Recently in the Students Category


In 2012, the students from St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia lined up in the shape of a space shuttle in the school parking lot and witnessed the flyover of the Space Shuttle Discovery as it was being retired to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

A satellite experiment to study cosmic rays and the solar wind that was devised by school students is now successfully collecting data in space.

NASA successfully launched a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket carrying student experiments with the RockOn/RockSat-C programs at 6 a.m., today.

The summer is coming and that means students across Europe are sitting their final tests. ESA's LISA Pathfinder, a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for space-based gravitational wave observatories, is no different.

Four teams of university students have been selected to develop and conduct their hypergravity experiments during ESA's sixth 'Spin Your Thesis!' campaign, to be held 7-18 September 2015.

A team of Belgian students have taken steps towards gaining their 'Ticket to Orbit!', not for themselves, but for the CubeSat they are developing.

Great Moonbuggy Race Winners

NASA today declared the winners of the first NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, held April 11-12 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Student racers from the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno, Nev., claimed first place in the high school division; the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao Team 2 won the top prize in the college division.

European Students: Spin or Drop Your Thesis

Are you a university student who dreams of using a world-class gravitational facility for experiments? If yes then ESA's Education Office wants to hear from you.

An enthusiastic group of suborbital space researchers arrived at Spaceport America in New Mexico in early November to prepare and load their experiments on an UP Aerospace rocket that would place their technologies in a space-like environment where they will eventually operate.

CanSat Competitions On The Rise

Across Europe, more student teams than ever before are drawing up their plans for launching CanSats. These tiny 'satellites' fit into a drinks can yet perform a scientific 'mission' when launched from a small rocket.

Space Droids Calling

Secondary-school students can play the ultimate robot game: the annual Zero Robotics tournament turns the International Space Station into a playing field for European students to control minisatellites with self-developed software.

Homer Hickam, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie October Sky, has joined the ranks of scientists and engineers around the globe in support of Kiera Wilmot - the 16-year-old Florida student who found herself in hot water after her science experiment went awry.

Mission-X: Springing Into Action

Spring has arrived and thousands of schoolchildren are stretching their muscles and brains to reach the finishing line of Mission-X. After six weeks of activities inspired by astronaut training, these future space explorers will celebrate their achievements with special events all over the world. Each school follows its own pace in this competition which combines fitness, healthy eating and problem-solving. Around 15 000 students from over 20 countries built their own model satellites, conquered a martian mountain or worked in teams to solve puzzles.

Driven by design software, 3-D printers churn out made-to-order objects on a desktop. A myriad of materials from polymers to metal alloys enable virtually anyone to manufacture almost anything they can imagine, including glow-in-the-dark pens, Lego-like building blocks, cogs and gears, electrical circuits and jewelry. Advanced applications produce living tissue for replacement organs in the body, intricate engine designs and parts for spacecraft during deep space missions.

2013 CanSat Campaign Concluded

High school students from 8 different ESA Member States have completed the third European Cansat Launch Campaign, which was held in The Netherlands for the first time. 15 student teams from across Europe participated in the four-day event. Preparations for the flight campaign began soon after the teams arrived at the Delft University of Technology on 10 April, when technical inspections were made to ensure that each of the CanSats could be integrated in the rockets.

Team America Rocketry Challenge

"Hundreds of students from across the country will meet May 11 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA to decide the winner of the world's largest student rocket contest. The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) has been captivating students nationwide for the past decade, encouraging them to advance their education and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In a year of record turnout, attracting 725 teams, only the top 100 will proceed to compete in TARC's final fly-off. The top 100 teams represent 29 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and a diverse cross-section of American youth. Teams include students from urban and rural America, all-girls teams, a record number of 4-H teams and a team comprised entirely of Civil Air Patrol volunteers." More

"The tiny spacecraft passenger for Vega's upcoming Flight VV02 is getting the same "white glove" treatment as the launch's two larger payloads, with Estonia's ESTCube-1 student satellite now mission-ready at the Spaceport in French Guiana. In the Spaceport's S1B clean room, ESTCube-1 has been integrated in its box-type dispenser - readying the cubesat for integration in the Vega launcher's payload "stack," along with the Proba-V and VNREDSat-1A passengers. ESTCube-1 is the first Estonian satellite, built by a collaboration of students from Tartu University, Estonian Aviation Academy, Tallinn University of Technology and University of Life Sciences, and was developed in conjunction with the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the German Space Center (DLR)." More

6-12th Grade Students, Building 262, Room 180, March 27-28

Since 1994, NASA Ames has hosted an annual Space Settlement Design Contest for 6-12th grade students. Thousands of students and hundreds of teachers from around the world have involved themselves in space settlement, some devoting months of intense effort. Prize winners now find themselves at Harvard, Stanford, MIT and other top universities and at least one flew a zero-gravity experiment for the European Space Agency (ESA). Contestants work at home and send their entries to Ames each March. Extensive reference materials are supplied on the web. All entries are judged in a two-day period by a panel of NASA and contractor personnel. Judges commit to one hour or more anytime on Wednesday and/or Thursday, March 27-28, between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Judging will be in Building 262, Room 180. No experience or specific technical expertise are needed and it is a lot of fun (less expert judges can evaluate entries from the younger students). Contest details are at http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/

"A new satellite mission designed by university students is entering the advanced stages of development. A new contract appoints ALMASpace, Italy, the prime contractor. The European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO) is a micro-satellite mission to low Earth orbit. Newly appointed prime contractor ALMASpace, Italy, will now oversee its final development, integration, testing, and in-orbit commissioning by European university students. The mission's primary goal is to provide students with extensive, hands-on experience of a space project. This will equip them with the necessary skills to confidently enter the high-technology workplace of Europe's future. 'With ESEO, ESA's Education and Knowledge Management Office will continue pursuing its objective of offering hands-on activities to university students across Europe. Working on real space projects has a strong inspirational value and offers the best professional preparation for Europe's future engineers and scientists,' says Piero Galeone, ESA's Head of the Tertiary Education Unit." More

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters Office of Education, in cooperation with the NASA Johnson Space Center and other NASA Centers, is releasing a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for NASA Internships. On or about January 16, 2013, this CAN will be available electronically through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and then clicking the link through the menu listings "Solicitations" to "Open Solicitations." Institutions eligible to respond to this CAN are limited to higher education institutions, nonprogit organizations, and consortia or groups of organizations and institutions serving higher education students, whose mission includes capturing student interest and/or improving student performance in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) or related fields. The estimated annual value of the award is $3,000,000 to $10,000,000 per year, for a period of performance not to exceed 5 years." More

"Students from two schools, one in Iowa and the other in New York, are the winners of the International Space Station (ISS) Science Challenge, NASA announced Friday. Challenge winners from North Tama Elementary in Traer, Iowa, and Madison Elementary in Massena, N.Y., are being inspired to learn more about the space station's cutting-edge research by designing programs to teach others about specific experiments and what scientists are hoping to learn. This pilot program was created by Darcie Fregoe and Lisa Chizek, contributing teachers with NASA's Endeavour Science Teaching Certificate Project. The program is part of the Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience (INSPIRE). "I believe it is my responsibility as a middle school Earth science and astronomy teacher to educate students about the very valuable contributions ISS science has made in their lives," Fregoe said. "I want them to get excited about NASA and the International Space Station, and I want them to start thinking about possible futures working for NASA." More

Robot Spheres in Zero-Gravity Action

"A squadron of mini satellites on the International Space Station will wake up this Friday to obey remote commands from students across Europe. Up until now the students have run their code in a virtual world, but this Friday the high-school finals will be held using the real thing: robotic droids on the International Space Station. This year's RetroSpheres scenario involves using the Spheres, which move using jets of compressed gas, to push simulated space debris out of orbit. Six alliances made of European finalists from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal will confront each other and see their computer code operate robots in space for the first time. ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers will provide commentary from ESA's space research and technology centre, ESTEC, in the Netherlands, as NASA's Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn set up the games on the Station. Over 130 students will be at ESTEC with Andre to learn more about robotics and run their code on the Spheres floating in the Space Station." More

"NASA Television will broadcast the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 5, starting at 10:30 a.m. EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. The event also will be streamed live on NASA's website. As in past years, NASA plays a significant role by providing public access to robotics programs to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering. Through the NASA Robotics Alliance Project, the agency provides grants for almost 250 teams and sponsors four regional student competitions, including a FIRST regional competition in Washington that will be held March 28-30." More

"A new program is giving middle-school-aged youth the chance to take remote control of a large, research-grade radio telescope and expand their cosmic explorations beyond what the eye can see. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's (NRAO) 20-meter-diameter telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, is joining a global network of telescopes bringing the excitement of hands-on research to young people via 4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization. The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, will provide some 1,400 4-H youth with access to robotically-operated, research-grade telescopes. They will use the telescopes to survey galaxies, track asteroids, monitor variable stars, and learn first-hand how scientific research is done. The telescopes are part of a world-wide network called Skynet. In addition to the NRAO 20-meter radio telescope, the network also includes a 24-inch optical telescope at the University of North Carolina's Morehead Observatory; the 41-inch reflecting telescope at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin; six telescopes in Chile; and six more under construction in Chile and Australia." More

NASA Rocketry Challenge 2013

"Organizers of the NASA Student Launch Projects have announced the 57 student teams whose inventive creations will soar skyward in April during the space agency's 2012-13 rocketry challenge. Representing schools in 26 states around the country, participating teams each will design and build a large, high-powered rocket, complete with a working science or engineering payload and capable of flying to the target altitude of 1 mile. NASA created the rocketry challenge to encourage young people to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. "Every year, the NASA Student Launch Projects build on our students' classroom studies in an energizing, exciting way," said Tammy Rowan, manager of the Academic Affairs Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which organizes the event. "It's great fun, but it also reflects the real-world complexity of planning missions, building flight hardware and completing tough pre-flight checks and reviews. It tests their problem-solving skills and gives them practical, hands-on experience. We hope the experience is so unforgettable it leads many of them to become the nation's next generation of scientists, engineers and space explorers." More

"The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience research in the planetary sciences. As a summer intern, you will work one-on-one with a scientist either at the LPI or NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in planetary science. Furthermore, you will participate in peer-reviewed research, learn from top-notch planetary scientists, and preview various careers in science. The 10-week program begins June 3, 2013, and ends on August 9, 2013. Selected students will receive a $5000.00 stipend plus a travel stipend of $1000.00 (U.S. students) (foreign nationals will receive a $1500.00 foreign travel reimbursement)." More

"This year's "Fly Your Thesis!" campaign ended on 25 October. For three days, a specially equipped aircraft flew 31 manoeuvres - or parabolas - that generate microgravity conditions, giving students invaluable experience in how to design, construct and run experiments in a near weightless environment. Three student teams participated along with nine professional teams in the 57th ESA parabolic flight campaign. All investigated phenomena that are virtually impossible to study on the ground under the normal pull of gravity. The campaign began on 15 October and for the first five days the student teams readied their experiments for flight. This included loading the equipment into the body of the specially modified A-300 Airbus, and checking that everything was working." More

"NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., have opened registration and are seeking teams to compete in next year's robot technology demonstration competition, which offers as much as $1.5 million in prize money. During the 2013 NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot 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 2013 in Worcester, Mass., attracting competitors from industry and academia nationwide." More

"NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science. Educators at all levels can locate educational resources through information on educational standards, subjects and keywords and other relevant details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more. "NASA Wavelength not only lets users find nearly everything they want to know about NASA science, but it also allows them to provide direct feedback to NASA to enhance our products," said Stephanie Stockman, education lead for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington. "This truly is a living, digital library of resources that will allow educators to find and share the best of NASA science education resources to advance their teaching." More

"NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon next year. The balloon competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge. NASA is targeting fall 2013 for the next flight opportunity for the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP). HASP is a balloon-borne instrument stack that provides an annual near-space flight opportunity for 12 instruments built by students A panel of experts from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and LaSPACE will review the applications and select the finalists for the next flight opportunity. Flights are launched from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility's remote site in Fort Sumner, N.M., and typically achieve 15 to 20 hours' duration at an altitude of about 23 miles." More

"SSEP offers a unique flight opportunity that allows students to experience both the excitement and the challenges inherent in conducting research in a microgravity environment," said Roosevelt Johnson, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It really is STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in action, using the International Space Station -- which has America's only orbiting National Laboratory -- to host these students' science experiments. Twenty-three microgravity experiments designed by participants of the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) will become part of space history Oct. 7. They will be launched to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Dragon, the first commercially developed and built American spacecraft to fly a resupply cargo resupply mission to the station." More

"NASA successfully launched four university experiments this morning on a Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket from the agency's launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launched at 7:16:30 a.m. EDT, the rocket lofted the experiments to an altitude of 95.4 miles. The experiments have been recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and they will be delivered to the university teams this afternoon at Wallops. The launch was part of the RockSat-X educational project, which is designed to provide students hands-on experience in designing, fabricating, testing and conducting experiments for space flight. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The participating schools for this year's RockSat-X launch are from Baylor University in Waco, Texas; University of Colorado at Boulder; the University of Puerto Rico; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg." More.

"Teachers from six NASA Explorer Schools (NES) have been selected to receive the 2012 School Recognition Award for their contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. In April 2013, three teachers from each school will travel to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. There they will have the opportunity to fly aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft and conduct experiments designed by their students. The experiments will examine the acceleration and inertia of objects, how fluids with different viscosities behave in microgravity, and how the absence of gravity affects mass and weight." More

European CanSat Competition

"Students in different age groups are being invited by ESA to participate in three educational programmes that will take place during 2013. Each programme is an exciting opportunity to design an experiment and conduct scientific research. ESA is now inviting proposals for the Spin Your Thesis! campaign. This programme enables university students to carry out experiments in hypergravity, using the Large Diameter Centrifuge at the Agency's ESTEC space research and technology centre in the Netherlands. It is open to undergraduate students and those following a Masters or PhD course. Up to four teams will be selected. The deadline for proposal submissions is 10 December. Another call is for the European CanSat competition. The CanSats, similar in volume and shape to a soft-drink can, will be launched on a small rocket from the Netherlands. The primary task of each CanSat will be to measure atmospheric temperature and pressure during the flight." More

8th Annual CanSat Competition

"The Naval Research Laboratory supported the 8th Annual CanSat competition where 26 college rocket teams came together from all over the world to compete. This year's "mission" was to launch an autonomous CanSat (a satellite in a can) with a deployable lander containing one large raw hen egg that cannot be damaged on landing. The "CanSat " refers to the complete system-the carrier and the lander. The event was held on June 8-10, 2012, in Abilene and Burkett, Texas.

The CanSat is deployed from a rocket at an altitude of about 610 meters (2001 feet). Once released from the rocket, the CanSat descends between 10 and 20 meters per second using any type of descent control system or device. At an altitude of 200 meters, the CanSat reduces the descent rate to within 4 and 6 meters per second. At 91 meters altitude, the CanSat carrier releases the lander that contains one large raw hen's egg. The lander hopefully lands without damaging the egg. The lander cannot free fall. It must contain a descent control system or device to reduce the descent rate to less than 5 meters per second. The carrier telemetry data may be stored on-board for post processing in the event of a communications failure. Teams must build their own ground station. Telemetry from the carrier is displayed, in real-time, on a team-developed ground station." More.

"University students will put their academic skills to the test when atmospheric and technology experiments they developed fly on a NASA suborbital sounding rocket. The launch will take place between 6:30 and 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 23, from the agency's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va. Four university experiments will be flown as part of an educational project called RockSat-X, which is designed to provide students hands-on experience in designing, fabricating, testing and conducting experiments for space flight. The project is a joint effort between NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium at the University of Colorado at Boulder."

"NASA's new virtual mentoring program is helping girls get excited about careers in science and technology by working one-on-one with agency professionals. Twenty-one girls in grades 5-8, representing 12 states from New York to Hawaii, have completed a pilot mentoring program called NASA Giving Initiative and Relevance to Learning Science (NASA GIRLS). NASA GIRLS is the first program to pair up girls with NASA female mentors from the Women@NASA program using online video programs such as Skype and Google Chat. Participants were selected from more than 1,600 applications."

"NASA's University Student Launch Initiative, or USLI, is a competition that challenges university-level students to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level. The project engages students in scientific research and real-world engineering processes with NASA engineers. Once selected, teams design their rockets and payloads throughout the academic year. USLI requires a NASA review of the teams' preliminary and critical designs. The project also requires flight and launch readiness reviews before the rockets and payloads are approved for launch. Teams complete a Post-Launch Assessment Review to include conclusions from their science or engineering experiment and the overall flight performance." More

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) anticipates making launch opportunities for a limited number of CubeSats available on launches currently planned for 2013-2016. The CubeSat Launch Initiative is a project to demonstrate viable launch opportunities for CubeSat payloads as auxiliary payloads on planned missions. NASA anticipates using its authority to enter into one or more collaborative Agreements with selected Respondents ("Collaborators") to support the CubeSat Launch Initiative. During the project, NASA will provide integration and other services as necessary to complete the launch activity. The CubeSat Launch Initiative is open to NASA centers, U.S. not-for-profit organizations, and accredited U.S. educational organizations. Participation in the CubeSat Launch Initiative will be contingent upon selection by NASA and negotiation of an appropriate Agreement between NASA and the Collaborator. Proposed CubeSat investigations must address an aspect of science, exploration, technology development, education, or operations encompassed by NASA's strategic goals and outcomes as identified in the NASA Strategic Plan and/or the NASA Education Vision and Goals." More

"Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest and value to NASA and the nation. In 2010 NASA announced a Nano-Satellite Launch (NSL) Challenge to encourage development of safe, low-cost, small-payload delivery systems for frequent access to low Earth orbit (LEO) through innovations in propulsion and other technologies as well as operations and management for broader applications in future launch systems that could result in a commercial capability for dedicated launches of small satellites at a cost comparable to secondary payload launches--a potential new market with Government, commercial, and academic customers. To assist in formulation of the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, NASA is seeking additional information on the nano-satellite market and on approaches to address the market needs. There are currently several existing launch vehicles and new launch vehicle programs that could provide ride-sharing opportunities for nano-satellite. A NASA NSL Challenge could focus on a vehicle dedicated to providing greater payload design flexibility for cubesats and other small payloads, more frequent access to space at costs comparable or less than existing or proposed ride-share launch options." More

"The Technology Demonstration Missions (TDM) Program Office at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is seeking to sponsor the development of a curriculum to demonstrate the principles of the technology demonstration mission concepts currently in development within the office. The goal of this curriculum is to provide engineering design challenges on the ground that simulate the application of the technology demonstration missions to provide a hands-on inquiry-based learning experience. This scope outlines the curriculum development, pilot program, and evaluation program for FY13." More

"NASA's Office of Education has selected more than 200 organizations across the country to receive Summer of Innovation (SoI) mini-grants. Each award has a maximum value of $2,500. This investment is designed to expand NASA's education network and help the agency keep middle school students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities throughout the summer break and beyond. Last month, NASA announced it was seeking collaborators to infuse NASA-themed STEM content into existing summer and after school programs for middle school students. The agency received more than 500 proposals in response to this solicitation."

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"On September 22 we are going to send 1000 student projects to the edge of space. These experiments and projects are made by kindergartners, university professors, high school science classes and home schools kids. All the projects fit inside ping pong balls. We call them PongSats. Students from all over the world send us their PongSats we fly them to 100,000 feet on weather balloons. After the landing the PongSats are returned to their creators along with data from the flight a DVD with video of the launch and on board scenes and a certificate showing they flew."

More at Kickstarter

NASA Rocket Carrying Student Experiments Launched From Wallops Flight Facility

"A NASA rocket carrying seventeen educational experiments was successfully launched at 6:40 a.m. today from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The experiments built by university instructors and students from across the country were developed through programs conducted with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia. The programs are designed to provide participants an introduction in building small experiments that can be launched on sounding rockets."

Supporting Young Scientists at ESA

ESA Call for Proposals: Supporting Young Scientists

"ESA is offering young postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to address key scientific challenges in Earth science by maximising the use of satellite data. New proposals for the Changing Earth Science Network initiative can now be submitted. The initiative supports young European scientists starting their career in Earth science for a period of two years to undertake innovative research projects that address the key scientific challenges of ESA's Earth observation science strategy."

NASA Set To Host Future Female Explorers

"Eighty-four female high school students from 29 states will plan a simulated mission to Mars and experience life as an engineer or scientist when NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston hosts two events focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in June and July. The Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars project, or WISH, is sponsoring two six-day summer camps for rising high school seniors."

Rocket Week Launching at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

"Students and educators from across the country will experience what it is like to be a rocket scientist during "Rocket Week," June 16-22, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. More than 100 participants will receive hands-on training in building payloads for spaceflight, learn the basics of rocketry and develop activities for the classroom through the fifth annual RockOn! workshop for university-level participants and the concurrent second annual Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers and Students (WRATS) for high school teachers."

What: NASA/MIT Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design 2012 - Innovation Bootcamp - Solving NASA's Epic Challenges

When: June 24-June 29, 2012

Where: Multiple locations over the 1-week period (Burton Conner House, 33-116, 9-057)

Contact: Sydney Do sydneydo@mit.edu

- Are you passionate about solving "epic" multidisciplinary problems, while inspiring and educating high school students in STEM disciplines?

- Want to learn methods for fostering your own creativity as you develop concepts to address tough research problems?

- NASA and MIT AeroAstro are running the ICED2012 Program, aimed at using the creativity of the crowds to address some of NASA's biggest challenges related to the human exploration of Mars

- We are looking for grad students with diverse research backgrounds to come up with out-of-the-box ideas, and teach high school students to do the same

- More information and application details here http://bit.ly/ICED2012

Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Unique Global Competition Encourages Student Teams Worldwide to "Get Their Genius on" and Innovate

"Thanks to the Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge), the world will not have to wait for solutions to affordable water filtration in Haiti, self-regulating temperature fabrics for harsh environments, eco-friendly pop-up toilets for emergency distressed areas, and many other game-changing innovations. It also means that young innovator/ entrepreneurs don't have to graduate from high school before their commercially-viable, technology-based ideas can be realized and applied to real-world issues! The 2012-2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites student teams from around the world, ages 13-18, to innovate new products by combining creative thinking with science and technology skills to solve real-world challenges."

MoonKam Images on Display

Students to Exhibit NASA Spacecraft Lunar Images

"Media representatives are invited to see middle-school students and their teachers demonstrate science lessons and highlight selected images provided by twin NASA spacecraft studying the moon from crust to core. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon EDT (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. PDT), PM Friday, June 1, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington. The event showcases an education and public outreach project called MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students). MoonKAM provides students around the world with an opportunity to identify and choose images of the moon's surface using small cameras aboard NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. To date, thousands of images of lunar targets have been selected by fifth- to eighth-grade students."

Conrad Foundation and Nanoracks To Fly Student Payloads in Space

"Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, today announced the Foundation has joined forces with NanoRacks LLC, the leading company for low-earth orbit utilization, to launch a new program called DreamUp. The program will assist students in raising money to participate in a unique educational experience - conducting experiments in the microgravity of space. DreamUp is the first program to enable students to use American Express(R) Membership Rewards(R) points to fund student experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS)."

Bouncing Art Off The Moon

Space Foundation Student Art Contest Winning Artwork Bounces Off the Moon

"The Space Foundation's annual Student Art Contest winners are developing a reputation for actual space travel. Digital versions of last year's winners are all permanently in residence on the International Space Station. Two of this year's winners have traveled an additional 277,000 miles to the Moon and back. Two of the winning pieces of artwork -- both in the 6th - 8th grade painting category -- were selected by media artist Daniela de Paulis to be part of her worldwide OPTICKS project, which projected a total of ten digital images of artwork onto the surface of the Moon on April 28 and intercepted the altered reflections, thus creating new images."

Europe Spacelab Finalist Event

Europe's SpaceLab finalists link up with space and meet astronauts

"Europe's finalists in the Space Lab challenge will join astronauts, scientists and Google managers at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne on 16 May to discuss their experiment ideas and call ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on the International Space Station. In October, ESA jointly launched the YouTube Space Lab, an exciting venture by YouTube, NASA, Japan's JAXA space agency, Space Adventures and Lenovo to challenge students around the world to design a science experiment for the International Space Station. The competition attracted thousands of proposals by teams and individuals from over 80 countries."

NASA Explorer Schools Symposium Showcases Student Research

"Students from across the nation will gather at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston May 2-5 for the annual NASA Explorer Schools Symposium. These future leaders in science, technology, education and math, or STEM, have completed research investigations and will present their findings to a team of NASA scientists and engineers, student peers and educators. The competitively selected group consists of 60 students in grades four through 12 and 30 educators from 21 states. The group's research projects were designed to inspire interest in STEM disciplines and encourage pursuit of technical careers."

Mission-X 2012 Winners Announced

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

"Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly. This year's challenge involved 10 300 students exercising hard over six weeks since it was launched from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on 2 February. The aim: gain points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon. Points were earned by completing challenges inspired by astronaut training."

AIA's Annual Rocketry Challenge

Largest student rocket contest brings diversity and talent to U.S. STEM pipeline, AIA

"With the exception of a shared passion for science, math and engineering, the 100 teams that will compete in the tenth anniversary Team America Rocketry Challenge national finals this year show a stunning diversity of backgrounds and interests. The Aerospace Industries Association today unveiled this year's roster of rocket-building finalists, which includes more than 600 students from 29 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Representing a wide cross-section of American youth, TARC teams - including an all-girl team, 4-H club, a rock band and a hockey team - bring varying perspectives and experiences to the annual competition, which is known for sparking careers in science, math and engineering."

NASA Announces Student Winners in Space Game Design Challenge

"Three school student teams in the fifth through eighth grades have been selected as the winners of NASA's second annual Spaced Out Sports challenge. The students designed science-based games that will be played by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The games illustrate and apply Newton's laws of motion by showing the differences between Earth's gravity and the microgravity environment of the space station. The challenge is part of a broader agency education effort to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities. To design their game, students use up to five items from a two-page list of objects aboard the ISS. The list includes such items as socks, exercise putty, bungees, cotton swabs, tape, rubber bands, zipper-top bags, chocolate-covered candies and drink bags."

2012 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

"Four teams of high school students unleashed a new wave of product development and entrepreneurism receiving top honors at the 2012 Innovation Summit, the final round of competition for the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge). Winning presentations ranged from a water purifying specialty bicycle that creates potable water while also serving as transportation in under-developed communities to a new lightweight fabric constructed of phase-changing crystals for cooling and ventilation in harsh environments. The conference took place March 29-31 at NASA-Ames Research Center. It gathered 15 finalist teams, who have been competing since fall 2011 to develop innovative products that tackle some of the world's most pressing issues in the areas of aerospace exploration, clean energy, and health and nutrition. The program is hosted by the Conrad Foundation."

National Robotics Competition Arrives in Washington March 30

"Media representatives are invited to attend an international student robotics competition sponsored by NASA and other organizations Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, in Washington. The competition, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, provides access to robotics programs to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering, and possibly become the nation's next generation of technical leaders."

"This year, we are giving everyone the chance to attend the Innovation Summit - virtually. We'll stream live footage of the Summit's opening remarks, daily fireside chats, interactive student workshops, and opening and closing ceremonies."

Live webcast Link

Today, in a message from the International Space Station, Astronauts Don Pettit and Dan Burbank welcomed students to the Conrad Foundation Innovation Summit at NASA Ames Research Center. Burbank refered to a comment made by President Obama to participants at the Second Annual Science Fair at the White House: "Don't be bored - make something!". Video (go to 00:35)

NASA's Grail MoonKAM Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images

"One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft. The image was taken by the MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students. Previously named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) A and B, the twin spacecraft are now called Ebb and Flow. Both washing-machine-sized orbiters carry a small MoonKAM camera. Over 60 student-requested images were taken aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17 and downlinked to Earth on March 20."

NASA Calls for Student-Designed Deep Space Habitat Proposals

"NASA is offering college and university students a chance to help design a deep space habitat. The Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge is accepting applications for the 2013 challenge, inviting students to design, manufacture, assemble and test systems for use on NASA's deep space habitat prototype. Past projects have included an inflatable loft for crew sleeping quarters, plant growth systems and sample handling tools. This year, students in multiple disciplines can choose projects from a variety of possibilities, including photovoltaic solar arrays, a workstation to support human-robotic collaboration or a telepresence and holodeck conceptual system. Students will work together on potential solutions to needs future astronauts might have living and working outside Earth."

NASA Selects Next Class of Student Ambassadors

"NASA recently inducted 100 high-performing interns into the 2012 NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community. Their selection is part of the agency's effort to engage undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, mathematics and technology, or STEM, research and interactive opportunities. This fourth group of student ambassadors, known as Cohort IV, includes interns from 34 states and 73 universities. Members of this virtual community will interact with NASA personnel, share information, make vital professional connections, collaborate with peers, represent NASA in a variety of venues, and help inspire and engage future interns. Through the community's website, participants access tools needed to serve as a student ambassador, blog, announcements, member profiles, forums, polls, and career resources."

First Robotics in Cleveland

High School Students to Show off Design and Engineering Talent at First Robotics Competition

"More than 1,500 high school students from across Ohio, the U.S. and Canada, will compete in the 11th annual Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Admission is free and open to the public. The event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 22-24, at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. Practice rounds will be held March 22, and Friday and Saturday are competition days. During the event, 60 teams of 15-25 students will compete with their robots for honors and recognition. There will be forty teams from schools and community organizations from Ohio, and 20 out-of-state teams representing Canada, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania."

Community College Scholars Selected to Design Robotic Rovers

"Community college students will have the chance to design robotic rovers in cooperation with NASA. Ninety-two students from schools in 24 states have been selected to travel to a NASA center to develop rovers through the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program. The initiative provides hands-on opportunities to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Students will visit either NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., from May 1-3, or NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston from May 9-11. The teams will establish fictional companies pursuing Mars exploration. Each team will develop, design and build a prototype rover, then use their prototypes to navigate a course, collect rocks and water and return to a home base."

Student Teams to Conduct Microgravity Experiments at Glenn Research Center

"NASA-selected student teams will test their science experiments in the 2.2-second drop tower at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland from March 15-20. While in free fall, the students' experiments will experience microgravity conditions similar to those on the International Space Station. The selections are part of two national science competitions: Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) for high school student teams and What If No Gravity? (WING) for student teams in fifth through eighth grades. The four winning DIME teams will receive a stipend to support a visit to Glenn to conduct their experiments, review the results with NASA personnel and tour Glenn's facilities."

Deadline for Submitting Student Papers to NASA for International Astronautical Congress Support

"The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1000 scientific papers every year. The IAC is organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). In 2012, the IAC will be held in Naples, Italy, October 1-5, 2012. The IAC has posted a "Call for Abstracts," with a submission deadline of February 29, 2012 (14:00 CET). 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 63rd International Astronautical Congress. Abstracts must be submitted to NASA and to the IAF. The selected NASA sponsored students are required to also be selected by the IAF."

RockOn! 2012

NASA Seeking University Participants for Summer Rocket Workshop

"University faculty and students are invited to join a weeklong workshop June 16-21 to learn how to build and launch a scientific experiment to space. Registration is open through May 1. RockOn! 2012 will be held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The annual workshop is held in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia. "This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to learn how to build an experiment for space flight," said Phil Eberspeaker, chief of the sounding rocket program office at Wallops. "The hope is this experience will encourage them to participate in more ambitious payload programs, including someday building instruments for orbital spacecraft and beyond."

Rensselaer Students Reach the Edge of Space--and They Have a Video To Prove It

"Members of a student club at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a unique 360-degree video chronicling a weather balloon's 89,777-foot ascent into space. The Rensselaer Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) club launched their high-atmosphere balloon in late January. Filled with condensed helium, the balloon carried a payload of three high-definition video cameras and GPS equipment. SEDS members retrieved the payload--which was carefully designed to withstand a significant impact--after the balloon popped at its peak altitude and fell to the Earth's surface. All three video cameras were intact, and club members "stitched together" footage from the three perspectives into a single 360-degree video."

Regional Winners named in Student Space Lab Competition

"European students are among the regional winners in the YouTube Space Lab student science competition, co-sponsored by ESA. The ultimate winners will have their experiment performed on the International Space Station, live-streamed to a global audience. Entries from Spain, Egypt, India, New Zealand and the US are among the six regional winners selected today in the YouTube Space Lab science competition. Sponsored by YouTube, Lenovo and Space Adventures together with ESA, NASA and the Japanese space agency, the international student contest is now in the final round of judging."

Boing Boing: "Chris sez, "My name is Chris Peterson. I run web communications for MIT Admissions and have been a loyal BB reader for years. For the last several years we have been sending our admitted students their acceptance letters in cardboard tubes. First because we sent a poster, but now it's its own thing. 2012 is the anniversary of an old MIT balloon hack, so we put a letter in all of the Early Action admit tubes telling them we wanted them to hack the tubes somehow. Lots of them are great, but this one, from Erin King (MIT '16) in Georgia, is the best."

YouTube direct link

Keith's note:I sent my old NASA badge to the summit of Mt. Everest [image], so ... I totally understand.

ManSat helps Conrad Foundation Expand

ManSat helps Conrad Foundation expand annual STEM competition

"Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, announced that having Isle of Man-based ManSat as a Corporate Partner for the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge has helped grow the competition beyond U.S. borders with a total of 60 teams from the Isle of Man registering this year. The Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites student teams from across America to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to develop commercially viable products addressing real-world issues in one of the following categories - Aerospace Exploration, Clean Energy, and Health and Nutrition."

Students Write Code For Space

Students Across the US Write Code to Control Zero Gravity Satellites on ISS

"Twenty seven teams of high school students from across the United States competed in the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge which took place at MIT in Cambridge, MA and aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this week. "Team Rocket" from River Hill High School, Maryland, "Storming Robots" from Storming Robots LLC, of New Jersey and "SPHEREZ of Influence" from Rockledge High School, Florida posted the best cumulative score out of 9 multi team 'alliances' seeing their code tested in space by real astronauts."

Bot Battle in Space

Spheres Final Robot competition in Zero-gravity

"School teams from Europe and America have been commanding robots competing in the Spheres ZeroRobotics tournament in space. The arena: 400 km above Earth on the International Space Station. Student teams could send a single piece of instruction software to control the small robotic 'Spheres'. The goal of the tournament was to earn points through masterful operation via guidance and navigation control algorithms as well as choosing the best tactics to win the game."

NASA/MIT/DARPA Robotic Challenge

NASA Joins MIT and DARPA for Out-of-This-World Student Robotic Challenge

"NASA will join the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and high school student teams from the U.S. and abroad for the third annual Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge on Monday, Jan. 23. The event will take place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., and be broadcast live on NASA Television from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST."