NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Dec. 7, 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’s Up for December?

A lineup of planets. Two meteor showers. A supermoon and a comet. Find out how to see these and more in the night sky during December 2016.

Have You Seen This?

Are you looking for free downloadable resources to use in your classroom? Check out NASA Science Toolkits. Topics range from planetary missions to heliophysics and more.

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

**NEW** NASA’s Digital Learning Network Event – Ants in Space Webcast
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-12
Event Date: Dec. 9, 2016, 11 – 11:45 a.m. EST

Do ants behave the same in space as they do on Earth? Connect your middle or high school class with the Digital Learning Network to talk with Dr. Deborah Gordon, a researcher at Stanford University studying ants on the International Space Station. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS, manages the U.S. National Laboratory and sponsors this experiment.

Gordon says that collective behavior takes many forms, such as emergence, self-organization, superorganism, quorum sensing, artificial intelligence, and dynamical networks. At her research laboratory at Stanford University, Gordon has been studying ants in many environments including ants in space! In her lab, her students and researchers use ant colonies to investigate systems that operate without central control and explore analogies with other systems, such as the internet, the immune system and the brain.

The 45-minute event will be webcast on the NASA DLiNfo Channel on Dec. 9, 2016, at 11 a.m. EST. Tweet questions with #askDLN or email

For more information about this and other DLN events, visit

Please direct questions about this event to, ATTN: CASIS Academy Live.

**NEW** Get Ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse With NASA Resources
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Aug. 21, 2017

On Aug. 21, 2017, the United States will experience a solar eclipse! This celestial event will provide a golden opportunity to engage and educate diverse audiences, and NASA has the resources to help.

Along a path 60 to 70 miles wide stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, observers will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Others across North America will see a partial eclipse. The event will happen around lunch time across the country. For an interactive map with timing information along the path of the eclipse, visit

Visit the following websites to find additional information and resources, including:
— Tips for safely viewing the solar eclipse.
— Recorded interviews with NASA scientists, mission specialists and eclipse path communities.
— Topical online eclipse videos, featuring a variety of STEM and cultural topics.
— Social media community development and networking.
— Mobile educational eclipse applications.
— Public challenges and engagement activities.
— 2-D and 3-D printing exercises for K-16 students.
— Citizen science campaigns in partnership with NASA mission observations.
— Adjunct activities and educational resources.
— Live streaming of observations and programming.

Total Eclipse 2017 — Through the Eyes of NASA

Eclipses and Transits

Watch “The Solar Eclipse 2017 PREVIEW Show” with NASA EDGE.


Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12

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.

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.

**NEW** Teachers Connect: LaRC Centennial Badge Webinar
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8
Event Date: Dec. 13, 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 Educator Professional Development Collaborative digital badges. To learn more about the Langley 100th digital badges, log in to and search for LaRC 100th. Register online to participate.

For a full schedule of upcoming webinars, visit

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

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

**NEW** NASA’s Ames Research Center Summer Internships — NASA Astrobiology Institute
Audience: Undergraduate Students Who Have Completed Their Sophomore Year or More
Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2017

The NASA Astrobiology Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California is looking for internship candidates for summer 2017 sessions. Internship opportunities are available within three modules of NAI research.

Laboratory Studies of Chemical Processing in Astrophysical Ices
The intern will work in the Astrochemistry and Astrophysics Laboratory to help carry out experiments designed to study the photochemistry and catalytic chemistry that occurs in astrophysical ice analogs of cometary, planetary and interstellar ices. Emphasis will be placed on how these processes produce organic compounds, particularly compounds of astrobiological interest.

Computer Modeling of Protoplanetary Disks
The intern will work on astronomical modeling of planet-forming disks using existing computational models. The main task will be to apply these models to one or two objects and infer the physical and chemical conditions in planet-forming regions of the disk. The intern will learn to compute disk models, analyze results, and compare observable signatures with available astronomical data from disks.

Computational Quantum Chemistry Studies of Astrophysical Ices and Gases
Computational quantum chemistry is an important tool to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of quantum chemical reactions in both the gas and condensed phases. The intern will study important reactions that lead to the gas and solid-state formation of biogenic molecules using computer programs. Work will include exploring molecular structures, reaction rates, spectroscopic constants and reaction pathways of important biomolecules and their precursors.

Students selected for all three 10-week internships will do real, ongoing NASA research. It is anticipated that these efforts may lead to one or more reports or peer-reviewed scientific publications on which the student would be coauthor. 

These opportunities are open to underrepresented students who are currently enrolled in a college or university and who have successfully completed their sophomore, junior or senior years with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale). Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Application materials are due Feb. 15, 2017.

For more information and complete application process details, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Scott Sandford 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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