Are you interested in having an astronaut help teach one of your STEM lessons? This is possible with STEMonstrations! These videos explore the science concepts you are teaching and use the microgravity environment aboard the International Space Station to show a different perspective of these topics. Each video features accompanying Classroom Connections—related lesson plans developed by educators for educators and tied to Next Generation Science Standards. Current topics include “Water Filtration,” “Surface Tension,” “Orbits” and more! 

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

Webinar—Exploring the Ripples of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere: Waves and Tides
Event Date: Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT)

NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission has taken its first, unprecedented images of Earth’s interface to space, and is preparing to begin its science mission in early October. Join GOLD scientist Katelynn Greer in this webinar to learn how the GOLD instrument—an ultraviolet imaging spectrograph—will measure the response of Earth’s upper atmosphere to activity from below, primarily in the form of waves and thermal tides.

  Solar System Ambassadors Program Accepting Applications
Audience: All Educators
Application Deadline: Sept. 30

The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a nationwide network of space enthusiast volunteers. Highly motivated enthusiasts nationwide are eligible to join—and those in Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories are especially encouraged to apply.

Commercial Crew Program: Helping Students Develop Strong Team Collaboration Skills
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is the next phase in space transportation, enabling industry to provide a safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. Teamwork is important when you are working toward a common vision. Lessons and team challenges will be provided so that students become proficient in the 21st century skills leading to success. Online registration is required.

  Explore Solar System and Beyond: Deep Space Atomic Clock
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar to learn how NASA is using atoms to have the most precise accounting of time. With NASA’s Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) “Atomic Clock Activity Guide,” participants will explore the engineering design process to demonstrate the importance of calibration of clocks. Participants will learn how to create a gradation system for a simple clock. Teaching connections will be made to real-world applications and NASA missions. Online registration is required.

Explore Solar System and Beyond: James Webb Space Telescope—Physical Science
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-12
Event Date: Oct. 3 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 James Webb Space Telescope and learn about resources for teaching a range of astronomical observation from infrared to gamma ray. The activities discussed in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards PS4. Online registration is required.

  Moon to Mars Deep Space Exploration: Space Launch System Engineering Is Out of This World
Audience: Educators of Grades 2-4
Event Date: Oct. 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. As NASA expands human exploration by visiting the Moon and then Mars, deep space exploration will require innovations in transportation that include the Space Launch System, Orion and Ground Launch Systems. Activity emphasis will be on the “Engineering is Out of This World” activity resources. The activities discussed in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards ETS1. Online registration is required.

Free Lecture—Mapping Disasters From Space
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Oct. 4-5 at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT)

Join Earth science section manager Sue Owen from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to learn how researchers are using GPS and space-based radar to respond to earthquakes, volcanic unrest, floods and fires. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

  Commercial Crew 2019 Calendar Artwork Contest
Audience: Students Ages 4-12
Entry Deadline: Oct. 17

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is holding an art contest to create a 2019 calendar. Each month will have a different theme related to the International Space Station, astronauts, growing food in space and more! Unique and original artwork will be selected for each month. Once the calendar is complete, NASA will transmit it to astronauts aboard the space station. The calendar also will include supplemental education materials for kids on Earth to learn more about the space-related themes.

2018-19 University Student Design Challenge at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Audience: Undergraduate Students
Registration Deadline: Oct. 17

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is hosting a 2018-19 University Student Design Challenge (USDC-3) with aeronautics and space themes. The competition is open to teams of full-time undergraduate students who are juniors or seniors enrolled at accredited U.S. academic institutions. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. Each university or college team must have at least one faculty advisor. Participants will have access to subject matter experts at Glenn who will serve as mentors for the teams.

  Become a Member of the Infiniscope Education Advisory Board
Audience: All Formal and Informal Educators
Application Deadline: Oct. 19

The Arizona State University Infiniscope Project (under cooperative agreement with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate) aims to recruit individuals with enthusiasm, passion and ambition for a renewable, one-year term on its advisory board starting November 2018 and ending October 2019. Board members will review Infiniscope-developed educational products and receive a stipend, training, collaborative space and recognition on the Infiniscope website. Board members also will have opportunities to earn badges and attend group meetings at national conventions.

The National Science Foundation 2026 Idea Machine
Audience: Educators and Students Ages 14 and Older
Entry Deadline: Oct. 26

The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade. The competition is an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries.

  Free Lecture—Deep Space Network
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Event Date: Nov. 8-9 at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT)

How does NASA capture the faint whispers of spacecraft voyaging to far-flung destinations across the solar system and beyond? The answer involves giant radio antennas, global cooperation and a lot of careful planning. Join researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a discussion about NASA’s Deep Space Network and how it turns radio waves into science and engineering data. Attend the lectures in person, or view Thursday’s lecture via live webcast.

NASA’s Centennial Challenges: Carbon Dioxide Conversion Challenge
Audience: All Interested U.S. Citizens, Including Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 24

The NASA Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Conversion Challenge is a public competition focused on discovering ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use CO2 as the sole carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including substrates for use in microbial bioreactors. The challenge asks individuals, teams and organizations to design and develop specialized technology that has the potential to be useful on Mars and on Earth.

  New Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Available—‘Earth’s Energy Budget
Audience: High School Educators

‘Earth’s Energy Budget’ is a unit plan designed for grades 9-12 classrooms with access to computers and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Panoply and RStudio software. This unit takes approximately three weeks to complete. The goal of this unit is for students to learn about each component of Earth’s energy budget formula and how the contribution of each component changes with respect to the location on Earth and the time of the year. Each lesson challenges students to connect the content to climate change, as students are asked to estimate how various components of the energy budget will be impacted due to the changing climate.

Diversity Drives Discovery Webcast
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 20 from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT

Join NASA for a series of live webcasts featuring members of NASA’s diverse workforce sharing information about their careers and experience. Speakers range from program managers to scientists and engineers. Presentations will begin at the top of every hour from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Ask questions during the live event via Twitter using #nasaDEEP or via the chat window at the livestream website.

  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.

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.

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.

  Sally Ride EarthKam Mission
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Mission Dates: Sept. 24-Oct. 1

Sally Ride EarthKam is a free STEM educational program managed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. EarthKAM allows your students to take images of Earth from space using a camera aboard the International Space Station. Use EarthKam as a teaching tool to study subjects ranging from geography to art to meteorology. Visit the website for details and to register to participate.

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 Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students Design Challenge
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Information Session: Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Letter of Intent Deadline: Sept. 27
Proposal Deadline: Oct. 31

In the NASA S.U.I.T.S. Design Challenge, university student teams design and create spacesuit information displays within an augmented reality environment. These display and audio environments seek to aid astronauts in performing spacewalk tasks. After developing their environment, selected student teams will travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to test their prototypes.

NASA History Program Office Spring 2019 Internships
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Oct. 1

The NASA History Program Office is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for spring 2019 internships. The History Division maintains archival materials to answer research questions. It edits and publishes several books and monographs each year, and it maintains websites and social media featuring NASA history. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential to the internship. Students of all majors are welcome to apply.

  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.

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

  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.

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.

  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!

NASA Internships—2019
Audience: High School, Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Are you a current student with a 3.0 GPA and U.S. citizen? Be part of NASA’s mission! NASA’s agency internship program is now accepting applications for spring, summer and fall of 2019. NASA interns contribute to important missions and goals, while gaining valuable professional experience. Internship projects will continue to be posted during the coming weeks. Selections for the upcoming spring session will be made through early November.


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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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