NASA Education Express

NASA Education Express


“A Century of Women in Aerospace” Family Day
Audience: All Educators and Students
Event Date: Sept. 15, 2012
Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During September 2012
NASA’s Digital Learning Network Presents Space Shuttle Endeavour “Fly-Out” Celebration
Audience: Grades 4-12
Event Date: Sept. 17, 2012, 1 – 2 p.m. EDT
DEADLINE EXTENDED: NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Exploring Project
Audience: 9-12 Students
New Application Deadline: Sept. 17, 2012
Algebraic Equations: Transit Tracks — Finding Habitable Planets Web Seminar
Audience: Algebra Teachers and Informal Educators
Event Date: Sept. 19, 2012
“Curiosity Has Landed in Your Classroom” Educator Conference
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Sept. 21, 2012
Conference Date: Sept. 29, 2012
Celebrate World Space Week
Audience: All Educators
Event Date: Oct. 4-10, 2012
Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Event Dates: Multiple Dates Through March 2013
2012 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
Audience: 5-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Oct. 24, 2012
“The World’s a Place of Living Things” Art Contest
Audience: Students in Grades 2-4
Entry Deadline: Nov. 5, 2012
Name That Asteroid Contest
Audience: Students Under 18 Years of Age
Application Deadline: Dec. 2, 2012
Fall 2013 NASA Aeronautics Scholarships
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Jan. 15, 2013
Registration Open for NASA Explorer Schools Project
Audience: Educators of Grades 4-12
Expanded Offer for Space Shuttle Tiles and Food
Audience: All Educators and Museum Curators
NASA’s Digital Learning Network Special Event: Chat With a Mission Control Flight Officer
Audience: 5-12 Educators and Students
New Module Available from NASA’s Digital Learning Network: STEM on Station
Audience: 6-8 Educators
DOWNLOAD NOW: ‘Museum in a Box’ Flight Science Lessons
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
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“A Century of Women in Aerospace” Family Day

For over 100 years, women have contributed to technological advances in aviation and space. Hear about the historic women who have inspired today’s role models during “A Century of Women in Aerospace” Family Day at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. This event takes place on Sept. 15, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meet women who’ve made a difference in aerospace and aviation, including NASA astronaut Serena Auñón. Enjoy story time and hands-on activities for children. See if you have the right stuff in the Astronaut Candidate Training Center and create a mission patch you can wear. Make old-fashioned pennants and tickets from the golden age of flight. Play the Women in Aerospace timeline game and get your historic pilot’s license.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/eventDetail.cfm?eventID=3668.
Questions about this event should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000.
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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 throughout September 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.
I’m Signed up for NEON — Now What? (Grades K-12)
Sept. 15, 2012, noon – 1 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss will introduce participants to basic features of the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON, professional/collaborative learning community. Participants will also learn how to use NEON to find appropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfy state-specific teaching standards.
Observing the Moon (Grades 4-12)
Sept. 19, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
“International Observe the Moon Night: Under the Same Moon,” takes place on Sept. 22, 2012. To prepare you for the event, aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will explore NASA lunar missions and education resources. The speaker will also model ways to integrate these resources to enhance your classroom curriculum.
Putting NEON to Work for You (Grades K-12)
Sept. 20, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss explains how to use the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON’s, most important feature: the interest groups. Participants will role-play several scenarios to find out how NEON’s various tools can be used to find NASA activities that align to state-specific standards.
Are Microbes Alive? (Grades 5-12)
Sept. 25, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will discuss how scientists define life and what characteristics are common to living things. This webinar will focus on a problem- based learning activity that connects the concept of requirements for life and serves as a bridge to activities in which participants speculate on the possibilities of life (possibly microbial life) on other planets in our solar system.
Are Microbes Alive? (Grades 5-12)
Sept. 25, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will discuss how scientists define life and what characteristics are common to living things. This webinar will focus on a problem- based learning activity that connects the concept of requirements for life and serves as a bridge to activities in which participants speculate on the possibilities of life (possibly microbial life) on other planets in our solar system.
Mission to Planet Earth: Remote Sensing (Grades 2-8)
Sept. 26, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
The world around us is constantly changing. Sometimes these changes happen suddenly and are easily observed. In many cases, changes in the Earth are not easily seen, yet are readily apparent in comparisons made over time. Join aerospace education specialist Rick Varner for this session designed to help teachers and students appreciate these changes and study the impacts of Earth’s natural systems and how humans affect their environment.
I’m Signed up for NEON — Now What? (Grades K-12)
Sept. 29, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss will introduce participants to basic features of the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON, professional/collaborative learning community. Participants will also learn how to use NEON to find appropriate NASA standards-aligned activities that satisfy state-specific teaching standards.
For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through December 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.
Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Katie Hayden at Katie.S.Hayden@nasa.gov.

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NASA’s Digital Learning Network Presents Space Shuttle Endeavour “Fly-Out” Celebration

NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, is hosting a special event on Sept. 17, 2012, at 1 p.m. EDT to commemorate the departure of space shuttle Endeavour. Join DLN hosts Rachel Power and Joshua Santora live at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as space shuttle Endeavour continues her journey on the back of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified 747, to its final destination at the California Science Center in the heart of Los Angeles.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour “Fly-Out” Celebration will include special guests that have worked on the space shuttle over the years both on land and in space. Also, the DLN team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located in Pasadena, Calif., will be giving a preview of what awaits Endeavour on the West Coast.
For more information and to watch the webcast online, visit the DLN website at http://dln.nasa.gov.
Do you have a question you would like to see answered live during the webcast? Send questions to dlinfochannel@gmail.com.
Inquiries about this webcast should be directed to Joshua Santora at Joshua.Santora@nasa.gov.
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DEADLINE EXTENDED: NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Exploring Project
NASA’s Glenn Research Center, or GRC, in Cleveland, Ohio, is accepting applications for the Exploring Project. This opportunity allows students to explore the variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics career choices available at NASA and at Glenn Research Center.
During the months of October through April, participants spend two hours after school, once per week, meeting with Exploring advisors to take part in activities relating to one of five tracks. Applicants can choose from focus areas in Aeronautics, Computer Technology, Balloon Sat Technology, Human Space Flight and eXtreme Green.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and between the ages of 14 and 20. Applications are due Sept. 17, 2012.
For more information about this opportunity, please visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/education/NASAExplorers_GRC.html.
Questions about the GRC Exploring Project should be directed by email to GRC-Intern@mail.nasa.gov or by telephone to 216-433-6656.
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Algebraic Equations: Transit Tracks — Finding Habitable Planets Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Sept. 19, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. In this Web seminar, participants will learn about an engaging algebra activity called “Finding Habitable Planets” that allows students to analyze NASA data with the hopes of discovering planets in habitable zones of solar systems.
For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar2.aspx.
To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Email any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.
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“Curiosity Has Landed in Your Classroom” Educator Conference

Learn how to bring STEM concepts from NASA’s newest Mars rover, Curiosity, into your classroom during a free educator conference at Arizona State University! Special presenters from NASA’s Mars team will share the latest news and discoveries from the Red Planet, and education specialists will showcase hands-on activities to help educators extend their students’ science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, learning.
A certificate for 6.5 professional development clock hours will be given for this conference. Conference participants will receive lesson plans, NASA materials and resources.
The conference will take place on Sept. 29, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The deadline to register is Sept. 21, 2012.
For more information and to register, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/curiosityhaslanded.
Questions about this conference should be directed to marsed@mars.asu.edu.
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Celebrate World Space Week
Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2012. This international event commemorates the beginning of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957.
World Space Week is the largest public space event in the world, with celebrations in more than 50 nations. During World Space Week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities. The theme for 2012, “Space for Human Safety and Security,” has been chosen to celebrate the many ways in which mankind’s activities in space improve our daily lives.
To find NASA educational resources that can be used during World Space Week, visit the Educational Materials Finder: http://search.nasa.gov/search/edFilterSearch.jsp?empty=true.
To learn more about World Space Week, search for events in your area and find educational materials related to the event, visit www.worldspaceweek.org.
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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.
Oct. 6, 2012 — Three Decades of Telescopes for Observing the Sun
Thirty years ago, Smithsonian scientists and engineers began developing a new technique for coating mirrors to look at the sun. The resulting telescopes have driven three decades of new discoveries. Senior Project Engineer Peter Cheimets will discuss the telescopes that have made this golden age of solar observation possible and the breathtaking results.
Oct. 20, 2012 — Mercury: Oh Strange New World
Data from the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury shows us just how wondrous and unique the smallest planet in our solar system is. Planetary Geophysicist Michelle Selvans will discuss the complexities that make Mercury so wonderfully unique.
Nov. 3, 2012 — Moon Rocks and How They Became Famous
In the late 1960s, Apollo astronauts collected rocks from the moon and brought them back to Earth. Scientists studied these rocks, curators put them on display in museums around the world and President Nixon gave them as gifts to foreign heads of state. Teasel Muir-Harmony will explore the wide-ranging roles that these rocks played.
Nov. 17, 2012 — The Dynamic Sun
The sun is even more dynamic, mysterious and beautiful than you probably imagine. Astrophysicist Mark Weber will explore this incredible star with observations from some of the most advanced telescopes. Learn what scientists have discovered and what they are only beginning to understand.
Dec. 1, 2012 — A Universe of Data
This century has seen stunning cosmic discoveries. The digital age has given everyone free access to space data; the trick is to turn that data into quantitative science and pictures that tell a story. Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell will use images from the Chandra Space Telescope to help explain how astronomers study space in the computer age.
Dec. 15, 2012 — The Mission of the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity
Since landing on Mars in early August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover has returned an array of stunning data that is being used to evaluate whether Mars may have harbored habitable environments. Geologist John Grant will delve into the recent findings from Curiosity.
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. On Feb. 16, 2013, 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.
March 2, 2013 — Robots and Humans Unite
The universe is far older and vaster than anyone imagined a century ago. To help scientists map the structure and evolution of the universe, a special instrument called a Hectospec was needed. A Hectospec uses the precision technology of optical fibers placed by delicate but very fast robots. Senior Physicist Dan Fabricant will discuss how the Hectospec was developed, how it works and how it is used by astronomers for scientific discovery.
For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series, 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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2012 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. Students then write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.
The contest is open to all students in the United States in grades 5-12. The essays will be divided into three groups for scoring: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Each student can submit only one entry.
Deadline for fall 2012 submissions is 3 p.m. EDT on Oct. 24, 2012.
For more information, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/.
International participants are also encouraged to enter. Deadlines for individual countries vary. To see if your country is participating, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday11thedition/international/.
If you have questions about this contest, please email scientistforaday@jpl.nasa.gov.
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“The World’s a Place of Living Things” Art Contest
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, or IGES, invites young scientists and artists to explore biodiversity. There are many different types of life on Earth — from bacteria to insects to plants and animals. Biodiversity is everywhere. Students in grades 2-4 are encouraged to learn more about the forms of life in a particular place — what types of life can be seen? What types of life are hard to see? Do the different types of life interact with each other?
Students should investigate these questions, and create a piece of artwork (no larger than 16″x20″) to show what they have learned. First-, second-, and third-place artists will receive a $100, $75, and $50 gift card, respectively, framed color certificates and their artwork will be showcased on the IGES website. For full details on the contest, resources on biodiversity and to download an entry form, visit http://www.strategies.org/artcontest.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to info@strategies.org.
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Name That Asteroid Contest
Students worldwide have an opportunity to name an asteroid from which an upcoming NASA mission will return samples to Earth.
Scheduled to launch in 2016, the mission is called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx. Samples returned from the primitive surface of the near-Earth asteroid currently called (101955) 1999 RQ36 could hold clues to the origin of the solar system and organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. NASA also is planning a crewed mission to an asteroid by 2025. A closer scientific study of asteroids will provide context and help inform this mission.
The competition is open to students under age 18 from anywhere in the world. Each contestant can submit one name, up to 16 characters long. Entries must include a short explanation and rationale for the name. Submissions must be made by an adult on behalf of the student. The contest deadline is Dec. 2, 2012.
The contest is a partnership with The Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s, or MIT, Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington and the University of Arizona in Tucson.
A panel will review proposed asteroid names. First prize will be awarded to the student who recommends a name that is approved by the International Astronomical Union Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature.
The asteroid was discovered in 1999 by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research, or LINEAR, survey at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. LINEAR is part of NASA’s Near Earth Observation Program in Washington, which detects and catalogs near-Earth asteroids and comets. The asteroid has an average diameter of approximately one-third of a mile (500 meters).
To review contest rules and guidelines, visit http://planetary.org/name.
To see a video explanation about the contest, visit http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/name-asteroid.html.
For information about the OSIRIS-REx mission, visit http://osiris-rex.lpl.arizona.edu.
Questions about this contest should be directed to tps@planetary.org.
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Fall 2013 NASA Aeronautics Scholarships
Applications are now being accepted through an online process for the fall 2013 cycle of the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program. The program annually awards multiyear scholarships to 20 undergraduate and five graduate students in aeronautics or related fields of study.
Undergraduate students with at least two years of study remaining will receive up to $15,000 per year for two years and the opportunity to receive a $10,000 stipend by interning at a NASA research center during the summer. Graduate students receive up to $46,000 per year for up to three years, with an opportunity to receive a $10,000 stipend interning at a NASA research center for up to two consecutive summers. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate sponsors the program. The application period closes Jan. 15, 2013.
Scholarship details and application instructions are available at http://nasa.asee.org.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Tony Springer at tony.springer@nasa.gov.
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Registration Open for NASA Explorer Schools Project

Registration is open for educators of grades 4-12 to join the NASA Explorer Schools project. If you are looking for fun, exciting and interactive ways to connect your students to NASA, then the NES project is for you.
NES provides a forum for accessing free lessons, student engagement activities, and professional development opportunities centered on NASA missions and science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics and careers. NES also offers multiple pathways for you to connect with other motivated STEM educators across the country to share best practices and ideas for classroom implementation.
Signing up is quick and easy. Just complete the online NES registration form to start your journey.
For more information, visit the NES website at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
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Expanded Offer for Space Shuttle Tiles and Food
NASA is expanding its offer of space shuttle heat shield tiles and food packaged for spaceflight to museums and schools. Museums across the United States are now eligible to receive these pieces of space history, in addition to the schools and universities that have received them since the end of the Space Shuttle Program.
Providing space shuttle thermal protection tiles and dehydrated astronaut food to museums is a way for NASA to share technology and history with the public. This initiative helps NASA inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers.
The lightweight tiles protected the shuttles from extreme temperatures when they re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. The astronaut food was precooked or processed so it required no refrigeration and was ready to eat. It could be prepared simply by adding water or by heating.
Requests for these artifacts are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Museums must obtain a user ID and password from their state agency for surplus property. Eligible educational institutions need their National Center for Education Statistics or Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System numbers assigned by the U.S. Department of Education to apply for this offer. Schools and museums can obtain additional information, register for a login ID and request a tile or food at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.
Tiles are available in three types: black-coated, white-coated and uncoated. Institutions may request up to three tiles, one of each type, while supplies last. Schools and museums are responsible for a $23.40 shipping and handling fee per tile, which is payable to the shipping company through a secure website. Space food is offered as a package of approximately three space food items for a shipping and handling fee of $28.03. Institutions may request only one package of space food.
NASA also is offering artifacts representing significant human spaceflight technologies, processes and accomplishments from its space exploration programs. Artifacts include 11 Fastrac engine nozzles used on X-34 aircraft; models of aircraft fuselages tested at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; early space shuttle prototype models; Ranger, Telestar, Explorer XII, Mariner VII, Nimbus and other spacecraft models; X3 solar mirrors; and various space shuttle components.
For additional information about thermal tiles, space food and other NASA artifacts available to museums and libraries, visit http://artifacts.nasa.gov/.
For NASA Tiles for Teachers lesson plans, visit http://artifacts.nasa.gov/shuttle_tiles_teachers.htm.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

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NASA’s Digital Learning Network Special Event: Chat With a Mission Control Flight Officer
NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, is excited to offer a unique opportunity to ask questions of an actual mission control flight officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Students will have a direct connection to the public affairs console and will witness the inner workings of the International Space Station’s Mission Control Center. Additional flight control officers specializing in life support, power, data/communications and robotics may be also be available to speak with students.
Before you connect with mission control, a DLN education specialist will spend approximately 30 minutes with your students highlighting the many science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts that are important aboard the space station. Give an incredible, inspirational opportunity to your students and illustrate real-life applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in action.
For more information and to register for an upcoming event, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/special/MCC.html.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to jsc-dislearn@mail.nasa.gov.
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New Module Available from NASA’s Digital Learning Network: STEM on Station
NASA’s Digital Learning Network, or DLN, is excited to offer a unique opportunity to see firsthand how operating the International Space Station is tied to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, classroom lessons. This module puts students in the driver’s seat as they complete four activities that are close models of concepts that real NASA engineers utilize for the space station.
Grow crystals with the science activity, Create an end effector (much like the space station robotic arm) with the robotics activity. The engineering activity challenges students to illustrate the relationship between the thickness of spacesuit fabric and the mass and velocity of projectiles. In the mathematics activity, students must rely on their algebra and geometry know-how to calculate the electrical energy production of the space station.
During your event, the Digital Learning Network will provide additional information regarding the marvel of the space station. Completion of activities is encouraged but not required. If your students have completed the activities, they will be given time to share their results with the DLN host.
For more information and to register for an upcoming event, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/events/STEM_on_Station.html.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to jsc-dislearn@mail.nasa.gov.
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DOWNLOAD NOW: ‘Museum in a Box’ Flight Science Lessons

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate has been busy adding to and updating nearly all the Museum in a Box lesson plans over the past few months. Currently there are 32 lessons available that span grade levels K-12.
Great for educators at museums, science centers and schools, Museum in a Box provides exciting hands-on/minds-on lessons with an aeronautics theme to inspire future scientists, mathematicians and engineers. All lessons align with national science and mathematics standards.
Lesson categories include History of Flight, Parts of an Airplane, Principles of Flight, Structures and Materials (including space shuttle tire and tile lessons), Propulsion, Future Flight, Careers in Aeronautics, and Airspace.
Lessons that can be downloaded are marked “Available for download” next to the lesson title.
To download the lessons, visit http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/mib.htm.
If you have questions about Museum in a Box, contact April Lanotte at april.a.lanotte@nasa.gov.

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