NASA Education “Science WOW!” Message — Oct. 4, 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: What Is the Parker Solar Probe?

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first spacecraft to “touch the sun.” Find out more about this daredevil mission and how it will help us to better understand our star.

Have You Seen This?

Play the “Helios” game from NASA’s Space Place! Learn how the sun creates energy by combining protons and neutrons in just the right way to make helium and release energy.

Check it out 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

Earth Science Week 2017 Contests
Audience: All Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 13, 2017

The American Geosciences Institute is sponsoring a series of contests to celebrate Earth Science Week 2017. This year’s celebration takes place Oct. 8-14, 2017.

Earth Science Week 2017 Photography Contest — Open to All Ages
Humans interact with the planet’s natural systems in many ways. With a camera, capture evidence of some ways people affect, or are affected by, Earth systems around your home, neighborhood, school, workplace, or local public spaces. In a photo, show human interaction with natural systems where you are.

Earth Science Week 2017 Visual Arts Contest — Open to K-5 Students
The natural world is part of many things that people do. Think of where our food, clothes and homes come from. Think of the forces that shape our weather, our travels, our habits and all the things we can (and cannot) do. Create a picture that shows how human activities shape, and are shaped by, Earth systems.

Earth Science Week 2017 Essay Contest — Open to Students in Grades 6-9
Earth science expands our understanding of human interaction with the planet’s natural systems and processes. Geoscientists explore the relationship between human activity and Earth’s systems. The impact of their research can be seen in areas such as energy, technology, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, industry, agriculture and tourism. Focusing on one topic, explain how geoscience helps us make the most of opportunities and manage challenges.

Earth Science Week 2017 Video Contest — Open to All Ages
Explore the relationship between human activity and Earth systems, including the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air) and biosphere (life). Submit a brief, 30-90 second original video that tells viewers about how people have an impact on Earth systems, or how Earth systems have an impact on people, in your part of the world.

The entry deadline for all four contests is Oct. 13, 2017. Visit the contest websites for full details.

If you have any questions about these contests, please email the Earth Science Week staff at

**NEW** Participate in International Observe the Moon Night
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Oct. 28, 2017

On Oct. 28, 2017, the whole world has the chance to admire and celebrate our moon on International Observe the Moon Night. And you can join in the fun! Visit the website to find a map of registered events and make plans to attend. If you don’t see an event near you, sign up to host your own! The website has step-by-step plans for hosting an event of any size. Ideas for hands-on activities are available to make your event a success.

To learn more, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

Fly Your Exoplanet on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
Audience: All Educators and Students
Submission Deadline: Nov. 20, 2017

Set to launch in June 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is an explorer-class planet finder. In the first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey, TESS will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants and will orbit a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. As the TESS team prepares for launch, it invites the public to ponder what exoplanets might look like and share their ideas in the form of sketches and graphics.

This opportunity is open to all ages and skill levels. Submissions will be collected via email. To download the template for submitting your artwork, visit

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 20, 2017, or when capacity of the drive carrying the submissions to space is reached, whichever occurs first.

To learn more about the TESS mission, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed 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.

Testing Terror — Technology for Exploration: Microgravity
6-12, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Oct. 5, 2017, at 6 p.m. EDT
Join the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University for a free 60-minute webinar. Microgravity is the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless. Explore how microgravity is created and used for learning in space and how it also can be created and used for learning here on Earth, even in your classroom. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Testing Terror — Technology for Exploration: The Curiosity Rover
K-12, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Oct. 10, 2017, at 6 p.m. EDT
Explore how the Curiosity rover was built to traverse the hard terrain and survive the harsh climate of Mars, as well as how we continue to keep the rover safe on Mars. This webinar will tie into several engineering design lessons aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Lessons From a Decade of Stratospheric Exploration: STEM in Action for Educators
K-12, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Oct. 11, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Learn about the Far Horizons project. Managed by the Adler Planetarium, Far Horizons has engaged students and volunteers as young as 10 years old in hands-on STEM experiences with high-altitude balloon missions. The program’s manager will discuss the amazing opportunities — and interesting challenges — high-altitude balloon missions can provide to students and educators. Register online to participate.

**NEW** Testing Terror — Technology for Exploration: Rockets to Mars
4-8, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Oct. 12, 2017, at 6 p.m. EDT
Blast off into learning by exploring the STEM of rockets to Mars with NASA missions and classroom resources. Launch your students’ interest in forces and motion with NASA rocket activities and design challenges that include designing, building and launching simple rockets while recording and analyzing data. 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** Celebrate Earth Science Week With Resources From GLOBE
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Earth Science Week Dates: Oct. 8-14, 2017

What determines the color of your sky? Use the Elementary GLOBE Aerosol book and a suggested phenomenon-based learning progression to teach your students about aerosols, clouds and sky color. Collect and submit your observations during Earth Science Week using the GLOBE Observer app, and NASA will send you observations from Earth-observing satellites. Educators may sign up for this opportunity and receive a free classroom set of the Elementary GLOBE book titled “What’s Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring Colors in the Sky.”

To learn more, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Marilé Colón Robles at

Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

2018 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge Tech Demo and Engineering Design Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students and Faculty
Notice of Intent Deadline: Oct. 13, 2017
Project Plan Submission Deadline: Nov. 16, 2017

The 2018 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge is an engineering design and technology demonstration contest open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students at accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. This challenge gives teams the opportunity to design and build hardware that can extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice.

Up to 10 teams will be chosen to demonstrate their system’s water extraction capabilities in June 2018 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

A notice of intent is requested by Oct. 13, 2017. Project plans are due Nov. 16, 2017.

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

NASA Accepting Applications for NASA Spring Internships
Audience: High School, Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Oct. 17, 2017

Now is your chance to apply for exciting hands-on spring internship opportunities available at all NASA centers. High school, undergraduate and graduate students are needed to help NASA scientists and engineers with ongoing scientific and engineering research, technology development and spaceflight operations activities. Internship opportunities also exist in nontechnical areas such as communications, budget, procurement, education and human resources. NASA internships are stipend-paid and offer students mentor-directed, degree-related, NASA-relevant tasks. If you think you have what it takes to be a NASA intern, please visit today to apply or to learn more about the numerous opportunities available.

The deadline for spring applications is Oct. 17, 2017!

Please submit inquiries about the NASA Internships, Fellowships, and Scholarships One Stop Shopping Initiative, or NIFS OSSI, via

Apply to Receive Free ‘Explore Science: Earth & Space 2018’ Toolkits
Audience: Children’s Museums, Science Centers, Science Museums, NASA Visitor Centers, Public Planetariums and Observatories Located in the U.S.
Application Deadline: Nov. 1, 2017

The National Informal STEM Education Network, or NISE Network, is pleased to offer free “Explore Science: Earth & Space 2018” toolkits to new and existing eligible partners in the United States. In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network has assembled a new set of engaging, hands-on Earth and space science experiences with connections to science, technology and society. In addition to the physical toolkits, all digital materials will be available online as a free download in February 2018.

A total of 250 toolkits will be awarded to eligible organizations through a competitive application process. Eligible organizations include children’s museums, science centers, science museums, public planetariums and observatories, and NASA visitor centers located in the U.S.

Applications are due Nov. 1, 2017. To learn more, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to Catherine McCarthy 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:
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For Educators:
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