[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround NASA STEM Education

Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series

Curious about our nearest star, water on Mars, the first trip to Pluto and other wonders of the universe? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series presented 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. The lectures will be held at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. ET 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 museum’s observatory, weather permitting.

Dec. 7, 2013 — Oh, Swear Not by the Inconstant Sun
For 50 years, the Smithsonian monitored changes in the sun’s power. Secretary Charles Greeley Abbott asserted that solar variations could influence weather patterns and crop yields. What was he detecting? Dr. David DeVorkin will explore the inconstant nature of the sun.

Dec. 14, 2013 — First Mission to Pluto: The Origins and Voyage of New Horizons
In July 2015, New Horizons will become the first spacecraft to fly through the Pluto system. Dr. Michael Neufeld will discuss the goal of this mission and the promise of new science from it.

Jan. 11, 2014 — Solar Loops: Tackling a 40-Year-Old Mystery
The loops that cover the sun’s outer atmosphere have been studied for over 40 years, but their basic properties remain unknown. Astrophysicist Henry “Trae” Winter will discuss the attempts to unravel these mysteries.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series, visithttp://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/smithsonian-stars/.

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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2014 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2014 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops, also known as RASC-AL Robo-Ops, competition. This design competition is aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL Robo-Ops contest challenges participants to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities in field tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard. Up to three members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) may travel to Johnson Space Center for the onsite testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct mission control tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the mission control team members and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing a variety of tasks that include sample collection and acquisition. The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through onboard rover video camera(s) or other onboard sensors.

Teams must submit a project plan for their proposed project by Dec. 8, 2013. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops Steering Committee of NASA experts will evaluate the project plans and select as many as eight teams to compete against each other at the Rock Yard in June 2014.

The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visithttp://www.nianet.org/RoboOps.

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Stacy Dees at stacy.dees@nianet.org or Shelley Spears at shelley.spears@nianet.org.

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Free Education Webinar Series from NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development 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 to bring NASA into your classroom.

Exploring the Engineering Design Process: An Introduction
Audience:
 Grades 3-8 and Informal
Event Date: 
Dec. 9, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Attend this 60-minute webinar and learn how to engage students in the engineering design process through NASA resources. The resources provide opportunities for addressing national science and mathematics learning standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.

Earth and Mars: An Atmospheric Perspective
Audience: 
In-service, Pre-service, Informal and Home School Educators
Event Date: Dec. 11, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Attend this 60-minute Web seminar and learn the key components of atmospheres that NASA used to safely land the newest and largest rover, Curiosity, on the surface of Mars.

Physics Resources for Elementary Educators
Audience: 
K-5 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 12, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST
Explore grades K-5 NASA resources designed to help you teach physics concepts.

For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit https://paragon-tec.adobeconnect.com/admin/show-event-catalog.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to John Entwistle at john.d.entwistle@nasa.gov.

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NES Web Seminar — Skeletal System: Human Physiology in Space

NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Dec. 10, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. The seminar focuses on human physiology. Obtain information about the effect microgravity has on the physiology of astronauts and learn about the countermeasures NASA uses to help overcome these effects when they return to Earth.

Outer space is an exciting part of our lives and promises to be an even more exciting part of the future for your students. It provides scientists with a unique laboratory, allowing scientific studies never possible in the history of civilization. Future space missions will continue to involve sending humans into space. But after extended stays in microgravity, astronauts must return safely to Earth and lead normal, healthy lives.

This seminar will provide instruction on how to integrate the Skeletal System: Human Physiology in Space lesson into your curriculum. There are two classroom activities in this lesson focusing on the effects of spaceflight on human physiology.

Both activities provide opportunities for incorporating national science, technology, and mathematics learning standards into the curriculum as well as addressing high school Next Generation Science Standards.

This seminar will be repeated on March 4, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visithttp://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES4/webseminar28.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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Green Strides Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Education presents the Green Strides Webinar Series. These webinars feature experts from various federal programs. The webinars are free, and events are scheduled throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

The next webinar takes place on Dec. 11, 2013, at 4 p.m. EST.

For more information and registration, visithttp://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/green-strides/webinar.html.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed toGreen.Ribbon.Schools@ed.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:

Dec. 14, 2013 — The Wright Brothers
Jan. 11, 2014 — From the Wright Brothers to the Right Stuff
Feb. 8, 2014 — Scientists & Inventors
March 8, 2014 — Space Shuttle

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

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

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NASA’s Digital Learning Network Event — Small Bodies: Comets ISON

Fly-by asteroids, asteroids disintegrating over Earth, fly-by comets have made 2013 an exciting year for studying and observing small solar system bodies. Join NASA’s Dr. Claudia Alexander, Rosetta project scientist as she discusses Comet ISON and the Rosetta mission in a live teleconference on Dec. 18, 2013, at 1 p.m. EST. Dr. Alexander will discuss different types of small bodies and answer student questions.

If your class is interested in participating in this event via live video conferencing, contact Lyle Tavernier atlyle.tavernier@jpl.nasa.gov.

To view a live webcast of the event and submit questions via email, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/webcast/webcast.html.

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Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical artifacts of significance to spaceflight. This is the 20th screening of artifacts since 2009.

Eligible schools, universities, museums, libraries and planetariums may view the artifacts and request specific items through Dec. 23, 2013. Online registrations should include an assigned Department of Education number. Registration also can be made through the State Agency for Surplus Property (SASP) office in their state. For instructions, registration, and to view and make requests for artifacts online, visithttp://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.

The artifacts are free of charge and are offered “as-is.” Organizations must cover shipping costs and any handling fees. Shipping fees on smaller items will be relatively inexpensive, while larger items may involve extensive disassembly, preparation, shipping and reassembly costs. NASA will work closely with eligible organizations to address any unique handling costs.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed toGSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

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2014 NASA Student Airborne Research Program

The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated undergraduate students currently in their junior year to apply for the NASA Student Airborne Research Program, also known as SARP, 2014. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign, from detailed planning on how to achieve mission objectives to formal presentation of results and conclusions to peers and others. Students will assist in the operation of airborne instruments onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft.

The program takes place in summer 2014. Preparatory information and data analysis will take place at the University of California, Irvine. Instrument and flight preparations, and the research flights themselves, will occur at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Successful applicants will be awarded a stipend and meals allowance for eight weeks of participation in the program. Round-trip travel to California, housing and transportation will be provided.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 7, 2014.

For more information and to download the program application, visit http://www.nserc.und.edu/sarp/sarp-2014.

Specific questions about the program should be directed to SARP2014@nserc.und.edu.

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2014-15 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering undergraduate research scholarships of up to $8,500 to encourage talented individuals to conduct research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM, fields.

Applicants must participate in an active faculty-mentored research experience that aligns with the aerospace sector and meets NASA’s mission. Student stipends and research support totaling $4,000 during the academic year and $4,500 during a summer semester are available.

These one-year awards are nonrenewable and based on student academic merit, quality of the research proposal and alignment of research with the goals of NASA and the aerospace sector. Underrepresented minority students, female students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at one of the five Virginia Space Grant member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The deadline for submitting applications is Feb.10, 2014.

For more information, visithttp://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/undergrad/. Please email any questions about this opportunity to rkashiri@odu.edu.

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2014-15 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate STEM Research Fellowship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides fellowships of $5,000 in add-on support to graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research support. The objective of this science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, research fellowship opportunity is to encourage talented individuals to pursue careers in STEM industries that support NASA’s mission.

Participants in the Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program must take part in an active faculty‐mentored research experience that aligns with the aerospace sector and meets NASA’s mission. Awards are made annually and are renewable for one year for students making satisfactory academic and research progress.

This is a competitive fellowship program, and awards are based on merit recognizing high academic achievement and promise. Underrepresented minority students, female students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled at one of the five Virginia Space Grant member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The deadline for submitting applications is Feb.10, 2014.

For more information about this opportunity and to apply online, visit http://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/gradfellow/. Please email any questions about this opportunity torkashiri@odu.edu.

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2014-15 Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, or VSGC, is offering renewable scholarships to sophomore undergraduate students studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM. The STEM Bridge Scholarships are $1,000 and are available to students who are U.S. citizens from any federally recognized minority group enrolled fulltime at one of the five VSGC member universities: The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

The STEM Bridge Program bridges students to future opportunities by mentoring and guiding them to future VSGC scholarships and NASA-related paid internships. The program encourages students to explore how their majors can apply to NASA’s Mission.

This is a competitive program, and awards are based on student academic merit, quality of interest essay as well as letters of recommendation from current college faculty who can attest to students’ interest in STEM areas.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 17, 2014.

For more information, visithttp://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/Bridge/. Please email any questions about this opportunity to rkashiri@odu.edu.

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2014-15 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Community College STEM Scholarship

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium, or VSGC, encourages academically talented individuals to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The VSGC is offering a limited number of scholarship opportunities to students majoring in STEM fields at any campus in the Virginia Community College System, or VCCS.

These $2,000 scholarships are competitive awards based on academic merit for students demonstrating an interest in NASA’s missions and STEM-related careers. The VSGC strongly supports students in technical career pathways who are preparing to transfer to institutions of higher learning while developing the essential skills for a competitive global workforce.

Underrepresented minority students, female students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in the VCCS.

The deadline for submitting applications is March 17, 2014.

For more information, visithttp://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/ccstem/. Please email any questions about this opportunity to rkashiri@odu.edu.

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NASA Exploration Design Challenge

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight through participation in NASA’s Exploration Design Challenge, or EDC. NASA EDC invites students around the world to think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles of deep space long-duration exploration — the dangers associated with space radiation. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, currently being developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners to carry astronauts to space, venturing farther than humans have ever gone before.

Through a series of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, engagement activities, students in grades K-8 will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding and recommend materials that best block radiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will think and act like engineers as they apply what they learn to design shielding to protect a sensor on the Orion crew module from space radiation. After a review of the design solutions submitted by teams in the grades 9-12 challenge, five finalist teams will be selected and matched with a mentor from NASA to test their designs in a virtual simulator. The winning team will build a prototype radiation shield that will be analyzed and submitted to Lockheed Martin for flight certification on the inaugural flight of the Orion Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1.

The five U.S. finalist teams from the grades 9-12 challenge will be invited to attend the EFT-1 launch, currently scheduled for November 2014. The names of all students, grades K-12, participating in the NASA EDC will fly aboard the spacecraft as honorary virtual crewmembers for Orion’s first flight. The deadline to register students for the virtual crew is July 31, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/spacelife/explorationdesign/overview/index.html#.UdLvoBZU3dI.

For more information about Orion, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/orion.

Email any questions about this opportunity tonasaedc@nianet.org.

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MissionSTEM Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Video Series Topic 2

On behalf of NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, the NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is pleased to post the second set of videos in the MissionSTEM Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Series.

This new set of videos features top university leaders describing specific strategies they have used to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. The video series supports the national goal of educating one million STEM graduates needed in the coming decades to bolster innovation and productivity, educate our citizens and expand our economy.

Over the coming months, the Series will offer several additional diversity and inclusion perspectives and promising practices. Each new set of videos will emphasize a new topic, with previous topics still available on the website. NASA invites you to watch the videos and offer your comments and/or ideas on this critical area for national discussion. By sharing these success stories, NASA strives to help create more diverse STEM education communities and, in turn, advance our Nation’s leadership role in cutting edge technology.

For more information and to view the video series, visit http://missionstem.nasa.gov/diversityInclusionLeadrshp.html.

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