Current NASA Education Opportunities

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

Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Available While Supplies Last

NASA Wavelength Resources Bring Science News into Classroom
Audience: All Educators

NASA’s ESTEEM “Ask US” Online Professional Development Series
Audience: K-12 Educators
Next Event Date: Dec. 11, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST

Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development
Audience: In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators
Next Event Date: Dec. 11, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST

Pre-Proposal Teleconference for NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO)
Audience: Minority Universities
Event Date: Dec. 15, 2015, 4 – 5:30 p.m. EST

Host a Real-Time Conversation With Crew Members Aboard the International Space Station
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 15, 2014

Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space: Design a Space Tool Challenge
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Entry Deadline: Dec. 15, 2014

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 8 to the International Space Station
Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities
Inquiry Deadline: Dec. 15, 2014

GLOBE Distinguished Educator Fellowship
Audience: K-12 & Informal Educators
Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2014

NASA Space Technology Game Changing Program Solicitation for Ultralightweight Core Materials for Efficient Load-Bearing Composite Sandwich Structures
Audience: Higher Education Institutions
Proposal Deadline: Dec. 16, 2014

Free Smithsonian’s “STEM in 30″ Webcast Series
Audience: Grades 6-8 Educators and Students
Next Webcast Date: Dec. 17, 2014, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST

2015 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 19, 2014

SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program
Audience: K-14 Teachers and Informal Educators
Application Deadline: Dec. 22, 2014

Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Request Deadline: Dec. 22, 2014

2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions
Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
Kick-off Event: Jan. 3, 2015

2015 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: 11:59 pm EST Jan. 6, 2015

2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Audience: 9-12 & Higher Education Educators and Students
Registration Deadline for International Teams: Jan. 9, 2015
Registration Deadline for U.S. Teams: Feb. 6, 2015

2015 RASC-AL Aerospace Concepts Design Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Proposal Deadline: Jan. 11, 2015

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 12, 2015

Free Program — Cubes in SpaceTM
Audience: Middle and High School Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Jan. 12, 2015

National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge
Audience: Teams of Community College Students and Faculty Mentors
Entry Deadline: Jan. 15, 2015

2015 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award
Audience: K-12 Educators
Application Deadline: Jan. 16, 2015

Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Jan. 24, 2014, at 5:15 p.m. EST

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix
Audience: Minority Universities
Proposal Deadline: Jan. 30, 2015

2015 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship
Audience: Rising Junior Undergraduate Students at Minority Serving Institutions
Application Deadline: Jan. 30, 2015

2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: Feb. 22, 2015

NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Proposal Due Date: Multiple Deadlines Through 2018

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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Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions and museums to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and other special items offered on a first-come, first-served basis while quantities last. Organizations previously allocated thermal protective tiles may request an additional three tiles.

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit http://gsaxcess.gov/htm/nasa/userguide/Special_Item_Request_Procedure.pdf.

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

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NASA Wavelength Resource Simplifies Teaching About the Solstice

Solstices and equinoxes are seasonal astronomical events that foster teachable moments. The next chance to bring these natural events into your classroom is the winter solstice, coming up on Dec. 21, 2014. Unfortunately, explanations of these events often seem obscure and technical to many learners.

Prepare yourself to teach about the solstice by following these step-by-step instructions to create a suntrack model customized to your location. With a simple visual representation, your learners can more easily grasp the notion of solstices and equinoxes.

The resource is available at http://nasawavelength.org/resource/nw-000-000-003-836.

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NASA’s ESTEEM “Ask US” Online Professional Development Series

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, is sponsoring a series of Google Plus Hangout professional development events for K-12 educators. The Earth Systems, Technology and Energy Education for MUREP, or ESTEEM, team will lead the monthly sessions that will cover a variety of climate topics. This month’s webinar topic is:

Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in the Midwest — Dec. 11, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
The National Climate Assessment, released in May of 2014, summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, touching on many disciplines: earth science, biology, human health, engineering, technology, economics and policy. Explore the document with Dr. Fred Lipschultz from the United States Global Change Research Project, and then learn about educator resources with Kristen Poppleton from the Will Steger Foundation. Discover resources that will enable you to bring this topic into classroom lessons, engage students in data collection and analysis, and share visualizations and citizen science projects. The focus this month will be on the Midwest region. Watch for additional regions of the U.S. to be featured in upcoming “Ask US” sessions.

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request.

For more information on this event and upcoming webinar sessions, visit https://nice.larc.nasa.gov/asknice/. Questions about this series should be sent to Bonnie Murray at bonnie.murray@nasa.gov.

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Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

NASA Engineering Design Challenges
Audience:
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 11, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
Participants will explore engineering design the NASA way. Learn about NASA Engineering Design Challenges that can be used to integrate the engineering design process into existing curricula.

Scale of Discovery
Audience:
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 12, 2014, at 4 p.m. EST
Participants will explore the applications of scale with hands-on, standards-aligned science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities and interactive multimedia. Engage with examples from our universe as you apply scale to distance, time, size, models and more.

Solar System Scale: Modeling and Kinesthetic Inquiry
Audience:
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 16, 2014, at 6 p.m. EST
Participants will explore the misconceptions about the scale of the solar system by physically creating a model of the Earth-moon system. Prediction, estimation, measuring, debate and research are featured in this lesson.

Solar System and the Periodic Table
Audience:
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 18, 2014, at 7 p.m. EST
Participants will learn about our solar system and how it relates to the periodic table of elements. This standards-based workshop will teach you basic principles of what the table represents using our solar system as an exciting basis for understanding.

For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit https://paragon-tec.adobeconnect.com/admin/show-event-catalog.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Clarence Jones atClarence.F.Jones@NASA.gov.

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Pre-Proposal Teleconference for NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO)

A pre-proposal teleconference will be held to discuss NASA Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) [Announcement Number: NNH14ZHA001N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008]. The teleconference will provide an in-depth overview of the MIRO opportunity and proposal requirements. Please visit the MIRO page in NSPIRES for information regarding this NASA opportunity.

After the presentations, there will be a brief Q&A session. In order to address as many participants as possible, you are asked to limit your questions to general topics only. If you have a question pertaining to your specific organization or institution, it should be submitted in writing to NASAMIRO@nasaprs.com. This will give NASA the time to respond, in detail, to your individual needs. We also ask that your questions be concise and clearly stated because the call is being recorded and will be transcribed.

Please note: It is strongly suggested that you read through the FAQ document, found here by clicking on the ‘Frequently Asked Questions-MIRO’ link, prior to the teleconference. It is possible that your question(s) may have already been answered.

Also, any changes regarding this workshop will be posted on the MIRO page in NSPIRES. This is the only way to be notified of any updates, so it is very important that you check the webpage prior to the session.

Instructions on how to connect to the teleconference are listed below. The call will start on time, so everyone is encouraged to connect 10-15 minutes prior to the session to address any technical difficulties you may encounter. Upon logging in, you might be prompted to install the WebEx software before joining the online session. It should take less than 5 minutes to install the software.

TO JOIN THE MIRO PRE PROPOSAL TELECONFERENCE, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOTH THE WEBEX AND CONFERENCE NUMBER
WebEx will be used for the slide presentation only.
For audio and to participate in the Q&A session, you must use the telecon number.

CONNECT TO WEBEX (for slide presentation)

Meeting Number: 994 734 547

1. Go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/j.php?MTID=mf9fb45bd9f3645c10915aff49a53e6be.
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the meeting password: EONSMIRO123$ to join.
4. Click “Join”.

For assistance go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/mc and on the left navigation bar, click “Support”.

CONNECT TO TELECONFERENCE (for audio)

Call-in number: 1-844-467-4685
Participant passcode: 5362715988

This call will be recorded and transcribed. For the sake of accuracy, be sure to speak slowly and clearly, and please spell anything that might be recorded incorrectly.

Cell phones are not recommended for use for this call due to the possibility of disconnection and static.

If you are unable to attend, presentation slides and a written transcript of the teleconference will be posted to the NSPIRES website. Questions asked during the call will be part of the MIRO FAQ document.

Any questions regarding this session should be sent to NASAMIRO@nasaprs.com.

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Host a Real-Time Conversation With Crew Members Aboard the International Space Station

ARISS-US is now accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, science centers and community youth organizations to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact between May 1 – Dec. 31, 2015. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Proposals are due Dec. 15, 2014.

Using amateur radio, students can ask astronauts questions about life in space and other space-related topics. Students fully engage in the ARISS contact by helping set up an amateur radio ground station at the school and then using that station to talk directly with a crew member on the International Space Station for approximately 10 minutes. ARISS provides experienced mentors and relies on local amateur radio volunteers to help organizations obtain the technology required to host this once in a lifetime opportunity for students.

Interested parties should visit http://www.arrl.org/hosting-an-ariss-contact to obtain complete information including how the technology works, what is expected of the host organization and how to submit the proposal form.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to ariss@arrl.org.

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Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space: Design a Space Tool Challenge

NASA, in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, has issued a series of Future Engineers 3-D Space Challenges for students focused on solving real-world space exploration problems. Students will become the creators and innovators of tomorrow by using 3-D modeling software to submit their designs. Multiple prizes are available, but the grand prize winner will have the opportunity for his or her design to be printed on the first 3-D printer aboard the International Space Station while watching from NASA′s Payload Operations Center with the mission control team.

The Design a Space Tool Challenge is the first in series of challenges where students in grades K-12 will create and submit a digital 3-D model of a tool that they think astronauts might need in space. Future Engineers is a multiyear education initiative that consists of 3-D space challenges and curriculum videos on the site that parents and educators can use to get kids designing today.

Entries must be submitted by Dec. 15, 2014.

For more information about the challenge and to watch an introductory video from astronaut Doug Wheelock, visit http://www.nasa.gov/content/printing-challenges-for-the-first-3d-printer-aboard-the-international-space-station/.

If you have any questions about the Design a Space Tool Challenge, please emailinfo@futureengineers.org.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 8 to the International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announce an authentic science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest flight opportunity, Mission 8 to the International Space Station, or ISS, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low-Earth orbit on the ISS. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a real microgravity research minilaboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment and all launch services to fly the minilab to the space station in fall 2015 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community — engaging typically 300+ students — allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community′s reserved minilab. Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional SSEP programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a learning community model for STEM education.

This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations are also encouraged to participate. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than Dec. 15, 2014. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 8 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/2014/10/new-flight-opportunity-for-school-districts-announcing-student-spaceflight-experiments-program-ssep-mission-8-to-the-international-space-station-starting-february-2015/

SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a national laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (http://www.iss-casis.org/) is a national partner on SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit http://ssep.ncesse.org/national-partners/.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at jeffgoldstein@ncesse.org

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GLOBE Distinguished Educator Fellowship

The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program is accepting applications for the GLOBE Distinguished Educator Fellowship. This fellowship harnesses the GLOBE community expertise in the development of new educational resources that can benefit the whole community.

Selected educators, either formal or informal, will work with scientists in the development of GLOBE educational materials. The scientist will support the educator in ensuring scientific accuracy. As part of the application process, we invite teachers to team with scientists on a particular project.

There will be two fellowships awarded this year: one for the United States and one for GLOBE countries outside the U.S. Applicants must be active GLOBE teachers who have entered data into the GLOBE database in the past year.

Applications are due Dec. 15, 2014. Fellowships will begin no later than July 1, 2015.

Additional information including application requirements can be found at http://www.globe.gov/events/competitions/fellowships.

Please email any questions about this opportunity science@globe.gov.

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NASA Space Technology Game Changing Program Solicitation for Ultralightweight Core Materials for Efficient Load-Bearing Composite Sandwich Structures

NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultralightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures.

The goal of this Game Changing Development Program is to develop and demonstrate scalable and cost-effective manufacturing approaches to produce ultralightweight core materials both as flat panels and curved structures. The final products will have half or less the area density of conventional honeycomb cores, with equal or better mechanical properties.

Proposals will be accepted from 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 two awards of up to $550,000 each for this first development phase.

Proposals are due Dec. 16, 2014.

For information on the solicitation and how to submit proposals, visit http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/october/nasa-seeks-ultra-lightweight-materials-to-help-enable-journey-to-mars/.

This solicitation is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in future missions. For more information about the directorate and Space Technology Research Grants Program, visithttp://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Ryan Stephens at HQ-STMD-GCDC1@mail.nasa.gov.

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Free Smithsonian’s “STEM in 30″ Webcast Series

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is presenting a series of free education webcast events called “STEM in 30.” This new program consists of live, fast-paced 30-minute webcasts designed to increase interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, for students. To enhance the learning experience, students can get involved with the content through the interactive “Cover It Live” feature, including poll questions and classroom activities. The webcasts will be available live on the National Air and Space Museum website as well as on NASA TV, and will be archived for on-demand viewing.

Kites to Flight: Inventing With the Wright Brothers
Dec. 17, 2014, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST
In celebration of the anniversary of the Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic first flight in 1903, this fast-paced webcast will give students in grades 6-8 an introduction to the Wright brothers and the process of innovation. The program will use the Wright Flyer as a starting point to explore the concepts of flight.

“STEM in 30″ webcasts are online learning experiences, but are filmed in front of a live audience. If you are interested in bringing your school group to a live filming of “STEM in 30,” please contact Myra Banks-Scott at banksscottm@si.edu.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s “STEM in 30″ Webcast Series, visithttp://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/stem-in-30/.

Questions about this series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-2214.

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2015 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity

NASA is accepting applications from students at U.S. colleges and universities who want to send experiments to the edge of space on a high-flying scientific balloon.

The annual NASA project provides near-space access for 12 undergraduate and graduate student experiments to be carried by a NASA high-altitude research balloon. The flights typically last 15 to 20 hours and reach an altitude of 23 miles. Experiments may include compact satellites or prototypes.

The experiments are flown aboard the High-Altitude Student Platform, or HASP, a balloon-born instrument stack launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility’s remote site in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The goals of the project are to provide a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products.

HASP seeks to enhance the technical skills and research abilities of students in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium. The Science Missions Directorate Astrophysics division manages the NASA scientific balloon program; Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia oversees Balloon Flight Operations.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 19, 2014.

For application information and technical details about the program, visit http://laspace.lsu.edu/hasp.

Questions about the High-Altitude Student Platform opportunity should be directed to T. Gregory Guzik at guzik@phunds.phys.lsu.edu.

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SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a 747SP aircraft carrying a 2.5 meter-diameter telescope. The SOFIA project is now accepting applications for the Cycle 3 — 2015 Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors, or AAA, program. The AAA program is an exciting and unique opportunity for teams of two educators to receive online astronomy instruction and a trip to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to participate in two SOFIA science flights. The science flights offer educators interaction with astronomers, engineers and technicians aboard the aircraft and a view to the collaboration that leads to astronomical data collection and the research papers that follow.

One team member must be a science teacher; the other team member may be a teacher, informal educator or amateur astronomer. The eligibility and program requirements are detailed athttp://www.seti.org/sofia. The program pays all costs.

Applications are due Dec. 22, 2014.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Pamela Harman at pharman@seti.org.

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Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use

NASA invites eligible U.S. educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical artifacts of significance to spaceflight. This is the 24th screening of artifacts since 2009.

Eligible schools, universities, museums, libraries and planetariums may view the artifacts and request specific items through Dec. 22, 2014. Online registrations should include an assigned Department of Education number. Registration also may be made through the requester’s State Agency for Surplus Property office. For instructions, to register and to view and request artifacts online, visithttp://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.

The artifacts are free of charge and are offered “as-is.” Organizations must cover shipping costs and any handling fees. Shipping fees on smaller items will be relatively inexpensive; however, larger items may involve extensive disassembly, preparation, shipping and reassembly costs. NASA will work closely with eligible organizations to address any unique handling costs.

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

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2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to create a robot designed to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe. Teams experience the entire engineering life cycle while building robots to compete in games that change every year. FIRST Robotics Competition teams are composed of high school students, with professional engineers acting as mentors. Additional FIRST programs are available for students of ages 6-18.

FIRST is a national organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen in Manchester, New Hampshire, to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technical fields.

The FRC Kickoff, the official start of the FIRST Robotics Competition design-and-build season, is set forJan. 3, 2015. Teams have the opportunity to meet at local kickoff events to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts and get geared up for the exciting competition season. To find kickoff events in your area, visit http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/kickoff.

For more information about FIRST Robotics and to register your team to participate, visithttp://www.usfirst.org/.

Questions about FIRST Robotics should be submitted via http://www.usfirst.org/contactform.

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2015 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, 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.

The competition is planned for June 8-13, 2015, in Worcester, and is anticipated to attract hundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.

Registration is open until Jan. 6, 2015.

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 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 Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.

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

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2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA has opened team registration for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. Organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event will be held April 16-18, 2015, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, also in Huntsville.

The challenge engages high school, college and university students in hands-on, experiential learning activities, while also testing potential technologies needed for future deep space exploration. Both U.S. and international teams may register to participate. For U.S. teams, registration closes Feb. 6, 2015. Registration for international teams closes Jan. 9, 2015.

Student teams participating in the Rover Challenge must design, engineer and test a human-powered rover on a mock course designed to simulate the harsh and demanding terrains future NASA explorers may find on distant planets, moons and asteroids.

For more information on the 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge and registration, visithttp://go.nasa.gov/14dikMF.

Follow the Rover Challenge on social media for the latest news and updates:
https://www.facebook.com/roverchallenge?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/RoverChallenge
http://instagram.com/nasa_marshall.

View images from the 2014 Rover Challenge at http://go.nasa.gov/1iEjGRp.

International teams with questions about this event or registration may email Amy McDowell atAmy.McDowell@nasa.gov. U.S. teams with questions may contact Diedra Williams at MSFC-RoverChallenge2015@mail.nasa.gov.

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2015 RASC-AL Aerospace Concepts Design Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2015 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage, or RASC-AL, Aerospace Concepts competition. RASC-AL is a design project competition for university-level engineering students and faculty.

The 2015 RASC-AL contest challenges participants to design projects based on real NASA problems, responding to one of four themes:
– Earth-Independent Mars Pioneering Architecture
– Earth-Independent Lunar Pioneering Architecture
– Mars’ Moons Prospector Mission
– Large-Scale Mars Entry, Decent and Landing Pathfinder Mission

Concepts derived from the design projects could potentially be implemented by NASA.

Teams must submit an abstract for their proposed project by Jan. 11, 2015. The RASC-AL Steering Committee of NASA and industry experts will evaluate the proposals and select as many as 11 undergraduate and five graduate teams to compete against each other at a forum in June 2015 in Florida.

The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group of universities may also collaborate on a design project entry. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit http://nianet.org/RASCAL.

If you have questions about this competition, please contact Stacy Dees at stacy.dees@nianet.org or Shelley Spears at Shelley.Spears@nianet.org.

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2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.

This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.

The second challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multiuser virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team′s design solutions.

Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME.

The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.

For more information, visit http://itpo.gsfc.nasa.gov/optimus/.

Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2014 Hasbro. All rights reserved.

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Free Program — Cubes in SpaceTM

idoodlelearning™ is offering two flight opportunities as part of the Cubes in Space program. A free science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM, program for students ages 11-18, Cubes in Space provides opportunities for students to design and compete to launch experiments into space.

In partnership with Colorado Space Grant Consortium as part of the RockSat-C program, experiments will be launched via a sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, in late June 2015. This opportunity is open to U.S. and international students 11-14 years of age.

Through partnership with NASA Langley Research Center, a second flight opportunity is offered on a zero-pressure scientific balloon to be launched from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, in September 2015. The Science Missions Directorate Astrophysics division manages the NASA scientific balloon program; Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia oversees Balloon Flight Operations. This opportunity is open to students 11-18 years of age who are U.S. citizens.

Using formal or informal learning environments, students and educators will learn about the methodology for taking an idea from design through the review process. Throughout the experience, students will acquire key 21st century skills necessary for success in a highly connected, global society.

The deadline for program registration is Jan. 12, 2015.

For more information, visit http://www.CubesInSpace.com.

Questions about this program should be directed to info@cubesinspace.com.

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National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge

The National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge is underway and seeking teams to propose innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, -based solutions for real-world problems. Teams must comprise community college students, a faculty mentor and a community or industry partner.

Challenge entries consist of two components: a written entry and a video entry. Each team’s entry must address one of the five themes outlined by the National Science Foundation. This year’s themes are Big Data, Infrastructure Security, Sustainability, Broadening Participation in STEM and Improving STEM Education.

Finalist teams will be invited to attend an Innovation Boot Camp, a professional development workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The entry submission deadline is Jan. 15, 2015.

For additional information about the challenge, visit http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/communitycollege/.

Questions about this challenge should be directed to InnovationChallenge@nsf.gov

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2015 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

Do you know K-12 teachers or district-level administrators who are making a difference in education through the use of technology? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or in the professional development of teachers.

Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are eligible for this award. School principals, superintendents or associate superintendents may nominate eligible candidates. The award will be presented in April 2015 at the Space Foundation’s 31st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The deadline for applications is Jan. 16, 2015.

Applications and more information are available online at http://www.astronautsmemorial.org/alan-shepard-award.html .

Questions about this award should be directed to amfreg@amfcse.org.

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Free Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series

Curious about icy bodies in the outer reaches of our solar system, the effects of space junk on deep-space observation, the latest discoveries about the origins of the universe and new ways galaxy formation is mapped? Come to the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series presented by Smithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. These speakers will share behind-the-scenes details about how their research is done and about technologies that advance new discoveries. The lectures will be held at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST and is followed by a Q&A session. Stay after the lecture to visit the museum’s observatory, weather permitting.

Jan. 24, 2015 — Observing the Origin of the Universe From the South Pole
After three years of observing from the South Pole, scientists may have found confirmation that the universe underwent a burst of inflationary growth at the time of the Big Bang. Cosmologist Colin Bischoff will discuss these findings as well as the excitement of astronomy from Antarctica.

Feb. 21, 2015 — Tracing the Structure of the Universe With Galaxy Surveys
Studies of galaxy formation and cosmology have exploded in recent years due to the immense data obtained from large galaxy surveys. Postdoctoral fellow Cameron McBride will discuss how observational data and theory are combined to better understand fundamental questions in our universe, and will highlight some exciting results from ongoing research.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/smithsonian-stars/.

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-2214.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM, or EONS, 2014 NASA Research Announcement for the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, Institutional Research Opportunity, or MIRO appendix. This effort was previously titled as the NASA University Research Centers Project, and has now been consolidated into the MUREP Program within the NASA Office of Education.

Through the EONS omnibus solicitation, the opportunity MIRO has been released. Through MIRO awards, NASA aims to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM literacy and to enhance and sustain the capability of minority serving institutions to perform NASA-related research and education, which directly support NASA’s four mission directorates — Aeronautics Research, Human Exploration and Space Operations, Science, and Space Technology.

The deadline for proposals has been extended to Jan. 30, 2015.

For more information regarding the MIRO solicitation, please visit the NASA EONS page on the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Proposal System, or NSPIRES, website at:http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7bB6C61D04-5793-EF52-3497-1AA57FA424A5%7d&path=open .

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2015 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is accepting applications for its 2015 Educational Partnership Program, or EPP, Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides scholarships for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields that directly support NOAA’s mission.

Participants receive total awards valued at up to $35,000 in total support during their junior and senior years. During the first summer, scholars complete a nine-week paid summer internship at NOAA in Silver Spring, Maryland. During the second summer, scholars complete paid internships at NOAA facilities across the country. A stipend and housing allowance is provided. At the end of both summer internships, students present the results of their projects at an education and science symposium in Silver Spring.

Students attending an accredited Minority Serving Institution within the United States or U.S. Territories as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) are eligible to apply for the program. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must earn and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

Applications are due Jan. 30, 2015.

For more information and to submit an online application, visit http://www.epp.noaa.gov/ssp_undergrad_page.html.

Questions about this scholarship opportunity should be directed to EPP.USP@noaa.gov.

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2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Caltech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, or SURF, project introduces undergraduate students to research under the guidance of seasoned mentors at Caltech or NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity and gain a more realistic view of the opportunities and demands of a professional research career.

SURF is modeled on the grant-seeking process. Students collaborate with potential mentors to define and develop a project and to write research proposals. Caltech faculty or JPL staff review the proposals and recommend awards. Students work over a 10-week period in the summer, mid-June to late August. At the conclusion of the project, each student will submit a technical paper and give an oral presentation at SURF Seminar Day.

All application materials must be received no later than Feb. 22, 2015. For more information, visithttp://www.sfp.caltech.edu/programs/surf.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to the Caltech Student-Faculty Programs office atsfp@caltech.edu.

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NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge

Registration now is open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, advancing communication and propulsion technologies for CubeSats. This is the agency’s first in-space competition and offers the agency’s largest-ever prize purse.

Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development. Competitors can compete for a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System, or SLS, or launch their satellite using an independent launch provider.

Challenge objectives include designing, building and launching flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon. The challenge and prize purse are divided into three major areas:

– Ground Tournaments: $500,000 in the four qualifying ground tournaments to determine who will have the ability to fly on the first SLS flight;
– Deep Space Derby: $1.5 million purse for demonstrating communication and CubeSat durability at a distance greater than almost 2.5 million miles (4,000,000 km), 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon; and
– Lunar Derby: $3 million purse for demonstrating the ability to place a CubeSat in a stable lunar orbit and demonstrate communication and durability near the moon.

The Cube Quest Challenge seeks to develop and test subsystems necessary to perform deep space exploration using small spacecraft. Advancements in small spacecraft capabilities will provide benefits to future missions and also may enable new mission scenarios, including future investigations of near-Earth asteroids.

All teams may compete in any one of the four ground tournaments. Teams that rate high on mission safety and probability of success will receive incremental awards. The ground tournaments, or GT, will be held every four to six months, and participation in GT4 is required to earn a secondary payload spot on SLS.

Teams must register at least 30 days prior to the ground tournament in which they plan to participate. Check the Cube Quest Challenge website for updates on when tournaments will take place.

The Lunar Derby focuses primarily on propulsion for small spacecraft and near-Earth communications, while the Deep Space Derby focuses on finding innovative solutions to deep space communications using small spacecraft. Together, these competitions will contribute to opening deep space exploration to nongovernment spacecraft.

For more information on the Cube Quest Challenge, visit http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest.

To learn more about NASA’s challenges and citizen science efforts, visit http://www.nasa.gov/solve.

Please direct any questions about the Cube Quest Challenge to James Cockrell atjames.j.cockrell@nasa.gov.