Daily Archives: October 20, 2011

Astronomy Curriculum: Afterschool Universe

Afterschool Universe is a hands-on astronomy curriculum targeted at middle school out-of-school-time settings. Developed in 2006 and rigorously pilot-tested and evaluated, the 12-session program explores basic astronomy concepts through engaging hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the universe beyond the solar system.

To learn more about the program, visit http://universe.nasa.gov/afterschool/.

The Afterschool Universe team has released a new series of activity videos to be used as supplements to the program’s manual and training workshops. To view the videos, visit the Afterschool Universe YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/AfterschoolUniverse.

Questions about this program should be directed to http://universe.nasa.gov/au/webcont.html

NASA’s New Interactive Space Communications Game

NASA has released an interactive, educational video game called NetworKing that depicts how the Space Communication and Navigation, or SCaN, network operates. The release of the video game coincided with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2011.

Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NetworKing gives players an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.

To successfully construct fast and efficient communication networks, players first must establish command stations around the world and accept clients conducting space missions, such as satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients. Players can use accumulated resources strategically to enhance and increase their networks’ capabilities.

Players with the most integrated communications networks will have the ability to acquire more complex clients, such as the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler mission.

NetworKing is available to the public for play on the NASA 3D Resources website. Players can access the game using an Internet browser. It can be downloaded and run on both a PC and Macintosh operating system. To play the NetworKing game, visit http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/scan.html.

In conjunction with NetworKing, the 3D Resources website also links visitors to the Station Spacewalk Interactive Game and the SCaN Interactive Demo that demonstrates the interaction between SCaN’s ground-and-space facilities and NASA spacecraft.

Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, World Space Week is an annual international celebration of science and technology commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty. The theme for World Space Week 2011 was “50 Years of Human Spaceflight.”

For more information about SCaN, visit https://www.spacecomm.nasa.gov/spacecomm/default.cfm.


Centennial Challenge: 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 2012 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. 2, 2012. 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 Office of the Chief Technologist. For more information about NASA’s Centennial Challenges and the Office of the Chief Technologist, visit http://www.nasa.gov/oct

Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to challenge@wpi.edu.

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Summer Internship Program – Application Deadline Dec 31, 2011

Interns selected for the NSBRI’s summer program join ongoing project activities and gain hands-on experience in space biomedical research at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; or Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The program is open to graduate students, medical students and undergraduate students who have completed their second year of studies.

Applicants are asked to send a curriculum vitae or resume, a letter of interest, two letters of recommendation, and college transcripts. Applicants must be available during the dates of May 28 through Aug. 3, 2012.

The program is open to U.S. citizens. Applications for the 2012 program are due Dec. 31, 2011.

For more information and to apply online, visit http://www.nsbri.org/summerinternship/

2011 National Mars Education Conference: Bring Curiosity Into Your Classroom – Nov 25-27, 2011

NASA is preparing to launch the Mars rover named Curiosity. Educators are invited to join NASA in Florida for an educator conference and a potential launch viewing. The educator conference is filled with standards-aligned activities, mission team speakers, a tour of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and learning materials to take home.

The conference will take place Nov. 25-27, 2011, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. A conference fee of $125 per participant is due by Nov. 18, 2011.

For more information about this unique opportunity, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/curiosity

NASA’s DEVELOP Program – 2012 Spring and Summer Sessions

Student presents research as a part of the NASA DEVELOP Program DEVELOP is a NASA Science Mission Directorate Applied Sciences-sponsored internship that fosters the training and development of students in the atmospheric and earth sciences. The DEVELOP Program extends the application of NASA earth science research and technology to meet societal needs.

Students conduct projects that focus on the practical application of NASA’s earth science research and demonstrate how results can benefit partner organizations and local communities. Advisors and mentors, from NASA and partner institutions, provide guidance and support for the program. Students gain experience using NASA science and technology in a professional setting.

Students from high school through doctoral levels are selected through a competitive application process. Students chosen by DEVELOP work on teams onsite at 10 locations nationwide. Activities are conducted during three 10-week terms per year: spring, summer and fall. To apply to a DEVELOP center at a NASA location, applicants must be a citizen of the U.S. However, international students currently registered at an accredited school in the U.S. are eligible to apply to DEVELOP regional locations. International applicants must already have a visa that permits them to work in the U.S.

Applications for the spring 2012 session are due Nov. 14, 2011. Summer 2012 applications are due Jan. 30, 2012.

For more information about this unique internship opportunity, please visit the DEVELOP website at http://develop.larc.nasa.gov

Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 26, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn to incorporate space exploration problems into your technology or life science classes. Use the engineering design process to have students design, build and evaluate the effectiveness of lunar plant growth chambers while engaging them in research- and standards-based learning experiences.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES2/webseminar17.aspx
To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math – Space Shuttle Ascent Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LEARN, Projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Oct. 25, 2011, at 7 p.m. EDT. Discover how you can use the Space Shuttle Ascent activity to construct a knowledge bridge for your students between the algebra concepts they learn in your classroom and space exploration.

For more information and to register online, visit https://digitalmedia.wufoo.com/forms/nes-webinar-registration-linear-regression/
To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

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