Status Report

NASA Education Express Message – Feb. 26, 2015

By SpaceRef Editor
February 26, 2015
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Space Shuttle Thermal Protective Tiles Available for Educational Use

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

There will be a nominal shipping fee that must be paid online with a credit card. To make a request for special items online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience Exhibition

Developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in collaboration with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center, and the partner museums of the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative, the 10,000-square-foot Space exhibition invites visitors to experience traveling to and living and working in space. Participants are immersed in the challenges that astronauts — and the engineers and scientists that make their journeys possible — face. Premiering at the Science Museum of Minnesota on Feb. 20, 2015, Space features interactive exhibits, whole body experiences and authentic artifacts that engage visitors with the adventure of space exploration.

Exhibition Features
— Two massive rotating labs modeled after the International Space Station Destiny module

— Hands-on space interactives including a robotic arm, water rockets, drop towers and ion engines
— A space station “doll house” and other activities specifically designed for younger visitors
— Immersive media featuring spectacular views from space
— Bilingual — English and Spanish

For more information, visit or

Questions about the exhibit can be directed to Joe Imholte at


Student Presentations to Stream Live From National Space Grant Directors’ Meeting

The National Space Grant Directors’ Meeting will stream students’ presentations live through the NASA Digital Learning Network, or DLN. Anticipated topics include micro propulsion applications, automated landing systems, and Space Grant’s impact on education, NASA and industry.

Live streaming of the presentations will take place Feb. 26, 2015, at 3:30-4:15 p.m. EST and Feb. 27, 2015, at 1:05-2:05 p.m. EST.

These meetings are held to highlight the accomplishments of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program and its 52 consortia. Institutions of higher learning from all across the country will be represented. NASA Space Grant’s goal is to provide opportunities in aerospace education and awareness. 

To view these presentations live, please access NASA DLN at

Questions about this event should be directed to Aleksandra Korobov at


Free Webinar Series — ‘NASA STEM Mania: STEM in Sports’ 

Kick off your classroom activities with “NASA STEM Mania: STEM in Sports”! This series of free virtual professional development webinars for educators will help you hit an education home run. Pre-game connections begin at 3:30 p.m. EST and webinars begin at 4 p.m. EST.

Upcoming webinar events include:

Feb. 26, 2015 — Robotic Arm and Weightlifting
Explore the use of robotic arms on the space station and how they function like real human arms. During this session, participants will design their own robotic arm and participate in a weightlifting challenge.

March 2, 2015 — Sports: STEM Is Newton’s Laws at Play
In this session, participants will learn how to use sports to get students excited about learning Newton’s Laws of Motion. Making connections between sports and STEM is a great way to teach complex concepts through concrete experiences.

March 3, 2015 — Hydration Station: The Importance of Hydration in Sports and on the Space Station
How is living in space like playing in an NFL championship football game? Both involve circumstances that cause the body to lose water involuntarily. Astronauts and athletes with low body water can suffer physical impairment that can affect their performance.

March 4, 2015 — NASA eCLIPS: Keeping the Beat — a Cardiac Relay
Measure and record pulse rate before and after physical activity to learn more about the heart. This elementary STEM activity uses a math model to look for patterns in the pulse rate data.

March 5, 2015 — Spaced Out Sports
Learn to apply Newton’s Laws of Motion by designing, or redesigning, a game for astronauts to play on the International Space Station. As students design a new sport, they will explore Newton’s Laws of Motion and how Earth’s gravity affects objects.

To register for these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through March 19, 2015, visit

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Kelly Hartford at and/or Lester Morales at


Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Pre-registration is not required for these webinars. Simply go to the link provided for each webinar approximately 15 minutes before the session begins. Sign in as a guest using your first and last names.

Robotic Arm
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-5

Event Date: Feb. 26, 2015, at 6 p.m. EST
Explore the use of robotic arms and how they function like real human arms. Robotic arms are used to move equipment and supplies, and assist the astronauts on the International Space Station. During this session, participants design a robotic arm and participate in a weightlifting challenge.

Here an Earth, There an Earth, Everywhere an Earth: The Kepler Telescope’s Search for Planets Beyond Our Solar System
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-12

Event Date: March 3, 2015, at 6 p.m. EST
Explore how the Kepler Telescope searches for planets orbiting other stars. Participants will learn how to use actual Kepler Telescope data and Kepler’s Third Law to construct graphs and interpret data that determines if a planet, orbiting a star in another solar system, is a candidate to support “life.”

Parachuting Onto Mars
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 6-8

Event Date: March 4, 2015, at 6 p.m. EST
Participants in this webinar will calculate surface area and measure the mass of a spacecraft. Participants will learn the design process behind the parachute system used on NASA spacecraft. A NASA engineer will also participate in this session. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions! Math concepts to be covered during the session are expression and equations, geometry, quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables, and problem solving.

Spaced Out Sports
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8

Event Date: March 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. EST
“Spaced Out Sports” is a curriculum using a variety of sports clips filmed on Earth and on the International Space Station that will challenge your students to explore Newton’s Laws of Motion. Using a series of classroom activities and career videos, students will discover how Newton’s Laws of Motion can be applied to any sport or physical activity.

Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Steve Culivan at


Free Exploring Space Lecture Series — Attend in Person or View Online

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s release into space. The 2015 Exploring Space Lectures will feature world-class scholars discussing some of the most innovative scientific research conducted using Hubble and exploring the insights the telescope has uncovered about our universe. Presenters will also discuss the telescope’s serviceability, design, administration, execution, and place in history.

Fixing Hubble
Feb. 26, 2015, at 8 p.m. EST
The Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions represent humanity’s quest to discover more about our universe and the limits that we will push to achieve this goal. Frank J. “Cepi” Cepollina, associate director of NASA’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, will share the stories, challenges and significance of the Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions.

Servicing the Hubble Space Telescope
March 26, 2015, at 8 p.m. EDT
Launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was designed to be serviced by the space shuttle. Former astronaut Michael J. Massimino will discuss the final Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission, during which the crew upgraded Hubble through a record-setting series of five spacewalks including the first ever repair of Hubble science instruments in place. 

Hubble Telescope: Looking Back in Time at the Distant Universe
June 11, 2015, at 8 p.m. EDT
One of the Hubble Space Telescope’s greatest triumphs has been the clear view it has given of very distant galaxies. Astronomers Sandra Faber and Robert Williams will discuss how this clearer view has enabled astronomers to piece together the formation of structure in the universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope: The Agony and the Ecstasy
June 30, 2015, at 8 p.m. EDT
The Hubble Space Telescope is the most famous scientific instrument ever built, but its remarkable history has seen numerous ups and downs. Professor Robert Smith, author of the definitive history of the Hubble Space Telescope, will explore some of the most exciting and telling episodes in this rich history.

The lectures will be held at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia, and attendance is free. However, tickets are required. Come early to see a free film and to meet the lecturer. The lectures will be webcast live for free viewing. Lecture videos will be archived.

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Exploring Space Lecture Series, visit

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


The Design of Discovery Educator Workshop

This fifth annual workshop has a special focus on the engineering solutions associated with space exploration. Participants will investigate what it takes for scientists and engineers to work together to move fantastic ideas from dream to reality to meet the challenges of complex missions. 

Attendees will be the first to learn about a new guided engineering, maker-based “design a mission” project to help students understand the relationship between scientific objectives and the engineering and design process.

The Design of Discovery workshop will take place on March 7, 2015, in four locations.
            — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
            — NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
            — University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
            — Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland

Participants will hear the latest on emerging science from the New Horizons mission as it begins to return images of Pluto. Researchers will share how the MESSENGER mission will make a big bang when it runs out of fuel after spending four years in orbit and returning ground-breaking science data from Mercury. And attendees will follow the ion-propelled Dawn mission as it nears orbit around dwarf planet Ceres. 

All sites offer hands-on activities and resources for K-12 and out-of-school-time educators. The cost of the workshop is $25. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration closes on Feb. 27, 2015.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about the Design of Discovery workshops to Mary Cullen at


Family Day Events at Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian’s Family Day event series celebrates the diverse ethnic and cultural communities that have contributed to aviation and space exploration. Events will commemorate historic and current contributions through presentations and activities for the entire family. The events are free and open to the public.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
Feb. 28, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST
National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia

Celebrate the significant contributions African-Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Visitors will enjoy presentations, hands-on activities and stories. They may have the opportunity to meet astronauts, fighter pilots, and others who will share stories of their challenges and accomplishments. Attendees will also learn about inspiring historic figures like Bessie Coleman through re-enactments or story times.

Women in Aviation and Space
March 14, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT
National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia

From the days of the earliest pilots to today’s space program, women have made significant contributions. Celebrate the incredible contributions of women in aviation and space exploration at the “Women in Aviation and Space” Family Day. During this event, visitors will have the opportunity to meet female role models and learn about the women who inspired them.

Questions about this series of events should be directed to the Visitor Service line at 202-633-2214.


NASA/Applied Physics Laboratory Summer Internship 2015

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, or APL, is offering summer projects for students interested in working on NASA missions or space-related research opportunities. 

Students participating in the 2015 NASA/APL Internship Program will work at the APL facility in Laurel, Maryland. Students will receive a stipend for the 10-week program, and housing will be provided. 

Eligible students include undergraduate students who will be sophomores, juniors or seniors as of fall 2015. Graduate students starting their first or second year in fall 2015 are also eligible. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. 

Applications are due Feb. 28, 2015.

For more information about the internship, including a list of opportunities that are currently available, visit

Questions about the NASA/APL Internships Program should be emailed to


NIFS OSSI — Summer 2015 Opportunities

NIFS OSSI strives to provide high school, undergraduate, and graduate students at all institutions access to a portfolio of internship, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities offered by NASA mission directorates and centers.

Go to to find information on NIFS opportunities. The site features the NIFS OSSI online application for recruiting NASA Interns, Fellows and Scholars. This innovative system allows students to search and apply for up to 15 opportunities in one location. A completed application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.

Applications for summer 2015 opportunities are due March 1, 2015

To find available opportunities and to fill out an OSSI online application for recruiting NIFS, visit

Inquiries about the OSSI should be submitted via


NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships

The NASA Postdoctoral Program, or NPP, supports NASA’s goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live.

Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowships that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA.

These opportunities advance NASA’s missions in earth science, heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary science, astrobiology, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and operations, and space technology. Opportunities are available at NASA centers and other NASA-approved sites.

As a result, NPP fellows contribute to national priorities for scientific exploration, confirm NASA’s leadership in fundamental research and complement the efforts of NASA’s partners in the national science community.

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a research scholar may apply. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing degree requirements. Applicants who earned the Ph.D. more than five years before the deadline date are categorized as senior fellows; all applicants, no matter their category, must apply and become eligible for an NPP award via the same process.

Interested applicants may apply by one of three annual application deadlines: March 1July 1 and November 1.

For more information and application procedures, go to

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to


International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments

NASA and Portland State University are seeking participants for the International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments, or CELERE. This design challenge enables students to participate in microgravity research on capillary action, similar to that conducted on the space station. 

Teams or individuals create their own experiment using computer-aided design, or CAD, with a provided template. Short experiment proposals are submitted, and test cells are manufactured by Portland State University using the CAD drawings and a computer-controlled laser cutter. Each experiment is conducted in a drop tower. Video of the drop is provided for student analysis and reporting of results.

CELERE is open to individuals and teams in grades 8-12 Teams may include younger students as long as there is at least one team member in grades 8-12 to facilitate the participation of informal science clubs, Scouts, etc. Teams may be of any size and may include an entire class or science club. The program is limited to students from the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Design proposals are now being accepted. Deadlines for submissions are March 1 and April 1, 2015.

For more information about this opportunity, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please email your inquiries to the CELERE team at


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Abstracts: 66th International Astronautical Congress

NASA announces its intent to participate in the 66th International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, and requests that full-time U.S. graduate students attending U.S. universities respond to this “Call for Abstracts.”

The IAC — which is organized by the International Astronautical Federation, or IAF; the International Academy of Astronautics, or IAA; and the International Institute of Space Law, or IISL — is the largest space-related conference worldwide and selects an average of 1,000 scientific papers every year. The upcoming IAC will be held Oct. 12-16, 2015, in Jerusalem, Israel. NASA’s participation in this event is an ongoing effort to continue to bridge NASA with the astronautical and space international community.

This “Call for Abstracts” is a precursor to a subsequent submission of a final paper, which may be presented at the 66th IAC. Student authors are invited to submit an abstract regarding an original, unpublished paper that has not been submitted in any other forum. A NASA technical review panel will select abstracts from those that have been accepted by the International Astronautical Federation. This opportunity is for graduate students majoring in fields related to the IAF research topics. Students may submit technical (oral) presentations and/or posters. Students may submit abstracts that are co-authored with their Principal Investigators. However, the student must be the “lead author,” and only the student will present at the IAC. Students must be available to travel to the conference to represent NASA and their universities. Students must be U.S. citizens, attending a U.S. university, who plan to enter a career in space science or aeronautics. Pending the availability of funding, graduate students selected by NASA to participate in the IAC will be considered for subsidy funding from NASA.

Many students and professors are currently involved in NASA-related research that could be considered for this submission. Students submitting abstracts are strongly encouraged to seek advice from professors who are conducting NASA research and/or from NASA scientists and engineers. Abstracts must be related to NASA’s ongoing vision for space exploration and fit into one of the following IAC categories:

— Science and Exploration — Systems sustaining missions, including life, microgravity, space exploration, space debris and Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or SETI
— Applications and Operations — Ongoing and future operational applications, including earth observation, communication, navigation, human space endeavors and small satellites
— Technology — Common technologies to space systems including astrodynamics, structures, power and propulsion
— Infrastructure — Systems sustaining space missions including space system transportation, future systems and safety
— Space and Society — Interaction of space with society including education, policy and economics, history, and law

The criteria for the selection will be defined according to the following specifications:
— Abstracts should specify purpose, methodology, results, conclusions and areas for discussion.

— Abstracts should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content is included. 
— Abstracts should clearly indicate that the material is new and original; they should explain why and how. 
— Prospective author(s) should certify that the paper was not presented at a previous meeting.

Abstracts must be written in English, and the length should not exceed 400 words. Tables or drawings are not allowed in the abstract.

NOTE: If you plan to seek assistance from NASA, you must submit to the International Astronautical Federation and to NASA.

New Deadline Dates: 
— Submit your abstract to the IAF at their website by Monday, March 2, 2015 (14:00 Central European Time).
— Submit your abstract to NASA at no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 1, 2015.

IAC Paper Selection
Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by the Session Chairs on the basis of technical quality and relevance to the session topics. Selected abstracts may be chosen for eventual oral or poster presentation. Any such choice is not an indication of quality of the submitted abstract. Their evaluation will be submitted to the Symposium Coordinators, who will make acceptance recommendations to the International Programme Committee, which will make the final decision. Please note that any relevance to the Congress main theme will be considered as an advantage.

The following information must be included in the submission: paper title, name of contact author, name of co-author(s), organization(s), full postal address, phone, email of the author and co-author(s). Abstract should specify purpose, methodology, results and conclusions and should indicate that substantive technical and/or programmatic content, as well as clearly indicate that the material is new and original and explain why and how.

Please check the IAF and the IAC websites ( and regularly to get the latest updates on the Technical Programme.


Call for Papers: Fourth Annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference 

The fourth annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference will be held July 7-9, 2015, at the Marriott Copley Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and the American Astronomical Society are seeking abstracts under the categories of biology and medicine, human health in space, commercialization and nongovernment utilization, materials development, plant science, remote sensing/Earth and space observation, energy, technology development and demonstration, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education. Topics should relate to science, exploration and technology activities (past, present, planned or under development) on the International Space Station.

Due to the large number of expected submissions, presenters are encouraged to submit abstracts early; the deadline is March 2, 2015.

For more information about the conference and how to submit an abstract for consideration, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be submitted via


2014 NASA EONS Solicitation Amendment 8: New Program Element

The NASA Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project, or MUREP, solicits proposals from Minority Serving Institutions, or MSIs, to create and implement a NASA STEM challenge, targeted for MSI participation. STEM challenges are creative applications of NASA-related science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and cross-cutting concepts.

MUREP STEM Engagement, or MSE, seeks proposals to support MSIs that demonstrate the potential to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM education areas relevant to NASA.

The specific goals of MSE awards are to:
— Increase the retention and completion rates of undergraduate degrees awarded from MSIs in NASA-related STEM disciplines;
— Increase the number of NASA-focused STEM experiences that engage underrepresented groups in active learning to improve retention of information and critical thinking skills; and,
— Disseminate proven, innovative practices and programs in STEM teaching, STEM learning, and recruitment and retention of underrepresented/ underserved students in STEM fields.

The specific objectives of the NASA MSE solicitation are to:
— Design, develop and implement a NASA-related STEM challenge targeted for MSI and community college STEM-enrolled student participation;
— Align the challenge design with the NASA mission and with a specific NASA program or project; and
— Develop and implement processes to capture the impact of activities and strategies implemented through this challenge.

Notices of Intent are requested by Jan. 20, 2015, and proposals are due March 2, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about this solicitation may be directed to Theresa Martinez, MSE manager, at


Engineering for You Video Contest 2

The National Academy of Engineering, or NAE, is launching the Engineering for You Video Contest 2, or E4U2.

Throughout history, engineering has advanced civilization from the way we connect with each other, to the way we heal, to how we get around and simply have fun. But society still faces major obstacles. The NAE has outlined 14 game-changing opportunities for the 21st century called the Grand Challenges for Engineering. Review the challenges and produce a one- to two-minute video showing how achieving one or more of the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering will lead to a more sustainable, healthy, secure and/or joyous world.

The competition is open to all individuals or teams in the following competition categories:
— Middle school students and younger (grades K-8)
— High school students (grades 9-12)
— Tertiary education students (two-year college through graduate school, full or part time)
— The general public

The main prize is $25,000, and videos will be accepted through March 2, 2015.

For more information, visit

Questions about the E4U2 Video Contest should be directed to


The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development

On March 3, 1915, Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or N-A-C-A, “to separate the real from the imagined and make known the overlooked and unexpected” in the quest for flight. In 1958, the NACA’s staff, research facilities and know-how were transitioned to the new NASA.

NASA’s History Program Office and the Smithsonian are hosting a special symposium open to the public that commemorates a century of aerospace research and development. The symposium will take place March 3-4, 2015, at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. The two-day event will feature keynote addresses and moderated discussion panels.

For more information, visit

Questions about the symposium should be directed to Nadine Andreassen at


Early Stage Technology Workshop

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, or STMD, is hosting the first in a series of Early Stage Technology Workshops on March 3-4, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia.

The purpose of the series is to further enhance the technology pipeline by expanding the potential infusion pathways for STMD-funded research. The objective is to generate an enhanced awareness and more complete understanding of the promising early stage technologies that are ripe for continued maturation, both internally at NASA, as well as externally to other government agencies, industry partners and academia.

The first Early Stage Technology Workshop will focus on the dynamic work under way in the areas of Astrophysics and Heliophysics. During the workshop, there will be presentations from approximately 20 technologists representing STMD programs such as Small Business Innovation Research, Space Technology Research Grants, the Center Innovation Fund, and NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts.

Workshop participants will have the unique opportunity to listen and engage with NASA technologists who seek partnerships that can further innovation in space exploration and science. Workshop organizers are anticipating over 150 attendees, including NASA representatives, staff from other Federal offices such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy, as well as industry partners and academia.

For more information and to register for the workshop, visit

With limited seating, registration will be open on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to David Steitz at


Free “What’s New in Aerospace?” Lecture Series at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Curious about recent research, developments and discoveries related to space? Come to the Smithsonian’s “What’s New in Aerospace?” lecture series presented in collaboration with NASA. The lectures will be held at the Moving Beyond Earth Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Each hourlong lecture begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be streamed live online. 

Lectures are planned for March 3, March 4 and March 17, 2015.

For more information about the “What’s New in Aerospace?” lecture series and to watch the live webcast events, visit

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


Release of Cooperative Agreement Notice for NASA Science Mission Directorate Science Education

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, or SMD, has released a Cooperative Agreement Notice, or CAN, soliciting team-based proposals for SMD science education for community review and comment. The final text is downloadable from the NSPIRES Web page at by selecting Solicitations and searching for NASA Science Education or NNH15ZDA004C.

The goal of NASA SMD Science Education is to enable NASA scientists and engineers into the learning environment more efficiently and effectively for learners of all ages. This CAN is to meet the following NASA SMD Science Education Objectives: Enabling STEM education, improving U.S. science literacy; advancing National education goals; and leveraging science education through partnerships. NASA intends to select one or more focused, science discipline-based team(s). While it is envisioned that multiple agreements may be awarded, selection of a single award to support all of SMD science education requirements is not precluded. Awards are anticipated by Sept. 30, 2015.

Issuance of this CAN is dependent on programmatic factors, including NASA receiving an appropriation and operating plan containing adequate funding within the NASA budget. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this CAN are incurred completely at the submitter’s own risk.

Programmatic questions regarding this solicitation should be submitted no later than 15 days prior to the proposal due date by email using the character string “Science Education CAN” (without quotes) included in the subject line of all transmissions. The identity of those submitting comments will be held in confidence. Answers to questions about this Announcement and Frequently Asked Questions from the draft CAN text are available on the website at Note that it is the responsibility of interested proposers to check for such information prior to the submission of their proposals. 

Programmatic questions should be submitted to:
Kristen Erickson
Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
300 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20546

Anticipated NASA SMD Science Education CAN schedule:
CAN Release Date — Feb. 4, 2015
Preproposal Conference — Feb. 17, 2015 (1 p.m. EST)
Notice of Intent to Propose Deadline — March 4, 2015
Electronic Proposal Submittal Deadline — May 4, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. EDT
Selections Announced (target) — Summer 2015
Projects Begin (target) — Oct. 1, 2015


Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents Astronomy Chats

Have you ever talked to an astronomer? To participate in an informal conversation with an astronomy researcher, join the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum for a series of Astronomy Chats. The researchers work at a variety of institutions, including the Smithsonian, NASA, Harvard University and the U.S. Naval Research Lab. If they cannot come in person, they join by video chat.

The conversation may be on any topic of interest to you. Visitors frequently ask questions like, “What’s an average day like for you?” or “What kind of telescopes have you used?”

Astronomy Chats take place at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory at the Smithsonian Institution in the District of Columbia. During inclement weather, the chats may be moved indoors, usually to the Explore the Universe gallery. Both locations are accessible. There is no admission fee.

The next Astronomy Chat is scheduled for March 5, 2015

For more information about the Smithsonian’s Astronomy Chat Series, visit

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


Live Broadcast of Space Launch System Booster Test Firing

Did you know that NASA is building the largest solid propellant rocket booster in the world? NASA will test this booster, designated Qualification Motor-1, or QM-1, on March 11, 2015, at the Orbital ATK test facility in Promontory, Utah. The test is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EDT.

QM-1 is a five-segment solid propellant booster that will help power the Space Launch System. The two-minute, full-duration static test is a huge milestone for the SLS Program and will qualify the booster design for high-temperature conditions. This type of test typically comes only after multiple years of development and signifies major progress being made on the rocket. Once this test and a second, low-temperature test planned for early 2016 are complete, the hardware is qualified and ready for the first flight of SLS.

NASA’s Space Launch System will be used to help send humans to deep space destinations like an asteroid and Mars. SLS is an advanced, heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new capability for science and human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. The SLS will give the nation a means to reach beyond our current limits and open new doors of discovery from the unique vantage point of space.

The test will be streamed at and broadcast on NASA TV. Please make plans to watch with your students and colleagues.

To learn more about the Space Launch System, visit


White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Summer 2015 Policy Internship Program

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, or OSTP, is seeking students for summer 2015 internships. The OSTP advises the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The office serves as a source of scientific and technological analyses and judgment for the president with respect to major policies, plans and programs of the federal government.

Policy internships are open to interested students from all majors and programs, including law school programs. Law students (and any other students) who are interested in policy may apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are enrolled, at least half-time, in an accredited college or university during the period of volunteer service. Students in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in all fields are encouraged to apply.

While these positions are without compensation, the assignments provide educational enrichment, practical work experience and networking opportunities with other individuals in the science and technology policy arena.

Applications for summer 2015 internships are due March 15, 2015

For more information, visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please contact Rebecca Grimm at


NASA’s ESTEEM ‘Ask US’ Online Professional Development Series

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

Change Over Time: Investigate Climate Change Impacts in the Great Plains — March 26, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. EDT
The National Climate Assessment, released in May 2014, summarizes the impact of climate change on the United States. The assessment touches on many disciplines: earth science, biology, human health, engineering, technology, economics and policy. Explore the document with a lead National Climate Assessment author, then learn about related educator resources with Kristen Poppleton from the Will Steger Foundation. Discover resources that will enable you to bring this topic into classroom lessons, engage students in data collection and analyses, and share visualizations and citizen science projects. The focus this month will be on the Great Plains region. Watch for additional regions of the U.S. to be featured in upcoming “Ask US” sessions.

Certificates of professional development hours are available upon request. 

For more information on this event and upcoming webinar sessions, visit Questions about this series should be sent to Bonnie Murray at


NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Launches Hands-On Field Campaign for Students With GLOBE

This spring, students worldwide are invited to grab rain gauges and learn how scientists use ground measurements to validate satellite precipitation data.

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission is partnering with the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, program to conduct a field campaign where students will measure rain and snow in their hometowns through April 15, 2015, and then analyze the data.

To evaluate how well satellite instruments observe precipitation from space, NASA collects data in field campaigns on the ground. In formal ground validation campaigns, teams of scientists deploy rain gauges and ground-based radar instruments to measure precipitation in different terrains, like the Appalachian Mountains, the flood plains of Iowa or snowy Finland. Then they compare the collected data to measurements from satellites and aircraft instruments that simulate satellite observations.

The GLOBE-GPM field campaign is designed to give students a similar experience. Students will use simple manual rain gauges to collect precipitation data and enter them into the online GLOBE database. Using an example analysis as a template, the students will then analyze their data.

Students also will be encouraged to develop their own scientific questions to be answered by the data and compare their observations to ground observations from other sources — nearby GLOBE schools, National Weather Service ground stations or other citizen science data sources — as well as to satellite precipitation data available from NASA.

Educators will have access to a series of blog entries where scientists and engineers describe their research and how they became interested in STEM fields. The campaign will post a discussion board for educators to share ways to use citizen science, GPM data and NASA activities with students.

For more information about the GPM-GLOBE program, visit

For more GPM Precipitation education material, visit

For more information about GPM, visit or

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Kristen Weaver at


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

ARISS-US is now accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums, science centers and community youth organizations to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact between Jan. 1-June 30, 2016. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Proposals are due April 15, 2015.

Using amateur radio, students from selected institutions will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to astronauts about life in space and other space-related topics during a 10-minute pass of the International Space Station. Students will gain an understanding of amateur radio and wireless communications and other STEM topics through an education plan executed by the hosting organization.

ARISS provides experienced mentors and relies on local amateur radio volunteers to help organizations obtain the technology required to host this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students.

Interested parties should visit 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

SpaceRef staff editor.