NASA “Science WOW!” Message — Dec. 13, 2017

Check out the latest edition of NASA’s “Science WOW!” — your source for NASA opportunities in science education delivered “Weekly On Wednesday.”

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Science Always Starts With a Question …

This Week’s Question: How Can I View Tonight’s Peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower?

This year’s Geminid meteor shower will be the best of 2017! The shower peaks tonight with rates around one meteor per minute under good conditions. So bundle up and head outside. But check out these resources before you go!

Heads Up, Earthlings! The Geminids Are Here

Video: What’s Up for December?

Have You Seen This?

Have you ever wondered what makes a meteor different from a meteorite? Or if asteroids and comets are made of the same stuff? Flip through the “What’s That Space Rock?” Slideshow to learn all about these and other bodies in our solar system.

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

Free Program — Cubes in Space™
Audience: Students Ages 11-18 and Educator Mentors
Registration Deadline: Feb. 2, 2018

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Langley Research Center, along with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and idoodledu, inc., are offering a free STEAM education program for students ages 11-18. Cubes in Space lets students design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, in late June 2018 or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in late August 2018.

Registration closes on Feb. 2, 2018. For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments
Audience: Students in Grades 8-12
Design Submission Deadlines: March 1, 2018

NASA and Portland State University in Oregon are challenging students in grades 8-12 to design microgravity experiments investigating capillary action, similar to those conducted on the space station. Teams or individuals create their own experiment using computer-aided design with a provided template and submit short proposals presenting the experiments. Selected experiments will be tested in the university’s 2.1-second drop tower, and video results will be available for analysis and reporting.

Design ideas are due March 1, 2018. For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

Be a Citizen Scientist With the ‘Aurorasaurus’ Project
Audience: All Educators and Students
Project Timeframe: Ongoing

Aurorasaurus is the first and only citizen science project that tracks auroras around the world via online reports, mobile apps and social media.

Aurorasaurus is a citizen science project that gathers real-time data about aurora sightings and sends out notifications to users when the northern or southern lights are likely visible in their area. Registered users get location-based notifications and a real-time monitor of space weather activity. The project also allows users to help verify tweets and search for real sightings. Plus, the website features answers to science and aurora questions.

To learn more, visit

Please direct questions about this project to

This project receives support from the National Science Foundation and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.


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.

Earth Sense — Remote Sensing at NASA: Mission Geography, 6-12
6-12, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Dec. 14, 2017, at 6 p.m. EST
Learn about NASA’s Mission Geography resources featuring Earth science lessons that integrate STEM, geography and the language arts with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. Discover ways to use the unique perspective from space to investigate Earth and the processes that shape it, both natural and human influenced. Register online to participate.

**NEW** The Chemistry of Space Exploration
7-12, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Dec. 18, 2017, at 7 p.m. EST
Engineering is only one of many disciplines at play in designing a mission to space. See how chemistry is involved in mission planning. Using several demos and highlighting NASA educational material, participants will explore the important role chemistry plays in designing spacecraft and keeping astronauts safe in space. Register online to participate.

**NEW** NASA Satellite Observations in Science Education — Hunting Icebergs
4-10, Informal and Pre-service Educators
Event Date: Dec. 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Explore the NASA Wavelength lesson, “Hunting Icebergs.” The resource uses three modules that engage students with real NASA data: Identifying; Sizing Up; and Tracing 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

GLOBE Student Research Campaign — Water in Our Environment
Audience: K-12 Educators
Campaign Dates: Now Through June 30, 2018

Water continuously circulates through one of Earth’s most powerful systems: the water cycle. Join GLOBE for its latest campaign that uses a set of guiding investigative questions to enable students to meaningfully explore water in their local environment and collaborate to consider the influence of water on a global scale. The project is flexible, allowing teachers to choose between many options to involve their students.

Visit the site for details about the project and upcoming informational webinars.

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

Opportunities for Higher Education and Informal Institutions

2018 High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2017

The Louisiana Space Consortium, or LaSPACE, is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space. The annual project, supported by the NASA Balloon Program Office and LaSPACE, provides near-space access for 12 student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

Applications are due Dec. 15, 2017. For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

2018 Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Exploration Science Summer Intern Program
Audience: Graduate Students
Application Deadline: Jan. 19, 2018

Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a 10-week program for graduate students in geology, planetary science, planetary astronomy and related programs. Learn how to integrate scientific input with exploration activities in a way that mission architects and spacecraft engineers can use. Activities will support missions to the Moon that use the Orion crew vehicle, the Deep Space Gateway and robotic assets on the lunar surface.

Interns will receive stipends and travel expense reimbursement. Applications are due Jan. 19, 2018.

For more information, visit

Please direct questions about this opportunity to

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


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.

Take Part in a Year of Education on Station
September 2017 – September 2018: Although on different crews, astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold — both former teachers — will work aboard the International Space Station. Visit NASA’s A Year of Education on Station website for out-of-this-world resources and opportunities for K-16 students and educators.

Visit NASA Education on the web:
NASA Office of Education:
For Educators:
For Students:
NASA Kids’ Club:

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