NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Dec. 14, 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: How Do Snowflakes Form?

A snowflake is not simply a frozen droplet of water falling from a cloud. To find out how these wintry crystals form, visit

Have You Seen This?

Are you ready to go on a “Wild Weather Adventure“? Check out this online game that lets you hop on a weather research blimp to explore Earth and its weather.

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** 2016 von Kármán Lecture Series — Attend in Person or View Online
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Next Lecture Date: Dec. 15, 2016, at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. EST)

The Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, named after the founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and presented by JPL’s Office of Communication and Education, shares the excitement of the space program’s missions, instruments and other technologies.

Lectures take place twice per month, on consecutive Thursdays and Fridays. The Thursday lectures take place in JPL’s Theodore von Kármán Auditorium, and Friday lectures take place at Pasadena City College’s Vosloh Forum. Both start at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT). Admission and parking are free for all lectures. No reservations are required, but seating is limited. The Thursday evening lectures are streamed live for viewing online. Archives of past lectures are also available online.

Next Lecture in the Series:

Spinning Black Holes, Exploding Stars and Hyperluminous Pulsars: Results From the NuSTAR Satellite
Event Date:
Dec. 15 and Dec. 16, 2016, at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. EST)
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, launched in June 2012 and became the first telescope in orbit to focus high-energy X-ray light. Join NuSTAR project scientist Dr. Daniel K. Stern for a discussion about the highlights from the first four years of NuSTAR observations, including the surprising discovery of a new class of hyperluminous neutron stars, measurements of how fast black holes spin, and unique insight into the physics of supernova explosions.

For more information about the Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, including a complete list of upcoming lectures, visit

Questions about this series should be directed to

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** Update From NASA Space Place — Space Place App Discontinued
Audience: K-6 Educators and Students

The NASA Space Place app, known as Space Place Prime, is being removed from the iTunes App Store and Google Play. However, the NASA Space Place website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate! You can check it out on your smartphone at

Please send any comments or feedback to


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.

**NEW** Teachers Connect: LaRC Centennial Badge Webinar
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8
Event Date: Dec. 15, 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.

**NEW** 2017 Space Exploration Educators Conference
Audience: K-12 Educators
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Dec. 30, 2016
Event Date: Feb. 9-11, 2017

Make plans to attend the 23rd Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference to be held Feb. 9-11, 2017, at Space Center Houston. This conference is for all K-12 educators. Activities presented use space-related themes to teach across the curricula. The activities may be used for science, language arts, mathematics, history and more.

Attend sessions hosted by scientists and engineers working on exciting projects like the International Space Station and the exploration of Mars and other parts of our solar system. Hear from astronauts who will be “leading the charge” in exploration. Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready-to-implement classroom ideas. Attendees can earn up to 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

For discounted registration, sign up to attend before the Early Bird Registration deadline on Dec. 30, 2016!

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about the conference to

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

Center for Astronomy Education Regional Teaching Exchanges and Workshops — Fall/Winter 2016-2017
Audience: Current and Future College Instructors of Astronomy
Next Event Date: Jan. 4, 2017

NASA’s Center for Astronomy Education, or CAE, announces a series of regional teaching exchanges and workshops for astronomy and space science educators.

Teaching exchanges foster a sense of community among geographically linked current and future college instructors of astronomy. Regional experts from the broader CAE community are ready to provide the opportunity for you to meet your neighbors, expand your instructional repertoire and share your own expertise.

Workshops provide participants with experiences needed to create effective and productive active-learning classroom environments. Workshop leaders model best practices in implementing many different classroom-tested instructional strategies. But more importantly, workshop participants will gain first-hand experience implementing these proven strategies.

Jan. 4, 2017 — Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas
CAE Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop — New Methods for Teaching About Exoplanets

Jan. 5, 2017 — Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas
CAE Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop — New Methods for Teaching in the Flipped Classroom

For more information and to register for the teaching exchanges, visit

Inquiries about this series of events should be directed to Gina Brissenden at

CAE is funded through NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Exoplanet Exploration Program.

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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