NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Oct. 12, 2016

Check out the latest edition of NASA Education’s “Science WOW!” — your source for NASA opportunities in science education delivered “Weekly On Wednesday.”

Check out the latest edition of NASA Education’s “Science WOW!” — your source for NASA opportunities in science education delivered “Weekly On Wednesday.”

Science Always Starts With a Question …

This Week’s Question: What Is a Black Hole?

Black holes are pretty mysterious. Watch this video to find out what a black hole is and how one is formed.


Have You Seen This?

Check out the new ‘Explore NASA Science’ website!

Explore the redesigned NASA Science site and send us feedback. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit


Opportunities for Future Scientists of All Ages


Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12


Science Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions


Opportunities for Future Scientists of All Ages

Fly Your Exoplanet on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
Audience: All Educators and Students
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2017

Set to launch in June 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is an explorer-class planet finder. In the first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey, TESS will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants and will orbit a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. As the TESS team prepares for launch, it invites the public to ponder what exoplanets might look like and share their ideas in the form of sketches and graphics.

This opportunity is open to all ages and skill levels. Submissions will be collected via email. To download the template for submitting your artwork, visit

The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2017, or when capacity of the drive carrying the submissions to space is reached, whichever occurs first.

To learn more about the TESS mission, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

Be a Citizen Earth Scientist With New ‘GLOBE Observer’ App
Audience: All Educators and Students

Want to be a citizen Earth scientist? To contribute to NASA’s studies of our home planet, all you need is a smartphone, access to the outdoors, and the new “GLOBE Observer” app.

Now available for Apple and Android phones, the app is an initiative of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program. For over two decades, GLOBE has enabled schools and students in over 110 countries to investigate their local environment and put their observations in a global context.

To learn more, visit and


Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12

**NEW** Celebrate Solar Week — Fall 2016
Audience: Informal Educators and Students in Grades 5-9
Event Dates: Oct. 17-21, 2016

Solar Week, October 17-21, provides a weeklong series of web-based activities with a focus on the sun-Earth connection. Young people ages 10-14 can learn about solar careers, sunspots, solar eclipses, solar energy and solar storms through a series of cool facts, activities and games.

Solar Week is ideal for young teens or groups wanting to know more about the solar system, the stars or astronomy in general. Many activities are suitable for fun in the computer lab as well. After doing the activities, participants can interact on the bulletin board with leading scientists at the forefront of sun-Earth research. Solar Week is great for learning about our nearest star, the sun.

To learn more and to register to participate, visit

Questions about Solar Week may be emailed to

**NEW** Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development
Audience: In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators

The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate. To register, simply click on the link provided beneath the webinar description.

NASA Weathering the Storm — Earth Right Now: Space Weather
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades PreK-12
Event Date: Oct. 17, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
During this webinar about space weather, participants will learn how radiation impacts Earth and how it affects planning for space travel and the upcoming journey to Mars. Attendees also will learn about current research going on at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. Register online to participate.

NASA Weathering the Storm — Earth Right Now: What Do We Know About Snow?
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Oct. 18, 2016, at 6 p.m. EDT
Investigate ways to use snow studies to explore climate science. Participants will explore lessons that give students opportunities to complete field research and collect data, including how to take measurements and calculate the snow-water equivalent. Register online to participate.

For a full schedule of upcoming webinars, visit

Please direct questions about this series of webinars to Steve Culivan at

Free Educator Workshop — Technology Drives Exploration: Deep Space Atomic Clock
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Event Dates: Oct. 19, 2016, 4:30-6 p.m. PDT

Precise radio navigation — using radio frequencies to determine position — is vital to the success of a range of deep-space exploration missions. Join NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Office of Education for an educator professional development workshop on the innovative Deep Space Atomic Clock project — a NASA Technology Demonstration Mission that will revolutionize deep-space navigation.

Participants will hear from Dr. Todd Ely, JPL’s Principal Investigator for the Deep Space Atomic Clock project, about this revolutionary new capability that could forever change the way we conduct deep-space navigation. Through hands-on activities and physical demonstrations, educators will learn how to design, construct and test a simple water clock using the NASA Beginning Engineering Science and Technology for Educators Guide and the engineering design process.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, 4:30-6 p.m. PDT at NASA’s Armstrong Educator Resource Center at the AERO Institute in Palmdale, California.

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this workshop to Sondra Geddes at

Science Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

Call for White Papers: NASA iTech Initiative
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
White Paper Submission Deadline: Oct. 17, 2016
Forum Dates: Dec. 5-8, 2016

NASA iTech is a yearlong initiative to find innovative ideas with the most potential impact on future space exploration and to support development of the most promising solutions. Ideas may come from U.S. small or large businesses, academia, or other government organizations external to NASA. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

The first step for potential innovators to participate in NASA iTech is to submit a five-page white paper summarizing a proposed innovation to solve challenges in one of the focus areas. These challenges range from crew health to propulsion.

A panel of experts will review all submitted ideas. The top 25 white papers submitted will be recognized by NASA iTech as semifinalists and evaluated by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. Innovators representing the top 10 ideas will be invited to present to the agency and its largest contractors at the NASA iTech Forum on Dec. 5-8, 2016, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The deadline to submit white papers is Oct. 17, 2016.

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Tom Flake at

ROSES-16 Amendment 33: New Program Element — Interdisciplinary Science for Eclipse 2017
Audience: Informal and Higher Education Institutions
Step-1 Proposal Deadline: Oct. 27, 2016

A total solar eclipse is widely regarded as one of the most incredible natural phenomenon visible from Earth. On Aug. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will traverse the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. For approximately 90 minutes, city after city along the centerline will experience two to nearly three minutes of darkness during daytime as totality moves from west to east. While the path of totality will cover a swath only 60 miles wide, the contiguous U.S. States will see at least 65% of the sun disappear behind the moon during its progression of phases. A large fraction of the population in North America is expected to witness this natural event (

The purpose of this program element is to support development of new research or enhancement of existing research, applied to the 2017 eclipse. NASA is seeking proposals that would use the special opportunity presented by the solar eclipse to study the sun, Earth, the moon, astronomy, and/or space science, including the ionosphere-thermosphere-mesosphere system. Building on existing partnerships and the use of interdisciplinary or citizen science approaches is encouraged. Citizen science involves public contributions to science, including formulating research questions, conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, interpreting results, making new discoveries, and/or developing new/existing technologies and applications. Citizen science is distinguished from public outreach in that the primary purpose of public involvement is to make contributions to science. All proposals must demonstrate links to the 2017 solar eclipse.

Step-1 proposals are due by Oct. 27, 2016.

Step-2 proposals are due by Nov. 30, 2016.

For more information, visit .

Please direct questions concerning this program element to Madhulika Guhathakurta at

Postdoctoral Fellowships in Space Biology to Study the Microbiome of the International Space Station as a Built Environment
Audience: Postdoctoral Students
Required Notice of Intent Deadline: Oct. 31, 2016

NASA is seeking proposals from potential postdoctoral fellows to conduct studies to characterize microbial populations isolated from the International Space Station. Selected studies will provide insight into how microbes and microbial populations adapt to spaceflight. Proposed experiments will use microbial isolates collected from the space station that have been archived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Proposals will be accepted from graduate students in their final year of their Ph.D. or equivalent degree program; from postdoctoral fellows (Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution); or from applicants who received a doctoral degree within the past two years but have not yet had postdoctoral training. Applicants must have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission or revision application. The program is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or persons with pre-existing visas obtained through their sponsoring institutions that permit postdoctoral training for the project’s duration. Sponsoring institutions must be U.S. academic, government or commercial institutions that will provide appropriate mentors.

Interested applicants must submit a required notice of intent no later than Oct. 31, 2016.

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Dr. David Tomko at

Check out the new ‘Explore NASA Science’ website!
Science starts with questions, leading to discoveries. Explore the redesigned NASA Science site and send us feedback. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit

Don’t miss out on upcoming NASA education opportunities
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