NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — March 29, 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 Are Gravitational Waves?

Gravitational waves are invisible — yet incredibly fast — ripples in space. Visit the link to find out how we know they exist.

Have You Seen This?

Put on your citizen scientist hat and join the search for gravitational waves! To learn more about the “Gravity Spy” Citizen Science Project and how to participate, visit


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** Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 12 to the International Space Station
Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities
Inquiry Deadline: April 28, 2017
Start Date: September 5, 2017

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education announce a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest flight opportunity, Mission 12 to the International Space Station, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the space station. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment and all launch services to fly the minilab to the space station in spring/summer 2018 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community — engaging typically 300+ students — allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community′s reserved mini-lab.

Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional SSEP programming uses the experiment design competition to engage the community in embracing a learning-community model for STEM education.

This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations also are encouraged to participate. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than April 28, 2017. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the “SSEP Mission 12 to International Space Station” National Announcement of Opportunity at

SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the use of the International Space Station as a national laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space ( is a national partner of SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at

Get Ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse With NASA Resources
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Aug. 21, 2017

On Aug. 21, 2017, the United States will experience a solar eclipse! This celestial event will provide a golden opportunity to engage and educate diverse audiences, and NASA has the resources to help.

Along a path 60 to 70 miles wide stretching from Oregon to South Carolina, observers will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Others across North America will see a partial eclipse. The event will happen around lunch time across the country. For an interactive map with timing information along the path of the eclipse, visit

Visit the following websites to find additional information and resources, including:
— Tips for safely viewing the solar eclipse.
— Recorded interviews with NASA scientists, mission specialists and eclipse path communities.
— Topical online eclipse videos, featuring a variety of STEM and cultural topics.
— Social media community development and networking.
— Mobile educational eclipse applications.
— Public challenges and engagement activities.
— 2-D and 3-D printing exercises for K-16 students.
— Citizen science campaigns in partnership with NASA mission observations.
— Adjunct activities and educational resources.
— Live streaming of observations and programming.

Total Eclipse 2017 — Through the Eyes of NASA

Eclipses and Transits

Watch “The Solar Eclipse 2017 PREVIEW Show” with NASA EDGE.

Science Opportunities for Educators of Grades K-12

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

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** Solar System Exploration: Dwarf Planets
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 5-9
Event Date: April 3, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will get an overview of the story behind the creation of the Dwarf Planet classification. Learn about currently identified dwarf planets in our solar system and NASA resources for teaching about dwarf planets. Activities discussed in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standards PS2 and ESS1. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Solar System Exploration: Juno to Jupiter
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: April 4, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will learn about the solar system and beyond with NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter. Learn about the Juno mission, which began in August 2011, while also learning about hands-on activities related to the solar system. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Solar System Exploration: Life on Mars?
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: April 6, 2017, at 6 p.m. EDT
Is there life beyond our Earth? Using NASA STEM lessons, participants will explore the possibility of life on Mars using the definition of “life” to determine whether anything is alive in three different simulated Mars soil samples. The lessons have students experiment, record observations, and draw pictures as they collect data from the samples to determine if life may exist in any of them. 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

**NEW** Free Educator Workshop — Journey to Mars: Developing Crosscutting Breakthrough Technologies
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Event Dates: April 5, 2017, 4:30-6 p.m. PDT

Future robotic missions to Mars and human exploration of the Red Planet will require massive payloads to be delivered to the surface. NASA is developing large, sturdy and lightweight systems to deliver the next generation of rovers and landers to Mars. These systems, called Low Density Supersonic Decelerators, aim to solve the complicated problem of slowing spacecraft entry vehicles down to deliver large payloads safely to the surface of a planetary body without bringing along massive amounts of extra rocket propellant or carrying a large and heavy atmospheric entry shield.

Join the Office of Education at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center for an educator professional development workshop where participants will learn about this exciting new technology. Using NASA’S BEST Engineering Design Process, attendees will design a prototype of new drag devices to potentially land humans, habitats, and their return rockets safely on Mars.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 4:30-6 p.m. PDT 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

**NEW** NASA’s Digital Learning Network Event — Online Solar Eclipse Workshop
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Date: April 11, 2017, 5-6 p.m. EDT

Join NASA’s Digital Learning Network for an online Solar Eclipse Workshop on April 11, 2017, at 5 p.m. EDT. This hourlong live-streamed educator workshop will showcase solar eclipse education resources for K-12 educators. Learn how NASA education resources can help you bring the excitement and science of the total eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, to your classroom. Several hands-on activities will be demonstrated during the workshop, and subject matter experts will explain why the eclipse is a unique event for scientists and the public.

This is the first total eclipse to cross the United States since the 1970s, and the next one will not occur until 2024. Make plans to attend and learn how to engage your students in “Total Eclipse 2017.”

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this event to

For information about other DLN events, visit


Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

**NEW** NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop 2017
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: May 17, 2017
Workshop Dates: May 31-June 2, 2017

The NASA Fundamental Physics Workshop 2017 will be held May 31-June 2, 2017, in Santa Barbara, California.

The workshop will provide a forum for NASA fundamental physics investigators to present results and discuss research ideas for future space experimentation with interested international and U.S. colleagues. Topic areas include atomic and molecular physics; fundamental forces and symmetries; dusty plasma physics; and condensed matter physics.

All interested scientists and researchers are invited to participate. The participation of the current NASA-funded investigators is strongly encouraged and kindly requested.

The deadline to register to attend the workshop is May 17, 2017. For more information and to register to attend, visit

Please direct questions about this workshop to Renee Atkins at

Free ‘NASA’s Journey to Mars’ Planetarium/Dome Show
Audience: Formal and Informal Educators

Are you looking for ways to prepare students for STEM-related career opportunities? Do you want to spark their interest in pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation? Right now, NASA’s fleet of Mars robotic explorers is paving the way for human exploration of the solar system in the coming decades. Have your students join NASA in preparing for a monumental journey of a lifetime — to Mars!

“NASA’s Journey to Mars” is a short planetarium presentation that can be used in the educational domes of your school district, as well as local planetariums, to inspire interest in STEM. To learn more, including how you can acquire the show for use in your area, visit

Please direct questions about the “NASA’s Journey to Mars” planetarium/dome show to Elsie Weigel 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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