NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — June 14, 2017

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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: How Do Artists Visualize Distant Worlds That Can’t Be Seen?

NASA has a team of artists that uses scientific data to imagine exoplanets and other astrophysical phenomena. Watch this video to learn more about them.

Have You Seen This?

What would it be like to explore the surface of a distant alien world? Find out with Exoplanet Surface Visualizations in 360 Virtual Reality! Grab your virtual reality headset and explore the surface of TRAPPIST-1d or a moon of Kepler-16-b.

Solar Eclipse Countdown!

Less Than 10 Weeks Until the Total Solar Eclipse!

Illustration of a cardboard box filled with interactive iconsLooking for fun things to do as you prepare for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21? The Eclipse Kit has activities suitable for families, community outreach and summer camp programs. People of all ages can learn about the sun, moon and eclipses through fun, hands-on STEM activities. The kit includes an activity guide as well as a number of online extension resources.


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

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** Press Conference: 2017 Eclipse Across America Through the Eyes of NASA
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: June 21, 2017, at 1 p.m. EDT

Join NASA, other federal agencies and science organizations for a two-hour nationally televised event, live from the Newseum in Washington, D.C.! The event will take place on June 21, 2017, at 1 p.m. EDT. Tune in to watch on NASA TV or see a livestream of the event on

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire United States on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Over the course of 100 minutes, 14 states across the United States will experience over two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. Additionally, a partial eclipse will be viewable across the continent.

Tune in to the event for solar eclipse tips, such as:
— How to experience the August 2017 eclipse through the eyes of NASA
— Views from different areas of the country and how to prepare
— Safe practices for viewing an eclipse
— What causes an eclipse and why you should care
— How to participate in events around the country
— The unique research opportunities to study our Earth, moon and the sun

For more information, visit

Are you looking for more information about the upcoming eclipse? Visit the 2017 Solar Eclipse website at

Please direct questions about the press conference event to

‘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** Viewing Your Content Through a NASA Context
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-16
Event Date: June 15, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT
Explore ways to bring real-world NASA science into your classroom. Participants will be introduced to NASA activities that touch on satellites and ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Learn how these activities have classroom applications that cover topics such as scatter plots, the upcoming solar eclipse, weather and clouds, atmospheres and solar system exploration, material composition, and radiation safety. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Journey to Mars: Is There Water on Mars?
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 4-12
Event Date: June 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Explore the possibility of finding water by probing below the surface of Mars. This webinar will include activities where students will record and graph temperature data to learn about the search for water on Mars using two different models. The activities will match both the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Journey to Mars: Space Food
Audience: Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: June 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Learn about NASA’s plans for sending astronauts on a journey to Mars and the impact food has on planning the long-duration 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

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

**NEW** NASA Education Workshop at Glenn Research Center — Modeling the Solar Eclipse
Audience: K-12 Educators
Workshop Date: July 25, 2017, 8:30 a.m. EDT

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

Join the Office of Education at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, for a STEM educator workshop on July 25, 2017. 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.

For full event details and registration information, visit

Please direct questions about this workshop to Stephanie Brown-Houston at

Get Ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse With NASA Resources
Audience: K-12 Educators
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

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

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:
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