NASA EXPRESS: Your STEM Connection for Jan. 16, 2020

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for the education community.

Ready to Take the Next Giant Leap? We Go, as Artemis.
The next frontier isn’t just for the next generation—it’s for this generation.
  Call for Abstracts: 71st International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time U.S. Graduate Students Attending U.S. Universities Who Have Submitted Abstracts to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF)
Submission Deadline: Feb. 27

NASA seeks abstracts from students interested in presenting at the 71st International Astronautical Congress being held Oct. 21-25, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to bridge NASA with the astronautical and space international communities. 

NASA requests that students who have submitted abstracts to the IAF website submit their abstracts to the NASA website by Thurs., Feb. 27 (11:59 p.m. EST). Only abstracts selected by the IAF will be considered for selection by NASA. 

Participants must submit proof of U.S. citizenship and current enrollment in a U.S. university or college by Feb. 27 to

Cosmic Fireworks: Make Your Own Festive Galaxy With NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges
Audience: Public
Entry Deadline: Feb. 29

Join NASA’s Universe of Learning for an exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own beautiful image of the iconic starburst galaxy M82. Capture your own real-time telescope image of M82 using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network, or work with an archived set of NASA data files of M82 taken with four multiwavelength space telescope missions: Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer and Galex. NASA experts may comment on creations highlighted as standout entries.

  Join Today and Get a Postcard From Space: Blue Origin’s Club for the Future
Audience: K-12 Students, Educators and Parents

Club for the Future is a nonprofit founded by Blue Origin to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM and to help visualize the future of life in space. The organization gathers teachers and K-12 students worldwide to engage in activities giving youth access to space through Blue Origin’s reusable rockets. 

Want to be one of the first humans to receive a postcard from space? Join the club and learn how you can send a postcard on a round-trip visit to space.

MUREP Innovation and Tech Transfer Idea Competition
Audience: Multidisciplinary Student Teams Enrolled at Minority Serving Institutions
Informational Webinar: Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. EST
Concept Paper Deadline: Feb. 4, 2020

The 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 April 2020. One team will be selected to receive funding to present its idea at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, in June 2020.

  Small Steps to Giant Leaps: Sense of Sound—Presented in Spanish
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar presented in Spanish. Explore NASA’s newly released “Sound Effects” activity, which teaches students about the principles of sound, specifically how to amplify and reduce volume. Learn how students can construct a speaker to amplify sound, and then figure out how to reduce the perceived sound volume. Review the history of X-planes and NASA aeronautical research, and learn about the future of NASA aeronautics innovation. Online registration is required.

2020 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Audience: 9-12 and Higher Education Educators and Students
U.S. Team Registration Deadline: Jan. 16

The 2020 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge will be held April 17-18, 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 U.S. school may enter up to two teams. 

Learn how you—the #Artemis Generation—can contribute to NASA’s mission by visiting

  2020 NASA Space Life Sciences Training Program
Audience: Undergraduate Students Entering Their Junior or Senior Years and Recent Graduates
Application Deadline: Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. PST

The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) provides professional experience in space life science laboratory or computational projects in areas such as molecular, cell, organismal or synthetic biology, bioinformatics or bioengineering. This challenging 10-week summer program is held at NASA’s Ames Research Center in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. The primary goal of the program is to train the next generation of scientists and engineers, enabling NASA to meet future research and development challenges in the space life sciences. Participants receive a stipend and accommodations. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are age 18 or older in high academic standing (GPA of 3.2 or higher).

Moon to Mars: Mission and Resources Overview
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. EST and Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. EST

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. Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a pair of free 60-minute webinars that begins with an overview of NASA’s plans for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and continues with an overview of associated NASA education lessons, videos, fact sheets, printables and training opportunities. Resources covered address national standards in science and mathematics. Online registration is required.

  U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management—2020 Minority-Serving Institutions Partnership Program Internships
Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students at Accredited Minority-Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Jan. 21

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management is seeking applicants for 10-week summer internships at the DOE’s National Laboratories. Interns will complete research projects aligned with ongoing DOE efforts. Students also will be involved in enrichment activities that may include laboratory and site tours, professional development seminars, workshops and lectures. A stipend or salary will be provided. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

NASA Commercial Crew Program: Mission and STEM Resources Overview
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & 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 safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. Learn about the companies, the vehicles, the crew and the STEM classroom resources related to the Commercial Crew Program. Online registration is required.

  Explore Humans in Space: Hazards of Spaceflight
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & 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.

NASA WEAR Challenge
Audience: Middle/High School Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 24

NASA’s Wearable Equipment for Averting Radiation (WEAR) Challenge gives middle and high school students an opportunity to design wearable radiation countermeasures with multipurpose use for deep space exploration. Protecting deep space astronauts from high-energy charged particles and solar particle events during Artemis missions is important to exploration. Team submissions will be considered for an expense-paid trip to a NASA center. To participate in WEAR, lead educators must register to participate in the challenge by Jan. 24, 2020. Find out more at

Visit for more Next Gen STEM educational resources and opportunities.

  Exploring Earth System Phenomena With ‘My NASA Data’ Resources
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. NASA strives to discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. That vision begins by observing our own planet, tracking changes over time and determining how we can respond to those changes effectively. In this webinar, Elizabeth Joyner, project lead for My NASA Data at NASA’s Langley Research Center’s Science Directorate, will provide webinar participants with an introductory overview of My NASA Data, and discuss how educators can leverage NASA Earth systems data resources and bridge these data to support Next Generation Science Standards phenomena-based teaching and learning. Online registration is required.

Explore Humans in Space: Mass vs. Weight
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Are you interested in microgravity aboard the International Space Station? Join us as participants will learn about hands-on, standards-aligned activities using mass and weight. This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standards ESS1 and ESS2 and Common Core Math Standards. Online registration is required.

  2020 NASA Student Airborne Research Program
Audience: Undergraduate Students Currently in Their Junior Year
Application Deadline: Jan. 29

The NASA Student Airborne Research Program is an eight-week summer internship for rising senior undergraduate students. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign on one or more of the NASA Airborne Science Program’s flying science laboratories. Participants will help operate aircraft instruments to sample atmospheric gases and/or to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Participants receive a stipend, and travel/living expenses are covered.

Explore Life in Extreme Environments: Life in the Cold and Dark
Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date:
Jan. 30 at 5 p.m. EST

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Explore “NASA Resources for Teaching Natural Selection and Adaptation.” From microorganisms to penguins, organisms are uniquely designed for some of the harshest Earth and space environments. Join us as we take a closer look at these extreme environments and the life among them. Online registration is required.

  Request for Proposals—NASA Centennial Challenges: Lunar Nutrition Challenge
Audience: Non-profit Organizations
Deadline: Jan. 31

The NASA Centennial Challenges program, part of the prizes and challenges portfolio within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, is seeking to identify potential partner organizations for a challenge on lunar nutrition. Future planetary habitats on the Moon and Mars will require a high degree of self-sufficiency; and long-duration human space exploration will require a sustainable food source. To help solve this problem, NASA is exploring the possibility of opening a NASA Centennial Challenge for the public to help NASA create a system capable of providing astronauts with healthy, nutrient-filled food. Visit the Request for Proposals link above for specific information regarding responsibilities and requirements.

GLOBE Webinar: Visualizing Data From the Urban Heat Island Effect—Surface Temperature Field Campaign
Audience: All Formal and Informal Educators
Webinar Date: Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. EST

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program invites you to a free series of webinars about the Urban Heat Island Effect—Surface Temperature Field Campaign. This campaign focuses on the impact urbanization has on Earth’s surface temperature and how surface temperature changes the dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere. Join Dr. Kevin Czajkowski to learn what is making your neighborhood so hot and how to visualize the data you collect. Register online.

  NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants
Audience: Informal Education Institutions; K-12 Schools and School Systems; Higher Education Institutions; Community-based Organizations; State, Local and Tribal Governments
Application Deadline: Feb 11 (Priority 2)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Education has issued a competitive funding opportunity for education projects that will strengthen the public’s and K-12 students’ knowledge of ways to make their communities more resilient to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards. Successful projects will relate to NOAA’s mission and build environmental literacy necessary for community resilience to the weather and other environmental hazards associated with a community’s location.

Student Flight Opportunity—Cubes in Space
Audience: Students Ages 11-18 and Educator Mentors
Registration Deadline: Feb. 7

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Langley Research Center, along with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and idoodledu Inc. are offering a free STEAM education program for students ages 11-18. Cubes in Space lets students design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in late June 2020, or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Scientific Balloon Flight Facility in New Mexico in late August 2020.

  2019-20 Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
Audience: Students in Grades 5-12
Entry Deadline: Feb. 20

The Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying moons of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Participants examine three moons and choose the one they think NASA should return to that would yield the best scientific results. This year’s topics are Uranus’ moon, Mimas, Neptune’s moon, Triton, and Pluto’s moon, Charon. After researching the three options, students write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice.

International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments
Audience: Students in Grades 8-12
Design Submission Deadlines: March 1

NASA and Portland State University in Oregon are challenging students to design microgravity experiments investigating capillary action, similar to those conducted on the space station. Teams or individuals create an experiment using a computer-aided design (CAD) template and submit a short proposal presenting the experiment. Selected experiments will be tested in the university’s 2.1-second drop tower, and video results will be made available for analysis and reporting.


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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



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