NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — April 26, 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 Some of the Hubble Space Telescope’s Greatest Scientific Achievements?

Happy Birthday, Hubble! This amazing telescope launched 27 years ago on the space shuttle Discovery, and Hubble has been sending back iconic images ever since. Check out highlights of Hubble’s exploration of the universe.

Have You Seen This?

Hubble is more than a science spacecraft; it’s a cultural phenomenon! NASA invites you to #SpotHubble.

Take a moment to think about where you’ve seen the Hubble Space Telescope or Hubble images in your daily life. Maybe you own a textbook with a picture of the telescope on the cover, or you walk by a mural inspired by Hubble images on your way to work. Perhaps you’ve even created art based on Hubble images. NASA wants to see the impact Hubble has had in your life! Share your photos with NASA on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.

To learn more, 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** NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge
Audience: Problem Solvers of All Ages
Event Dates: April 28, 2017 (Boot Camp); April 29-30, 2017 (Hackathon)

NASA is preparing for the sixth annual International Space Apps Challenge, which will be held April 29-30, 2017. The program invites participants to solve challenges using NASA data to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations and platform solutions that can contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

The theme of this year’s challenge is “Earth!” Our planet is a complex and dynamic system that still holds many mysteries. Year-round, NASA helps shed light on Earth’s many components, including oceans, landscapes and living things. With unique vantage points in air and in space, NASA collects high-quality data covering all parts of the planet to tell us more about the world we live in and to predict future processes on Earth.

This year’s two-day Space Apps “hackathon” will bring tech-savvy citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, educators and students together to be a part of this scientific exploration, as we challenge problem solvers across the globe to create innovative uses of NASA’s Earth science data.

Additionally, many locations are hosting a pre-hackathon boot camp event on April 28, 2017, to introduce participants to the latest trends in data and technology and to provide tutorials to first-time hackers and coders. The boot camps at our two Mainstage locations, New York City and Silicon Valley (Palo Alto), will be livestreamed on our website!

Registration for participation is now open at over 180 locations worldwide!

To learn more about the International Space Apps Challenge, get the latest updates, and register to attend an event, visit

If you have questions about the challenge, please visit

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 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: May 31, 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 May 31, 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


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.

So You Want to Be an Astronaut and Other NASA Careers
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-12
Event Date: April 27, 2017, at 6 p.m. EDT
Not just astronauts work at NASA. Explore the many NASA STEM careers needed to successfully accomplish the unique, exciting missions that explore and build a better understanding of our Earth and the universe beyond. NASA career education curriculum and resources will be integrated into this online learning session. Register online to participate.

**NEW** International Space Station: Off the Earth, For the Earth — The Brain in Space
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School, and Informal Educators of Grades 9-12
Event Date: May 1, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will get an overview of resources related to the study of the effects of microgravity on the human brain. We will discuss classroom application and modification of resources as an integral part of this webinar. The activities presented in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standard LS1. 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** Take Your Students on a Series of Virtual Field Trips!
Audience: Grades 6-12 — Students and Educators, Formal and Informal
Next Event Date: May 5, 2017, 2 p.m. CDT

Bring your students along on a series of virtual field trips to NASA centers where students will go behind-the-scenes to see cool NASA places and visit with NASA professionals. Each session is 15-30 minutes long and includes an interactive question-and-answer session. Pre-registration is not required.

Upcoming virtual field trips include:

Deep Space Patrol — May 5, 2017, 2 p.m. CDT
Go behind-the-scenes in NASA’s meteorite lab with Kevin Righter, planetary scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Mission to Mars — May 8, 2017, 10 a.m. CDT
Learn about driving on another planet with an inside look at NASA’s space exploration vehicles with Lucien Junkin, robotics engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Adventures in Aeronautics — May 18, 2017, 9 a.m. CDT
Learn about high-flying careers with NASA Aircraft Operations. Join Mallory Yates, aerospace engineer, and Angela Bauer, deputy engineering branch chief of the Aircraft Operations Division, for a behind-the-scenes look at aviation at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Fun With Technology — May 22, 2017, 10 a.m. CDT
Take a virtual field trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Go behind-the-scenes with NASA intern Kaitlin Lostroscio to learn about NASA robotics.

These virtual field trips are a series of events offered to students and teachers as a component of “The Search for STEMnauts” — a virtual scavenger hunt where student teams in grades 6-12 solve puzzles, unravel riddles, break codes and make weekly virtual field trips to exclusive NASA locations. Student teams can even check out where they stand among the competition by following real-time updates on “The Search for STEMnauts” website!

This interactive, technical twist on a traditional scavenger hunt is offered through a partnership between NASA’s STEM on Station and Texas Instruments to provide students with a fun way to learn important STEM skills including coding and problem solving.

All students and educators (grades 6-12) are invited to participate in any virtual field trip offered. Participation in “The Search for STEMnauts” competition is not required. To learn more about these virtual field trips, including links to join in, go to

For more information about “The Search for STEMnauts,” including how to register, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Kelly McCormick at

**NEW** NASA Mars Science: MAVEN Outreach Webinar — Mars and Venus: Terrestrial Analogues for Exoplanets
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 24, 2017, 7 p.m. EDT

MAVEN Outreach Webinars are virtual gatherings of team members from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission to offer professional development for formal and informal educators, troop leaders, museum docents, and others interested in MAVEN and Mars science.

Join the MAVEN team on May 24, 2017, at 7 p.m. EDT, for the Mars and Venus: Terrestrial Analogues for Exoplanets webinar. Learn about ways the MAVEN mission may help scientists understand how the atmospheres of other rocky worlds are also being eroded. Dr. Shannon Curry from the University of California Berkeley will discuss how planetary bodies such as Mars and Venus can be used to provide insight into how atmospheres evolve, as scientists model (and begin to observe directly) the atmospheres of exoplanets.

For more information, visit

Questions about this webinar should be directed to


Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

NASA’s Centennial Challenges: Vascular Tissue Challenge
Audience: All Interested U.S. Citizens, Including Higher Education Educators and Students
Deadline: No Later Than Sept. 30, 2019

NASA, in partnership with the nonprofit Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance, is seeking ways to advance the field of bioengineering through a new prize competition. The Vascular Tissue Challenge offers a $500,000 prize to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically functional, human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment.

Competitors must produce vascularized tissue that is more than .39 inches (1 centimeter) in thickness and maintains more than 85 percent survival of the required cells throughout a 30-day trial period. To win an award, teams must demonstrate three successful trials with at least a 75 percent success rate. In addition to the laboratory trials, teams must submit a proposal that details how they would further advance some aspect of their research through a microgravity experiment that could be conducted in the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station.

The first registered team(s) to meet the required guidelines and complete their trials by Sept. 30, 2019, will win the awards.

The Vascular Tissue Challenge prize purse is provided by NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program, part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Centennial Challenges, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is NASA’s citizen-inventor prize program. It invites the nation to help advance the technologies that will enable us to go to Mars and beyond, as well as improve life on Earth. The New Organ Alliance is administering the competition on behalf of NASA. The alliance is a nonprofit organization focused on regenerative medicine research and development to benefit human disease research and tissue engineering.

For information about the Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance, official challenge documents, rules and schedule of events, visit

For more information about the Vascular Tissue Challenge, visit

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

Are you looking for ways to prepare your 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.
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Visit NASA Education on the web:
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