[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletters: NASA opportunities for the education community.

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

NASA Education Launches New Clubhouse
Audience: K-4 Educators and Students
Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During November 2012
NASA Social Event at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012
2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students — U.S. Only
Registration Deadline: Nov. 16, 2012
Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Nov. 17, 2012
NASA CubeSat Space Missions
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Application Deadline: Nov. 20, 2012
Distance/Rate/Time Problems: Smart Skies Web Seminar
Audience: 5-9 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Nov. 28, 2012
2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Dec. 15, 2012
2013 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Early Bird Registration Deadline: Jan. 7, 2013
NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2013-2014 Academic Year
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Deadline: Feb. 1, 2013

NASA Education Launches New Clubhouse
A new room awaits kids on the NASA Kids’ Club website. Find your way to the new Clubhouse from the mission control console on the NASA Kids’ Club page. Journey with Nebula, the Clubhouse commander, and explore games and interactive features designed for K-4 audiences. Look through the porthole in the floor to see pictures of Earth taken from space; read about why NASA explores; play a game about what astronauts eat in space; discover what your age and weight would be on a moon or another planet; color pictures of wildlife living on NASA centers; assemble a polygon featuring NASA aircraft; and check out the “hot spots” that come to life upon contact.
In addition to the many games NASA Kids’ Club offers, its “Now in Space” area provides current and past information about the astronauts on the International Space Station. Look in the “More Pictures” section for incredible NASA images.
NASA Kids’ Club is an award-winning educational website designed for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Content is based on education standards and designed to engage young children in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Click the link below to begin your NASA Kids’ Club adventure.

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars throughout November 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.
Here an Earth, There an Earth, Everywhere an Earth: The Kepler Telescope Search for Habitable Planets Beyond Our Solar System (Grades 5-12)
Nov. 15, 2012, 5 – 6 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will discuss NASA’s Kepler telescope and its search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Participants will learn how to use Johannes Kepler’s Third Law and actual Kepler telescope data to construct graphs to record and interpret data that determine if a planet orbiting a star in another solar system is a possible candidate to support life.
Robotics on a Budget (Grades 5-12)
Nov. 28, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will explore how to use robotics to enhance your students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Participants will also learn about NASA STEM robotics missions, curriculum and activities that are available.
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.

NASA Social Event at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012
NASA and the American Geophysical Union are inviting social media followers to a unique behind-the-scenes NASA Social on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in San Francisco. The event will bring 20 social media users together with some of the world’s best and brightest scientific minds at the world’s largest Earth and solar system science conference.
NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. Participants will get special access to parts of the AGU meeting and meet with NASA and other scientists presenting research on Earth’s climate, deep ocean exploration and the latest findings from Mars. Additionally, guests will sit in on a press conference, attend a panel on deep ocean exploration with film-maker James Cameron and a NASA astrobiologist, explore the expansive exhibit hall, and meet fellow science enthusiasts who are active on social media.
Registration is open until 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. NASA and the AGU will select 20 participants at random from Web registrants. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Because of space limitations, those selected will not be permitted to bring a guest. Each participant must be age 18 or older.
For more NASA Social and sign up information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/social.
To join and track the conversation online during the NASA Socials, follow the hashtags #NASASocial and #AGU12.
The AGU Fall Meeting attracts as many as 20,000 attendees and offers a platform for scientists to present their most cutting-edge work. For more information on the meeting, visit http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2012.
Questions about this NASA Social event should be directed to HQ-Social@mail.nasa.gov.

2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge
The Real World Design Challenge is an annual U.S. competition that gives students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a team environment. This year, NASA is teaming up with other RWDC partners on the Aviation Challenge. This challenge invites students to design an unmanned aerial system to help locate a lost child.
Participating schools receive real engineering software and partner with mentors who are professional engineers. The contest provides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom to real technical problems.
The deadline for team registration is Nov. 16, 2012. Entries must be submitted by Jan. 18, 2013.
For more information about the challenge, visit http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org.
Questions about the Real World Design Challenge should be directed to Ralph Coppola at rkcoppola@outlook.com.

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.
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.
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.

NASA CubeSat Space Missions
NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads to fly on rockets planned to launch between 2013 and 2016. These miniature spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be auxiliary payloads on previously planned missions.
CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. These cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds.
Proposed CubeSat investigations must be consistent with NASA’s Strategic Plan and the NASA education vision and goals. The research must address aspects of science, exploration, technology development, education or operations.
Applicants must submit proposals electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST, Nov. 20, 2012. NASA will select the payloads by Jan. 31, 2013. Selection does not guarantee a launch opportunity. The selected spacecraft will be eligible for flight after final negotiations when a launch opportunity arises. NASA will not provide funding for the development of the small satellites.
NASA recently announced the results from the third round of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. From the first three launch initiatives, 64 payloads made the short list for launch opportunities between 2011 and 2014. They are eligible for launch pending an appropriate opportunity and final negotiations. The satellites come from 25 states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
For additional information about NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit http://go.nasa.gov/puk9K2 and http://go.nasa.gov/CubeSatOp.

Distance/Rate/Time Problems: Smart Skies 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 professional development Web seminar for educators on Nov. 28, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn how to use an innovative air traffic control simulator to engage your students as they explore the mathematics involved in the role of an air traffic controller. In the three-plane problem featured in this lesson, the challenge is to change routes and speeds to line up the planes safely, with proper spacing, at a given route intersection.
This seminar will be repeated on Apr. 3, 2013.
For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar15.aspx.
To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
E-mail any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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.

2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest
NASA has opened registration for the 2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest. Featuring OPTIMUS PRIME, the leader from the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, the contest highlights spinoffs from NASA technologies that are used on Earth. The goal is to help students understand the benefits of NASA technology to their daily lives.
Each student, or group of students, will submit a three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed in NASA’s 2011 “Spinoff” publication. Videos must demonstrate an understanding of the NASA spinoff technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as the commercial application and public benefit associated with the spinoff technology.
Participants must register for the contest by Dec. 15, 2012.
Video entries will be posted on the NASA YouTube channel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. The top five submissions from each of the three grade groups (elementary [3rd-5th], middle [6th-8th] and high school [9th-12th]) will advance for final judging. A NASA panel will select a winning entry from each group. The students submitting the winning entries will be the guests of honor at the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest awards ceremony in May 2013. While there, the winners will receive the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest trophy and have the opportunity to meet NASA VIPs, astronauts and actor Peter Cullen, who voices the character OPTIMUS PRIME.
TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2012 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.
For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/releases/2012/12-077.html.
Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships Program Accepting Proposals for 2013-2014 Academic Year
The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program, or NESSF, is soliciting applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, for the 2013-2014 academic year. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for the NESSF program comes from the Science Mission Directorate’s four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics.
Initially, NESSF awards are made for one year. They may be renewed for no more than two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress (as reflected in academic performance, research progress and recommendation by the faculty advisor) and the availability of funds.
The maximum amount of a NESSF award is $30,000 per year.
Proposals for this opportunity are due Feb. 1, 2013.
For more information about this solicitation, visit http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={BC1C168E-1D9B-0BD1-816B-14E1C31BB0D3}&path=open.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to:
For earth science, Claire Macaulay at Claire.I.Macaulay@nasa.gov.
For heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics, Dolores Holland at hq-nessf-Space@nasa.gov.