Monthly Archives: February 2010

GLOBE at Night Event – March 3-16, 2010

Join thousands of teachers, students and families around the globe March 3-16, 2010, in a hunt for stars. Take part in this international event to observe the nighttime sky and learn more about light pollution around the world. GLOBE at Night is an easy observation and reporting activity that takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete.

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, also known as GLOBE, is a worldwide, hands-on science and education program for primary and secondary schools.

For more information about the event, visit
Please e-mail questions about this event to

NASA’s Electronic Professional Development Network Offers Certificates for STEM Educators

Are you a K-12 teacher of STEM disciplines? Are you looking for a way to enhance your instructional skills, meet your professional development goals, or find new and exciting resources to use in your learning environments?

Then NASA’s Electronic Professional Development Network is for you!

NASA’s Learning Environments and Research Network and the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to create the ePDN, a new initiative dedicated to preparing teachers to engage their students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through the use of NASA-developed learning materials and resources.

Applications are now open for two courses:

What is Project-Based Inquiry Learning? — Designed for science teachers in grades 5-12 who are new to inquiry and project-based learning. In this course, participants will develop skill in using project-based inquiry learning, or PBIL, to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning and problem solving. The application period for this course closes on April 1, 2010.

How to Represent & Interpret One Variable Data — Designed for high school math teachers. In this course, participants will deepen their understanding of exploratory data analysis and lay the foundations for sampling and inference . The application period for this course closes on March 15, 2010.

To apply for these courses, visit

The ePDN offers:

• Free certificate programs (52 hours) in robotics, mathematics, Earth/space science and technology integration
• Flexibility to take individual courses within a certificate or the entire certificate program, both for CEU credit
• Resources that teachers can use in the classroom or for personal development.

For more information on the ePDN, visit

Kids’ Science Challenge! Design a Sport for Mars and Win a Trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Deadline Feb 28, 2010

The Kids Science Challenge, with support from NASA’s Imagine Mars Project, is asking students in grades 3 through 6 to consider what sports might be played by members of the first martian community. Students must submit their very own ideas for a game suitable for the red planet by Feb. 28, 2010. Winners will work with engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to flesh out their plans and bring their sport into reality (at least on Earth).

Mars scientist Ashwin Vasavada will work with the winning student(s). “I don’t know what to expect,” he said. “I imagine the ideas will be as extreme as the environment on Mars!” Engineer Suparna Mukherjee said, “This is an awesome opportunity for kids to tackle a difficult challenge in a really fun way.”

Funded by a four-year grant from The National Science Foundation, the Kids’ Science Challenge offers elementary-school-age children the opportunity to practice real science and to work with scientists and engineers. Over 770 students entered last year’s competition and even more are expected to enter this year.

To enter te contest, please visit the following link:
More information about Imagine Mars:

NASA Accepting Proposals for the Global Climate Change Education Cooperative Agreement Notice – NOI Due March 18, 2010

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Office of Education, in cooperation with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, is accepting proposals in response to the NASA Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN): “Global Climate Change Education: Research Experiences, Modeling & Data”. The Global Climate Change Education, or GCCE, project is designed to improve the quality of global climate change and Earth system science education at the elementary, secondary and undergraduate levels, and through lifelong learning. Each funded proposal is expected to take advantage of NASA’s unique contributions in climate science to enhance learners’ academic experiences and/or to improve educators’ abilities to engage and stimulate students.

Eligibility Information : Proposals will be accepted from higher education institutions (including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions); state agencies, local agencies, or federally recognized tribal government agencies; public school districts; and nonprofit organizations. NASA centers, federal agencies, federally funded research and development centers, education-related companies and other institutions may apply through partnership with the lead organization.

Notices of Intent are required and due by March 18, 2010.
Full proposals are due April 28, 2010.

Interested parties may also connect to a pre-proposal teleconference on March 2, 2010, 1:00-3:00 p.m. EST, for further information. To dial into the teleconference, call 888-673-9782. The participant pass code is GCCECAN (4223226). (See the full CAN for further details.)

For more information regarding this opportunity, please visit the GCCE page on the NSPIRES website. Go to and click on Solicitations, then on Open Solicitations.

U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellowships – Deadline March 2, 2010

Teachers with successful strategies for increasing student achievement are encouraged to apply for Teaching Ambassador Fellowship positions with the U.S. Department of Education for the 2010-2011 school year. Teachers will be chosen based upon their record of leadership, impact on student achievement and potential for contribution to the Department and the field.

The program offers two tracks: Classroom and Washington Fellows:

Classroom Fellows will serve their regular teaching contracts with their districts and will be paid to perform additional fellowship duties for the Department of Education. As practicing classroom teachers, these Fellows will share an important perspective for — and will gain more knowledge about — education policy and program development. They will share their experiences with other Fellows and with the Department of Education at designated times throughout the year.

Washington Fellows will serve as full-time federal employees in Washington, D.C., from the summer of 2010 through June 2011. They will be placed in appropriate positions within the Department of Education to work on education program development and implementation. They will focus on using their previous classroom experience to contribute knowledge and insight to various Department of Education projects. They will spend the majority of their time working in program offices, increasing their knowledge of and contributing to federal education policies and programs, and collaborating with other Fellows.

Applications for both tracks are due March 2, 2010.

For more information about this fellowship opportunity and activities of the current group of Teaching Ambassador Fellows, visit

If you have questions about the fellowship, please e-mail your inquiries to or call 1-800-USA-Learn.

Kids in Micro-g! Experiment Design Challenge – Deadline Feb 19, 2010

“Kids in Micro-g” is a student experiment design challenge geared toward grades 5-8. Its purpose is to give students a hands-on opportunity to design an experiment or simple demonstration that could be performed both in the classroom and aboard the International Space Station.

Experiment challenge winners and runners-up will be selected regionally and nationally by the Education Offices of the ten NASA centers. The ten regional winners, one national winner and one national runner up winner will have their experiments conducted by the astronauts aboard the space station in the April-May 2010 timeframe.

NASA will be accepting experiment proposals through Feb. 19, 2010.

For more information about the Kids In Micro-g! Challenge, visit Be sure to take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions section to help answer questions you may have as you develop your proposal.

Live Question and Answer Session with NASA Engineers – February 24, 2010

What is it like to work at NASA? What jobs do engineers have on space missions? What classes should I take to become an engineer? A panel of African American engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and a former high school intern will answer these questions and more during a live online program on Wed., Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific. JPL manages many robotic space missions for NASA, including the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Cassini Mission at Saturn.

This online event honoring Black History Month is geared to high school students. School audiences will be able to “tune in live” to the NASA/JPL UStream Web page at to watch the 30- to 40-minute program.

Classrooms are invited to email questions in advance to the panel. All questions must be received by Friday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Pacific. To submit a question, send it to . Please include school name, city, state, grade level and, preferably, student’s first name. No last names will be used. A few pre-selected schools may pose questions live to the panel.

The panel of engineers includes:

  • Kobie Boykins — Kobie began his work at JPL as a student “co-op” working on the mobility system for the Mars Pathfinder Mission. He was involved in building the solar array panels for the Mars Exploration Rovers and is currently working on the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory Mission.
  • Tracy Drain — Tracy’s first assignment at JPL was to work on futuristic robotic outposts on Mars. She later built and tested command sequences, or computer instructions for a spacecraft, for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission. On the Kepler Mission, Tracy co-led the operations team in responding to unplanned events during space travel. She is currently working on the Juno Mission to Jupiter, focusing on ways to ensure safe space travel to the planet.
  • Carrine Johnson – Carrine is currently a senior in a Southern California high school. Last summer she was an intern at JPL. This fall, Carrine plans to attend college and major in engineering.

Visit for more information about JPL’s educational opportunities and teacher resources.

NASA’s Ames Research Center and Girls Scouts of Northern California to Host Girl Scout Destination in July 2010

Girl Scouts of Northern California, in collaboration with NASA’s Ames Research Center, is hosting a Girl Scout Destination in the San Francisco Bay area, July 22-Aug. 1, 2010. This dynamic program is designed to excite girls and inspire them toward stewardship and innovation in all they do.

“The Future is Green” is a marriage of the Girls Go Tech and Green by Nature initiatives. This cutting-edge adventure will offer girls the opportunity to explore how green technology in astronomy, environment and robotics can help save Earth.

Astronomy participants will learn about the night sky, technology used to explore the universe, and how astronomers have become instrumental in research regarding global climate change and space debris. Robotics participants will explore the importance of robots in exploration, health care and helping to make the world “green.” The girls will then design, build and program their own robot to meet certain challenges. Environment participants will explore the eco-challenges and successes of the San Francisco Bay.

Field trips for all participants include NASA’s Ames Research Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium and behind the scenes at the California Academy of Sciences.

This opportunity is open to girls ages 13-18. Participants must at least be entering the 9th grade at the time of the event. All girls are welcome, and participants do not need to be Girl Scouts to apply. Applications are due Feb. 28, 2010.

For a complete description of the event, costs and application procedures, visit

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