NASA opportunities for the education community.

Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletters: NASA Free Planetarium Program for Your Computer (Grades K-12) — Looking at Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-9) — Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic History of Mars (Grades 5-12) — Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)

NASA opportunities for the education community.

Check out the following NASA opportunities for the education community. Full descriptions are listed below.


Live Video Chat: How Space Station Research Affects Life on Earth
Audience: Grades 7-12
Event Date: May 11, 2012, 2-3 p.m. EDT
Chemistry of Water: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars? Web Seminar
Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 14, 2012
Celebrate the Launch of Astronaut Joe Acaba
Audience: All Educators and Students
Launch Date: May 15, 2012
Live Video Chat: Astronaut Greg Johnson — Living and Working in Space
Audience: Grades 4-12
Event Date: May 15, 2012, noon-1 p.m. EDT
Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates during May 2012
Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System Web Seminar

Audience: 8-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 15, 2012
LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: May 15, 2012
Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math – Space Shuttle Ascent Web Seminar
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: May 16, 2012
Free Exploring Space Lecture — Gamma Ray Bursts and the Birth of Black Holes
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Event Date: May 16, 2012
Teachers Touch the Sky: An Astronomy Workshop
Audience: Grade 3-9 Educators
Registration Deadline: June 15, 2012
Workshop Dates: Aug. 6-10, 2012
2012 NASA’s Multiwavelength Universe Online Professional Development Course
Audience: 5-12 Educators and Higher Education Students
Event Dates: June 25 – July 13, 2012
Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 3 to the International Space Station
Audience: 5-Higher Education Educators and Students
Letter of Commitment Deadline: Sept. 12, 2012
New Educational Materials Available at NASA.gov
Space Math VII Educator Guide — Grades 3-12
Remote Sensing Math Educator Guide — Grades 3-12
Solar System Magnetism Demonstration — Grades 5-8
Astrobiology Math Educator Guide — Grades 6-12
Supernova Remnant SNR 0509 Lithograph– Grades 11-12
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Live Video Chat: How Space Station Research Affects Life on Earth

The NASA Explorer Schools project is offering students in grades 7-12 an opportunity to ask questions of Tara Ruttley, the associate program scientist for the International Space Station. Join the video chat on May 11, 2012, from 2-3 p.m. EDT. Ruttley will answer questions submitted during this live video chat about conducting research on the space station and the benefits of this research to astronauts living and working in space and to life on Earth.
Students do not need to be in a school participating in the NASA Explorer Schools project in order to ask questions during this video chat.
Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.
To learn more about NES, visit the explorerschools.nasa.gov website.
For more information and to view the video chat, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/research-ruttley-chat.html.
If you have any questions about the video chat, contact NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.
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Chemistry of Water: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars? Web Seminar
As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on May 14, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. “Chemistry of Water: Mars Exploration — Is There Water on Mars?” is an inquiry-based lesson on how atmospheric pressure and vapor pressure affect the boiling point of water. See why water’s boiling point is pressure-dependent, rather than temperature-dependent. Then, by extension, you will deduce if there could be liquid water on Mars.
For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar25.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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Celebrate the Launch of Astronaut Joe Acaba
Educator and astronaut Joe Acaba will launch to the International Space Station to join Expedition 31. Students and educators can join NASA’s Digital Learning Network on May 15, 2012, at 12 p.m. EDT to celebrate the launch and to meet an astronaut trainer who helps prepare astronauts for their missions. There will also be a chance to ask questions.
Before joining the webcast, be sure to take a moment and visit Teach Station, NASA Education’s newest website for students and educators about the International Space Station. Visit the website often and watch for opportunities to connect with expedition crew members and other NASA education opportunities. Be sure to check out the page A Teacher in Space and meet Joe Acaba. Read about his experience as an astronaut and his transition from being a classroom teacher to becoming an astronaut in the astronaut corps.
Visit the new website at http://www.nasa.gov/education/teachstation.
View NASA’s Distance Learning Network webcast at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/index.html.
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Live Video Chat: Astronaut Greg Johnson — Living and Working in Space

NASA Explorer Schools is offering students in grades 4-12 an opportunity to ask astronaut Greg Johnson questions during a live video chat. Join the chat on May 15, 2012, from noon-1 p.m. EDT to ask Johnson questions about his education, astronaut training and experiences while living and working in space.
In 2007, Johnson was selected to pilot Endeavour on the STS-123 mission that launched in March 2008. After he returned from the flight, he served as a capsule communicator, or CAPCOM, for STS-126, STS-119, STS-125 and STS-127. In May 2011, Johnson piloted Endeavour’s final flight, STS-134.
Students do not need to be in a school participating in the NASA Explorer Schools project in order to ask questions during this video chat.
To learn more about astronaut Greg Johnson, visit http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/johnson-gh.html.
Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.
To learn more about NES, visit the explorerschools.nasa.gov website.
For more information and to view the video chat, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/johnson-chat.html.
If you have any questions about the video chat, contact NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.
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Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars through May 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.
Free Planetarium Program for Your Computer (Grades K-12)
May 15, 2012, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Les Gold will introduce participants to a free planetarium program. Participants will learn how to use the program to demonstrate day/night cycles, the sun’s changing position in the sky, as well as seasons, phases of the moon, constellations and more.
Looking at Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-9)
May 15, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.
Mars Uncovered: Revealing the Geologic History of Mars (Grades 5-12)
May 16, 2012, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will share an inquiry-based lesson that presents a critical-thinking approach of studying the surface of Mars. This process is similar to the approach used by NASA scientists. This lesson will teach students to examine geologic features of a planetary surface and use relative-age dating techniques to analyze the information and interpret the geologic history.
Rocket Scientists Write? (Grades K-12)
May 21, 2012, 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist John Weis will demonstrate language arts activities using NASA materials and lessons found within NASA educator guides. Materials discussed will cover reading comprehension and composition for grades K-12. Lesson plans and strategies will be shared.
Toys in Space (Grades 4-9)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will share NASA’s Toys in Space videos and activities. In this program, astronauts took toys from around the world with them into space. Students predict, observe and record how the toys behave without the effects of Earth’s gravity, putting Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Participants will receive copies of the astronaut videos for use in the classroom.
Sun-Earth-Moon Relationships (Grades K-8)
May 24, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will introduce sun-Earth-moon models that help to explain the phases of the moon and both lunar and solar eclipses. Additionally, the activity “Kinesthetic Astronomy” will be introduced for its explanation of the seasons.
For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through June 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.
Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Gwendolyn Wheatle at Gwendolyn.H.Wheatle@nasa.gov.
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Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System Web Seminar
As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on May 15, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. EDT. Learn about the science of heat transfer and heat dissipation related to NASA vehicles, and receive an introduction to the associated engineering design challenge, Thermal Protection System. In this activity, students are challenged to design a thermal protection system and test it using a propane torch.
For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar10.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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LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge

NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department and Nike recently announced a challenge to identify 10 game-changing innovations that could transform waste-management systems and practices. Waste management is important for planning long-duration human spaceflight missions to an asteroid, Mars or beyond.
Humans living off the planet require waste solutions that mirror issues facing people on Earth. In the hostile environment of space, waste must be eliminated or transformed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The innovations, which will be presented at the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum, may lead to practical applications for astronauts as we send humans deeper into our solar system.
The LAUNCH: Beyond Waste challenge is open through May 15, 2012, and seeks creative solutions to minimize waste or transform it into new products in space and on Earth. Forum partners will select 10 innovators to present their technology solutions at the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum, hosted by NASA July 20-22, 2012, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
NASA and the LAUNCH Council — thought leaders representing a diverse and collaborative body of entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, government, media and business — will participate in the forum and help guide these innovations forward. The selected LAUNCH innovators will receive networking and mentoring opportunities from influential business and government leaders, as well as portfolio presentations.
LAUNCH was created to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global sustainability challenges. LAUNCH searches for visionaries whose ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society in the developed and developing worlds.
For more information about the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge and how to enter, visit http://links.launch.org/beyond-waste.
Inquiries about this challenge should be directed to Chad Badiyan at chad.badiyan@secondmuse.com.
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Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math – Space Shuttle Ascent Web Seminar
As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, Projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on May 16, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. Discover how you can use the Space Shuttle Ascent activity to construct a knowledge bridge for your students between the algebra concepts they learn in your classroom and space exploration.
For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-linear-regression/.
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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Free Exploring Space Lecture — Gamma Ray Bursts and the Birth of Black Holes
The Swift Explorer is an astronomical satellite that is observing gamma-ray bursts, the birth cries of black holes. Experimental physicist Neil Gehrels will share the latest mission results and discuss the amazing properties of black holes.
The lecture will take place on May 16, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT. Come early to see a free film and to meet the lecturer.
The lecture will be held at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and is free to attend. Tickets are required. The lecture will be webcast live for free viewing online. Lecture video will be archived.
For more information, visit http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=3727.
Questions about this lecture should be directed to nasmpubliclectures@si.edu.
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Teachers Touch the Sky: An Astronomy Workshop

Space science is inherently interesting to students, less threatening to teachers than some other sciences and interdisciplinary in nature. These features make it the ideal vehicle for teaching basic scientific concepts to children in a concrete and captivating manner.
In August 2012, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL, in Pasadena, Calif., will host a one-week educator workshop for teachers of grades 3 through 9. Attendees will learn about NASA education materials, including hands-on activities based on current projects in astronomy and space science at JPL, with a special focus on NASA’s current Dawn Mission to the asteroid Vesta. Participants will take a field trip to JPL’s Table Mountain Observatory, tour JPL’s facilities and to talk to real scientists about their work.
Registration for this workshop closes on June 15, 2012.
For more information and to download the workshop application, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/index.cfm?page=273.
Please direct questions about this workshop to Dr. Bonnie Buratti at Bonnie.J.Buratti@jpl.nasa.gov.
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2012 NASA’s Multiwavelength Universe Online Professional Development Course
In-service and pre-service teachers of middle- and high-school students are invited to register for an online professional development course sponsored by several NASA missions that are exploring the universe across the electromagnetic spectrum.
The course is offered for academic or continuing education credit through Sonoma State University. In the course, participants will be shown how to use astronomical examples (images, phenomena, telescopes) to describe the nature of light and color in terms of the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Participants will also learn why NASA uses a variety of telescopes and space-based instruments to make observations of the universe. NASA resources for the classroom will be shared, and participants will learn how NASA resources can be used to address common student misconceptions about the nature of light and color.
Formal presentations for the course will take place on four dates between June 25 and July 13, 2012, but will also be available for archival viewing. Homework for academic credit is due Aug. 17, 2012.
Enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Auditors are also welcomed, on a space-available basis.
For more information and to register, visit http://epo.sonoma.edu/multiu.php.
Questions about this course should be directed to Lynn Cominsky at lynnc@universe.sonoma.edu.
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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 3 to the International Space Station
Audience: 5-Higher Education Educators and Students
Letter of Commitment Deadline: Sept. 12, 2012
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announces a new opportunity for communities across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP, flight opportunity, Mission 3 to the International Space Station, or ISS, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station.
Each participating community will be provided an experiment slot in a real microgravity research minilaboratory scheduled to fly on the space station from mid-April to mid-May 2013. An experiment design competition in each community — engaging 300 to 1,000 students — allows student teams to design real experiments vying for their communities’ reserved experiment slot on the space station. Additional SSEP programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a Learning Community Model for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.
This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations are also encouraged to participate. All participating communities must be aboard by Sept. 12, 2012. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities secure the needed funding.
Through previous SSEP missions on the space shuttle and International Space Station, more than 70,000 students in almost 200 schools have had the opportunity to design and propose real experiments to fly aboard the space station. A total of 27 experiments, reflecting the 27 communities, flew on the final two space shuttle flights. The third SSEP flight opportunity, Mission 1 to the ISS, engaged 12 communities, and 15 experiments have been selected to fly on SpaceX’s Dragon capsule scheduled to launch later this month. The Mission 2 experiments are slated to fly to the space station in fall 2012.
To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 3 to ISS National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/?p=9708.
The SSEP in-orbit research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of using the International Space Station as a national laboratory.
If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org.
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New Educational Materials Available at NASA.gov

The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following items are now available for downloading.

Space Math VII Educator Guide — Grades 3-12

This collection of activities are intended for students looking for additional challenges in mathematics and physical science. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Each word problem includes background information and teachers’ answer keys.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Space_Math_VII.html
Remote Sensing Math Educator Guide — Grades 3-12
This guide is a complete study for remote sensing and mathematical models. Each lesson in this guide is a supplement for teaching mathematical topics. The problems can be used to enhance understanding of the mathematical concept or as an assessment of student mastery. Each word problem includes background information and teachers’ answer keys.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Remote_Sensing_Math.html
Solar System Magnetism Demonstration — Grades 5-8
The big idea of this demonstration is that the sun and Earth have different magnetic properties. Sunspots are related to magnetism on the sun. Earth has a strong simple magnetic field with two poles. The educator builds the magnetic fields using polystyrene spheres, strong magnets and staples. Then the participants make “field detectors” from simple objects to predict the locations of the fields.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Solar_System_Magnetism.html
Astrobiology Math Educator Guide — Grades 6-12
This collection of activities is intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical science curriculum in grades 6-12. The problems deal with modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Each word problem includes background information and teachers’ answer keys.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Astrobiology_Math.html
Supernova Remnant SNR 0509 Lithograph — Grades 11-12
The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of what appears to be a delicate bubble of gas floating in space. The bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion that took place in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. The image of the supernova remnant is on the first page of the lithograph, and background information is on the second page. The lithograph includes a Level One Inquiry activity entitled “In Search of … Supernova Remnants” in which students research supernovae and dispel misconceptions of the life cycle of stars.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Supernova_Remnant_SNR_0509.html

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