NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — June 7, 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: Why Is the Ocean Important?

We live on land, but the ocean covers 70 percent of Earth’s surface! To find out more about this important part of our planet, visit

Have You Seen This?

Tomorrow is World Oceans Day!

Commemorate the day in your classroom with the Ocean World: Earth Globe Toss Game. This classroom activity for grades K-6 features a hands-on game that challenges students to collect data on whether there is more surface water or more land on Earth.

Ever wonder if there are oceans beyond Earth? Check out the “Ocean Worlds” online feature.

Solar Eclipse Countdown!

Two 3-D printed pinhole projectors, one in the shape of the continental U.S. and the other shaped like North CarolinaLess than 10 weeks until the Total Solar Eclipse!

Thinking of making a pinhole projector to observe the solar eclipse on Aug. 21? Why not make your own 3-D-printed pinhole projector in the shape of the United States or a U.S. state?

Find out how at




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** New NASA Resources Highlight Research at Opposite Ends of the Solar System
Audience: Science Enthusiasts of All Ages

Two NASA missions, exploring areas at opposite ends of the solar system, released multimedia resources that can help bring recent events into the classroom.

On May 31, 2017, NASA announced the renaming of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft — humanity’s first mission to a star, which will launch in 2018 — as the Parker Solar Probe. This historic mission will revolutionize our understanding of the sun. The mission is named for astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who discovered the solar wind and has made other profound contributions to our knowledge of the sun. The Parker Solar Probe will plunge through the sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, and provide humanity with the first-ever close-up view of a star.

Check out the new “Parker Solar Probe Trailer” video at

Want to learn more about the Parker Solar Probe? Download a mission fact sheet.

Over the next few weeks, NASA’s New Horizons mission team is getting a rare sneak peek at the probe’s next flyby target — the ancient Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69. During this timeframe, MU69 will occult — or block the light from — distant stars. To observe the “stellar occultation,” on July 3, more than 50 team members and collaborators have deployed along projected viewing paths in Argentina and South Africa, fixing camera-equipped portable telescopes on the occultation star and watching for changes in its light that can tell them a lot about MU69 itself.

For a July 10 occultation, the team gets help from above by adding the powerful 100-inch (2.5-meter) telescope on NASA’s airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Enlisting SOFIA, with its vantage point above the clouds, takes the bad-weather factor out of the picture. The plane also should be able to improve its measurements by maneuvering into the very center of the occultation shadow. An occultation on July 17 will be covered through a ground-based observation campaign from Argentina.

Learn more about this rare opportunity with a two-part podcast. Go behind the scenes with scientists who shaped the plans and prepped the tools the team will use to chase the shadow of MU69 across two continents.

For more educational resources relating to the New Horizons mission, visit

Looking for more? Check out the Explore NASA Science website at To view the site in Spanish, visit

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: June, 15, 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 June 15, 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

**NEW** ‘Predict the Corona’ Art Project
Audience: All Educators and Students
Eclipse Date: Aug. 21, 2017

Before the advent of photography, astronomers tried to sketch the fleeting shape of our sun’s outer atmosphere called the corona. This ghostly halo of light had been seen for centuries by naked-eye observers at the height of most total solar eclipses, but little was known about its shape and extent or how these changed with time.

On Aug. 21, 2017, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse once again. 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. To prepare for the big event, NASA wants you to predict what the corona will look like!

Share your drawings with NASA via the NASA Solar Eclipse Flickr page ( or via Instagram using #Eclipse2017Corona.

For more information about the project and to see what past coronas have looked like, visit

Please submit 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** Picking Up Steam: Using Models to Understand the Solar Eclipse
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: June 8, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT
Participants will be introduced to problem-based inquiry learning activities related to the solar eclipse. Learn how to bring STEM challenges and the adventure of space exploration to students in the classroom. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Journey to Mars: Red Planet — Read, Write, Explore!
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 3-5
Event Date: June 12, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants in this webinar will get an overview of the MAVEN mission currently exploring Mars. Participants will also learn about the “Red Planet — Read, Write, Explore” educator guide. This guide contains six activities focused on language arts, science and art. Discussion will include classroom modifications. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Journey to Mars: Roving the Red Planet
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 4-9
Event Date: June 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Participants will get a historical overview of NASA’s rover missions to Mars. Discussion will be focused on hands-on activities involving the engineering of rover vehicles. The activities shared in this webinar address the Next Generation Science Standard ETS1. 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** Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Summer Institute 2017
Audience: K-12 Educators
Registration Deadline: June 16, 2017

The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope program allows educators and their students to operate a 34-meter (112-foot) radio telescope from the classroom. Partnered with scientists and other observatories from around the world, participants conduct real research and exploration.

Join the GAVRT team for a two-day training institute for educators. Attendees will learn about radio astronomy, current science campaigns available through the GAVRT program, and how the telescopes used by the program operate. Members of the Juno mission team will attend to share highlights from their mission that is studying Jupiter. And attendees will take part in question and answer sessions with professional radio astronomers.

Two institute sessions will be offered:
–June 26-27, 2017 — Howard B. Owens Science Center in Lanham, Maryland.
–June 28-29, 2017 — National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Registration for both sessions closes on June 16, 2017.

For more information, visit

Questions about this workshop should be directed to

Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

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

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems — Become a Disk Detective!
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Timeframe: Now Through 2018

Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you’ll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature.

This project is ongoing and expected to run through 2018. For more information and to start hunting for planets, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Marc Kuchner 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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