NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Feb. 22, 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: What Is an Exoplanet?

Here’s a hint: It’s not found in our solar system! Visit the link below to find out what exoplanets are and how NASA is searching for them.

Have You Seen This?

Download the “Eyes on Exoplanets” app, and fly to planets far beyond our solar system. This fully rendered 3D universe is scientifically accurate and allows you to zoom in for a close look at more than 1,000 exotic planets known to orbit distant stars.

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

NASA’s Digital Learning Network Event — Live Video Chat: NASA STARS en Español
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Feb. 23, 2017, 12-12:30 p.m. EST

Do you want to be one of NASA’s STARS? In this series of live Spanish video chats, listen as “Students Talk About Real STEM” with NASA professionals who work in these areas. Join NASA’s Digital Learning Network and Educator Professional Development Collaborative for an inside look at NASA missions, research and careers.

This special 30-minute NASA STARS en Español event is part of a series for “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and will be webcast on the NASA DLiNfo Channel on Feb. 23, 2017, at Noon EST.

Submit questions via Twitter using #NASASTARS or via email to Or sign up at for your class to connect directly.

For more information, visit Please send questions about this event to

NASA’s Digital Learning Network Event — NASA STARS en Español
Audiencia: Todos Los Educadores y Estudiantes
Fecha del Evento: 23 de febrero de 2017, Mediodía-12:30 p.m. EST

¿Quieres ser uno de los Astros de NASA? En esta serie de video conferencia en español y en vivo, los estudiantes hablarán de lo que es en realidad STEM (ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas) con profesionales de NASA que están trabajando en estas ramas. Acompaña a los programas de conexión digital de NASA (DLN for sus siglas en inglés) y el programa de colaboraciones de desarrolló profesional educativo (EPDC por sus siglas en inglés) hablando de diferentes misiones, investigaciones y carreras en NASA.

El siguiente programa será transmitido por NASA DLiNfo Channel el 23 de febrero de 2017 a la 12 p.m. EST.

Envia tus preguntas por medio de Twitter usando #NASASTARS ó por correo electrónico O inscribe tu escuela y conectate.

Para más información, visite la página Escribanos si usted esta interesado en conectarse directo para participar y cualquier pregunta sobre el programa

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

International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments
Audience: Grade 8-12 Educators and Students
Entry Deadlines: March 1, 2017

NASA and Portland State University are seeking participants for the International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments, or CELERE. This design challenge enables students to do microgravity research on capillary action, similar to that conducted on the space station.

Teams or individuals create their own experiment using computer-aided design with a provided template and submit short proposals presenting the experiments. Portland State University then manufactures test cells using the CAD drawings and a computer-controlled laser cutter. Each experiment is conducted in a drop tower. Video of the drop is provided for student analysis and reporting of results.

CELERE is open to individuals and teams in grades 8-12. To facilitate the participation of informal science clubs, scouts, etc., teams may include younger students as long as at least one team member is in grades 8-12. Teams may be of any size and may include an entire class or science club. The program is limited to students from the U.S., including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Students at Department of Defense Education Activity schools (, including those outside the U.S., are also eligible to participate.

The CELERE design challenge is a relatively new program and, as a result, the odds of selection are high. In 2014-2016, 100 percent of the entries were selected for full participation, where the student experiments were built and tested in microgravity. In 2017, selection of at least one qualifying entry is guaranteed from each state and listed territory, at least one DODEA school, and at least one Bureau of Indian Education school ( Students are strongly encouraged to apply!

Design proposals are now being accepted. Submissions are due March 1, 2017.

For more information about this opportunity, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please email your inquiries to the CELERE team at

**NEW** Celebrate Women’s History Month With a Series of Webcast Events From NASA’s Digital Learning Network
Audience: All Educators and Students
Next Event Date: March 8, 2017, 1 p.m. EST

NASA’s Digital Learning Network will be celebrating Women’s History Month all throughout the month of March by featuring some of the amazing women that work at NASA. Each 45-minute program will feature a different female lead at the agency and how they started their career with NASA.

March 8, 2017, at 1 p.m. EST — Shideh Naderi — Electrical and Software Engineer from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
March 16, 2017, at 1 p.m. EDT — Nettie Halcomb — Fluid Mechanics Engineer from NASA’s Ames Research Center
March 23, 2017, at 2 p.m. EDT — Erica Alston — Atmospheric Scientist from NASA’s Langley Research Center
March 28, 2017, at 2 p.m. EDT — Kaitlin Liles — Thermal Engineer from NASA’s Langley Research Center

The events will be livestreamed for all schools to watch. For more information, visit

Four schools will be selected to interact with speakers during each event. To apply for this special opportunity, visit Schools may register for only one event. Registration ends Feb. 28, 2017, at 5 p.m. EST.

To learn about other Digital Learning Network events, visit

**NEW** NASA Seeks Creative Arts Inspired by Cassini’s Mission to Saturn
Audience: All Educators and Students Ages 13 and Older

During nearly two decades in space, Cassini has inspired people on Earth. Cassini has sent home thousands of images of icy moons and resplendent rings. It helped discover erupting water geysers on Enceladus and seas of methane on Titan. It showed us a view of Earth as a blue dot.

Now the mission is moving toward its “Grand Finale,” and in September 2017 it will finally draw to a dramatic end. NASA’s Cassini team would like to know this: How has Cassini inspired you?

Visit the Cassini Inspires website to explore images and more from the mission. Then use inspiration to get creative. Write a poem. Paint a picture. Choreograph a dance. Tell a story. The possibilities are endless!

Share your creation with the NASA Cassini team on the social media platform of your choice, such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or others. Tag it #CassiniInspires. Or send it directly to

To learn more, visit

**NEW** Help NASA Search the Realm Beyond Neptune at Backyard Worlds: Planet 9
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Timeframe: Ongoing

Is a large planet at the fringes of our solar system awaiting discovery, a world astronomers call Planet Nine? Using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, NASA scientists are looking for this planet and for new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system. But they need your help! Finding these dim objects requires the human eye to comb through the images to distinguish moving celestial bodies from ghosts and other artifacts. Participants in this citizen science project will share the credit for their discoveries in any scientific publications that result from the project.

For more information and to learn how to participate, visit the “Backyard Worlds: Planet 9” website at

To learn more about NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and its mission to image the entire sky in the infrared, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Marc Kuchner at


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** 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: Feb. 23, 2017, at 8 p.m. EST
Practice STEAM through the use of inquiry-based science activities from the NASA curriculum guides. The activities and NASA educational websites introduced will provide the educators new curriculum ideas to assist in meeting the Next Generation Science Standards and CORE learning outcomes standards. This STEAM webinar will guide participants through inquiry-based learning activities related to clouds, phase change, light, water cycle, weather and climate. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Earth Right Now: Understanding the A-Train
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: March 1, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST
This webinar gives an overview of the Earth-observing satellites known as the A-Train and of related education resources. Discussion will include modifications of activities and accommodations. The webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standards ESS2 and ESS3. 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

Celebrate Solar Week — Spring 2017
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-9, Informal Educators
Event Dates: March 27-31, 2017

Solar Week provides a weeklong series of web-based educational classroom activities and games with a focus on the sun-Earth connection. This spring’s Solar Week activities will take place March 27-31, 2017, and will highlight safe solar viewing and the total solar eclipse happening on Aug. 21, 2017.

Solar Week is ideal for young teens or groups wanting to know more about the solar system, the stars or astronomy in general. Students can learn about solar careers, sunspots, solar energy and solar storms through a series of activities, games and lessons. Many activities are suitable for fun in the computer lab as well. Participants can interact on the online bulletin board with leading scientists at the forefront of sun-Earth research.

To learn more and to register to participate, visit

Questions about Solar Week may be emailed to


Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

Call for Proposals — 2017 NASA Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship
Audience: First-year Master’s or Doctoral Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017

NASA Education is seeking proposals for a NASA Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research, or AS&ASTAR, Fellowship opportunity. The NASA Education AS&ASTAR Fellowship provides funding for fellowship candidates to perform graduate research at their respective campuses during the academic year under the guidance of their faculty adviser and a NASA researcher.

To be eligible to submit a proposal, candidates must be U.S. citizens or naturalized citizens who hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field earned prior to Aug. 31, 2017. Candidates must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program no later than Sept. 1, 2017, and intend to pursue a research-based master’s or Ph.D. program in a NASA-relevant field.

Proposals are due Feb. 24, 2017.

For full program details, visit

Questions concerning this program element may be directed to Elizabeth Cartier 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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