Nasa Education – Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletter

Nasa Education

 

 

Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Jan. 5, 2013

Call for Abstracts: 64th International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time Graduate Students
Submission Deadline: Feb. 21, 2013

Call for NEXT GEN Plenary: 64th International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time Graduate Students
Submission Deadline: Jan. 6, 2013

2013 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Jan. 7, 2013

Registration Open for the 20th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Audience: 9-12 & Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline for International Teams: Jan. 7, 2013
Registration Deadline for U.S. Teams: Feb. 4, 2013

Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Jan. 8, 2013

Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators for MicroGravity eXperience
Audience: K-12 Educators
Proposal Deadline: Jan. 9, 2013

Properties of Living Things: Searching for Life on Mars Web Seminar
Audience: 4-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Jan. 10, 2013

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars
Audience: Female High School Juniors
New Deadline: Jan.10, 2013

National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Dates: Monthly through 2013

International Space Station Research Opportunity for Higher Education Organizations
Audience: Higher Education Community
Deadline to Submit White Papers: Jan. 23, 2013

What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website
Audience: K-6 Educators

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Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series

Curious about our nearest star, moon rocks, volcanoes and other wonders of the universe? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars, a series of 10 lectures by Smithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. These speakers will share behind-the-scenes details about how their research is done and technologies that advance new discoveries at the Smithsonian Institution.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. and is followed by a question-and-answer session. A Discovery Station activity will take place at 4 p.m. prior to each lecture. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

Jan. 5, 2013 — Trees in the City
Tree cover is an important element of the urban environment that plays an increasingly larger role in ecosystem processes. Geographer Andrew Johnston will discuss how satellite data is used to make reliable observations about urban tree cover variability, why it matters to urban residents and how these same data are used to map changes in tree cover.

Feb. 2, 2013 — Volcano Breath
Join Global Volcanism Program Director Liz Cottrell for a lecture about volcanoes on a global scale. Learn how the gaseous contents of volcanoes propel their explosions and impact our climate. Hear the latest about volcanic gas research and explore the latest discoveries about how the deep Earth is recycling the air we breathe.

Feb. 16, 2013 — Venus: 50 Years After Mariner 2
Fifty years ago Mariner 2 flew past Venus, becoming the first space probe to explore another planet. But Venus, our nearest neighbor, still holds many mysteries. Geophysicist Bruce Campbell will discuss what is known about Venus, including how it differs from Earth, and how future explorers may provide crucial clues to understanding this hot, dry world.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series and to see a full schedule of upcoming lectures, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/stars/index.cfm.

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000.

The Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.

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Call for Abstracts: 64th International Astronautical Congress

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 64th International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time graduate students attending U.S. universities or colleges respond to this call for abstracts. The IAC, which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF, the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law, is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1,000 scientific papers every year.

The upcoming IAC will be held Sept. 23-27, 2013, in Beijing, China. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to connect NASA with the international astronautical and space communities.

The IAC has posted a “Call for Abstracts,” with a submission deadline of Feb. 21, 2013. NASA plans to also announce a “Call for Abstracts” inviting graduate students to submit abstracts (of no more than 400 words) to participate in the 64th International Astronautical Congress. Abstracts must be submitted to NASA and to the IAF. Details on the NASA “Call for Abstracts” will be distributed by mid-January, with the same submission deadline of Feb. 21, 2013. The selected NASA-sponsored students must also be selected by the IAF.

Please visit the IAC website (http://www.iac2013.org/) for additional information about the Congress and to obtain information about the “Call for Abstracts.”

Important IAC Deadlines:

– Abstract submission closes Feb. 21, 2013.
— Paper submission closes Sept. 4, 2013.
— Presentation submission closes Sept. 18, 2013.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Carolyn Knowles at carolyn.knowles-1@nasa.gov.

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Call for NEXT GEN Plenary: 64th International Astronautical Congress

Calling students and young professionals! If you could choose humanity’s next destination in space, where would you choose? We want to hear what you think should be the next destination for humans to explore and why your destination is the best. As today’s 21- to 35-year-olds, you will be the senior engineers and mission managers who will be carrying out and leading the next human missions to explore space, and we want your input. Why wait 10 years to be heard? We invite you to share your ideas with space leaders in government, industry and academia at the International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, in Beijing, China, on Sept. 23-27, 2013.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to address and possibly influence the international space community. We are proposing a plenary event to hear concrete ideas from 21- to 35-year-olds on what the next destinations for human space exploration should be. If approved, this event will take place the week of Sept. 23-27, 2013, in Beijing, China at the IAC (www.iafastro.com). The plenary participants will engage in a panel discussion and interact with the audience while sharing their ideas on the possible future destinations for human space exploration, including discussing the benefits, risks and challenges of each location. The plenary will be moderated in a talk-show fashion, interweaving clips from the panelists’ audition videos with questions and comments from the moderator, other panelists and the audience. The video clips will be used to enhance the audience’s understanding of the ideas of the plenary participants. This is an exciting opportunity that you do not want to miss!

This sounds great!  What do I need to do to participate?

Round One: 15 Seconds of Fame!
By Jan. 6, 2013, create a 15-second video telling us why you should be chosen to address the IAC, and post it on http://www.youtube.com. We will only watch/listen for 15 seconds, so be sure to watch the time of your video! Then complete the application at this link.

Round Two: Three Minutes!
The International Astronautical Federation, or IAF, will select the second round of candidates from those submitting the 15-second videos and notify all entrants by Jan. 22, 2013. Specific details of Round Two requirements will be sent to the candidates in the notification. Selected candidates will be asked to create and post a three-minute video on a specified YouTube site by Feb. 22, 2013.

Video Details:
Please record your video in a high-quality audio and video format. If you are selected as a panelist, segments of your videos will be used to promote and during the plenary. Please limit special effects, scene changes and music. The video is about you, not your video editing skills.

Final Selection:
The IAF will select the finalists from these entries based on their creativity, efficacy of messages and relevance to the plenary topics. We will be looking for concrete ideas on what the next destinations for humans to explore should be and why these destinations are important, as well as your expertise in this area.

The IAF will make the final selection of plenaries for the IAC in Beijing the week of March 18, 2013, and will notify the finalists of its decision by March 31, 2013.

Who Will Sponsor Me to Travel to Beijing?
Plenary participants will be responsible for finding a sponsor or sponsors for their travel to and accommodations at the IAC.
In addition to the obvious sources of sponsorship — your employer or school, and industry contacts — we want to share with you some great programs for students and young professionals that occur in conjunction with the 2013 Beijing IAC. The following are all distinct programs related to the IAC but are not directly related to this plenary opportunity.

– IAF Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme (Watch for the announcement this month at http://www.iafastro.org.)

– Candidates are encouraged to contact the Space Generation Advisory Committee, or SGAC, concerning the plans for the SGAC event prior to the IAC in Beijing and associated sponsorship opportunities. Visit www.spacegeneration.org for more information.

– Students in Europe, Japan and the United States are encouraged to contact the European Space Agency, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and NASA respectively to apply to the space agencies’ student programs at the IAC in Beijing.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Carolyn Knowles at carolyn.knowles-1@nasa.gov.

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2013 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize purse.

During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.

NASA provides the prize money to the winning team as part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges competitions, which seek unconventional solutions to problems of interest to the agency and the nation. While NASA provides the prize purse, the competitions are managed by nonprofit organizations that cover the cost of operations through commercial or private sponsorships. The competition is planned for June 2013 in Worcester and is anticipated to attract hundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.

Early bird registration and fees for the competition are due by Jan. 7, 2013. Teams wishing to register after this date are subject to approval by the judging committee.

For more information about the Sample Return Robot Challenge and to register online for the competition, visit http://challenge.wpi.edu.

The Centennial Challenges program is part of NASA’s Space Technology Program, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. NASA’s Space Technology Program and the Centennial Challenges are creating new technological solutions for NASA and our nation’s future. For more information about NASA’s Centennial Challenges and the Space
Technology Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/challenges.

Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to challenge@wpi.edu.

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Registration Open for the 20th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Registration is open for the 20th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race. High school and college students are challenged to design and build a vehicle that addresses a series of engineering problems similar to those faced by the original lunar-roving vehicle team. Each school may enter up to two teams. International teams are limited to 10 teams per country. The race will take place April 25-27, 2013, in Huntsville, Ala., at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

International teams must register by Jan. 7, 2013. U.S. teams must register by Feb. 4, 2013.

For more information about the competition and to register online, visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov/index.html.

International teams with questions about this event and registration should email Marilyn Lewis at Marilyn.H.Lewis@nasa.gov. U.S. teams with questions should contact Diedra Williams at Diedra.A.Williams@nasa.gov.

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Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar for educators on Jan 8, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Become familiar with the MY NASA DATA activity, “Solar Cell Energy Availability From Around the Country.” Compare monthly averages of downward radiation in locations around the U.S. and analyze areas where conditions would be conducive to having solar panels. Access data on the NASA Live Access Server as you “journey” around the U.S. to determine the amount of solar radiation and analyze overlay plots to compare data from NASA satellites.

This seminar is offered again on March 26, 2013.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar20.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators for MicroGravity eXperience

NASA’s Teaching From Space Office and the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program are seeking applications for teams of K-12 educators to participate in the MicroGravity eXperience, or Micro GX, project. This project gives students and educators across the country the opportunity to work together on an experiment to be tested aboard a microgravity aircraft. This incredible opportunity is open to any current K-12 classroom educator in the United States. Educators must also be U.S. citizens.

Micro GX activities begins with students and educators developing and proposing a reduced-gravity experiment. Selected educator teams will receive online professional development on classroom resources for microgravity, collaboration with a NASA mentor and a reduced-gravity flight. With combined input from their students and mentor, educator teams will design and fabricate their experiments to be tested and evaluated aboard an aircraft that flies approximately 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of microgravity and hypergravity, ranging from almost zero gravity to 2 g.

Seven teams of four to five educators from a single school or school district will be selected from this application process to participate in Micro GX. This includes participation in an online microgravity course, which will begin on Feb. 11, 2013, with a series of Web seminars with NASA personnel to initiate experiment development. The highlight of the online course is to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and participate in the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program during the week of July 12-20, 2013. During the flight week, educators will fly and perform custom experiments in a reduced-gravity environment. Selected teams are responsible for all expenses associated with the travel and stay in Houston. The online course continues with activities beyond the flight experience through Aug. 26, 2013.

Educator teams interested in participating in Micro GX may submit a proposal no later than Jan. 9, 2013. For more information, visit http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/tfs or send an email to jsc-rgeducator@nasa.gov.

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Properties of Living Things: Searching for Life on Mars Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar for educators on Jan. 10, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. This web seminar features two lessons: one on extremophiles and the other on searching for life. Review criteria for determining if something is alive and learn how students apply the criteria in a hands-on activity. A video will be shown that connects the activity to a NASA mission. Collaborate with other participants about ways of using and adapting the activity. Extension activities for students interested in the topic will be provided.

This seminar is offered again on April 18, 2013.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar21.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NASA Explorer Schools help desk at NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars

Engineer your dream job! The adventure begins in 2013. NASA wants you to become part of the workforce of tomorrow as we offer the opportunity to dream, engineer and WISH. The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars, or WISH, project offers a one-of-a-kind experience for female high school juniors to jump-start their future by engaging in opportunities relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Participation starts in an online community and culminates with a summer experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the summer of 2013. Get ready to collaborate with girls from across the country as you complete online activities, design unique projects, work with NASA personnel and present mission accomplishments. Start your dream now!

To be eligible, applicants must be:
— U.S. citizens.
— Female high school juniors during the 2012-2013 school year.
— Interested and excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
— Committed to a one-year relationship with NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
— Able to access the Internet and email (at home, school or public library).
— A scholar with a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.0 or higher.

The application deadline has been extended to Jan. 10, 2013.

For more information and to download the application, visit http://wish.aerospacescholars.org/.

Questions should be directed to JSC-NHAS@mail.nasa.gov.

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National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events

Join the National Air and Space Museum on the second Saturday of each month during 2013 for Super Science Saturday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. Each event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Admission is free, and parking is $15.

Upcoming topics include:

Jan. 12, 2013 — From the Wright Brothers to the Right Stuff
Feb. 9, 2013 — Scientists and Inventors
March 9, 2013 — The Space Shuttle
April 13, 2013 — How Things Fly
May 11, 2013 — Astronomy
June 8, 2013 — Energy
July 13, 2013 — Weather
Aug. 10, 2013 — Helicopters
Sept. 14, 2013 — Living and Working in Space
Oct. 12, 2013 — Balloons and Blimps
Nov. 9, 2013 — The Moon and Beyond
Dec. 14, 2013 — The Wright Brothers

For more information, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/superscience/.

Questions about this series of lectures should be directed to nasmpubliclectures@si.edu.

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International Space Station Research Opportunity for Higher Education Organizations

Conduct research in space and make new discoveries! The adventure begins in 2013. The International Space Station NASA Education Projects Office has released a solicitation for proposals of educational experiments relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, that utilize the unique microgravity platform of the space station.

Proposals are being accepted from higher education institutions or consortia of organizations serving the higher education community. Proposals must align with space station program research priorities in technology, biology, biotechnology and physical sciences. Experiment ideas also must address innovative, meaningful and enduring research and technology development activities with STEM-based context.

White papers must be submitted by 4 p.m. CST on Jan. 23, 2013. Full proposals are due Feb. 20, 2013.

For more information, visit http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={8626F554-923E-4797-DEE7-89CF3988FEE3}&path=open.

Questions about this solicitation should be directed to Janejit T. Gensler at Janejit.t.gensler@nasa.gov.

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What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

Earth is in the lucky position to have a love-hate relationship with its star. We say lucky, because obviously we couldn’t live without it, but at times it’s a little difficult to live with it as well. We call the conditions around our planet, outside of its own atmosphere and magnetosphere, space weather, but it definitely affects us on Earth, too. It’s a good thing we are learning to understand and predict the sun’s tantrums.

Let’s Start Here
“Space Place Live!” is a cartoon talk show where Space Place characters interview real NASA scientists and engineers. The latest episode stars Merav Opher, astrophysicist. She studies how stars work, including our star. In this seven-minute video, we learn about the solar wind, solar flares, the heliosphere and the environment the sun creates for everything in the solar system. Dr. Opher also talks about how she got interested in physics and what else she likes to do for fun. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/space-place-live/#opher.

Space Place en Español
La historia de una extraña noche de tormenta (solar)… tells the story of a strange and (solar) stormy night. Along with a story of the severe solar storm of August 1859, where the Northern Lights were seen as far south as Central America, “Shields Up!” (¡Escudos arriba!”) is a game in which the player has to protect Earth-orbiting satellites from the wrath of bad space weather. The game and article are available in Spanish and English. See http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sp/shields-up.

Spotlight on All Things Sunny…
Heliophysics, or the physics of the sun, is one of the four major science thrusts of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. (The others are astrophysics, Earth science and the solar system.) On The Space Place, these translate to the menu tabs Space, Sun, Earth, and Solar System.

The sun-Earth connection is so important in understanding our immediate environment. The Sun menu (http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/menu/sun) offers activities, games and fun facts about the sun and how it affects Earth. The most comprehensive treatment of this relationship is the animated, narrated storybook “Super Star Meets the Plucky Planet: Or, how Earth and Sun come to mutual understanding and respect.” It is also available to print and read aloud or have the students read aloud (http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/story-superstar).

For the Classroom
The Gallery of Sun images (http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gallery-sun) is just for teachers to print and post in the classroom. They have large, simple captions.

For Out of School Time
“Satellite Insight” is an absorbing game for all ages that runs on both computer and iPhone or iPad. It is Tetris-like, where six tile colors represent different types of data measured and recorded by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series, or GOES-R, satellite. Bonus material explains what each of the tile colors stand for, such as clouds, lightning and solar energy. A lot of them stand for data related to space weather. See http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/satellite-insight.

Special Days

Jan. 7, 1610: Galileo discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons.
Explore Jupiter’s big moons in the “Solar System Explorer” game. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-system-explorer

Jan. 15, 2006: Stardust mission capsule returned comet samples to Earth.
Learn about comets and how they are different from asteroids with the Comet vs. Asteroids four-page color brochure. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/posters/#asteroids

Jan. 31, 1958: Explorer 1 was the first U.S. satellite launched into orbit.
How do orbits work, anyway? Find out by putting a cannonball into orbit! http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/how-orbits-work

Feb. 19, 1473: Nicolaus Copernicus born.
He thought the sun was the center of the universe. He was wrong. But just where is the center? Dr. Marc answers in a short podcast. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/podcasts/#center

Feb. 22: Thinking Day
The “Spitzer” memory game will make you think very hard. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/spitzer-concentration

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