NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Sept. 27, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  ‘A Year of Education on Station’ Conclusion Celebration!
Audience: All Educators and Students

Tune in to NASA TV on Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. EDT, as we wrap up the Year of Education on Station! Watch astronaut and former classroom teacher Ricky Arnold answer questions on social media using the hashtag #TeacherOnBoard live from the International Space Station. 

On Oct. 4, Ricky Arnold and his crewmates Drew Feustel and Oleg Artemyev are scheduled to leave the space station to return home. This will conclude the almost 12-month presence of a teacher aboard the International Space Station, which also featured astronaut and former classroom teacher Joe Acaba, who lived and worked on the station from September 2017 to February 2018. Connect with this opportunity and find additional resources at NASA’s A Year of Education on Station.

NASA GLOBE Observer: Adopt a Pixel Challenge and Citizen Science Project
Audience: All Educators and Students
Challenge Dates: Through Oct. 1

The NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Observer team invites educators, students and the public to make a better world land map using the GLOBE Observer app. The new “Land Cover: Adopt a Pixel” module lets citizen scientists photograph with their smartphones the landscape, identify the kinds of land cover they see (trees, grass, etc.) and then match their observations to satellite data. Users can also share their knowledge of the land and how it has changed. To start the data collection, the 10 citizen scientists who map the most land by Oct. 1 will be recognized on social media and will receive a certificate of appreciation from GLOBE Observer. Ongoing participation and data collection is also welcome after Oct. 1.

  Explore the Solar System and Beyond: NASA Space Place Cross-Curricular STEM Engagement
Audience: Educators of Grades K-10
Event Date: Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Learn how to earn solar system badges with integrated technology. Make planet masks, edible asteroids and galaxy pinwheels. The NASA Space Place resources includes games, apps, ebooks and animations. Also, learn how to order NASA Space Place materials. Online registration is required.

Explore Solar System and Beyond: Strange New Worlds
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-8
Event Date: Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. EDT

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore how planets and planetary features are discovered using remote-sensing techniques. Learn the different phases in planetary exploration, including telescope observations, fly-by missions, orbiters, landers, rovers and human exploration. Online registration is required.

  Engaging Students in STEM Problem Solving: Exploring Ice in the Solar System
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Oct. 11 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 12 NASA teaching guides related to water and ice in our solar system. The STEM problem-solving lesson plans invite students to inquire about phase changes, properties of water, ice core samples, structure of ice and comparisions with snow. Acting out science is included in each module. Online registration is required.

Celebrate Solar Week—Fall 2018
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-9, Informal Educators
Event Date: Oct. 22-26

Solar Week provides a weeklong series of web-based educational classroom and out-of-school activities with a focus on the Sun-Earth connection. Students ages 10-14 can learn about solar eclipses, sunspots, solar storms, solar energy and solar careers through a series of cool facts, activities, games and questions to solar scientists. Solar Week is ideal for young teens or others wanting to know more about our Sun, the solar system, the stars or astronomy in general.

  Save the Date: 2019 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
Audience: K-12 Formal and Informal Educators
Event Date: July 24-26, 2019

Save the date for the 2019 Space Port Area Conference for Educators (SPACE) taking place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This conference is for K-12 formal and informal educators who are U.S. citizens teaching in the United States. Experience stimulating presentations from astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts; tour Kennedy and surrounding facilities. Get ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse your classroom with STEM and multifaceted, space-related content.

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.

  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.

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.

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.

  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

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.

  Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2018
Audience: Grades 9-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Oct. 10

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 Oct. 12.

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 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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Are you looking for NASA educational materials to support your STEM curriculum?
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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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