INSGC - Indiana Space Grant Consortium

NASA Education Express Update for December

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

New DIY Podcast Module Available -- Exploration Careers
Audience: 5-12 Educators and Students

Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System Web Seminar
Audience: 8-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. EST

2013 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: Dec. 9, 2012

Social Media Users Invited to Apply for Credentials to Attend NASA Airborne Earth Science Event
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: 7 p.m. EST on Dec. 10, 2012

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During December 2012

Online Professional Development Workshop: Big Answers From Small Bodies
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Event Date: Dec. 12, 2012

Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Dec. 13, 2012

2013 NASA High-Altitude Student Platform Opportunity
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Dec. 14, 2012

2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest
Audience: Grade 3-12 Students
Registration Deadline: Dec. 15, 2012

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 4 to the International Space Station
Audience: 5-Higher Education Educators and Students
Inquiry Deadline: Dec. 31, 2012

NASA Social Event at Next Landsat Launch
Audience: All Educators and Students 18+ Years Old
Registration Deadline: Noon EST on Jan. 2, 2013

2013 NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Students and Faculty
Notice of Intent Deadline: Jan. 15, 2013

2012-2013 Game Changing Engineering Design Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Students and Faculty
Notice of Intent Deadline: Jan. 15, 2013

Expeditions 35 and 36 In-flight Education Downlink Opportunities
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Jan. 18, 2013

Host a Real-Time Conversation With Crewmembers Aboard the International Space Station
Audience: All Educators
Proposal Deadline: Jan. 28, 2013

Electronic Professional Development Network Courses
Audience: K-12 Educators
Using Robotics to Enhance STEM Learning: Jan. 16 - Feb. 26, 2013
Project-Based Inquiry Learning: March 13 - April 16, 2013

2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest
Audience: 9-12 Students
Entry Deadline: April 15, 2013

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New DIY Podcast Module Available -- Exploration Careers

NASA's Do-It-Yourself Podcast's newest module, Exploration Careers, provides students with video clips, audio clips, and resources featuring various scientists, engineers and human resource specialists to offer insightful tips and information on various NASA career fields.

Even though the Space Shuttle Program has ended, NASA is still developing new technology and spacecraft to continue the mission to explore. Developing new spacecraft systems, improving life-support systems for long-term space travel, and studying the effects of extended visits in space on the human body require strong workforce knowledge and skill.

NASA depends on its workforce to fulfill its missions. Soon, many employees will be retiring, so NASA has another mission to complete. NASA will need to hire people with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to reach its goals. In fact, numerous federal agencies and private companies need workers with STEM skills. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that jobs in STEM fields are expected to grow faster than those in non-STEM fields from 2010-2020.

So, how do we get students interested in STEM careers? Sharing information on the vast array of STEM careers is important. And having students conduct hands-on STEM activities is crucial to developing problem-solving and other 21st-century skills that will be demanded by employers. Exposure to professionals working in STEM fields is a key element. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, having a mentor significantly influences students' decisions to pursue STEM degrees and jobs, especially for women and minorities.

Using the video and audio clips, students can create their own podcasts as they learn about STEM careers at NASA. Teachers can access the DIY Podcast blog to gather resources and information to supplement the Careers module.

Come on! It's time to integrate technology into your classrooms. And NASA's DIY Podcast has the tools and information to help you and your students succeed.

NASA’s DIY Podcast: Exploration Careers
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/diypodcast/exploration-careers-index-diy.html

NASA’s DIY Podcast Blog http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/newui/blog/viewpostlist.jsp?blogname=diyPodcastBlog

If you have questions or comments about NASA’s DIY Podcast, please email educationpodcast@nasa.gov.

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Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System 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 Dec. 6, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn about the science of heat transfer and heat dissipation related to NASA vehicles, and receive an introduction to the associated engineering design challenge, Thermal Protection System. In this activity, students are challenged to design a thermal protection system and test it using a propane torch.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar16.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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2013 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2013 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops, also known as RASC-AL Robo-Ops, competition. This design competition is aimed at university-level engineering students.

The RASC-AL Robo-Ops contest challenges participants to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities in field tests at NASA's Johnson Space Center’s, or JSC's, Rock Yard. Up to three members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) may travel to JSC for the onsite testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct mission control tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the university-based team members and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing a variety of tasks. The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through onboard rover video camera(s) or other onboard sensors.

Teams will be required to do an education and outreach activity for their rovers that demonstrates participatory exploration approaches for future NASA missions.

Teams must submit a project plan for their proposed project by Dec. 9, 2012. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops Steering Committee of NASA experts will evaluate the project plans and select as many as eight teams to compete against each other at the Rock Yard in June 2013.

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. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

For more information about this competition, visit http://www.nianet.org/RoboOps-2013/index.aspx.

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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Social Media Users Invited to Apply for Credentials to Attend NASA Airborne Earth Science Event

NASA is inviting social media followers for a behind-the-scenes look at several airborne Earth science missions during an event on Jan. 25, 2013, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

Social media users may apply for credentials to meet scientists and learn how they study the Earth using specialized science instruments on a unique fleet of aircraft.

Three major Earth science missions that will be airborne studying air pollution and climate change next month will be featured.

-- NASA's high-altitude unmanned Global Hawk aircraft will fly six miles above the surface to a region of the atmosphere that controls the entry of pollutants and other gases into the stratosphere. NASA's Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) will look at how these gases influence Earth's climate, ozone layer and energy budget.

-- Two NASA planes will fly over the San Joaquin Valley to measure air pollution this winter. They are part of a five-year NASA science campaign called DISCOVER-AQ, which is working to improve the ability of satellites to observe air quality in the lowest part of the atmosphere. The goal is to better monitor pollution from satellites, so scientists can make better air quality forecasts and more accurately determine the source of pollution.

-- NASA's high-altitude ER-2 will fly three state-of-the-art instruments to develop new orbiting sensors to better measure aerosol and cloud physical properties around the world. These new instruments, part of the Polar Definition Experiment, show great promise for advancing aerosol measurements from space. Tiny aerosol particles can be found over oceans, deserts, mountains and forests. Despite their small size, aerosols have major impacts on our climate and our health.

Social media users selected to attend the event will be given the same access as news media. Individuals who actively collect, report, analyze and disseminate news on social networking platforms are encouraged to apply for credentials. Selection is not random. Those chosen must demonstrate through the registration process they meet specific engagement criteria. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A maximum of 50 participants will be chosen from online registrations.

NASA social media accreditation opens at noon EST (9 a.m. PST), Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Foreign national and U.S. social media users must apply for credentials by 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST), Monday, Dec.10, 2012.

For more information about NASA social media accreditation requirements and to register for the event, visit http://www.nasa.gov/social.

For more information about NASA's Airborne Science Program, visit http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/.

For more information about NASA's Earth Science Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/earth.

Questions about this NASA Social event should be directed to HQ-Social@mail.nasa.gov.

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Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project

The Aerospace Education Services Project is presenting a series of free webinars throughout December 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Join aerospace education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.

Planetary Modeling Dough: Solar System Scale Model (Grades 3-8)
Dec. 11, 2012, 5 - 6 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will lead participants through activities that use simple clay materials to create a scale model of the relative masses and sizes of the planets (including the dwarf planet, Pluto). This activity will help educators dispel some of the common misconceptions about the solar system.

Solar Energy: Power for Earth, the Space Station and Exploring Other Worlds! (Grades 6-12)
Dec. 12, 2012, 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 7 - 8 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Brandon Hargis will introduce participants to a problem-based learning activity that requires students to propose and defend a design to provide power to a lunar or Martian research habitat for six explorers. This webinar is part of the Department of Education Green Strides webinar series.

Ignite Learning Using the RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge (Grades 8-12)
Dec. 13, 2012, 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Sharon Bowers will introduce participants to the RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge, a free web-based engineering design challenge that offers students a change to redesign components of the James Webb Space Telescope.

How Do We Know the Climate Is Changing? NASA Climate Kids (Grades 2-8)
Dec. 18, 2012, 4 - 5 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will lead participants on an exploration of the “Climate Kids” and “Eyes on the Earth” educator materials. Participants will also learn how to use real-time data to explain the effects of climate change on the arctic ice caps.

Chipmunk Cheeks and Chicken Legs: Body Systems and Life in Space (Grades K-12)
Dec. 19, 2012, 4 - 6 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Rachelle Oblack will lead participants on an exploration of the circulatory, nervous, vestibular and musculoskeletal systems with hands-on activities and demonstrations. A full downloadable educator guide will be shared. This webinar is part of the Department of Education Green Strides webinar series.

For more information about these webinars, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Katie Hayden at Katie.S.Hayden@nasa.gov.

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Online Professional Development Workshop: Big Answers From Small Bodies

John Ensworth at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and the NASA Science Mission Directorate invite you to attend an upcoming online professional development workshop.

Big Answers From Small Bodies: What the Main Asteroid Belt Is Telling Us About the Early Solar System

This online workshop will feature Dr. Carol Raymond, the deputy principal investigator for the Dawn mission. The goal of the Dawn mission is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formations, Vesta and Ceres. Raymond's other research interests include solar system evolution, sun-Earth magnetic interactions, and quantifying post-glacial rebound in Antarctica.

Dr. Raymond will discuss the recent progress in modeling of early solar system dynamics during the planet-forming era (including the "Nice" model and related work), as well as the chemical and physical characteristics of the main asteroid belt (including a brief description of all the asteroids for context). She will place this in the context of what we knew pre-Dawn and what we have learned from Dawn's Vesta data. Dr. Raymond will then look forward to Ceres and what may be learned from that encounter.

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Time: 1:00 p.m., EST (Greenwich Mean Time -05:00, New York)

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To join the online meeting (Now from iPhones and other Smartphones too!)

1. Go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/j.php?ED=191386442&UID=0&PW=NYTI2NTMyYTUw&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D.
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the meeting password: iges*123.
4. Click "Join Now".

To view in other time zones or languages, go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/j.php?ED=191386442&UID=0&PW=NYTI2NTMyYTUw&ORT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D.

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Closed Captions will be made available:

At the start time of the event, please log in to your event by clicking on the link below.
http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=2066099&CustomerID=321
Alternately, you can visit http://www.fedrcc.us/ and input your event confirmation number, 2066099.

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To join the audio conference only:

For the audio portion of the meeting, please dial:
877-633-9743
And use passcode: 8226297

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An archive of this video will be available within a few weeks of this date at http://video.strategies.org/.
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For assistance:

1. Go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/mc.
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support."

Questions about this event can be directed to John Ensworth by email at john.d.ensworth@nasa.gov or by phone at 1-703-312-0563.

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To check the setup of your computer and preinstall the plug-in software, use the following links:

Downloads


The host requests that you check for compatibility of rich media players for Universal Communications Format, or UCF, before you join the session. UCF allows you to view multimedia during the session. To check now, click the following link: https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/systemdiagnosis.php.

Meeting Manager for Microsoft® Windows® - MSI Installer

-- Meeting Center automatically downloads, installs and configures Meeting Manager for Windows the first time you start or join a WebEx meeting. However, you may choose to download and run the Meeting Manager Installer before starting or joining a meeting. You must have administrator privileges on your computer to use this installer.
--Download Meeting Manager Installer for Internet Explorer https://nasa.webex.com/client/T25L/atmcie.msi
-- Download Meeting Manager Installer for Mozilla Firefox/Netscape Navigator https://nasa.webex.com/client/T25L/atmcns.msi

Meeting Manager for Mac® OS X (PowerPC)

-- Meeting Manager for Mac OS X (PowerPC) is set up automatically the first time you start or join a meeting. The Installer for Mac OS X (PowerPC) can be used to manually install or uninstall Meeting Manager for Mac OS X (PowerPC).

Download Meeting Manager Installer for Mac OS X (PowerPC) https://nasa.webex.com/client/T25L/mac/powerpc/webexinstaller.hqx.

iPhone and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
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Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute professional development Web seminar for educators on Dec. 13, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Participants will learn to use the data from NASA's research satellite program in their meteorology lessons. This Web seminar features "Monitoring the Global Environment," one of eight modules within the satellite meteorology course. The activities within this module incorporate the use of authentic data acquired by NASA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites. Attendees will learn how to locate and download satellite data then use the data to create graphs.

For more information and to register online, visit http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar17.aspx.

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.

Email any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at NASA-Explorer-Schools@mail.nasa.gov.

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2013 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, N.M. 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 Grant Consortium.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 14, 2012.

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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2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest

NASA has opened registration for the 2012 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest. Featuring OPTIMUS PRIME, the leader from the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, the contest highlights spinoffs from NASA technologies that are used on Earth. The goal is to help students understand the benefits of NASA technology to their daily lives.

Each student, or group of students, will submit a three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed in NASA’s 2011 “Spinoff” publication. Videos must demonstrate an understanding of the NASA spinoff technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as the commercial application and public benefit associated with the spinoff technology.

Participants must register for the contest by Dec. 15, 2012.

Video entries will be posted on the NASA YouTube channel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. The top five submissions from each of the three grade groups (elementary [3rd-5th], middle [6th-8th] and high school [9th-12th]) will advance for final judging. A NASA panel will select a winning entry from each group. The students submitting the winning entries will be the guests of honor at the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest awards ceremony in May 2013. While there, the winners will receive the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Contest trophy and have the opportunity to meet NASA VIPs, astronauts and actor Peter Cullen, who voices the character OPTIMUS PRIME.

TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2012 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/releases/2012/12-077.html.

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

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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 4 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 a new opportunity for communities across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP, flight opportunity, Mission 4 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 International Space Station.

Each participating community will be provided a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment, and all launch services to fly the mini-lab to the space station in fall 2013 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community -- engaging 300+ students -- allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community’s reserved mini-lab. 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 science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or 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. 31, 2012. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

The first two SSEP flight opportunities saw experiments flown on the final flights of space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis. These missions engaged 27 communities, providing a combined 30,700 students in grades 5-14 the opportunity to participate, 977 student team proposals were received and 27 experiments were selected and flown on the shuttles. 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 39 experiments were flown to space station on the SpaceX Dragon vehicle. The Mission 3 payload of 17 experiments is expected to fly to the space station in April 2013.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 4 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at http://ssep.ncesse.org/2012/11/announcing-student-spaceflight-experiment-program-ssep-mission-4-to-the-international-space-station-for-2013/.

SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in the U.S., and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It 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  is a National Partner on SSEP.

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

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NASA Social Event at Next Landsat Launch

NASA invites social media followers to a unique two-day NASA Social event on Feb. 10-11, 2013, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The event will bring 80 social media users together to witness the launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, a satellite that continues a record-breaking 40 years of Earth observations.

NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes tour of Vandenberg Air Force Base's Western Range, including a rare look inside the launch control center, tours of the launchpad and mission control and a visit to Vandenberg's on-base private museum. Participants will also hear first-hand accounts by the Landsat Mission science and engineering teams and meet fellow science enthusiasts who are active on social media.

On launch day, NASA Social participants and their friends and families are invited to a special public viewing area to watch the Landsat launch.

Registration is open until noon EST on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. NASA will select 80 participants at random from Web registrants. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Because of space limitations, those selected will not be permitted to bring a guest on tours. Each participant must be age 18 or older.

For more NASA Social and sign up information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/social.

To join and track the conversation online during the NASA Socials, follow the hashtags #NASASocial and #Landsat.

To learn more about the Landsat series of Earth-observing satellites, visit http://www.nasa.gov/Landsat.

Questions about this NASA Social event should be directed to HQ-Social@mail.nasa.gov.

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2013 NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge

NASA invites college teams to take part in the 2013 NASA Aeronautics Mission Directorate's Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge. Students are invited to propose an unmanned aerial firefighting system to battle a wildfire raging in a drought-stricken area. Design assessment will be based on projected effectiveness, cost, innovation, and ease of use and operation inside the National Air Space.

The contest is open to teams of full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions of the United States or its territories. This category includes universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges, professional schools, etc. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

A notice of intent is due Jan. 15, 2013. Final entries are due May 3, 2013.

For more information and a complete list of rules, visit https://aero.larc.nasa.gov/competitions_univ.htm.

Questions about the challenge should be directed to Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.

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2012-2013 Game Changing Engineering Design Challenge

NASA invites college student teams to enter the 2013 Game Changing Engineering Design Challenge. Student teams are asked to design a thermal control system for a manned space station in low lunar orbit. Designs must accommodate a six-person crew, maintain acceptable temperatures for avionics components, and provide a healthy environment for the crew. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

The contest is open to student teams from post-secondary institutions in the United States or its territories. This category includes universities, colleges, trade schools, community colleges, professional schools, etc.

Finalists will be invited to present their work to NASA engineers and tour a NASA center.

A notice of intent is due Jan. 15, 2013. Final entries are due on April 29, 2013.

For more information and a complete list of rules, visit http://spacetech.larc.nasa.gov.

Questions about the challenge should be directed to Elizabeth Ward at Elizabeth.B.Ward@nasa.gov.

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Expeditions 35 and 36 In-flight Education Downlink Opportunities

NASA is seeking formal and informal educational organizations, individually or working together, to host live, in-flight education downlinks during Expeditions 35 and 36 (approximately from March 2013 to September 2013). To maximize these downlink opportunities, NASA is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the downlinks into well-developed education plans.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Jan. 18, 2013.

During Expeditions 35 and 36, crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in downlinks. Downlinks take approximately 20 minutes and allow students and educators to interact with astronauts through a question-and-answer session. Downlinks afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space. Downlinks are broadcast live on NASA TV and are streamed on the NASA website. Because of the nature of human spaceflight, organizations must demonstrate the flexibility to accommodate changes in downlink dates and times.

Interested organizations should visit http://www.nasa.gov/education/tfs/downlinks to learn more or contact Teaching From Space at JSC-Teaching-From-Space@mail.nasa.gov.

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

NASA 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, 2013, and Nov 1, 2013. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, NASA is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Proposals are due Jan. 28, 2013.

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. The technology is easier to acquire than ever before. ARISS has a network of mentors to help organizations obtain the technology required to host this once in a lifetime opportunity for students.

Interested parties should visit www.nasa.gov/education/tfs/ariss 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 JSC-TFS-ARISS@mail.nasa.gov.

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Electronic Professional Development Network Courses

NASA’s Learning Environments and Research Network and the Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up to create the Electronic Professional Development Network, or e-PDN, an initiative dedicated to preparing K-12 teachers to engage their students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, through the use of NASA-developed learning materials and resources.

If you are 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, apply to one of our free courses today!

Applications are now open for the following courses:

Using Robotics to Enhance STEM Learning -- Jan. 16 - Feb. 26, 2013
Learn how to build and program LEGO Mindstorm robots and use them to promote student engagement and conceptual understanding of mathematics, science and engineering. Explore robotic manipulators and end effectors like NASA uses on the International Space Station, and integrate multiple sensors into your robot to allow for systematic control. Join your colleagues in the Grand Challenge to design, build and program a robot to explore an environment and return with a sample for investigation.

Project-Based Inquiry Learning: Science Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century -- March 13 - April 16, 2013
Develop your skills in designing and using project-based inquiry learning, or PBIL, to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning and problem solving in standards-based classrooms. Experience and analyze two NASA-oriented PBIL projects firsthand; learn PBIL curriculum design strategies and methods; and design a PBIL unit for use in your classroom. Use e-PDN’s suite of online tools to collaborate, connect and create with other course participants.

To learn more about these free courses and to apply online, visit https://nasaepdn.gatech.edu/certificates/course-schedule.

For more information on the ePDN and the resources it offers to K-12 teachers, visit www.nasaepdn.gatech.edu.

Questions about these courses should be directed to Kristen Anderson at kristen.anderson@pe.gatech.edu.

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2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is currently accepting entries for the 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest. The contest is open to U.S. students in grades 9-12. Entries should demonstrate the best use of geospatial tools or data to study our home planet. Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems and the Global Positioning System. The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data to study a problem related to Earth's environment.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Students in public, private, parochial, Native American reservation and home schools are eligible. Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams. Cash awards will be given to students in the top three places. Awards will also be given to the winning students' teachers.

Entries must be postmarked by April 15, 2013. Entries may also be submitted electronically.

For more information, visit http://strategies.org/education/student-contests/thacher-contest/2013-thacher-environmental-research-contest/.

Questions about this contest should be emailed to ThacherScholars@strategies.org.