Education “Science WOW!” Message — March 15, 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: What Are Clouds?

Clouds are an important part of Earth’s weather. But what are clouds exactly? To find out, read these articles written for students!


Have You Seen This?

Do you want to be a citizen Earth scientist? To contribute to NASA’s studies of our home planet, all you need is a smartphone, access to the outdoors, and the recently updated “GLOBE Observer” app.


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 16, 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 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** Search for Gravitational Waves With ‘Gravity Spy’ Citizen Science Project
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Timeframe: Ongoing

In 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of ripples in spacetime known as gravitational waves. A century later, on Sept. 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, made the first direct detection of this elusive phenomenon. This discovery is the first of many that will give researchers a whole new way to explore the universe. However, LIGO needs your help!

Being the most sensitive and most complicated gravitational experiment ever created, LIGO is susceptible to many instrumental and environmental noise sources called “glitches.” These glitches are difficult to model using computers, can mimic true astrophysical signals, and generally make LIGO less sensitive to gravitational waves.

Classifying glitches using computers has proven to be an exceedingly difficult task. That’s where the Gravity Spy Zooniverse Citizen Science Project comes in! Human intuition has proven time and time again to be a useful tool in pattern recognition problems such as this. One of the innovations of this project is that citizen scientists and computer algorithms will work in a symbiotic relationship, helping one another to optimally classify and characterize glitches. By selecting the right classification for a given glitch, you will help computers learn to do this classification themselves on much larger datasets. That capability will help scientists determine and eliminate the sources of noise.

For more information and to learn how to participate, visit the “Gravity Spy” website at

To learn more about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and its mission to detect gravitational waves, visit

Download the “Direct Observation of Gravitational Waves” Educator Guide for activities and background information designed for grades 5-12.

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Tyson Littenberg at

“Gravity Spy” is a collaboration between the following entities:
–Northwestern University, led by Scott Coughlin and Michael Zevin with PI Vicky Kalogera and co-PI Aggelos Katsaggelos. Northwestern’s team is composed of a LIGO group in the CIERA astrophysics research center and a machine learning group in the Image and Video Processing Laboratory.
–The Adler Planetarium Zooniverse Team, led by co-PI Laura Trouille.
–Syracuse University, led by co-PI’s Kevin Crowston and Carsten Østerlund.
–California State University at Fullerton, led by co-PI Josh Smith.
–The LIGO Scientific Collaboration, of which NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Goddard Space Flight Center are member institutions.

The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Create Art Inspired by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope
Audience: All Educators and Students

In November 2016, a small group of artists visited NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to see the James Webb Space Telescope in person for inspiration to create art. They have been busy ever since, producing amazing work that will be presented for exhibit during spring 2017 at the Goddard Visitor Center.

Their offerings include painting, poetry, sculpting, textiles, woodworking, music, silk screening, 3-D design, jewelry, posters, tattooing and letterpress printing.

Though only a few artists were able to physically visit the telescope, the team at GSFC was impressed by the number of talented people who were interested in participating and want to offer more artists a chance to participate virtually.

How can you participate? Browse through the collection of James Webb Space Telescope images and videos and see what inspires you. Create art! (Note: this is not limited to art you can hang on a wall.) Then, share it with NASA on social media with #JWSTArt, or email it to

There’s no deadline for submissions.

To find inspiration and learn the full details on how to participate, visit

Email questions about this opportunity 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** Astrobiology and Looking for Life
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: March 16, 2017, at 8 p.m. EDT
In this webinar, we will discuss how NASA has turned the search for alien life from science fiction to a quickly growing research field. Topics in Earth and space science linked to biology will help us understand the most current theories for how life came to be here on Earth and where we could find it next. Classroom activities for numerous grades will put this exploration into the hands of the next generation of scientists. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Earth Right Now — Weather to Fly By
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: March 21, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will learn about basic meteorological concepts including the general characteristics of the atmosphere and how weather conditions and weather phenomena occur. There will be hands-on, standards-aligned mathematics, science and engineering activities about density, mass, fluid dynamics and weather so participants can take new ideas take back to their classrooms. Real-world connections with NASA and the airplanes that do weather research will be discussed as the webinar highlights a partnership between NASA Armstrong and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, with the Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology, or SHOUT, mission. 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

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

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:
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— Students

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