INSGC - Indiana Space Grant Consortium

NASA Education Express Update For February 7th

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

IRIS Challenge: Tracking a Solar Storm
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Registration Open Now, Challenge Begins February 2013

Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Web Seminar
Audience: 4-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Feb. 7, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST

2013 NASA Student Airborne Research Program
Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
Application Deadline: Feb. 8, 2013

National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events
Audience: All Educators and Students
Next Event: Feb. 9, 2013

Plan a Launch Party to Celebrate the Landsat Data Continuity Mission
Audience: All Educators and Students
Launch Date: Feb. 11, 2013

Free Education Webinar Series from the Aerospace Education Services Project
Audience: K-12 Educators
Event Dates: Various Dates During February 2013

Engineering Design Process: On the Moon Educator Guide Web Seminar
Audience: 6-12 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Feb. 13, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST

Newton's Laws of Motion: Lunar Nautics Web Seminar
Audience: 5-8 and Informal Educators
Event Date: Feb. 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST

NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2013

Free Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series
Audience: All Educators and 9-Higher Education Students
Next Lecture Date: Feb. 16, 2013

Pre-Proposal Telecon -- NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)
Audience: Informal Education Institutions
Pre-Proposal Telecon: Feb. 20, 1-3 p.m. EST
Proposal Due Date: April 9, 2013

Call for Abstracts: 64th International Astronautical Congress
Audience: Full-time Graduate Students
Submission Deadline: Feb. 21, 2013

The Search for Life Beyond Earth: Mars Educator Conference
Audience: K-12 and Informal Educators
Registration Deadline: Feb. 26, 2013
Conference Date: March 2, 2013

What If? Live Student Design Challenge
Audience: Students Age 14-18
Registration Deadline: Feb. 28, 2013

Titan and Europa Essay Contest
Audience: 5-12 Students
Entry Deadline: Feb. 28, 2013

Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use
Audience: Educational Institutions, Museums and Other Education Organizations
Deadline: March 4, 2013

Pennsylvania Space Grant Workshops
Audience: 4-12 Educators
Workshop Dates: Multiple dates July - August 2013
Application Deadline: March 17, 2013

Pre-Service Teacher Institutes at NASA's Johnson Space Center
Audience: Higher Education Students
Application Deadline: April 1, 2013
Institute Dates: June 10-14 and 24-28, 2013

Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare
Audience: All Educators and Students

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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IRIS Challenge: Tracking a Solar Storm

Join the Tracking a Solar Storm Challenge and guide students as they learn about the sun’s anatomy, the space weather it generates and why studying the sun is important.

This challenge is designed around NASA’s solar mission Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS. Scheduled to launch in April 2013, the IRIS spacecraft will study the dynamics of the interface region of our sun’s atmosphere using an ultraviolet telescope and imaging spectrograph. As students participate in the challenge, they will learn more about the IRIS mission and the instruments that scientists use to gather solar data.

An educators’ guide for the IRIS challenge is available on the Tracking a Solar Storm website and includes key information for helping students study the sun’s weather, track a solar storm and predict its effect on Earth. Students will demonstrate what they have learned by collecting data and producing a space weather report.

The challenge will run February - May 2013

To learn more about the challenge, visit http://irischallenge.arc.nasa.gov/.

Educators are invited to register now at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZRBWQQK to receive updates as the challenge develops.

Please email any questions about this challenge to Linda Conrad at arc-quest-challenge@mail.nasa.gov.

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Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Feb. 7, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn how to incorporate exciting space exploration problems into your technology or life science classes. See how you can use the engineering design process to have students design, build and evaluate the effectiveness of a lunar plant growth chambers while engaging them in research and standards-based learning experiences.

This seminar will be repeated on May 9, 2013.

For more information and to register online, visithttp://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar25.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 NASA Student Airborne Research Program

The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated junior and senior undergraduate students to apply for the NASA Student Airborne Research Program, also known as SARP, 2013. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign, from detailed planning on how to achieve mission objectives to formal presentation of results and conclusions to peers and others. Students will assist in the operation of airborne instruments onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft.

The program takes place in summer 2013. Instrument and flight preparations, and the research flights themselves, will occur at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. Data analysis will take place at the University of California, Irvine.

Successful applicants will be awarded a stipend and meals allowance for eight weeks of participation in the program. Round-trip travel to California, housing and transportation will be provided.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 8, 2013.

For more information and to download the program application, visithttp://www.nserc.und.edu/learning/SARP2013.html.

Specific questions about the program should be directed to SARP2013@nserc.und.edu.

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National Air and Space Museum Super Science Saturday Events

Join the National Air and Space Museum on the second Saturday of each month during 2013 for Super Science Saturday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. Each event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Admission is free, and parking is $15.

Upcoming topics include: 

Feb. 9, 2013 -- Scientists and Inventors
March 9, 2013 -- The Space Shuttle
April 13, 2013 -- How Things Fly
May 11, 2013 -- Astronomy
June 8, 2013 -- Energy
July 13, 2013 -- Weather
Aug. 10, 2013 -- Helicopters
Sept. 14, 2013 -- Living and Working in Space
Oct. 12, 2013 -- Balloons and Blimps
Nov. 9, 2013 -- The Moon and Beyond
Dec. 14, 2013 -- The Wright Brothers

For more information, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/superscience/.

Questions about this series of lectures should be directed to nasmpubliclectures@si.edu.

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Plan a Launch Party to Celebrate the Landsat Data Continuity Mission

Did you know that the longest continuous view of Earth from space comes from the Landsat satellite program? Its 40-year archive offers a priceless record of changing communities and landscapes. The record continues onFeb. 11, 2013, when NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey are scheduled to launch the eighth Landsat satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission.

Join others across the planet in celebration of this much anticipated event by hosting a launch party! Planning and hosting your own launch party with NASA resources is fun and easy, and it's a wonderful way to engage your community in your interests and the work you do.

For more information, including activities, decorations and other Landsat resources, visit http://launchkit-ldcm.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Tune in to NASA TV to watch the launch and launch events live, including talks from NASA scientists and engineers. 

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission Launch Party website.

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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 February 2013. 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. 

What Is the Effect of Clouds on Earth's Climate? (Grades 4-8)
Feb. 11, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Brandon Hargis will present the CERES S'COOL Project. S'COOL involves students in real science, making and reporting ground observations of clouds to assist in the validation of NASA's CERES satellite instruments. Participants will practice a simulated cloud-observations and review sample student activities and lesson plans.

Engineering Design Challenge: Spaghetti Tower (Grades 5-8)
Feb. 12, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Angelo Casaburri will compare the scientific method and the engineering design process. Participants will use the design process to identify the problem and brainstorm, design, build, test, redesign and share solutions about constructing the tallest skyscraper using uncooked spaghetti noodles.

NASA Envisions "Clean Energy" From Algae Grown in Waste Water (Grades K-12)
Feb. 13, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Tony Leavitt will discuss the process proposed by NASA scientists to produce "clean energy" biofuels. The process cleans waste water, removes carbon dioxide from the air, retains important nutrients and does not compete with agriculture for land or freshwater. This webinar is part of the Department of Education Green Strides webinar series.

I Want to Hold Your Hand (Grades 2-5)
Feb. 19, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Beth White will lead participants in an activity to construct a simple robotic-like hand using low-cost materials. Participants will demonstrate how data is collected when using robotic technology.

Climate Time Machine (Grades K-12)
Feb. 20, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Sandy Kaszynski will help participants get to know NASA's climate website. Learn how to find resources for teaching or learning about what we know and how we know about what's happening to Earth. This webinar is part of the Department of Education Green Strides webinar series

Quantifying Changes Over Time (Grades 4-10)
Feb. 25, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will discuss the Landsat missions, one of the longest running Earth observation missions. Participants will compare remote sensing images of Earth taken across periods of time to reflect changes to the observed areas that are both natural and influenced by humans.

Blue Marble Matches: Comparing Earth's Features to the Other Planets (Grades 4-12)
Feb. 26, 2013, at 4 - 5 p.m. EST and 6 - 7 p.m. EST
Aerospace education specialist Susan Kohler will present an activity designed to introduce students to the geologic processes on Earth. In the activity, students take on the roles of geologists and planetary scientists as they observe and interpret satellite photography and use data to explain the features on distant planets.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through March 2013, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Chris Gamrat at gamrat@psu.edu.

The U.S. Department of Education has Green Strides webinars scheduled throughout 2013. To see a full list of Green Strides webinars, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/webinar.html

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Engineering Design Process: On the Moon Educator Guide 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 live professional development Web seminar on Feb. 13, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. EST. This seminar showcases two lessons from the “On the Moon” educator guide: “On Target” and “Feel the Heat.” Learn how to use the engineering design process to challenge students to solve problems related to exploring the moon. This session will fully prepare you to implement these activities in your classroom.

This is the last time during this school year that this Web seminar will be offered.

For more information and to register online, visit URLhttp://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar5.aspx.

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

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

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Newton's Laws of Motion: Lunar Nautics 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 Web seminar on Feb. 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EST. This Web seminar features three lessons for grades 5-8, focusing on a real-world understanding of Newton's Laws of Motion and addresses common misconceptions associated with the laws. The featured lessons are Rocket Staging: Balloon Staging, Lunar Landing: Swinging Tray and Lunar Base Supply Egg Drop.

This is the final time during this school year that this seminar will be offered.

For more information and to register online, visithttp://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES3/webseminar1.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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NASA’s REEL Science Communication Contest

So you want to be a NASA producer? NASA is looking for talented high school students to create videos that engage students in earth science.

Students are consuming over 10 hours of media each day, and video is increasingly important to reach and engage this audience about science. NASA earth science missions are kicking off a new video contest challenging high school students to produce a two-minute video for middle school students. The videos should focus on one of three topics: Ozone in the Stratosphere, Ship Tracks and Our Environment, or The Water of the Water Planet.

Winning videos will be posted on NASA’s website. Winners will also get the opportunity to be a NASA producer working with NASA scientists and communication experts in July 2013 to produce an earth science feature video.

The deadline for submitting videos is Feb. 15, 2013.

-- NEW! Director's Cut Video from NASA Producer Ali Ogden --

NASA producer Ali Ogden created a video, which shares her insight about producing a video feature for NASA. In this director's cut version of her Montreal Protocol story, Ali provides practical advice about audience, thinking visually, story and post-production. These practical tips for video production will help students with the REEL Science Contest. To view Ogden's video, visit http://aura.gsfc.nasa.gov/reelscience-video.html.

For more information and instructions for submitting a video, visit http://aura.gsfc.nasa.gov/reelscience.

Questions about this contest should be emailed to Ginger Butcher at ginger.butcher-1@nasa.gov.

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Free Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series

Curious about our nearest star, moon rocks, volcanoes and other wonders of the universe? Come to the Smithsonian's Stars, a series of 10 lectures 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 technologies that advance new discoveries at the Smithsonian Institution.

Each lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. and is followed by a question-and-answer session. A Discovery Station activity will take place at 4 p.m. prior to each lecture. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

Feb. 16, 2013 -- Venus: 50 Years After Mariner 2
Fifty years ago Mariner 2 flew past Venus, becoming the first space probe to explore another planet. But Venus, our nearest neighbor, still holds many mysteries. Geophysicist Bruce Campbell will discuss what is known about Venus, including how it differs from Earth, and how future explorers may provide crucial clues to understanding this hot, dry world.

Feb. 23, 2013 -- A Universe of Data: How We Get Science Out of Space Telescopes
This century has seen stunning cosmic discoveries. The digital age has given everyone free access to space data; the trick is to turn that data into quantitative science and pictures that tell a story. Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell will use images from the Chandra Space Telescope to help explain how astronomers study space in the computer age.

March 2, 2013 -- Robots and Humans Unite
The universe is far older and vaster than anyone imagined a century ago. To help scientists map the structure and evolution of the universe, a special instrument called a Hectospec was needed. A Hectospec uses the precision technology of optical fibers placed by delicate but very fast robots. Senior Physicist Dan Fabricant will discuss how the Hectospec was developed, how it works and how it is used by astronomers for scientific discovery.

For more information about the Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series and to see a full schedule of upcoming lectures, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/events/lectures/stars/index.cfm.

Questions about this lecture series should be directed to the visitor service line at 202-633-1000. 

The Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.

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Pre-Proposal Telecon -- NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH13ZHA001N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)

A pre-proposal teleconference will be held on Feb. 20, 2013 from 1-3 p.m. EST. Prospective proposers are requested to submit any questions in writing to CP4SMP@jpl.nasa.gov no later than four  business days before the teleconference date so that NASA will be prepared to cover as much information as possible at the teleconference. NASA plans to post written questions and answers, and teleconference charts to the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System, or NSPIRES, website. The teleconference will provide an opportunity to ask questions and solicit clarifications from proposers. To dial into the teleconference, call 1-888-469-1385. Everyone is encouraged to dial in 15-20 minutes in advance to allow time for the operators to take roll and add you to the telecon. The participant passcode is CP4SMP. For relay services for the hearing impaired, call 711 at least 30 minutes before the call is to begin.

For more information about this opportunity, visit https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId=%7B37764C2A-F415-01DF-1B30-F1971BE7F8BE%7D&path=open.

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Call for Abstracts: 64th International Astronautical Congress

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 64th International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time graduate students attending U.S. universities or colleges respond to this call for abstracts. The IAC, which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF, the International Academy of Astronautics and the International Institute of Space Law, is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1,000 scientific papers every year. 

The upcoming IAC will be held Sept. 23-27, 2013, in Beijing, China. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to connect NASA with the international astronautical and space communities.

The IAC has posted a "Call for Abstracts," with a submission deadline of Feb. 21, 2013. NASA plans to also announce a "Call for Abstracts" inviting graduate students to submit abstracts (of no more than 400 words) to participate in the 64th International Astronautical Congress. Abstracts must be submitted to NASA and to the IAF. Details on the NASA "Call for Abstracts" will be distributed by mid-January, with the same submission deadline of Feb. 21, 2013. The selected NASA-sponsored students must also be selected by the IAF.

Please visit the IAC website (http://www.iac2013.org/) for additional information about the Congress and to obtain information about the "Call for Abstracts."

Important IAC Deadlines:

-- Abstract submission closes Feb. 21, 2013.
-- Paper submission closes Sept. 4, 2013.
-- Presentation submission closes Sept. 18, 2013.

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Carolyn Knowles at carolyn.knowles-1@nasa.gov.

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The Search for Life Beyond Earth: Mars Educator Conference

Bring your classroom along to share NASA's great quest for habitable environments beyond Earth, starting with Gale Crater on Mars. Using NASA's newest rover, Curiosity, learn how to use NASA astrobiology and the exploration of Mars to enhance life science and physical science topics in your classroom. Engage your students to think critically about big questions, such as “What are the conditions for life?” and “Is there life beyond Earth?”

Special Mars and astrobiology guest presenters from NASA will share the latest news. NASA education specialists will show hands-on activities relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help educators extend their students' learning and demonstrate how activities align to the Next Generation Science Standards. Conference participants will receive lesson plans, NASA materials and resources

The conference will take place on March 2, 2013, at the Arizona State University main campus in Tempe, Ariz.

The conference is free, but registration is required before Feb. 26, 2013

For more information and to register for the conference, visit http://marsed.asu.edu/registerSP2013.

Questions about the workshop should be directed to mars@asu.edu.

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What If? Live Student Design Challenge

Candy, soda and other everyday items will be the tools of the trade for teenage rocket makers competing in the What If? Live Student Design Challenge. Registration is open through Feb. 28, 2013, for the worldwide contest, in which 14- to 18-year-old students will design experimental propulsion systems using materials that are inexpensive and easy to obtain.

The challenge is designed to excite students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to develop students' creative and analytical abilities by learning about the growing need for green fuels and designing a vehicle propulsion system using commonly available materials, including sweet treats and carbonated beverages. Students may work alone or in groups of as many as four. Participants must create a research plan, write a research paper, develop and build the propulsion system, make a video showing the vehicle in action and submit the video to judges via YouTube.com.

A panel of scientists, astronauts and educators will judge the entries and select finalists. There will be one winning design in each age category. Winners will be announced in May and will receive special recognition from NASA and Ahoora.

To register, submit research and learn more about vehicle design, the official rules and other information about the What If? Live Student Design Challenge, including view a two-minute video of the propulsion system in action, visit http://www.whatifprize.org.

Questions about this contest should be emailed to info@whatifprize.org.

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Titan and Europa Essay Contest

NASA scientists want to know where students in grades 5-12 think NASA's next big mission to the outer solar system should go: Saturn's moon, Titan, or Jupiter's moon, Europa. Both of these moons are fascinating places to explore. Learn why astrobiologists want to explore these worlds.

The Titan and Europa Essay Contest challenges students to learn more about astrobiology and the engineering challenges of exploring Titan and Europa. After watching short videos and learning about both moons and how missions to explore each would work, students should write an essay (no longer than 500 words) to explain why NASA should go to Titan or to Europa.

Essays must be submitted by a teacher by Feb. 28, 2013.

NASA will send certificates of participation to all students who enter the contest. Winning essays will be posted on a NASA website, and the winners and their classes will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer teleconference, videoconference or webchat with NASA scientists. 

This contest is sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, with participation from the Titan Astrobiology team and the Astrobiology of Icy Worlds team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. 

For more information, visit http://icyworlds.jpl.nasa.gov/contest/

If you have questions about this contest, please email titaneuropa@jpl.nasa.gov.

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Historical NASA Space Artifacts Available for Educational Use

NASA is inviting eligible educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical space artifacts.

The artifacts represent significant human spaceflight technologies and processes and the accomplishments of NASA's many programs. NASA and the General Services Administration worked together to ensure broad access to space artifacts and to provide a Web-based electronic artifacts viewing capability. The Web-based artifacts module is located at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.

Eligible participants may view the artifacts and request specific items at the website through March 4, 2013. Only schools and museums are eligible to receive artifacts. They must register online using an assigned Department of Education number, or through the state agency for surplus property in their state.

The artifacts are free of charge. Eligible organizations must cover shipping costs and any special handling fees. Shipping fees on smaller items will be relatively inexpensive, while larger items may involve extensive disassembly, preparation, shipping and reassembly costs. NASA will work closely with eligible organizations, on a case-by-case basis, to address any unique special handling costs.

Special items, such as space shuttle thermal protective tiles and packages of three packets of astronaut food, also are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Instructions for requesting artifacts and special items are linked on the website home page.

To date, more than 7,500 artifacts from programs, including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, space shuttle and the Hubble Space Telescope, have been given to eligible museums, schools, universities, libraries and planetariums in all 50 U.S. states.

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

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Pennsylvania Space Grant Workshops

Keep pace with the latest science research, engage in standards-based classroom activities and explore ways to make science fun while working with Penn State faculty during these summer workshops for inservice science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, educators. Network with peers and earn graduate credits. Workshops are aligned with the national science education standards and Pennsylvania standards for science and technology. 

All workshops take place on Penn State campus facilities in Pennsylvania. Grants are awarded to all participants to cover lodging, parking, some meals and partial tuition. 

Applications for all workshops are due March 17, 2013.

Black Holes: Gravity's Fatal Attraction (Grades 6-12) -- July 15-19, 2013
Delve into the predicted properties of black holes, the astronomical evidence for their existence and their importance in the cosmos. Modern ideas about gravity, space and time will also be explored.

http://teachscience.psu.edu/workshops/black_holes.html

Astrobiology for Educators: Is There Life Beyond Our Planet? And How Would We Know? (Grades 4-12) -- July 22-26, 2013
Participants will be introduced to science content related to the cutting-edge field of astrobiology. Participants will explore the latest discoveries in the search for conditions needed to support life on other planets.
http://www.abington.psu.edu/continuing-education/astrobiology-educators

Hands-On Particle Astrophysics (Grades 9-12) -- July 22-26, 2013
Participants will get a brief overview of modern particle physics and explore various astrophysics topics. Instructors will help participants build and use devices made from household materials to detect air showers generated by cosmic-ray protons.
http://teachscience.psu.edu/workshops/particle_astrophysics.html

Telescopes: Tools for Astronomical Discovery and the Search for Life on Other Planets (Grades 6-12) -- July 29 - Aug. 2, 2013
Participants will build a simple telescope and learn how to use the Falcon Telescope Network. Modern telescopes that may help scientists discover other habitable planets will also be discussed.
http://teachscience.psu.edu/workshops/telescopes.html

Questions about the Pennsylvania Space Grant workshops should be directed to Heather Nelson atteachscience@psu.edu.

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Pre-Service Teacher Institutes at NASA's Johnson Space Center

The Pre-Service Teacher Institute is a one-week summer residential session for education majors preparing to teach in an elementary or middle school classroom. Two institutes will take place this year: June 10-14 and June 24-28, 2013. Both events will take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. 

College students from diverse backgrounds will be exposed to aerospace, mathematics and science enrichment activities. Pre-service teachers are able to interface with NASA personnel and tour Johnson Space Center facilities while learning to incorporate NASA's cutting-edge research into lesson plans for their students.

Full-time undergraduate students in their junior or senior year are invited to apply.

The application period closes on April 1, 2013. For more information, visit http://education.jsc.nasa.gov/psti/.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Suzanne Foxworth at suzanne.m.foxworth@nasa.gov.

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Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare

NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge.

Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Upon earning the badge, users will see a special message on Foursquare: 

"Get out your rock-vaporizing laser! You've explored your scientific curiosities just like NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars. Stay curious and keep exploring. You never know what you'll find."

The launch of the badge follows the October check-in on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover, which marked the first check-in on another planet. Foursquare users can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.

To learn more about the new Foursquare badge, visit http://www.nasa.gov/connect/foursquare.html.

To follow the Mars Curiosity rover and NASA on Foursquare, visit http://www.foursquare.com/MarsCuriosity andhttp://www.foursquare.com/NASA.

For more information about NASA's Curiosity mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Jason Townsend at Jason.C.Townsend@nasa.gov.

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