NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — April 5, 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: Are Planets Like Those in ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Really Out There?

In the “Star Wars” universe, ice, ocean, and desert planets burst from the darkness as your ship drops out of light speed. But NASA scientists who are exploring the distant reaches of our own galaxy are finding that these worlds might be more than just science fiction.

Have You Seen This?

Is there a large planet at the fringes of our solar system awaiting discovery, a world astronomers call Planet Nine? NASA scientists are looking for this planet and for new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system. But they need your help!

Visit the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 website to learn more!


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** 2017 von Kármán Lecture Series — Attend in Person or View Online
Audience: All Educators; Students in Grades 9-12 and Higher Education
Next Lecture Date: April 6, 2017, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)

The Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, named after the founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and presented by JPL’s Office of Communication and Education, shares the excitement of the space program’s missions, instruments and other technologies.

Lectures take place twice per month, on consecutive Thursdays and Fridays. The Thursday lectures take place in JPL’s Theodore von Kármán Auditorium, and Friday lectures take place at Pasadena City College’s Vosloh Forum. Both start at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT). Admission and parking are free for all lectures. No reservations are required, but seating is limited. The Thursday evening lectures are streamed live for viewing online. Archives of past lectures are also available online.

Next Lecture in the Series:

Harnessing the Sun’s Light to Explore Our Planet and Universe
Event Date:
April 6 and April 7, 2017, at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT)
Spectral mapping, a type of remote sensing that uses reflected sunlight to produce imagery of the chemical composition of planetary surfaces, is useful when studying Earth and other planetary bodies. Join research systems engineer Mark Helminger for a discussion about the science behind measuring spectra of reflected sunlight and the phenomena that make spectral remote sensing possible.

For more information about the Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series, including a complete list of upcoming lectures, visit

Questions about this series should be directed to

**NEW** NASA Unveils New Searchable Video, Audio and Imagery Library
Audience: All Educators and Students

NASA has launched a new resource to help the public search and download out-of-this-world images, videos and audio files. The NASA Image and Video Library website consolidates imagery spread across more than 60 collections into one searchable location.

The NASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency’s many missions. Users can browse the most recently uploaded files, as well as discover historic and the most popularly searched images, audio files and videos. Topic areas include aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight and more.

Users can embed content in their own sites and choose from multiple resolutions to download. The website also displays the metadata associated with images.

To learn more, visit

To browse or start your multimedia search, visit the NASA Image and Video Library at

Help NASA Study Mars — Planet Four: Terrains
Audience: All Educators and Students

Help NASA study exotic landscape features near the south pole of Mars! In this citizen science project, you will view images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera. Your input will help scientists identify possible areas for even more detailed examination with the orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. HiRISE can reveal more detail than any other camera ever put into orbit around Mars.

Some of Mars resembles deserts on Earth, but seasonal freezing and thawing of carbon-dioxide ice (known on Earth as “dry ice”) at the Martian poles create some unusual landscape features. There’s a lot of territory to cover, so scientists need your help identifying what and where these features are.

For more information and to learn how to participate, visit the “Planet Four: Terrains” website at

To learn more about NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its mission at the Red Planet, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Michelle Viotti 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.

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.

**NEW** Solar System Exploration: Hubble Space Telescope
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: April 10, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
How did it all start? Who is Edwin Hubble? Why do we need a space telescope? Relive the realization of a dream as the Hubble Space Telescope was launched on board Space Shuttle Discovery. Learn how fuzzy photos required a spectacular repair mission. See examples from deep space such as stars, planets, galaxies and beyond. Make real-world connections with everyday technologies as you learn about NASA STEM resources to build and launch satellites using the engineering design process. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Viewing Your Content Through a NASA Context
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-16
Event Date: April 11, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will work through two simple NASA activities: “Exploring Ultraviolet (UV) Light From the Sun” and “Engineer a Satellite.” As a group, we will introduce different content using the highlighted activities while emphasizing various engaging contexts and different real-world circumstances that can be easily implemented or recreated in the classroom. Examples of applications include production of scatter plots, weather and clouds, atmospheres and solar system exploration, material composition, radiation safety, and the upcoming solar eclipse. 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

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

Mars Survival Kit: Lessons and Activities to Guide Your Exploration of Mars!
Audience: K-12 Educators

NASA is embarking on a journey to Mars! Are your students ready to join in the adventure? Spark excitement in your classroom with the Mars Survival Kit.

The Mars Survival Kit is a collection of educational activities for students in grades K-12. Each educational activity includes a brief description, as well as information about how the activities and lessons align to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Start your classroom’s journey to Mars at

To learn more about NASA’s Journey to Mars, visit


Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

NASA Public Web Portal for Research Results
Audience: All Educators and Students

With the launch of a new agency public access portal, public access to NASA-funded research data now is just a click away. PubSpace is a repository of original science journal articles produced by NASA-funded research and available online without a fee.

While the agency always has made access to its research a high priority, the focus now is to make NASA science data more easily obtainable via “one-stop shopping.” This increased public access is intended to accelerate the dissemination of fundamental research results to advance scientific knowledge and help ensure the nation’s future prosperity.

The NASA-Funded Research Results portal was created in response to a 2013 request from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which directed science-funding agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded research. NASA’s public access plan was developed in coordination with the science and technology research community across the agency. NASA will continue to consult with the scientific community, academic institutions, publishers and other federal agencies to implement this plan and increase access to research results.

For more information, visit

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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