NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Jan. 18, 2017

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 I Complete a Science Fair Project?

Do you need help getting started on a science fair project? In this video series from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a scientist, engineer and educator team up to help you learn how to develop an idea for a great science fair project and see it through to completion.

Have You Seen This?

Are you looking for a science podcast for elementary students? The Space Place “Musings” series of podcasts answers questions about space, Earth and science in general. Check them out at

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

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

NASA’s DIVER (Diving into Experimental Research) Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 1, 2017

NASA and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, or ASGSR, are challenging high school students to design and build an object that will float in water in normal gravity but will submerge in water as far as possible when exposed to microgravity.

After student proposals are evaluated, selected teams will have their objects tested in NASA’s 2.2 Second Drop Tower at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio. Teams are only responsible for their diving objects. NASA will provide the rest of the experimental hardware and interact with teams remotely during testing.

The winning DIVER teams will have the opportunity to present their results in a student poster session at ASGSR’s 2017 conference in Seattle, Washington, in October 2017.

Proposals are due Feb. 1, 2017.

For more information about this opportunity, visit

Please email questions about this opportunity to

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

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.

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.

**NEW** Aeronautics — Come Fly With Us: Balloons and Kites for Early Elementary
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades K-5
Event Date: Jan. 23, 2017, at 4 p.m. EST
Discovery and Inquiry are fun. This educators’ guide explains how to teach thematic lessons on aeronautical science principles through children’s literature. It is never too early to start STEM education. Incorporating the ideas and principles in popular children’s books engages children in the crosscutting concepts and science and engineering process skills found in the Next Generation Science Standards. 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

Free Educator Workshop: Utilizing Renewable Energy
Audience: Pre-service Educators and Educators of Grades 9-12
Event Date: Jan. 21, 2017, 10 a.m. – Noon PST

Learn how to help students break down complex issues into more manageable pieces in a lesson that explores the math, science and engineering considerations involved in using solar energy. Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Jan. 21, 2017, 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.

2017 Space Exploration Educators Conference
Audience: K-12 Educators
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 more information, visit

Please email any questions about the conference to

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

Call for Abstracts: 68th International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time U.S. Graduate Students Attending U.S. Universities
Submission Deadline: Feb. 27, 2017

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 68th International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time U.S. graduate students attending U.S. universities respond to this “Call for Abstracts.”

The IAC — which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF; the International Academy of Astronautics, or IAA; and the International Institute of Space Law, or IISL — is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1,000 scientific papers every year. The upcoming IAC will be held Sept. 25-29, 2017, in Adelaide, Australia. NASA’s participation in this event is part of an ongoing effort to connect NASA with the astronautical and space international community.

This “Call for Abstracts” is a precursor to a subsequent submission of a final paper, which may be presented at the 68th IAC. Student authors are invited to submit an abstract regarding an original, unpublished paper that has not been submitted in any other forum. A NASA technical review panel will select abstracts from those that have been accepted by the International Astronautical Federation. This opportunity is for graduate students majoring in fields related to the IAF research topics. Students may submit technical (oral) presentations and/or posters. Students may submit abstracts that are co-authored with their Principal Investigators. However, the student must be the “lead author,” and only the student will present at the IAC. Students must be available to travel to the conference to represent NASA and their universities. Students must be U.S. citizens, attending a U.S. university, who plan to enter a career in space science or aeronautics. Pending the availability of funding, graduate students selected by NASA to participate in the IAC will be considered for subsidy funding from NASA.

Many students and professors currently are involved in NASA-related research that could be considered for this submission. Students submitting abstracts are strongly encouraged to seek advice from professors who are conducting NASA research and/or from NASA scientists and engineers. Abstracts must be related to NASA’s ongoing vision for space exploration and fit into one of the following IAC categories:

— Science and Exploration — Systems sustaining missions, including life, microgravity, space exploration, space debris and Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI
— Applications and Operations — Ongoing and future operational applications, including earth observation, communication, navigation, human space endeavors and small satellites
— Technology — Common technologies to space systems including astrodynamics, structures, power and propulsion
— Infrastructure — Systems sustaining space missions including space system transportation, future systems and safety
— Space and Society — Interaction of space with society including education, policy and economics, history, and law

The criteria for the selection will be defined according to the following specifications:
— Abstracts should specify purpose, methodology, results, conclusions and areas for discussion.
— Abstracts should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content is included.
— Abstracts should clearly indicate that the material is new and original; they should explain why and how.
— Prospective author(s) should certify that the paper was not presented at a previous meeting.

Abstracts must be written in English, and the length should not exceed 400 words. Tables or drawings are not allowed in the abstract.

NOTE: If you plan to seek assistance from NASA, you must submit to the International Astronautical Federation and to NASA.
— Submit your abstract to the IAF at their website by Feb. 28, 2017 (11:59:00 CET).
— Submit your abstract to NASA at no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.

IAC Paper Selection
Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by the Session Chairs on the basis of technical quality and relevance to the session topics. Selected abstracts may be chosen for eventual oral or poster presentation. Any such choice is not an indication of quality of the submitted abstract. Their evaluation will be submitted to the Symposium Coordinators. They will make acceptance recommendations to the International Programme Committee, which will make the final decision. Please note that any relevance to the Congress main theme will be considered as an advantage.

The following information must be included in the submission: paper title, name of contact author, name of co-author(s), organization(s), full postal address, phone, email of the author and co-author(s). The abstract should specify purpose, methodology, results and conclusions. The abstract should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content is included, as well as clearly indicate that the material is new and original and explain why and how.

Please check the IAF website ( regularly to get the latest updates on the Technical Programme.

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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