NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Oct. 25, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh Presents ‘Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission’ Exhibit
Audience: Public
Exhibit Dates: Open Through Feb. 18, 2019

The Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh is the third of four stops for a new exhibit featuring the Apollo 11 command module Columbia—the only part of the Apollo 11 spacecraft to return intact to Earth. The exhibit features more than 100 artifacts, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s extravehicular visor and gloves, a star chart and more. The family friendly exhibit also features an immersive launchpad entrance, iconic audio from mission control and interactives like a lunar lander video game and a virtual 3D tour of Columbia’s interior.

Recycling in Space: Waste Handling in a Microgravity Environment Challenge
Audience: Individuals Ages 18 and Older
Informational Webinar: Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. EST
Submission Deadline: Jan. 16, 2019

On Earth, recycling technologies can utilize gravity to move waste when converting it to new materials or constituent molecules. In a microgravity environment, however, technology is the only way to transfer the waste for processing. The aim of this challenge is to identify receptacle and feeder mechanisms suitable for a microgravity environment that can deliver mission waste for decomposition. NASA plans to award $10,000 to the first-place winner and two $2,500 second prizes. Successful entrants may have the opportunity for future collaboration with NASA.

  Explore Moon to Mars: MarsBound—Math and Science Together
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore the NASA resource “MarsBound: Mission to the Red Planet.” This cross-curricular activity combines science, engineering, mathematics and group interaction as students plan for an unmanned mission to the Red Planet. The activities shared in this webinar address Common Core mathematics standards and Next Generation Science Standard ETS1. Online registration is required.

Human Spaceflight: Hazards of Human Spaceflight
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Human spaceflight will enable astronauts to continue orbiting Earth, return to the Moon and then journey on to Mars bringing together science, technology and human innovation. Explore the hazards astronauts face in the extreme environment of space travel and the NASA-developed solutions to ensure the safety and well-being of the astronauts. NASA STEM classroom lessons and online resources will be integrated. Online registration is required.

  Mechanical Maker Challenge: Mechanical Eye
Audience: U.S. Residents Ages 18 and Older
Submission Deadline: Nov. 30

With its sulfuric acid clouds, temperatures over 450°C and surface pressure 92 times that of Earth, Venus is one of the most hostile planetary environments in the solar system. Most electrical components do not survive long in these conditions, but NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory hopes to build an automaton (or clockwork mechanical robot) rover to explore Venus. This challenge seeks innovative ideas for a mechanical camera system that could operate under the harsh conditions found on Venus. The first place winner will have the opportunity to demonstrate and give a short presentation on the winning device at JPL/Caltech, and will receive up to $1,000 to cover travel costs.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 2019 Research Fellowships
Audience: Predoctoral, Postdoctoral and Nonacademic Researchers
Application Deadline: Dec. 1

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum seeks applicants for several research fellowships related to aviation and space history being offered in 2019. Applications must be submitted electronically and must include three letters of reference, a summary description, a research proposal and a research budget. Applicants must also identify a member of the Smithsonian’s research staff who will act as a principal advisor. Visit the fellowships website for full details.

  2019 High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 14

The Louisiana Space Consortium, or LaSPACE, is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space. The annual project, supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office and LaSPACE, provides near-space access for 12 student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

2019-2020 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship
Audience: Undergraduate Sophomores and Juniors at Virginia Space Grant Consortium Member Institutions Listed Below
Application Deadline: Jan. 28, 2019

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering undergraduate research scholarships of up to $8,500 to encourage students to conduct research in STEM fields. Participants must take part in active faculty-mentored research that aligns with NASA’s mission. Applicants must be enrolled full time at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Scholarships are awarded for the following academic year.

  2019-2020 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate STEM Research Fellowship
Audience: Graduate Students at Virginia Space Grant Consortium Member Institutions Listed Below
Application Deadline: Jan. 28, 2019

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides fellowships of $6,000 in add-on support to graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research in STEM fields. Research should support NASA’s mission. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled full time at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Fellowships are renewable for one year.

2019-2020 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Community College STEM Scholarship
Audience: Virginia Community College Freshmen
Application Deadline: March 11, 2019

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering $2,000 scholarships to students at schools in the Virginia Community College System. Applicants must be majoring in a STEM field, and be interested in pursuing a career that supports NASA’s mission, including careers in the aerospace sector. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Scholarships are awarded for the students’ sophomore year.

  2019-2020 Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarships
Audience: Undergraduate Students (Underclassmen) at Virginia Space Grant Consortium Member Institutions Listed Below. Minority students are strongly encouraged to apply.
Application Deadline: March 11, 2019

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering renewable scholarships of $1,000 to undergraduate students studying STEM. The STEM Bridge Scholarships are available to students who are U.S. citizens and are enrolled full time at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Scholarships are awarded for the academic year following application. Applicants must be classified as sophomores during the 2019-2020 academic year.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Commercial Crew 2019 Calendar Artwork Contest
Audience: Students Ages 4-12
New Entry Deadline: Oct. 25 at 11:59 p.m. CDT

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.

  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.

Sally Ride EarthKam Mission
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Mission Dates: Oct. 23-26

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.

  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.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2018-19 University Student Design Challenge at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Audience: Undergraduate Students
New Registration Deadline: Oct. 29

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.

  Call for Presenters: 2019 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
Audience: K-12 Formal and Informal Educators
Proposal Deadline: Oct. 31
Conference Dates: July 24-26, 2019

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation is hosting the second annual Space Port Area Conference for Educators (SPACE) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Organizers are seeking interactive, innovative STEM sessions that align with Next Generation Science Standards where possible. Presenters will receive a discounted registration rate (limited to two presenters per accepted presentation). Proposers and attendees must be U.S. citizens.

Explore Moon to Mars: Student Launches
Audience: Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: Nov. 1 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 model rocketry challenges such as the Team America Rocket Challenge and NASA’s Student Launch. This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standards PS2 and ETS1. Online registration is required.

  NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships—Fall 2019
Audience: Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 1

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate seeks to sponsor graduate student researchers who are U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents. Applicants must show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative space technologies for the nation’s science, exploration and economic future. The research grants, worth up to $80,000 per year, will coincide with the start of the 2019 fall academic term. Selected candidates will do research at their colleges or universities and at selected NASA centers.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
Audience: Graduate Students and Ph.D. Scientists
Application Deadlines: Nov. 1, March 1 and July 1

The NASA Postdoctoral Program offers early career and senior scientists one- to three-year work assignments with NASA scientists and engineers. Opportunities relate to missions in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering, human exploration and space operations, astrobiology and science management. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but they may apply while completing degree requirements.

  NASA International Space Station RFID Localization Challenge
Audience: U.S. Citizens Ages and 18 Over
Entry Deadline: Nov. 2

NASA has an experimental Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking system aboard the International Space Station that can provide the location of tagged items. NASA is seeking to improve the efficiency of the system by challenging participants to create algorithms to estimate the location of RFID tagged items more accurately within the space station. The locations returned by participants’ algorithms will be compared to ground-truth data. A prize purse of up to $26,500 in overall cash prizes is available.

Calling Teachers and Student Innovators: Register for 2018-2019 Conrad Challenge
Audience: Students Ages 13-18 and Educators of Grades 9-12
Registration Deadline: Nov. 2

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, virtual competition that invites students worldwide to become entrepreneurs and apply innovation, science, technology, creativity and critical thinking to solve challenges having global impact in six categories. Teams of two-five students, ages 13-18, create products and/or services that address some of the most pressing global challenges. Guided by teachers and industry experts, the competition becomes a master class in collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication.

  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.

Next Generation Animal Tracking Ideation Challenge
Audience: Anyone Ages 18 and Older
Submission Deadline: Nov. 8

Current animal tracking technology provides limited coverage and is costly. NASA and The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are seeking ideas for how to use emerging SmallSat/CubeSat technology along with other space, stratosphere, land and/or water systems to improve the spatial and temporal coverage, spatial accuracy and/or data packet size of animal telemetry data collection and tracking. A total prize pool of up to $30,000 is available. Up to three awards are planned with the minimum prize being no lower than $5,000.

  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.

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-served basis while quantities last. A nominal shipping fee must be paid online with a credit card.

  eCYBERMISSION Competition
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.

2019 Drop Tower Challenge: Plant Watering in Microgravity
Audience: Students in Grades 9-12
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 20

Future long-duration space missions will require crews to grow food; so, understanding how to water plants in microgravity is important—especially because the roots also require air. Teams of high school students are challenged to design and build objects that will use wetting characteristics to transport both water and air in a microgravity environment. Objects created by selected teams will experience microgravity in NASA’s 2.2 Second Drop Tower. NASA will invite the top-performing teams to present their results in a student poster session at the 2019 meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research.

  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.

Want to subscribe to get this message delivered to your inbox each Thursday? Sign up for the NASA EXPRESS newsletter at

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.



Visit NASA Education on the Web:
NASA Education:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *