Monthly Archives: February 2012

Call for Papers: Solar System Exploration @ 50 Symposium – Abstracts Due By Feb 21, 2012

Mariner 2

Call for Papers - Symposium Commemorating 50 Years of Planetary Exploration

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first successful planetary mission, Mariner 2 sent to Venus, the NASA History Program Office and the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum invite papers for a conference relating to the history of planetary exploration. This historical symposium will be held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25-27, 2012.

Entitled “Solar System Exploration @ 50,” the purpose of this symposium is to consider what we have learned about the other bodies of the solar system and the process whereby we have learned it. This symposium seeks to pursue broader questions relating to the history of planetary exploration.

International scholars and graduate students seeking exposure to the history of the planetary sciences are particularly welcome. Proposals for papers should include a title and abstract, as well as the author’s curriculum vita. Please send all proposals, in the form of a 300-word abstract and a brief vita electronically to Dr. William P. Barry, NASA chief historian, at, and Dr. Roger D. Launius, senior curator in space history at the National Air and Space Museum,

The deadline for abstract submissions is Feb. 21, 2012.

For more information, visit

Free Professional Development Webinar – Electrolysis of Water – Feb 21, 2012

Professional Development Webinar

Attend a free professional development webinar - Electrolysis of Water - Feb 21, 2012

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 Feb. 21, 2011, at 8:15 p.m. EST. Learn how to implement a chemistry lab activity called “A Breath of Fresh Air.” During the activity, students create their own electrolysis apparatus to generate oxygen and use a Texas Instruments TI-Nspire calculator to collect data. Note: You do not need to have a TI-Nspire calculator during this professional development.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Discovery Channel Seeking America’s Top Inventors, Machinists, and Engineers to Compete for a Huge Grand Prize! – Apply by March 7, 2012

Discovery Channel Top Engineer Casting Call

Apply by March 7, 2012 to participate in the Discovery Channel's new show, Top Engineer!

(this just in from Pilgrim Studios!)

Are you a designer who can build? Are you a machinist who can design?

The Discovery Channel is looking for America’s most creative and daring techies, machinists, inventors, and engineers to design, build, and BLAST their way to a grand prize on a new competition TV show called TOP ENGINEER.

A handful of lucky men and women will be chosen to take on exciting challenges from various engineering filed a the state-of-the-art WET Design facilities in California (

No, you don’t need to have an engineering degree to compete on this show, but you MUST be able to design, build, test, and integrate an idea into a final product that WORKS. These will be fast-paced, hands-on, VISCERAL challenges! If your experience is strictly behind the keyboard, then this show is NOT for you.

We are looking for visual effects experts, accomplished home shop machinists, contractors, and engineers with backgrounds in electrical, civil, structural, or mechanical engineering.

If you have an outgoing personality and are ready to get your hands dirty for the chance to win a grand prize and the title of TOP ENGINEER, then we want to hear from you.

APPLY TODAY! Deadline March 7, 2012

email with your name, age, location, phone number, a recent photo and a brief explanation of why you are perfect for this competition show.

Deadline to submit is MARCH 7. 2012. Applicants must be US citizens or residents at least 21 years of age. For more information, please visit

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NASA – NASA Seeks Game Changing Technology Payloads for Suborbital Research Flights

NASA – NASA Seeks Game Changing Technology Payloads for Suborbital Research Flights.

NASA’s Game Changing Opportunities research announcement seeks proposals for payloads, vehicle enhancements and onboard facilities for payload integration that will help the agency advance technology development in the areas of exploration, space operations and other innovative technology areas relevant to NASA’s missions. Sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Program, the agency expects proposals from entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, instrument builders, research managers, and vehicle builders and operators.

Proposals will be accepted from U.S. or non-U.S. organizations including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations.

NASA expects to make approximately 20 awards this summer, with the majority of awards ranging between approximately $50,000 and $125,000 each. Several awards may be made for up to $500,000 in the area of vehicle integration and payload engineering technology enhancements and onboard research facilities to improve platform capabilities.

Read more about the call for proposals at NASA NSPIRES website:

International Space Station National Laboratory Education Project (ISS NLEP)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Education, NASA Higher Education Office in cooperation with the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Office of Education, invites proposals to seven (7) areas within the ISS National Lab Education Project’s (ISS NLEP) portfolio. Three (3) “General” categories open for proposals to include: 1) new ground-based educational activities/experiments not requiring ISS upmass, 2) new flight-based or on-orbit experiments that require ISS upmass capability; and 3) new educational experiments utilizing a facility that simulates the ISS microgravity environment. The four (4) “Specific” areas open for proposals are: 1) flight experiments that can be conducted in “1 unit” (1U) NanoRacks payload modules onboard the ISS; 2) mission planning proposals to recommend an appropriate mission planning support for the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) school contacts program using appropriate software and hardware; 3) proposals to provide engineering/project management support for the High Schools United with NASA for the Creation of Hardware (HUNCH) project; and 4) proposals will be solicited to develop new applications for the ISSLive! Internet educational experience using existing real-time ISS telemetry.

Proposals will be accepted from higher education institutions, nonprofit organizations, or consortia of organizations and institutions serving higher education. Institutions may only submit two (2) proposals total to the categories in this solicitation. Each funded proposal is expected to address innovative, meaningful, and enduring research and technology development activities that utilize the unique microgravity environment of the ISS in a STEM-related context.

This announcement is accessible through NSPIRES and through To access through NSPIRES, go to and click on Solicitations. To access through, go to and select the link for NASA.

The point-of-contact for technical and programmatic inquiries is:

Dr. Regina B. Blue
Technical Officer
(281) 483-4229

Inquiries regarding the submission of proposal materials should be addressed in writing to:

Tamra K. Ross
ISS NLEP Solicitation Support

Inquiries should be submitted within 10 calendar days of the release date in order that answers may be obtained and disseminated in a timely manner. Questions and responses will be posted on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) web site at

Properties of Living Things: Fingerprints of Life Web Seminar – Feb 14, 2012

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 Feb. 14, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST. The student activity featured in this seminar will introduce grades 5-8 students to the exciting world of astrobiology. The seminar will review criteria for determining if something is alive — or not alive — and apply those criteria to determine if anything is living in any of three different soil samples. This type of analysis is similar to what the Viking landers used on Mars when looking for life.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit


NSTA Podcast Talks Zombies and Science

A zombie

How can this zombie help teach science?

Zombies. The shuffling undead. Smelly pests or teaching tools?


Dr. Steven Schlozman, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education talks to us about his start in teaching, his recent book “The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse” and how to use zombies to teach science.

The podcast is available at the bottom of the following URL.

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A Vision of Discovery! Understanding NASA Images through Art Workshop for K-12 Educators at OMSI March 10, 2012

An artist's rendition of the inner solar system

An artist's rendition of the inner solar system

A Vision of Discovery!
Understanding NASA Images through Art
Workshop for K-12 Educators at OMSI!
March 10, 2012

NASA’s Discovery and New Frontiers missions are exploring the solar system and sending back to Earth never-before-seen images. This workshop presents new images of Mercury from MESSENGER, of asteroid Vesta from Dawn, and prepares for the first ever close-up images of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt from New Horizons.

Participants will get the latest updates on these exciting missions from dynamic scientists, then learn how to use art to engage students in the appreciation and interpretation of NASA imagery. Techniques for inspiring and energizing students will be presented, along with activities that will help students analyze and understand science images using the elements of art. Additional activities will be demonstrated as well.

Special Speakers

  • Dr. Ralph McNutt, New Horizons
  • Dr. Bonnie Buratti, Dawn
  • Dr. Nancy Chabot, MESSENGER
  • Ms. Monica Aiello, Planetary Science Artist

The workshop will be held in four locations simultaneously on March 10. All locations will feature the special speakers and activities, tied in through NASA’s Digital Learning Network.

  • NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena, CA, from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR, from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
  • Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD, from 11:30 am – 5:30 pm

A registration fee of $25 is required to cover lunch and snacks. Everyone will receive a terrific packet of resources containing activities and curricula for all grade levels, links to great interactives, and more. For those who cannot attend in person, a webinar option will be offered.

Register now! For more information, visit:

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