NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message for Jan. 11, 2017

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 an Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse will cross the United States later this year. But do you know what an eclipse is? Check out the Eclipse Glossary to be “in the know”:

Got kids? These articles are written for students. Share with them to find the answer!

K-4 Students:
5-8 Students:

Have You Seen This?

On Aug. 21, 2017, the United States will experience the first total solar eclipse across the entire North American continent in 99 years! This celestial event will provide a golden opportunity to engage and educate diverse audiences, and NASA has the resources to help.

Start planning for this big event by visiting NASA’s Total Eclipse 2017 website. The site features tips for safely viewing the eclipse, free resources, videos, activities 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** 2017 von Kármán Lecture Series — Attend in Person or View Online
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Next Lecture Date: Jan. 12, 2017, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

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:

Exoplanets: The Quest for Strange New Worlds
Event Date:
Jan. 12 and Jan. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)
Exoplanets, planets orbiting other stars, have become an important field of astronomical study over the past two-and-a-half decades. Join Dr. Eric Mamajek from the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a discussion about the recent findings from NASA’s Kepler mission that suggest nearly every star you see in the night sky has exoplanets orbiting it.

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

Future Engineers Mars Medical Challenge
Audience: Educators and Students Ages 5 to 19
Entry Deadline: Jan. 25, 2017

Calling all students! NASA wants your help to design an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a three-year mission to Mars. The Mars Medical Challenge is the fifth in a series of Future Engineers Challenges where students in grades K-12 create and submit a digital 3-D model intended to be printed in 3-D and used for a wide range of medical needs including diagnostic, preventive, first-aid, emergency, surgical and/or dental purposes.

As NASA continues to investigate how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, radiation and stress that occur long-duration spaceflight, Future Engineers proposes to engage students with a related challenge. The Mars Medical Challenge asks students to design a 3-D printed object that will keep astronauts healthy during the long trip to the Red Planet. Specifically, medical and dental hardware will be emphasized during this challenge.

Students ages 5-19 are invited to become the creators and innovators of tomorrow by using 3-D modeling software to submit their designs for hardware that could be used by astronauts on a future mission to Mars. Students have the opportunity to win prizes ranging from a Mars prize pack or a 3-D printer for their school to a trip to Houston for a tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The challenge closes on Jan. 25, 2017, and winners will be announced on March 28, 2017.

What health-related items do you think an astronaut will need on that journey, and why would these items require a 3-D printer? It’s time to start flexing your problem-solving and design skills to find a solution – good luck!

For more information about the challenge and how to enter, visit

**NEW** “NASA Intern Stories” Website
Audience: 9-12 and Higher Education Students

Each year, almost 2,000 students across the United States get the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to intern at NASA. Some have dreamed of working with the agency their whole lives. Others have overcome great challenges before being accepted. Many have made important contributions to space exploration. And they all have a story.

The new “NASA Intern Stories” website features inspiring stories from NASA interns across the agency. To read their stories and learn how to apply to become a NASA intern, visit

Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12

New Storybook From Elementary GLOBE: ‘What in the World Is Happening to Our Climate?’

Audience: Formal, Informal and Homeschool Educators of Grades K-4

The latest storybook in the Elementary GLOBE series is available online.  “What in the World Is Happening to Our Climate?” is a science instructional reader.  In this story, the GLOBE kids learn the factors that regulate Earth’s climate.  Three new Elementary GLOBE learning activities accompany the story. These materials were developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and are supported by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The Elementary GLOBE resources introduce K-4 students to the study of Earth system science. All of these resources are free online at

Questions about Elementary GLOBE should be directed to Jessica Taylor at

Free Educator Workshop — Solar System and Beyond: Modern Figures
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Event Dates: Jan. 18, 2017, 4:30-6 p.m. PST

Join the Office of Education of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center for an educator professional development workshop as we look back at the history of human computers like Katherine Johnson and look forward toward exploration of the solar system. Learn about OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) on its search for asteroids using modern-day technology to calculate launch windows and orbits. Educators will engage in standards-aligned mathematics, science and engineering activities about launch windows, planetary orbits and robotics. Participants will receive hands-on activities for students that combine math, science, engineering and social studies.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, 4:30-6 p.m. PST 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

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** Teaching Gravity With NASA
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Jan. 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Participants will receive an overview of resources for teaching about gravity and microgravity to students in 5-8. Discussion will include modifications of activities and accommodations. Activities discussed in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards PS2 and PS3. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Aeronautics — Come Fly With Us: How High Is It?
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Jan. 19, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST
Explore the NASA “How High Is It?” lesson guide and additional online resources that create scale models of our atmosphere. Models include the layers of Earth’s atmosphere and altitudes of NASA aircraft, spacecraft, and natural and artificial satellites. Develop number sense by representing scale factors in terms of ratios, decimals, and percentages. Register online to participate.

For a full schedule of upcoming NASA Educator Professional Development webinars, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Steve Culivan at

Science Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships for Early Career Researchers
Audience: Researchers Who Have Received a Ph.D. in the Last Eight Years
Notice of Intent Deadline: Jan. 20, 2017
Proposal Deadline: March 17, 2017

The Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in astrophysics seeks to provide early-career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrument development projects, including suborbital investigations, in preparation to become principal investigators of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies for space astrophysics that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory toward long-term positions. NASA is committed to supporting deserving early-career researchers by selecting one or more Roman Technology Fellows every year.

This fellowship consists of two components with two different submission procedures. (1) The first component is the application to be named a Roman Technology Fellow through a one-page application submitted along with a proposal submitted to D.3, the Astrophysics Research and Analysis, or APRA, program element. (2) The second component is the subsequent submission of a proposal for up to $300K in fellowship funds by a previously selected Roman Technology Fellow once that individual obtains a permanent or permanent track position.

A notice of intent to submit a proposal is required and is due Jan. 20, 2017. Proposals are due March 17, 2017.

For complete fellowship details and application procedures, visit

Questions concerning this opportunity may be directed to William Lightsey at

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2017-2018 Academic Year
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 1, 2017

The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship program is soliciting applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, for the 2017-2018 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. Financial support for the NESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate’s four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics.

Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for up to two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflected in academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the faculty advisor) and the availability of funds.

The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $45,000 per year.

Proposals for this opportunity are due Feb. 1, 2017.

For more information about this solicitation, visit

Questions about Earth Science Research NESSF opportunities should be directed to Claire Macaulay at

Questions about Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research and Astrophysics Research opportunities should be directed to Dolores Holland at

2017 Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program
Audience: Undergraduate Students Majoring in Geology or a Related Science
Application Deadline: Feb. 10, 2017

The Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program, or PGGURP, pairs qualified undergraduate students with NASA-funded investigators at research locations across the U.S. for eight weeks during the summer. Students spend the summer at the NASA scientists’ home institutions. Selected students receive a cost-of-living stipend and compensation for housing and travel.

Undergraduate students majoring in geology or related sciences are eligible to apply. Students graduating in 2017 who have not started graduate school yet are also eligible. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Applications are due Feb. 10, 2017.

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please email Robyn Wagner, PGGURP administrator, 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

Are you looking for NASA educational materials to support your STEM curriculum?
Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at

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.

Visit NASA Education on the web:
NASA Office of Education:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club:

Did you miss last week’s NASA Education Science WOW! newsletter?
Visit the Science WOW! blog for an archive of previous messages.