2015 NASA Planetary Science Summer School Applications Open

NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students for its 27th Annual Planetary Science Summer School, which will be held in one single session in summer 2015 (August 10-14 only) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback. By the end of the session, students will have a clearer understanding of the life cycle of a space mission; relationships between mission design, cost, and schedule; and the tradeoffs necessary to stay within cost and schedule while preserving the quality of science.

Applications are due April 10, 2015. Partial financial support is available for a limited number of individuals. Further information is available at http://pscischool.jpl.nasa.gov.

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March is Women’s History Month!

Check out these programs and resources related to engaging girls in STEM:

1) Girls in STEM: Women’s History Month on NASA Wavelength
A two-part, Women’s History Month blog post that features projects and resources to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM is available on NASA Wavelength: http://nasawavelength.org/tags/girls-stem.

2) Multiverse ‘Unheard Voices’ Series: Newly Updated Resources
Newly updated resource guides in the Unheard Voices series, “The Astronomy of Many Cultures” and “Women in Astronomy” can be found at the Multiverse website. These provide written, web-based, and audio-visual resources about multicultural approaches to astronomy and the role of women in history and in current research in the field. To access the resources, click here bit.ly/1vyQqUy.

3) NASA Science4Girls and Their Families
Join us at a library near you for one of our engaging NASAScience4Girls and Their Families events this Spring! A series of educational events related to NASA’s scientific exploration of our Earth, Sun, solar system and the Universe and beyond are being held across local libraries targeted at engaging girls and their families. These events are being held in conjunction with Women’s History Month. For a list of NASA Science4Girls and Their Families events, click here: bit.ly/1B5d6OJ. If your library is interested in hosting an event, click here: bit.ly/1M4QGBS. Please contact Bonnie Meinke at meinke@stsci.edu or at (410) 338-2923 for further details.

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Sun-Earth Day Theme Announced: “New Discoveries: One Mission at a Time”

The 2015 Sun-Earth Day is upon us, and this year we’re excited to announce the theme, “New Discoveries: One Mission at a Time”! 2015 is a particularly exciting time for solar system exploration, with the launch of the Magnetosphere Multi Scale (MMS) mission, Dawn spacecraft entering into orbit around Ceres, and the arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto on July 14. Sun-Earth Day is much more than a one day event. It combines a series of events and programs occurring throughout the year, ending with a grand Sun-Earth Day celebration on or near the Spring Equinox in March. Follow events on Facebook, Twitter and the Sun-Earth Day 2015 website at http://sunearthday.nasa.gov

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Vote in Tournament Earth 2015

They face off on the frozen tundra and in the searing deserts. They meet high in the stratosphere and in the depths of the ocean. They clash on the remotest of islands and in the brightly-lit urban centers. They are the best and brightest of Earth’s stars, and they meet again in friendly international competition. From March 2 through April 6, you can vote for your favorite images from the past year. Cast your vote at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/TournamentEarth/

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Dawn Arrives at Ceres (March 6)

Follow NASA’s Dawn mission as it closes in on the dwarf planet, Ceres. Drawn on by the irresistible lure of exploring this exotic, alien world, Dawn will begin its orbit on Friday at a distance much closer to Ceres than the moon is to our Earth. Since Jan. 25, Dawn has been providing high-resolution images of the dwarf planet, including an image of two mysterious bright spots that have scientists puzzled and eager to explore. This historic mission marks the first ever, successful visit to a dwarf planet. Learn more about Ceres and the Dawn Mission at the Dawn Blog. Educational resources related to the Dawn mission are also available at NASA Wavelength.

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Host an MMS Launch Party! (Launch date: no earlier than March 12)

On March 12, NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission will launch. MMS will study the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy via a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical spacecraft that work together to provide the first three-dimensional view of this fundamental process, which occurs throughout the universe. You don’t need to be at launch to have a great time. Everything you need to host a great party and join in the MMS launch fun can be found here: http://mms.gsfc.nasa.gov/launch_kit/launch_party_kit.html

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Free Online Course: Water in the Western US (April 1)

Join us on April 1, 2015 for the University of Colorado Boulder’s newest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ”Water in the Western US”. Over a dozen experts in water management, policy, and research will explore the scientific, legal, political, and cultural issues impacting water and climate in the Western US. This is a great course for students and educators alike who wish to gain a  deeper understanding of some controversial water issues faced in the American West. Graduate level credit is also available for educators. To read more about the course, visit  Coursera or contact Susan Buhr Sullivan for more information at susan.buhr@colorado.edu.

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Universe Discovery Guide March: Pleiades Cluster

Discover the Pleiades Star Cluster in the March edition of the Universe Discovery Guide! The guides are modular, allowing educators to use the portions that are the most useful for their audiences/events. View the March guide at ow.ly/JKb3l and learn more about the Universe Discovery Guides at ow.ly/JSh4W.

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Authentic Data, Authentic Learning! Part 1: NASA Data on Wavelength

Part 1 in a new three-part blog series, “Authentic Data, Authentic Learning!” outlines various methods for finding data-driven educational resources on NASA Wavelength.

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FameLab USA Season 3 Online Competition

Calling all early career scientists! Passionate about science? Love to Communicate… or want to learn how? Been wanting to do FameLab but couldn’t make any of the in-person heats? THIS is your chance…join us for the FameLab USA Season 3 Online Competition! Submit a YouTube video of your 3-minute, powerpoint-free presentation by March 16th, join our live, online event on March 18th and get feedback directly from the judges. For more information on how to join and prepare your video, visit the FameLab website and/or email Daniella Scalice (NASA Astrobiology Program) with any questions at daniella.m.scalice@nasa.gov.

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