Category Archives: K-12

NICE Teacher Professional Development Workshop Series

NICE_Patch_200x200NASA Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) Teacher Professional Development Workshop Series is seeking teacher participants! Join NICE on April 9th, 11th, 16th, and 18th from 4:00 – 5:20 pm EST. One-way or two-way virtual participation options available.

From greenhouse effect to Earth’s rising temperatures and resulting impacts on plants, bugs and birds, increase your understanding of these timely topics and more at the NICE Teacher Professional Development Workshop. This workshop is a four-part series featuring climate literacy content and classroom resources from NASA and NICE Earth Systems Scientists. It is open to all Science, Technology, Engineering and Math K-12 teachers. The content will be geared toward the 5-9 grade band.

For more information visit the NICE website at:


“Why it’s hard to get to Mars” presented by Astronaut Stan Love

Astronaut Stan LoveWhat challenges does NASA face on their quest to send humans to Mars?

NASA Astronaut Stanley Love is visiting Oregon State University on Monday, March 4, 2013 to answer that very question in his entertaining presentation, “Why Mars is Hard”! The presentation will start at 6 p.m. PDT in the Milam Auditorium (026) in Milam Hall at the corner of SW 26th Street and SW Campus Way on the OSU Campus.

The presentation is free of charge and open to the public. Media are invited to attend. During his talk, Dr. Love will give a fun rocket science lesson to help the audience understand why going to Mars is difficult and to hopefully inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to pursue these challenges. A brief question-and-answer session will follow.

Dr. Love considers Eugene, Oregon to be his hometown. He was selected by NASA to be an astronaut in 1998. In 2008, Dr. Love completed his first spaceflight on the crew of STS-122, logging more than 306 hours in space. This included more than 15 hours in two spacewalks, where he helped prepare the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory module for installation.

The event is hosted by the OSU AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Student Branch and sponsored by the OSU School of MIME (Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering). For more information about this appearance, contact Victor Dang


NASA’s Women in STEM High School (WISH) 2013 Aerospace Scholars Program applications due January, 3, 2013

logoNASA OFFERS HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS A CHANCE TO JUMP-START THEIR FUTURE — NASA is offering high school junior girls from across the United States an opportunity to jump-start their future by participating in the Women In STEM High School (WISH) Aerospace Scholars program for 2013.

WISH participants will participate in online forums focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics, and complete online activities to qualify for a six-day summer experience at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. During the summer experience, they will work with mentors to design a mission to Mars, interact with NASA female role models, and mingle with scientists and engineers as they learn about careers in STEM.

Applications are due Jan. 3. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, female high school juniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and interested in STEM. They must have access to the Internet and e-mail, be able to commit to the project for one year and participate in the Johnson summer program in 2013.

WISH Aerospace Scholars is sponsored by NASA’s Education Flights Project Office and offered at no cost to the participants. Questions about WISH may be directed to

To learn more about NASA’s Women In STEM High School Aerospace Scholars, visit:

For more information about NASA’s education programs, visit:

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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Sixth Flight Opportunity, Mission 4 to the International Space Station inquiries due Dec 31, 2012.

ssep-banner-smallSSEP Mission 4 is an opportunity for schools and districts to engage their 5-12 grade students in VERY REAL Microgravity Experiment Design for Flight to the International Space Station (ISS). YOUR Students are invited to be real researchers, and your community to be part of America’s space program!

9-Week Experiment Design Phase in Your Community: February 25 to April 29, 2013
Selection of Your Community’s Flight Experiment: May 30, 2013
Ferry Flight to ISS: mid-October 2013
Ferry Flight Return to Earth: mid-November 2013
National Conference in Washington, DC: early July 2013, and 2014

ALL INTERESTED COMMUNITIES ARE ASKED TO READ THIS CAREFULLY AND INQUIRE BY DECEMBER 31, 2012; schools and districts need to assess interest with their staff and, if appropriate, move forward with an Implementation Plan.

DEADLINE FOR COMMUNITIES TO BE ABOARD (approved Implementation Plan and funded):
February 18, 2013. To meet this deadline, the Center needs to begin working with interested communities as soon as possible.

Dr. Jeff Goldstein: 301-395-0770 or

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally, invite communities across the U.S. and Canada to participate in SSEP Mission 4 to the International Space Station (ISS). SSEP immerses a community of students in real scientific research of their own design, using a highly captivating spaceflight opportunity on the International Space Station – America’s newest National Laboratory, and which will garner the community significant media attention for STEM education.

Each participating community will be provided all launch services to fly a real microgravity research mini-laboratory on ISS from mid-October to mid-November 2013, and a kit for assembly and loading of their mini-lab. A 9-week experiment design competition in your community, held Winter/Spring 2013, will allow grade 5-12 student teams to design microgravity experiments vying for the community’s reserved mini-lab slot on ISS. Your student teams write very real but grade level appropriate research proposals, go through a formal proposal review process, and one experiment is selected to fly for your community. This is a true science immersion program where students are asked to be real scientists and go through the exact same process as professional researchers vying for research resources and research opportunities.

In fact two NASA feature articles on the SSEP program at appeared on the International Space Station RESEARCH page, not education page. NASA considers these students TO BE RESEARCHERS. The program is changing the way students view both science and their ability to do science. It is also changing the way teachers teach science. SSEP is a true STEM education program. It addresses a wide range of biological and physical science disciplines (thus appropriate for all teachers of science), including: seed germination, crystal growth, physiology and life cycles of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria), cell biology and growth, food studies, and studies of micro-aquatic life. Students design experiments to the technology and engineering constraints imposed by a real research mini-lab and flight operations to and from Earth orbit.

SSEP is about a commitment to the joys of learning; to student ownership in exploration through immersive and REAL science experiences; to science as journey; to rich experiences for teachers in real science; and to science as an interdisciplinary tapestry that extends to vital written and oral communication skills.

SSEP has had 5 flight opportunities to date:

Through SSEP on the final two flights of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program (STS-134 and STS-135), 977 student team proposals were
 received, and 27 experiments have flown – one for each of the participating communities (16 on STS-134 and 11 on STS-135).

SSEP Missions 1, 2, and 3 to the International Space Station engaged 32 communities, providing 69,100 students in grades 5-14 the opportunity to participate, 3,370 student team proposals were received, and thus far 39 experiments were flown to space station on the SpaceX Dragon vehicle, heralding in a new era in human spaceflight. Student flight teams were at Kennedy Space Center for the launch and were interviewed by NASA TV.

The Mission 3 payload of 17 experiments is expected to fly to the space station in April 2013.

The initiative was also highlighted last year at the 2nd Annual White House Science Fair event.

1. Typically a minimum of 300 grade 5-12 students across a participating community are engaged in experiment design. The school district is free to determine the participating grade levels. SSEP is not designed for a single class or a small number of students. A team of science teachers partnering across a school or a district is a recipe for success.

2. Implementation is straightforward and well defined; all needed curricular materials are fully developed; and we provide ongoing, proactive support for your educator implementation team.

3. Well-designed content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design.

4. SSEP is flexible enough to be tailored to your community’s strategic needs in STEM education.

5. A suite of SSEP program elements – the Community Program – leverages the flight experiment design competition to engage the entire community, embracing a Learning Community Model for STEM education. Elements include flying up to 2 Mission Patches resulting from an art and design competition across your community.

6. Students can take part in their own research conference where they can report on experiment design and results. The conference is normally held in Washington, DC, in early July, at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the site of the 2011 and 2012 conference – the most visited Museum on the planet.

1. CAREFULLY read the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program home page (link below), which includes links to all aspects of the program, including program operations, how to participate, profiles of the 51 communities participating to date, and summaries of all selected flight experiments. Also below are the links to extensive media coverage, and program testimonials from community leadership.

2. Contact us via the SSEP home page, or call me directly at: 301-395-0770




Be part of history by making history

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director and SSEP Program Creator
Cell: 301-395-0770
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
PO Box 3806
Capitol Heights, Maryland 20791

National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education
NanoRacks, LLC
Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

This on-orbit, real research opportunity for students is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

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Over 50 Years Running – AESP: Aerospace Education Services Project

Connecting NASA with K-12, AESP is NASA’s longest running K-12 education project. AESP Education Specialist based at NASA field centers travel throughout the states to deliver pre-service and in-service professional development at no cost to the host. Go to for more information or to request a visit to your school.

Educators will have access to NEON or NASA Educators Online Network, a professional learning community that will allow educators to expand their learning resources. Discover NEON at

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2012 Humans in Space International Youth Art Competition Deadline Extended to November 15th

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) invites youth worldwide ages 10–18 to share their visions of the future of space exploration by submitting visual, literary, musical, and video artwork to the 2012 Humans in Space Youth Art Competition. Due to worldwide request, the deadline for entries has been extended to November 15.

The competition partners (the German Aerospace Center, NASA, and USRA) challenge youth to communicate their vision of the future while incorporating this year’s theme: “How will humans use science and technology to explore space, and what mysteries will they uncover?” Competition judges will include program managers, scientists, artists, teachers, astronauts, musicians, and engineers from all over the world.

Winning artwork will be woven into multimedia displays and performances, providing opportunities for people of all ages to experience and be inspired by the creativity our next generation of explorers. Key venues for the 2012 winners will include the 19th Humans in Space Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in Cologne, Germany, in July 2013, and multiple events associated with NASA’s 50th Anniversary of Solar System Exploration celebration.

Information about background science, artwork guidelines, and how to enter the competition is available at

Submissions are electronic and are due November 15, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CDT (23:59 GMT -5).

A complete submission for youth artists will have:

o An entry form that includes:
o Submission and contact information
o Artist’s statement of originality (400 words or less)
o Artwork (rules for different genres provided on website)
o A waiver signed by a parent or guardian (or by the artist, if he/she is at least 18 years old).

Adults will have a chance to participate as well by volunteering as judges; more information is available under the “Call for Judges” tab on the website.

The competition is designed to enhance youth interest, knowledge, and engagement in space science and technology and to encourage young participants worldwide to use that knowledge creatively. Through the multimedia displays and performances of the artwork, viewers also become inspired about the future of space exploration.

For more information, visit the website:

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Celebrate World Space Week October 4-10, 2012

World Space Week 2012Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2012. This international event commemorates the beginning of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957.

World Space Week is the largest public space event in the world, with celebrations in more than 50 nations. During World Space Week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities. The theme for 2012, “Space for Human Safety and Security,” has been chosen to celebrate the many ways in which mankind’s activities in space improve our daily lives.

To find NASA educational resources that can be used during World Space Week, visit the Educational Materials Finder:

To learn more about World Space Week, search for events in your area and find educational materials related to the event, visit


Enter by December 2, 2012 to Name that Asteroid!

OSIRIS-REx mission

OSIRIS-REx mission spacecraft

OSIRIS-REx is going to fly to an asteroid and bring back some pieces. Right now, the asteroid’s name is 1999 RQ36, but we think students can do better! The Planetary Society, MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, and the University of Arizona are asking students around the world to suggest better names for the asteroid.

Enter by December 2, 2012 to have a chance to name a piece of the solar system!

The contest is open to kids under the age of 18. To enter, parents or teachers must fill out an online entry form with the proposed name and a short explanation of why that name is a good choice.

Asteroids can’t be named just anything, of course. The International Astronomical Union governs the naming of big and small objects in the solar system, and they have guidelines on how to name near-Earth objects like 1999 RQ36.

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