NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Nov. 1, 2018

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

  DEADLINE EXTENDED: MUREP Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition
Audience: Multidisciplinary Student Teams Enrolled at Minority Serving Institutions
Concept Paper Deadline: Nov. 6

Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC) is a spinoff challenge established to develop new ideas for commercialization of NASA technology. Teams choose one NASA technology from the provided list and submit concept papers using MITTIC challenge guidelines. Up to 10 teams will be selected to participate using an online collaboration tool and will receive funding to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for an immersion experience in January 2019.

Livestream of National Air and Space Society Lecture Featuring Apollo Program Flight Director Eugene Kranz
Audience: Public
Event Date: Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. EST

The National Air and Space Society is hosting the 2018 Vice Adm. Donald D. Engen Flight Jacket Night lecture featuring aerospace engineer, fighter pilot and Apollo program flight director Eugene Kranz. Throughout his distinguished career, Kranz played a critical role in many milestones in America’s space program, serving as flight director for Apollo 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17. Watch the lecture live online via livestream.

  Virginia Earth System Science Scholars Program
Audience: Virginia High School Juniors and Seniors
Application Deadline: Nov. 11

VESSS is an interactive online STEM learning experience for Virginia high school juniors and seniors. Participants will complete seven web-based modules and a final project. Those who perform well in the online course may be selected for a one-week residential summer academy at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Participants will be eligible to receive college credits through Thomas Nelson Community College with costs underwritten by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

Explore Flight: Speed of Sound
Audience: Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Learn about motions and forces, transfer of energy and the abilities of technological design to reduce or eliminate aircraft noise. The speed of sound and factors affecting it are important concepts related to the physics of sound. Enjoy hands-on activities and physical demonstrations for educators to use and share within their classrooms. Online registration is required.

  Explore Moon to Mars: A Field Trip to The Moon
Audience: Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Embark on a “Field Trip to the Moon” with NASA EDPC. In this inquiry-based journey, your students will learn team-building and careers in science and engineering. And they will design a self-sufficient lunar station. As they work in teams to investigate ecosystem, geology, habitat, engineering, navigation and medicine, emphasis is on critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques and understanding of complex systems as they discuss solutions to essential questions. Online registration is required.

2019-2020 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
K-12 STEM Educators
Application Deadline: Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. EST

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, mathematics, engineering and technology teachers. Einstein Fellows spend a school year in the Washington, D.C., area serving in a federal agency or on Capitol Hill. Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently employed full time in a U.S. elementary or secondary school or school district. Applicants must have been teaching STEM full time for at least five of the last seven years.

  Department of Energy’s Scholars Program 2019
Audience: Undergraduate and Graduate Students; Postgraduates
Application Deadline: Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. EST

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Scholars Program introduces college students and recent college graduates to the Department of Energy’s mission and operations. Participants apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and be an undergraduate, graduate or recent postgraduate of an accredited institute of higher education. Internships typically last 10 weeks during the summer, and stipends are provided.

Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions
Audience: Faculty Members at Minority Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Dec. 21

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions provides faculty and student research teams the opportunity to do research at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at an eligible MSI at the time of application. Selected faculty will be invited to submit a team application including a research project proposal developed in collaboration with a DHS Center researcher and applications from one or two qualified students.

  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.

  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.

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.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Nov. 15

ARISS-US is accepting proposals from U.S. schools and youth education organizations working individually or together to host an amateur radio contact with an astronaut aboard the ISS between July 1 and Dec. 30, 2019. To augment the events, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed STEAM education plan. Contacts are about 10 minutes long. Visit the site for proposal guidelines, forms and upcoming pre-proposal webinars.

  Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series—NASA’s Juno Mission: What’s New at Jupiter?
Audience: Public, Grades 7-Higher Education Educators and Students
Event Date: Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. CST

Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a free lecture to explore how our knowledge of Jupiter has changed over the past 50 years of planetary exploration. Dr. Fran Bagenal of the University of Colorado-Boulder—and member of NASA’s Juno mission team—will present “NASA’s Juno Mission: What’s New at Jupiter?” Attend the lecture in person at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, or watch the presentation via livestream.

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.

  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.

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.

  2019 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Audience: 9-12 and Higher Education Educators and Students
International Team Registration Deadline: Dec. 13
U.S. Team Registration Deadline: Jan. 17, 2019

Registration is now open for the 2019 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The competition will be held April 12-13, 2019, in Huntsville, Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Teams of high school and college students are challenged to design and build a human-powered vehicle to traverse the simulated surface of another world. The course includes 14 obstacles and five tasks, and teams must meet NASA specifications. Each school may enter up to two teams. For international entries, no more than four teams from each country can be accepted.

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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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