NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — March 8, 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.”

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Science Always Starts With a Question …

This Week’s Question: Can a Planet Have Phases Like the Moon?

Earth’s moon goes through phases, such as a full moon and a first-quarter moon. Can a planet have phases too? Watch this month’s “What’s Up?” video to find out and to learn more about objects visible in the night sky during March 2017.

Have You Seen This?

Teaching students about moon phases can be complicated. Check out the following hands-on activities to help students grasp the science behind this celestial cycle.

Moon Phases Activity:
Recreating Moon Phases With Cookies:


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

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

To learn about other Digital Learning Network events, visit

**NEW** NASA Pi Day Challenge 2017
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 6-12
Challenge Release Date: March 10, 2017
Pi Day: March 14, 2017

Celebrate Pi Day with NASA! On March 10 — in advance of the math world’s favorite holiday, Pi Day (March 14) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will release the fourth installment of its popular Pi Day Challenge. The illustrated math problem set gets students and adults thinking like NASA scientists to find solutions to real problems posed in space and planetary exploration. It’s a great way to get students excited about the “M” in STEM.

To learn more and to check out challenges from past years, visit

**NEW** Celebrate Women’s History Month: Download New NASA Women of Color Lithograph
Audience: All Educators and Students

Through their accomplishments and dedication to their jobs, women at NASA embody the essence of Women’s History Month. They serve as role models to young women in their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The new “Women of Color: Pioneers and Innovators” lithograph features administrators, astronauts, pilots and mathematicians who have been or are currently pioneers and innovators in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. To download this lithograph, visit

Are you looking for more insight into the innovative work being done by women across NASA? Visit the NASA Women of STEM website to read career profiles, watch videos and more! Check it out at

**NEW** What’s New at the NASA Space Place Website?
Audience: K-6 Educators

NASA Space Place is a NASA website for elementary students, their teachers and their parents. Check it out at

Don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, the NASA Space Place Gazette!

New Resources

What Are Gravitational Waves?
— Gravitational waves are invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripples in space. Here’s how we know they exist:

Sun’s Corona — The corona is the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere. Its high temperatures are a bit of a mystery! Find out why.

What’s a Barycenter? — We say that planets orbit stars, but that’s not exactly the whole truth! Planets and stars actually orbit around their common center of mass — the barycenter. Learn more about barycenters and how they can help us find other planets outside our solar system.

Why Do We Care About Water on Mars? — We care because on Earth, almost everywhere there is water, there is also life! If water once flowed on Mars, did life once thrive on the Red Planet too?

What Are Satellite Galaxies? — They are less massive galaxies that orbit a larger galaxy. Our Milky Way has a number of satellite galaxies, but the biggest one is called the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Science Fair — Are your kids searching for some science fair project ideas? Look no further! Click to explore various topics.

Space and Earth Glossary — What’s the difference between an asteroid and a comet? Check out our glossary to find out and explore more space and Earth terms!

Special Days to Celebrate
Find out about noteworthy days in NASA and space history that you can observe in your classroom.

March 13 — Uranus was discovered on this day in 1781.
Learn all about this blue planet here:

March 14 — Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879.
Learn about gravitational waves, which Einstein predicted over 100 years ago!

March 20 — Today is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Why do we have seasons?

April 22 — Happy Earth Day!
Explore Earth’s atmospheric layers:

April 28 — Astronomer Jan Oort was born on this day in 1900.
Learn all about the Oort Cloud that was named after him!

April 29 — Happy Astronomy Day!
Budding astronomers can learn more about our solar system here:

Do you want some help spreading the word about NASA Space Place? We have a page with ready-to-use website descriptions, logos and links to all our social media. Check out

Subscribe to Our Monthly E-newsletter!
Are you interested in keeping up with the latest and greatest news from NASA Space Place? Subscribe to the NASA Space Place Gazette. The NASA Space Place Gazette is for educators, parents and space enthusiasts of all ages. It includes special bulletins for noteworthy days and NASA events, such as a lunar eclipse, planet flyby or rover landing. It’s easy to subscribe — just click here.

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use NASA Space Place in your teaching. Send them 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** Earth Right Now: Mission Geography
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 5-9
Event Date: March 9, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST
NASA Mission Geography is an Earth-based curriculum that integrates STEM, geography and the language arts with Earth observations, remote sensing, and maps that investigate Earth and the processes that shape it, both natural and human-influenced. Using the unique perspective from space, Mission Geography brings Earth to life by promoting active, exciting student learning. The curriculum uses multi-disciplined content and models research and investigation. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Earth Right Now — GLOBE Atmosphere
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 14, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
NASA’s fleet of satellites, its airborne missions and researchers address some of the critical challenges facing our planet today. Learn about clouds and contrails using the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program. This international science and education program provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment. 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

**NEW** Exploration of the Moon and Asteroids by Secondary Students (ExMASS) High School Research Program
Audience: Educators of Grades 9-12
Application Deadline: March 31, 2017
Program Dates: September 2017 – April 2018

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute are looking for 10 teams of motivated high school students and their teachers to participate in a national standards-based lunar/asteroid research program for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Supervised by their teacher and aided by a scientist advisor, participants undertake student-led open-inquiry research projects that engage them in the process of science and support the goals of the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. At the end of the year, four teams compete for a chance to present their research at the Exploration Science Forum held at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, in July 2018.

Participation in the ExMASS program is free. Interested teachers must submit an application. Applications are due March 31, 2017.

For more information and to apply for the ExMASS program, visit

Please direct questions about the ExMASS program to Andy Shaner at

Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

Call for Papers: 2017 International Space Station Research and Development Conference
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 24, 2017

The sixth annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference will be held July 17-20, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, and the American Astronomical Society are seeking abstracts under the categories of Biology and Medicine; Human Health in Space; Commercialization and Nongovernment Utilization; Physical Sciences and Materials Development; Plant Science; Earth Science and Remote Sensing; Technology Development and Demonstration; Finances, and STEM Education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Topics should relate to science, exploration and technology activities (past, present, planned or under development) on the International Space Station.

Both the conference and abstract submittal are open to entrepreneurial, commercial, academic and government agency attendees, both from and outside the United States. Eligible attendees include professionals, young professionals, students and interested parties. The working language for the conference is English. The conference will include plenaries for topics of general interest and technical sessions for focused discussions.

Because of the large number of expected submissions, presenters are encouraged to submit abstracts early. The deadline is March 24, 2017.

For more information about the conference and how to submit an abstract for consideration, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

**NEW** 2017 Thermal and Fluids Analysis Workshop
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Abstract Submission Deadline: May 19, 2017
Workshop Dates: Aug. 21-25, 2017

The annual Thermal and Fluids Analysis Workshop will be held Aug. 21-25, 2017, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Thermal and Fluids Analysis Workshop encourages knowledge sharing, professional development, and networking throughout the thermal and fluids engineering community within NASA, academia and the aerospace community at large. STEM faculty and university students are encouraged to attend, submit a poster or paper on their thermal/fluids work, take free training, or do a combination thereof.

Registration to attend the workshop is free. Participants interested in presenting at the conference, via manuscript or technical poster, must submit an abstract by May 19, 2017.

For more information about the workshop and how to submit an abstract for consideration, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Ramona Cummings at

Check out the ‘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:

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