Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error

 Michelle Rhee’s Reign of Error

http://takingnote.learningmatters.tv/?p=6232
John Merrow published his bombshell post about the mysterious memo, the one showing that Rhee was informed about the likelihood of widespread cheating and did nothing about it. Rhee forgot about the cheating memo or didn’t think it important.

With the indictment of former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly A. Hall and 34 other public school employees in a massive cheating scandal, the time is right to re-examine other situations of possible illegal behavior by educators. Washington, DC, belongs at the top of that list.

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Michelle A. Rhee, America’s most famous school reformer, was fully aware of the extent of the problem when she glossed over what appeared to be widespread cheating during her first year as Schools Chancellor in Washington, DC. A long-buried confidential memo from her outside data consultant suggests that the problem was far more serious than kids copying off other kids’ answer sheets. (“191 teachers representing 70 schools”). Twice in just four pages the consultant suggests that Rhee’s own principals, some of whom she had hired, may have been responsible (“Could the erasures in some cases have been done by someone other than the students and the teachers?”).

Rhee has publicly maintained that, if bureaucratic red tape hadn’t gotten in the way, she would have investigated the erasures. For example, in an interview[1] conducted for PBS’ “Frontline” before I learned about the confidential memo, Rhee told me, “We kept saying, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this; we just need to have more information.’ And by the time the information was trickling in back and forth, we were about to take the next year’s test. And there was a new superintendent of education that came in at the time. And she said, ‘Okay, well, we’re about to take the next test anyway so let’s just make sure that the proper protocols are in place for next time.’”

At best, that story is misleading.

Chemical trade group lobbies to block LEED

Someone has to make the push to get these These toxic trade associations chemicals that make unhealthy products out of our faces.

Chemical trade group lobbies to block LEED

Posted on February 19, 2013

The following post is by Robin Guenther:
The war over toxic chemicals and human health is spilling over into places we live and work: our buildings. The American Chemical Council (ACC) has launched an expensive and focused attack on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to protect the status quo of a small set of bad-actor manufacturers of toxic and obsolete chemicals. But innovative companies across the building industries and human health advocates are fighting back.

Guenther
The American Chemical Council is lobbying to end the federal government’s use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification system unless USGBC removes all references to human health. If successful, they will keep taxpayers from receiving the cost savings and productivity benefits that LEED certification has generated. Why does a chemical industry trade association think better buildings are such a threat, you ask?
The USGBC has transformed the global building industry with its emphasis on high performance, low energy and healthier building practices through its LEED certification program. In only a decade, LEED plaques have become synonymous with the best buildings in the world.

A high-performance building?
USGBC’s mission is to make buildings not only more energy-efficient, but healthier spaces for those who inhabit them. The new draft version of LEED seeks to assuage human health concerns of buildings by offering voluntary credits for buildings using healthy materials. Many in the health community see this as a long overdue step for the rating system.
The ACC, however, sees this as a dangerous threat to their member companies because a few of them make a pretty penny producing controversial chemicals.
So if you can’t beat ‘em, lobby against ‘em, right? ACC is doing what it does best — spreading misinformation and shoving truckloads of cash into lobbying efforts to keep the market from abandoning toxic materials and embracing green chemistry.
They’ve even gone so far as to form the laughable “American High-Performance Buildings Coalition,” a group whose membership reads like a who’s who of industries that make unhealthy products, all uniting to lobby against LEED. From big chemicals to vinyl to adhesives to petrochemicals — they’re all here.
These toxic trade associations are trying to convince us that they are the ones who truly support “green” building. Perhaps next they’ll suggest that their products only increase your odds of developing “green” cancer.
While they claim LEED is not consensus-based, this is demonstrably false. Any revision to the LEED standard must be approved through a democratic balloting process open to all 14,000 members of USGBC. These members are architects, engineers, builders, contractors and product manufacturers.
In fact, the ACC and many of its member companies are participating in the LEED development process. But when the professionals who purchase building materials began to suggest that a LEED credit be available for purchasing healthier building materials, suddenly the process is flawed, and not consensus-based.
In the real world, when your customers ask for something, you don’t lobby against their right to buy what they want, do you? Let’s hope these companies wake up and start to reign in their out-of-control trade association before people really start to notice who’s behind the curtain.
Green buildings are about more than energy and water conservation; they must also include consideration of human health. Hospitals have started to lead the way. The Health Product Declaration, an independent, open-source methodology for declaring content of building products, is ushering in a new age of transparency in corporate reporting. The Healthier Hospitals Initiative recently released targets for safer products that include credit for avoiding chemicals of concern in interior furniture. Major manufacturers of health-care building products have begun substituting PVC and phthalate plasticizers with safer alternatives. These firms are innovating and capturing market share.
While the ACC protests these LEED credits, we would venture to say their innovative members are investing in R&D to move to safer alternatives precisely because of these initiatives. The construction industry needs the USGBC and LEED; citizens do, too. Someone has to make the push to get these chemicals out of our faces.
Robin Guenther, FAIA, is a principal focused on health care architecture at Perkins+Will, a global design firm. This piece was distributed by American Forum.

K12 Department of Education Sequester

The Department of Education’s share of the sequester is $2.5 billion.

K12 Department of Education Sequester

President Obama recently signed into law a Continuing Resolution (CR) agreement, extending funding for education programs and other parts of the federal budget at Fiscal Year 2013 levels — minus $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts, also known as the sequester — through September 30, 2013.  The Department of Education’s share of the sequester is $2.5 billion.  The CR also included an additional across-the-board budget cut of 0.2%, which works out to about $136 million of the agency’s $68 billion in discretionary funding.  The CR requires all agencies to submit an operating plan to Congress showing the amounts for programs, projects, and activities by April 25.  Meanwhile, the President will release his FY 2014 budget proposal on April 10.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/26/statement-press-secretary-hr-933

[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K12 Newsletter NASA Education

Nasa Cost Savings Measures Taken NASA has taken the first steps in addressing the mandatory spending cuts called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law mandates a series of indiscriminate and significant across-the-board spending reductions totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

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[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround® K-12 Newsletter
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com

Reference Directory of K-12 public, private, and charter schools in all 50 states.
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/schools/

Find Teaching Resources for Music, Teachers, Internet, Technology, Literacy, Arts and Linguistics for students, teachers, parents, and policy makers.
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Dear K12 Newsletter Readers

Guidance for Education and Public Outreach Activities Under Sequestration

NASA has taken the first steps in addressing the mandatory spending cuts called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law mandates a series of indiscriminate and significant across-the-board spending reductions totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

As a result, NASA has been forced to implement a number of new cost-saving measures, policies, and reviews in order to minimize impacts to the mission-critical activities of the Agency. Guidance regarding conferences, travel, and training that reflect the new fiscal reality in which the agency must operate has been provided.

For specific guidance as it relates to public outreach and engagement activities please reference the following webpage.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/sequestration-NASA-education-guidance.html

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

Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar

Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: April 4, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: April 8, 2013

NASA Research Announcement for Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+)
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Due Date: April 9, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Proposal Due Date: April 9, 2013

U.S. Department of Energy Webinar — Energy 101: A Model Interdisciplinary Higher Education Course for Teaching the Fundamentals of Energy
Audience: Higher Education Educators
Event Date: April 10, 2013, 2 – 4 p.m. EDT

Summer Counselors Needed: 2013 Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars
Audience: Educators Interested in STEM Fields
Application Deadline: April 15, 2013
Summer Session Dates: June 23-28 and July 7-12, 2013

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Opportunity for Students at Minority Serving Institutions
Audience: Higher Education Educators & Students
Proposal Deadline: April 17, 2013

International Space Apps Challenge
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Event Dates: April 20-21, 2013

ISS EarthKAM Spring 2013 Mission – EarthKAM Erosion Challenge
Audience: Middle School Educators and Students
Mission Dates: April 23-26, 2013

Free Virtual Professional Development Workshop Series: Rockets to Racecars
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: First workshop takes place on April 23, 2013, at 3:15 p.m. EDT

NASA Seeks Universities for Early Stage Innovation Tech Proposals
Audience: Accredited U.S. Universities
Notice of Intent Deadline: April 29, 2013
Proposal Deadline: May 21, 2013

2013 Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers
Audience: Grade 9-12 Educators
Registration Deadline: April 30, 2013
Event Date: July 29 – Aug. 2, 2013

2014 eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Due Date: May 1, 2013

Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Deadline: May 6, 2013

NASA Seeks Academic Partners for SmallSat Technology Collaboration
Audience: U.S. Colleges and Universities
Proposal Deadline: June 5, 2013

Don’t miss out on upcoming NASA education opportunities.
For a full list of events, opportunities and more, visit the Educator and Student Current Opportunity pages on NASA’s website:
— Educators http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/current-opps-index.html
— Students http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/current-opps-index.html

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Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology 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 April 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

Participants will learn to use the data from NASA’s research satellite program in their meteorology lessons. This Web seminar features “Monitoring the Global Environment,” one of eight modules within the satellite meteorology course. The activities within this module incorporate the use of authentic data acquired by NASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites. Attendees will learn how to locate and download satellite data then use the data to create graphs.

This is the final time this Web seminar will be offered during the current school year.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar17.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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Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars throughout April 2013. 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.

Applying the Engineering Design Process to STEM Content (Grades 6-12)
April 8, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist John Weis as he discusses ways to modify lessons to teach the engineering process while still covering required content. Upon completion, participants will be able to modify lessons and units to incorporate engineering design into any science, technology, engineering and mathematics subject as recommended in the Common Core standards.

Wings, Strings and Flying Things (Grades 3-8)
April 9, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Angelo Casaberri will discuss the four forces of flight: lift, drag, thrust and weight. Participants will be introduced to activities that bring aviation into the classroom. Build and fly kitchen trash bag sled kites, paper helicopters/rotor motors and foam plate gliders from scale drawings and templates using inexpensive, locally obtainable materials.

3,670,044,979 miles From the Sun and Wicked Cold (Grades 3-8)
April 15, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist Rick Varner as he discusses the extreme distances of the objects in our solar system. Participants will learn how to use a simple linear model of paper to look more closely at the distant dwarf planet Pluto and the New Horizons mission scheduled for an encounter in 2015.

Our Solar System: A Model Overview (Grades 4-8)
April 16, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will present NASA inquiry activities that demonstrate remote sensing and scale models to better visualize our sun, planets, asteroids and other objects as a whole system.

Space Faring: The Radiation Challenge (Grades 6-12)
April 22, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will discuss ways NASA is working to keep astronauts from exceeding acceptable levels of radiation exposure during spaceflight.

Kepler Mission: Planets, Planets… Planets! (Grades 6-12)
April 23, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will discuss NASA’s Kepler Mission. Kepler has been in space for three years searching for planets that are orbiting stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Participants will learn how transits are used to find planets and determine their sizes and distances from the stars they orbit.

Robotics on a Budget (Grades 4-8)
April 30, 2013, at 4 – 5 p.m. EDT and 6 – 7 p.m. EDT
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 April 2013, visit http://aesp.psu.edu/programs/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Chris Gamrat at gamrat@psu.edu.

The U.S. Department of Education has Green Strides webinars scheduled throughout 2013. To see a full list of Green Strides webinars, visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/green-strides/webinar.html.

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NASA Research Announcement for Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+)

The NASA Office of Education invites proposals from museums, science centers, planetariums, NASA Visitor Centers and other informal education institutions via this 2013 NASA Research Announcement, or NRA,: Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities, or CP4SMP+, Announcement Number NNH13ZHA001N. Proposals must be submitted electronically via the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, or NSPIRES, or Grants.gov.

Proposers may request a grant or cooperative agreement to support NASA-themed science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM, education, including exhibits, within these congressionally directed topics: space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science or microgravity. CP4SMP+ is a competitive, high-quality national program. The basic goal of the CP4SMP+ solicitation is to further NASA Strategic Goal 6: Share NASA with the public, educators and students to provide opportunities to participate in our mission, foster innovation and contribute to a strong national economy. A primary, but not the only, subgoal of this solicitation is to achieve NASA’s flagship investment in Outcome 6.2: Promote STEM literacy through strategic partnerships with formal and informal organizations.

Eligible institutions do not need to have the words “museum,” “visitor center,” “science” or “planetarium” in their official names, but must be located in the United States or its territories. See the NRA for full eligibility requirements and other limitations. Check the NSPIRES website once a week to learn if amendments or frequently asked questions, or FAQs, have been added. Amendments and FAQs also will be announced via the NASA Education Express Listserv.

Do not submit a Notice Of Intent.

Full proposals are due April 9, 2013.

For more information about this opportunity, visit NSPIRES at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={37764C2A-F415-01DF-1B30-F1971BE7F8BE}&path=open.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please direct your questions to the contacts listed within the NRA.

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Frequently Asked Questions — NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)

Twenty new Frequently Asked Questions were posted on the CP4SMP+ portal page on NSPIRES on April 1, 2013.

Visit: https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7B37764C2A-F415-01DF-1B30-F1971BE7F8BE%7D&path=open

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U.S. Department of Energy Webinar — Energy 101: A Model Interdisciplinary Higher Education Course for Teaching the Fundamentals of Energy

Join the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, and its Energy 101 project collaborators for a webinar detailing the newly released Energ
y 101 curricular framework. This webinar is for educators, administrators and other interested parties who would like to learn about the Energy 101 course framework and how their institutions can get involved in this effort, as well as how the framework has been used in the development of an ongoing pilot course at the University of Maryland.

The framework was designed to challenge college students at two- and four-year schools across the country to explore systematically the science and social science behind sound energy decision making. It also builds on DOE’s work, through the National Training and Educational Resource and other means, to make interdisciplinary, immersive energy content available for all to use.

This webinar will take place on April 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. EDT.

For more information and to register online, visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/986285760.

Questions about this webinar should be emailed to DaNel Hogan at DaNel.Hogan@ee.doe.gov.

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Summer Counselors Needed: 2013 Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars

The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars, or WISH, project offers a one-of-a-kind experience for female high school juniors to jump-start their futures by engaging in opportunities relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Participation starts in an online community and culminates with a summer experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the summer of 2013.

WISH is looking for counselors for its summer sessions. Applicants should be educators who have experience and are interested in the STEM fields. Counselors will work either the week of June 23-28 or July 7-12, 2013. This is the perfect opportunity for educators looking to inspire young minds and spend a week at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Applications are due April 15, 2013.

For more information please contact: Maria Chambers at: maria.a.chambers@nasa.gov.

To complete an application please visit the website at: https://spacegrant.net/apps/?pk=wish3.

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Reduced Gravity Education Flight Opportunity for Students at Minority Serving Institutions

NASA is offering undergraduate students from minority serving institutions an opportunity to test experiments in microgravity aboard NASA’s reduced gravity aircraft.

This opportunity is a partnership between the Minority University Research and Education Program and NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, which gives aspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced-gravity experiment. Selected teams will test and evaluate their experiments aboard NASA’s reduced-gravity airplane. The aircraft flies about 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips during experiment flights to produce periods of weightlessness and hypergravity ranging from 0 gravity, or g, to 2 g.

Proposals are due April 17, 2013.

All applicants must be full-time undergraduate students, U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit https://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/murep/.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Suzanne Foxworth at jsc-reducedgravity@nasa.gov.

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International Space Apps Challenge

NASA and government agencies worldwide will host the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20-21, 2013, with events across all seven continents and in space.

Participants are encouraged to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

The two-day event will provide an opportunity for government to harness the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of citizen explorers to help address global challenges. During the event, representatives of NASA and other international space agencies will gather with scientists and participants to use publicly released open data to create solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data.

Twelve locations in the United States will host an International Space Apps Challenge event: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Cape Canaveral, Fla.; Cleveland; Detroit; Easton, Md.; New York; Philadelphia; Reno, Nev.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Francisco; and Syracuse, N.Y. Thirty-eight other events will be held in 30 other countries: Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Poland, Macedonia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda and United Kingdom. Also participating will be McMurdo Station in Antarctica and astronauts aboard the International Space Station

Registration for citizen participation is now open.

To learn more about the International Space Apps Challenge, get the latest updates and register to attend an event, visit http://spaceappschallenge.org/.

If you have questions about the challenge, please visit http://spaceappschallenge.org/about/contact/.

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ISS EarthKAM Spring 2013 Mission – EarthKAM Erosion Challenge

Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station EarthKAM Spring 2013 Mission from April 23-26, 2013. This mission will feature the EarthKAM Erosion Challenge. Guide your students in hands-on research as they program cameras aboard the space station to take pictures of erosion on Earth, and then video conference with an astronaut to discuss what they learned. During the interactive video conference, students will share what they learned about erosion, exchange images and chat with the astronaut about the research being conducted from the International Space Station.

For more information about EarthKAM and to register for the upcoming mission, visit the EarthKAM home page https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/ek-images/erosion_challenge .

Please note that you can participate in the ISS EarthKAM Spring 2013 mission without participating in the EarthKAM Erosion Challenge.

If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please email ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

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Free Virtual Professional Development Workshop
Series: Rockets to Racecars

Start your engines! Engage students in real-world mathematics and incorporate standards-based hands-on activities to make mathematics challenging and fun. Bring the excitement of racing and the thrill of launching into your classroom with the “Rockets 2 Racecars” educational materials.

Learn about tires and air pressure as you calculate the effects of temperature on regular tires as well as Space Shuttle and racecar tires in the session “Measure Up and Calculate.” Use mathematics to interpret air pressure and air flow data on airplane wings and racecar spoilers in “May the Force Uplift You…or Not!”. Test the variables that affect cars’ stability to travel by constructing a balloon-powered race car and maneuver through different angles to see force in action in “Newton’s Angle on Force and Motion.” Design a capsule to land on Mars and see its effectiveness by calculating speed or rate of descent in “Drag Race to Mars Engineering Design Challenge.”

Sign up today to join the free four-day workshop series on April 23, April 25, April 29 and May 1, 2013, from 3:15pm to 4:30pm EDT.

Participants who register and complete all four workshops are eligible to receive five workshop hours towards continuing education units.

For more information, visit http://dln.nasa.gov.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Marilé Colon Robles at marile.colonrobles@nasa.gov.

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NASA Seeks Universities for Early Stage Innovation Tech Proposals

NASA is seeking innovative, early-stage space technology proposals from accredited U.S. universities that will enable NASA’s future missions and America’s leadership in space.

Proposals are sought for science instruments, cryogenic propellant storage for long-duration space exploration, optical coatings for astrophysical pursuits, oxygen recovery for life support systems, and to improve our understanding of and protection from near-Earth asteroids.

Each of these space technology areas requires dramatic improvements over existing capabilities. New early stage, or low technology readiness-level, technologies could mature into tools that solve the hard challenges facing NASA’s future scientific and human spaceflight missions. Researchers should propose unique, transformational space technologies that address specific topics found in this solicitation.

This solicitation requests proposals on five topic areas. The first topic area seeks new instrument technologies for the exploration of planetary bodies within our solar system. Innovative technology advances are needed to support the instruments that scientists will need to better understand the history, climates, evidence of past life and future potential habitability of planets and moons within the solar system.

Spaceflight architectures for future human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit will require technologies and capabilities not available today, such as long duration storage of cryogenic propellants in a zero gravity environment. Under a second topic area for this solicitation, NASA is particularly interested in proposals regarding how to mature fundamental experimental and computational solutions to address the challenges of cryogenic storage of liquid hydrogen.

Through a third topic area for this solicitation, NASA is seeking advances in optics technologies to enable the challenging science measurements that may contribute to the understanding of the first moments of the universe, the characterization of galaxy evolution over time and the characterization of newly found exoplanets.

As future exploration missions extend beyond low-Earth orbit, vehicles and extraterrestrial surface habitats housing astronauts will need to be highly reliable and self-sufficient; the opportunity for resupply of consumables diminishes the farther from home you go. The fourth topic area of this solicitation seeks novel technologies that will help close the atmosphere revitalization loop aboard spaceships and surface habitats during long duration space missions. New technologies must have the potential to significantly increase the oxygen recovery rate beyond the current state of the art.

Under a final topic area, NASA is seeking proposals for new technologies to better understand and protect our planet from near-Earth asteroids. Early stage technologies that will help with characterizing, understanding, and planning how to mitigate the threat of near-Earth asteroids are of great interest. These efforts are important for the sustainability and future of our home planet.

NASA expects to make approximately 10 awards this fall, based on the merit of proposals received. Each award will be made for one year with an additional year of research possible. The typical annual award value is expected to be approximately $250,000. Second-year funding will be contingent on the availability of appropriated funds and technical progress. Only accredited U.S. universities may submit proposals to this solicitation. Notices of intent are due by April 29, 2013, with proposals due May 21, 2013.

To view the Early Stage Innovation NASA Research Announcement and information for submitting proposals, visit http://go.usa.gov/25De.

The solicitation is a part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Claudia Meyer at claudia.m.meyer@nasa.gov.

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2013 Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers

The 2013 Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers, or ASSET, is being held July 29 – Aug. 2, 2013, at San Francisco State University. ASSET will feature presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from the SETI Institute, NASA and the California Academy of Sciences. Scientists will share the latest in astrobiology research on the origin of life on Earth, the extreme conditions in which life exists, Mars exploration, the formation of planetary systems around sun-like stars and the search for life in the universe.

The six-day workshop features a combination of cutting-edge science, inquiry-based teaching and learning and leadership skills development to support teachers and teacher trainers.

Participants receive the entire Voyages Through Time curriculum and complementary astrobiology materials, developed by NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, for use in their classrooms.

Applications are due April 30, 2013.

For more information and to apply online, visit http://www.seti.org/seti-educators/asset.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Pamela Harman at pharman@seti.org.

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2014 eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innova
tion Challenge

In a continuing effort to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and provide a real-world challenge, exposing students to the engineering and design processes, the Advanced Exploration Systems Habitation Systems Deep Space Habitat Project team has begun accepting applications for the 2014 eXploration Habitat, or X-Hab Challenge.

Post-secondary students, engaged in a variety of curricula, will work together to create a solution to a need for living and working in space or on another celestial body. The winners of the challenge will receive between $10,000 and $20,000 to design and produce functional products of interest to the Deep Space Habitat project.

Proposals are due May 1, 2013, and awardees should expect to deliver their product to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in May of 2014.

Proposals will be accepted from university faculty who are U.S. citizens and currently teach an ABET-accredited engineering senior or graduate design, industrial design, or architecture curriculum at an accredited university in the U.S.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and other minority serving educational institutions are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals from women, members of underrepresented minorities groups, and persons with disabilities also are highly encouraged.

For more information about the challenge, visit http://spacegrant.org/xhab/.

If you have any questions about the X-Hab Challenge, please email xhab@spacegrant.org.

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Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use

NASA is inviting eligible educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical space artifacts.

The artifacts represent significant human spaceflight technologies, processes and the accomplishments of NASA’s many programs. NASA and the General Services Administration worked together to ensure broad access to space artifacts and to provide a web-based electronic artifacts viewing capability. This is the 17th time since 2009 NASA has made this opportunity available.

The web-based artifacts module is located at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.

Eligible participants may view the artifacts and request specific items at the website through May 6, 2013. Only schools and museums are eligible to receive artifacts. They must register online using an assigned Department of Education number or through the state agency responsible for surplus property.

The artifacts are free of charge. Eligible organizations must cover shipping costs and any special 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, on a case-by-case basis, to address any unique special handling costs.

Special items, such as space shuttle thermal protective tiles and packages of three packets of astronaut food, also are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Instructions for requesting artifacts and special items are linked on the website home page.

To date, more than 7,700 artifacts from programs, including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope, have been given to eligible museums, schools, universities, libraries and planetariums in all 50 U.S. states. Artifacts are on display for 42 days. NASA organizations must register their requests within the first 21 days. All other eligible organizations may register their requests after the first 21 days. After the viewing period ends, organizations will be notified about the status of their requests.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to GSAXcessHelp@gsa.gov.

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NASA Seeks Academic Partners for SmallSat Technology Collaboration

NASA is seeking small spacecraft technology project proposals from U.S. colleges and universities that would like to collaborate with agency researchers.

Small spacecraft, or smallsats, represent a growing field of space research and operations in which universities often have led the way in technology development. Smallsats, some of which are as small as a four-inch cube, are not expected to replace conventional spacecraft, but sometimes can provide an alternative to larger, more costly spacecraft. Smallsats can serve as platforms for rapid technology testing or specialized scientific research and exploration not otherwise possible. Smallsats also can be developed relatively quickly and inexpensively, and can share a ride to orbit with larger spacecraft.

NASA expects to competitively select approximately 10 proposals. Each team will form proposal partnerships with researchers from any of NASA’s field centers. Awards for each project will include as much as $100,000 ($150,000 for teams of more than one school). Proposals submitted in response to this NASA cooperative agreement notice are due June 5, 2013.

In addition, NASA will fund the time for NASA employees to work with each selected team. Project funding is for one year with the potential to continue for a second year. Proposed projects could include anything from laboratory work to advance a particular spacecraft technology to flight testing of a new smallsat. For example, projects might focus on a technology area such as propulsion, power or communications, or on a smallsat capability, such as formation flight or satellite rendezvous.

Details of the opportunity and instructions for submitting proposals are provided in a Cooperative Agreement Notice that is available online at http://tinyurl.com/cb3mqdw.

For additional information on the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/smallsats.

The Small Spacecraft Technology Program is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Rachel Khattab at rachel.khattab@nasa.gov.

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