NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Nov. 30, 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 Light?

Light is all around us and takes many forms. Watch the video to learn about the different types of light and how telescopes and other instruments help us to see what would otherwise be invisible to us.

Have You Seen This?

Bring the excitement of computer coding into the classroom with Recoloring the Universe With Pencil Code. Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other satellites, grade 4-12 students with no prior coding experience can learn how to use computers to create images and understand astronomical data. The website features tutorial videos, scaffolded sets of activities and background information.

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

2017 Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut “Walk to the Moon” Challenge
Audience: All Educators and Students, Home School Parents and After-school Groups
Registration Deadline: Dec. 31, 2016
Challenge Dates: Jan. 12 – April 28, 2017

Mission X encourages children of all ages, as well as people with particular needs, to pursue healthy lifestyles based on the model of training like an astronaut. During six- to nine-week “challenges” each fall and spring, schools and student groups from around the world complete Mission X classroom-based science lessons and physical education activities.

In 2017, Mission X is challenging Fit Explorers around the world to work together to perform activities that will move Astro Charlie the 478 million steps it would take to walk from Earth to the moon! That’s 238,857 miles, or 384,403 kilometers! At an average walking speed, that would take one person about nine years to complete.

The challenge kicks off in January. For full challenge details and to do your part to help reach this out-of-this-world goal, visit The deadline to register for this challenge is Dec. 31, 2016. You may apply for Team USA at

In 2016, Mission X was represented by 30 countries and more than 53,000 participants. The challenge was available in 17 languages.

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Nubia Carvajal at

**NEW** 2016-2017 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
Audience: 5-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017

The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three of the best scientific targets imaged by the Cassini spacecraft in its 12 years at Saturn. After researching the topics, students are to choose the one they think yielded the best scientific results. This year’s targets are Enceladus’ plumes, Titan’s lakes and Saturn’s hexagon. After researching the three options, students write an essay of fewer than 500 words explaining their choice.

The contest is open to all students in the United States in grades 5-12. The essays will be divided into three groups for scoring: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Participants may enter as individuals or as part of a team of up to four students.

The deadline for entries is Feb. 24, 2017.

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this contest, please email


Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12

**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.

Teachers Connect: LaRC Centennial Badge Webinar
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8
Event Date: Nov. 30, 2016, at 4 p.m. EST
This webinar will focus for the first half-hour on clouds and their role in Earth’s “energy budget” and on implementation ideas using GLOBE for different classroom settings as part of the Earth Right Now: LaRC 100th digital badge. We also will talk about student badge implementations, extension ideas and extra resources. The second half-hour will be very similar but centered on the engineering design process using the Drag Race to Mars Engineering Design Challenge as part of the Journey to Mars: LaRC 100th digital badge. This portion of the webinar will focus on forces and motion and math calculations using paper airplanes and testing different materials as part of the Aeronautics: LaRC 100th digital badge. This webinar meets requirements of teacher discussions within the NASA Langley 100th EPDC digital badges. To learn more about the Langley 100th digital badges, log in to and search for LaRC 100th. Register online to participate.

Picking Up STEAM: Using Models and Data to Understand Clouds
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 4-10
Event Date: Dec. 6, 2016, at 5 p.m. EST
Practice STEAM through the use of inquiry-based science activities from NASA curriculum guides. The activities and NASA educational websites introduced will provide participants with new curriculum ideas to assist in reaching the Next Generation Science Standards and CORE learning outcomes standards. This STEAM workshop will guide participants through inquiry-based learning activities related to clouds, phase change, light, water cycle, weather and climate. Participants will use authentic data sets to model STEAM lessons. Register online to participate.

For a full schedule of upcoming webinars, visit

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

**NEW** Educator Workshop: Making Moon Craters
Audience: Pre-service Educators and Educators of Grades 1-6
Event Date: Dec. 17, 2016, 10 a.m. – Noon PST

Learn how to use baking ingredients to whip up a moonlike crater as a demonstration for students in classrooms, camps or at home. Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Dec. 17, 2016, from 10 a.m. to noon PST for this workshop at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, California.

The workshop is free for all pre-service and fully credentialed teachers! Participants must bring their teacher or student ID the day of the workshop. Lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required.

For more information and to register to attend, visit

Can’t make it to the workshop? Explore the lesson online at

Please direct questions about this workshop to Sandra Valencia at (562) 231-1205.


Science Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

Call for Proposals — NASA Research Announcement for Use of the NASA Physical Sciences Informatics System: Appendix C
Audience: Graduate Students
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 15, 2016

NASA is seeking ground-based research proposals from graduate students and established researchers to use NASA’s Physical Sciences Informatics system to develop new analyses and scientific insights. The PSI system is a resource for researchers to data mine information generated from completed physical sciences experiments performed on the International Space Station or from related ground-based studies.

This solicitation appendix focuses on the following five research areas: combustion science, complex fluids, fluid physics, fundamental physics and materials science.

For graduate students (students working toward an advanced degree), this NASA Research Announcement is soliciting proposals that advance fundamental research in one of the physical sciences disciplines identified above and also assist in the awarding of an advanced degree to the graduate student. This call is open to students who meet the following eligibility requirements:

— The student is pursuing an advanced degree directly related to a physical sciences discipline. Only technical degrees are permitted (not degrees in policy or management).
— The student is a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident alien of the U.S., or on a student visa at an accredited U.S. university at the time of application submission.
— The student is enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at an accredited U.S. university at the time of application submission. Or, if the student is an undergraduate starting graduate studies, he or she has been accepted to a master’s or doctoral degree program at an accredited U.S. university at the time of application submission and will start during the next academic year.
— The student has an academic graduate advisor who will submit the application for the graduate student. The student must perform the proposed research under the guidance of the assigned graduate advisor.

The agency expects to make approximately 10 awards in spring 2016. Research and development efforts will take place over two years. The typical award will be $75,000-$100,000 per year, for up to two years.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Dec. 15, 2016.

For information, visit

Please direct questions about this NASA Research Announcement to Dr. Francis Chiaramonte at


2017 High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 16, 2016

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 on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual project, supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office and LaSPACE, provides near-space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate 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.

The experiments are flown aboard the High-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 16, 2016.

For application information and technical details about the program, visit

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platform opportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik 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
For a full list of events, opportunities and more, visit the Educators and Students Current Opportunity pages on NASA’s website:
— Educators
— Students

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