September 2010 Education Update

September 2010: NASA Earth and Space Science Education E-Newsletter

A monthly broadcast including upcoming educational programs, events, opportunities and the latest resources from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.


UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

(1) NASA Explorer Schools Project – Grades 4-12 (Program Starts Sept. 1)

(2) NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute Kick-Off – Undergraduate students & faculty (Sept. 8)

(3) NASA Education Stakeholders’ Summit Meeting (Sept. 13-15, Chantilly, Va.)

(4) International Observe the Moon Night (Sept. 18)

(5) GLOBE Xpedition to the Roof of Africa (Sept. 23)

(6) North American Association for Environmental Education 2010 Conference (Sept. 29-Oct. 2)

(7) Astronomy Camp Workshop for Girl Scout Leaders – K-12 (Oct. 8-10, Tucson, Az.)

(8) Global Climate Change Education for Middle School – Educator Training (Oct. 27-Dec. 10)

(9) NASA Teacher Workshops at NSTA Regional Conferences (Kansas City: Oct. 28-30; Baltimore: Nov. 11-13; and Nashville: Dec. 2-4)

(10) 2011 NASA College and University Faculty Workshops (Dec. 11-12, San Francisco, Calif.; Jan. 18-19, Minneapolis, Minn.; Feb. 24-25, San Diego, Calif.)

*PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST

(11) Climate Change Web Seminars (Sept. 22 – Oct. 28)

(12) Celebrate World Space Week (Oct. 4 – 10)

(13) Call for Papers: International Space University’s 15th Annual International Symposium (Oct. 8 deadline; Symposium Feb. 15 – 17, 2011; Strasbourg, France)

(14) International Symposium on the A-Train Satellite Constellation 2010 (Oct. 25 – 28; New Orleans, La.)

(15) Teacher Training Opportunity: Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program – K-12 (Oct. 25 – 29; Apple Valley, Calif.)

(16) 2010 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest- Grades 5-12 (Oct. 27 deadline)

(17) RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge Phase 1: For High School Students and Teachers (Dec. 15 deadline)

(18) A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers

(19) Solar Dynamics Observatory Ambassador in the Classroom


FUNDING/EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

(20) NASA Seeks Partnerships for Summer of Innovation Project (Due Sept. 3)

(21) NASA Seeking Proposals for Two New Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy Sites (Due Sept. 3)

(22) NOAA’s Office of Education Requesting Applications for Formal K-12 Education Projects Advancing Earth Systems Science Learning and Stewardship (Pre-Proposal Due Sept. 8)

(23) Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (LOI Due Oct. 1)

(24) NASA Astrobiology Institute Minority Institution Research Support Program (Due Oct. 7)

(25) NSF Seeks Proposals for Transforming STEM Learning (Due March 11, 2011)


EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

(26) NASA Science Mission Directorate Plans to Advertise E/PO Lead Position


EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

(27) NASA Blast Back to School

(28) Notes From the Field Blog: The Western Siberia Expedition 2010

(29) New Blog: Elegant Figures

(30) Gulf of Mexico Oil Slick Images: Frequently Asked Questions

(31) NASA Grip Hurricane Mission and Hurricane Research Website


SCIENCE NEWS

(32) U2 and NASA Create Video to Celebrate Collaboration (Aug. 27)

(33) Kepler Discovers Multiple Planets Transiting a Single Star (Aug. 26)

(34) The Mutating Mars Hoax (Aug. 25)

(35) “Avatar” Director and NASA Focus on Earth Science Exploration in PSA Campaign (Aug. 24)

(36) NASA Announces Latest Findings by Kepler Spacecraft (Aug. 23)

(37) Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth (Aug. 19)

(38) Countdown to Vesta (Aug. 19)

(39) NASA and Mary J. Blige Encourage Science Careers for Women (Aug. 18)

(40) NASA Announces 2010 Global Climate Change Education Awards (Aug. 17)

(41) Japanese Spacecraft Approaches Venus (Aug. 16)

(42) NASA and Israel Space Agency Sign Statement of Intent for Future Cooperation (Aug. 11)

(43) Twin Brother NASA Astronauts Available for Satellite Interviews (Aug. 11)

(44) NASA Invites Media to Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Arrival (Aug. 10)

(45) Planets Align for the Perseid Meteor Shower (Aug. 5)

(46) NASA Crowns 16 Educators as Hubble “Top Stars” (Aug. 3)

(47) NASA and ESA’s First Joint Mission to Mars Selects Instruments (Aug. 2)

(48) NASA Hosts Workshop to Discuss Exploring Near Earth Objects (Aug. 1)

(49) NASA GRIP Project Studying Hurricanes (Aug 1)

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UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

(1) NASA EXPLORER SCHOOLS PROJECT (grades 4-12)

(Project launches Sept. 1)

The NASA Explorer Schools project is NASA’s classroom-based gateway for middle school (grades 4-8) and high school (grades 9-12) classrooms. NES provides free teaching and learning resources that promote student engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The project provides opportunities for teachers and students to participate in NASA’s mission of research and discovers through inquiry-based experiences directly related to the work of NASA scientists and engineers.

At the end of the year, NES will recognize its best teachers and schools with NASA experiences such as field center training, research opportunities and flights aboard a reduced-gravity aircraft.

For more information and to schedule an orientation session, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/nes2/home/index.html

(2) NASA MINORITY INNOVATION CHALLENGES INSTITUTE KICK-OFF

(Sept. 8)

The Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) is creating a virtual training ground where minority undergraduate students learn how to compete in NASA technical challenges for both prestige and significant cash prizes. On Sept. 8, at 2 p.m. EDT, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will deliver a pre-recorded welcome message, followed by a live presentation from MICI organizers. These individuals will explain how MICI works and how students and faculty can access this free year-round program that seeks to mentor students to compete in NASA technical challenges. The event will conclude with a question and answer session.

Immediately following the kick-off event will be a live presentation starting at 3 p.m. EDT from Julie Clift at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Clift will explain how students and faculty can get involved in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative. The entire month of September within the MICI will be focused on this particular challenge and will feature weekly presentations on the subject.

Students and faculty are encouraged to register in advance for the event at: http://nasamici.com/

(3) NASA EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS’ SUMMIT MEETING

(Sept. 13-15, Chantilly, Va.)

The Education Stakeholders’ Summit will bring together high-level representatives of NASA, academia and industry. During the summit, participants will share important, national policy initiatives for STEM education and workforce development; communicate the president’s agenda for NASA; place the NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI) for internships, fellowships and scholarship opportunities in context of these national policies and strategy frameworks; enhance the awareness of the OSSI-student online application and the associated roles and benefits; and provide forums for dialogue and feedback that might enhance NASA workforce development processes.

Summit participants will have the opportunity to hear from several speakers, including: Charles F. Bolden, Jr., NASA Administrator; the Honorable Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; and Dr. Cora Marrett, Acting Director of the National Science Foundation.

For more information, and to register online, please visit: http://www.oai.org/OSSI/

(4) INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON NIGHT

(Sept. 18)

On Sept. 18, 2010, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter EPO Team, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute are teaming up to promote the First Annual International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN). This night will be dedicated to encouraging as many people as possible, worldwide, to spend an evening observing and learning about the Moon. The goal of InOMN is to engage lunar science and education communities, amateur astronomers, space enthusiasts, and the general public in annual lunar observation campaigns that share the excitement of lunar science and exploration.

Information about InOMN and the Moon, a map of all registered events, step-by-step instructions on hosting your own event, activities, a Moon map, star charts, a lunar photography contest, and other resources are available at http://observethemoonnight.org/

(5) 2010 GLOBE XPEDITION TO THE ROOF OF AFRICA

(Begins Sept. 23)

Join the second Xpedition of GLOBE students, alumni and scientists on a GLOBE Africa and Seasons and Biomes trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, as they observe firsthand the shifting biomes and shrinking glaciers of the mountain. The 9-day trek may be followed online. New features to the website include 3D Google Earth Tours of the mountain, as well as daily video blogs that include updates and GLOBE protocol demonstrations.

For more information, please visit: http://www.globe.gov

(6) NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION 2010 CONFERENCE

(Sept. 29-Oct. 2, Buffalo, N.Y.)

The 39th Annual NAAEE Conference will focus on the theme of Environmental Education: Building Connections, Bridging Gaps. Panels will include Federal Funding Opportunities in Climate Change Education (Lin Chambers, NASA Langley Research Center), Modeling Sustainability Education Through Student Scientific Investigation of Local Climate (Sheila Yule, The GLOBE Program), as well as a number of presenters focusing on Earth Systems Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) modules and NASA’s Global Climate Change Education Project.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.naaee.org/conference

(7) ASTRONOMY CAMP WORKSHOP FOR GIRL SCOUT LEADERS

(Oct. 8-10, Tucson, Ariz.)

Girl Scout leaders are welcomed to apply for the next GSUSA Astronomy Camp training on Oct. 8-10, 2010. Held in Tucson, Az. at the Hacienda Center of the Sahuaro Council, this weekend workshop is a science education program sponsored by the near-infrared camera team (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Participants will become part of our world-wide network of 160 trainers teaching young women essential concepts in astronomy, the night sky environment, applied math, engineering and critical thinking. The workshop engages leaders in the process of scientific inquiry and equips them to host astronomy-related activities at the troop level.

Training includes topics in basic astronomy (night sky, phases of the Moon, the scale of the Solar System and beyond, stars, galaxies, telescopes, ect.) as well as JWST-specific research areas in extra-solar planetary systems and cosmology, to pave the way for girls and women to understand the first images of JWST.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Don McCarthy at dmccarthy@as.arizona.edu

For more information and to obtain registration materials, please visit: http://zeus.as.arizona.edu/~dmccarthy/GSUSA/index.htm

(8) GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL

(Oct. 27 – Dec. 10; 45 hours, 3 Graduate Credits)

Developed by PBS TeacherLine as part of the NASA Global Climate Change Education (GCCE) initiative, this online course is designed to improve the quality of the nation’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and enhance students’ and teachers’ literacy about global climate and Earth system change from middle grades to lifelong learners. This course integrates NASA data models and NASA resources, as well as PBS resources from WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain and from PBS programs like NOVA in classroom instruction. This is the first of two courses developed under this grant. The second, Global Climate Change Education for High School will launch in May of 2011.

To learn more and register, please visit: http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/catalog/courses/STEM412/

(9) NASA TEACHER WORKSHOPS AT NSTA REGIONAL CONFERENCES

(Kansas City: Oct. 28-30; Baltimore: Nov. 11-13; and Nashville: Dec. 2-4)

Look for NASA Earth and space science workshops for K-12 teachers at NSTA regional workshops this fall.  You can find NASA sessions by going to the following online schedules for each conference and entering “NASA” as a keyword search.

Kansas City – http://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2010kan

Baltimore – http://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2010bal

Nashville – http://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2010nas

(10)2011 NASA COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY WORKSHOPS

(Dec. 11-12, San Francisco, Calif.; Jan. 18-19, Minneapolis, Minn.; Feb. 24-25, San Diego, Calif.)

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010-2011 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE). These two-day workshops are to assist university and community college science and education faculty in preparing future teachers in science. The workshops are held in conjunction with national science and education conferences around the country.

The 2011 Institutes will incorporate the theme of Our Solar System in a New Light, in conjunction with the upcoming Year of the Solar System. The workshops are free, and participants receive a $300 stipend and lunch, and development implementation plans.

To apply, and for more information, please visit: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/facultyInstitutes/

*PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST

(11) CLIMATE CHANGE WEBINARS FOR TEACHERS

(Next Webinar Sept. 22)

Join Windows to the Universe educators this fall for free 90-minute live seminars highlighting science content and classroom activities on topics related to climate change. Offered through the National Science Teachers Association, these seminars are a part of the NASA-funded Global Climate Change Educator Professional Development Network. Upcoming seminars:

  • Sept. 22 – An Introduction to Earth’s Climate
  • Sept. 28 – Clues to Climates of the Past
  • Oct. 6 – Global Climate Change and the Earth System
  • Oct. 14 – Effects of Climate Change: Oceans and Ice
  • Oct. 20 – Effects of Climate Change to Life on Earth
  • Oct. 28 – Predicting Future Climate and Considering Solutions

All Webinars start at 6:30 P.M. EDT. For more information, registration and other climate change education resources associated with the project, please visit: http://www.windows2universe.org/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

(12) CELEBRATE WORLD SPACE WEEK (OCT. 4-10)

Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2010. This international event commemorates the beginning of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957. To find NASA educational resources that can be used during World Space Week, visit the Educational Materials Finder: http://search.nasa.gov/search/edFilterSearch.jsp?empty=true

To learn more about World Space Week, search for events in your area and find educational materials related to the event, visit: http://www.worldspaceweek.org/index.html

(13) CALL FOR PAPERS FOR INTERNATIONAL SPACE UNIVERSITY’S (ISU) 15TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

(Call for Papers deadline Oct. 8; Symposium Feb. 15 – 17; Strasbourg, France)

ISU has organized a three-day symposium as an interdisciplinary, international forum to help both the users and providers of space-related systems to move forward from the discussion of problems to the formation of solutions. This symposium will address the opportunities and possibilities offered by extending the operation of the International Space Station (ISS) to 2020. The proposed scope of the symposium includes not just the centralized theme of how to make best use of the extended ISS life, but also related issues of commercialization both in its resupply and operation, and perhaps in the establishment and operation of related Earth-orbit infrastructure. Contributions from the ‘Newspace’ sector, as well as from agencies, industries and academic institutions already involved in ISS construction and operation are anticipated. The program will include invited contributions from leading experts in the field, as well as presentations and poster selected on the basis of abstracts submitted in response to the Call for Papers.

Abstracts are now invited and must be submitted by Oct. 8th, 2010. For more information, please visit: http://www.isunet.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&Itemid=146

(14) INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE A-TRAIN SATELLITE CONSTELLATION 2010
(Oct. 25-28, New Orleans, La. )
The A-Train satellite constellation brings together a rich array of instruments to better understand Earth’s changing climate and environment. This Symposium will provide a forum to exchange information on the latest scientific advancements using multisensor measurements from the A-Train, and is structured along four themes: atmospheric composition and chemistry; aerosols, clouds, radiation, and the hydrological cycle; atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial components of the carbon cycle; and weather and other operational applications. The meeting will be organized into two parts: a one-day user workshop on Oct. 25 focusing on instrument data products and their use and, a three-day symposium (Oct. 26-28) emphasizing science capabilities and advancements realized through the A-Train multi-sensor system.Travel assistance for a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students is also available.

For more information on the Symposium, including registration and lodging information, visit: http://a-train-neworleans2010.larc.nasa.gov/

(15) TEACHER TRAINING OPPORTUNITY: GOLDSTONE APPLE VALLEY RADIO TELESCOPE PROGRAM (GRADES K-12)

(Oct. 25-29; Apple Valley, Calif.)
The Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) Program uses radio astronomy to provide real science experience to students and teach them that science is an ongoing process. Using classroom computers, students take control of a 34-meter, 500-ton, 9-story-tall radio telescope located at NASA’s Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif.

Interested teachers must attend a five-day training class. Classes will take place in Apple Valley, Calif. Upcoming classes: Oct. 25-29. The cost of the class is $745. Register, via:http://www.lewiscenter.org/gavrt/opportunities.php

(16) 2010 CASSINI SCIENTIST FOR A DAY ESSAY CONTEST FOR GRADES 5-12

(Entries due Oct. 27, 3:00 p.m. Eastern.)

The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three target images taken by the Cassini spacecraft and choose the one they think will yield the best results. This choice must be supported in a 500-word essay. Teaming up is encouraged. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.

The contest is open to all students in the U.S. in grades 5-12, working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essays will be divided into three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Each student can submit only one entry.

For more information, visit: http://saturn.jpl.nasa/gov/scientistforaday/

(17) REALWORLD-INWORLD NASA ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGE PHASE 1: FOR HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS AND TEACHERS (Deadline for Phase 1 is Dec. 15)
The “RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge” encourages students to explore and build skills necessary for STEM careers through two phases of project-based learning and team competition. In Phase 1, teams work cooperatively as engineers and scientists to explore and design solutions for one of two real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. Only teams who submit their final project solutions by Dec. 15, 2010 will be eligible to move into Phase 2.In Phase 2, groups will work in a 3D virtual environment using 21st Century tools to refine designs and create 3D models of the Webb telescope. For more information, go to:http://www.nasarealworldinworld.org/

(18) A DAY AT GODDARD: OPPORTUNITY FOR DC METRO TEACHERS(Grades 8-12) – Teachers in the DC Metro area are invited to bring their students to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for a day spent learning what it is like to work for NASA. Field trips include a meet-and-greet at the visitor’s center featuring a scientist and engineer, a demonstration of the Science on a Sphere program, a tour of the satellite testing facility and an inquiry based science lab activity. Programs are highly customizable, teacher-friendly and designed for grades 8-12. Contact Aleya Van Doren (aleya.vandoren@nasa.gov) with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly so register today!

(19) SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY (SDO) AMBASSADOR IN THE CLASSROOM
Let NASA take over your classroom for the day! Teachers in the DC Metro area and southern Pennsylvania are eligible for a visit from an SDO educator or scientist. Your students will learn about solar clocks, Earth’s place in the solar system, electricity and magnetism, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the Doppler effect. Visits are free, include all supplies for the activity, and can be customized for each teacher. Register at: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/educators/ambassador.php

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

(20) NASA SEEKS PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUMMER OF INNOVATION PROJECT

(Response due Sept. 3)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is requesting information from entities interested in participating in its Summer of Innovation project. SoI engages the nation’s middle school youth in intensive science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences that will have an impace on their academic performance, choice of STEM coursework, degree programs and, eventually, career path. NASA is looking for partners to develop creative ways to help achieve one or more SoI goals and to increase the impact and visibility of SoI.

NASA is receptive to a wide range of creative partnership possibilities. Respondents may include, but are not limited to, the following: for-profit companies; universities and other academic institutions; libraries; informal or nonprofit organizations; professional or public organizations; and federal agencies.

To view this announcement, please visit:http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/472104main_SoI_PartnershipAO_Aug19.pdf

To learn more about the Summer of Innovation, please visit:http://www.nasa.gov/soi

Additional questions about this opportunity may be directed to soipartners@nasa.gov

(21) NASA SEEKING PROPOSALS FOR TWO NEW SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, MATHEMATICS AND AEROSPACE ACADEMY SITES

(Proposals due by 4 p.m. EDT, Sept. 3, 2010)

NASA is seeking proposals to establish two new SEMAA sites. Established in 1993, the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy is an innovative, pre-college project designed to increase participation and retention of historically underrepresented youth (grades K-12) in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Through this new RFP, NASA is seeking to partner with two- and four-year institutions, specifically minority-serving institution, to expand and replicate the SEMAA project to include two additional sites. Interested institutions responding to the RFP are encouraged to partner with local school systems to introduce underserved minority students and their families to the project.

A downloadable version of the Official SEMAA RFP can be found on the NASA portal by accessinghttp://www.nasa.gov/education/semaa

Questions should be directed to Janice Costaras at nasasemaa@paragon-tec.com

(22) NOAA’S OFFICE OF EDUCATION REQUESTING APPLICATIONS FOR FORMAL K-12 EDUCATION PROJECTS ADVANCING EARTH SYSTEMS SCIENCE LEARNING AND STEWARDSHIP
(required pre-proposal due 5 P.M., Sept. 8th, full applications due 5 P.M., Jan. 12, 2011)

NOAA’s Office of Education (OEd) has issued a request for applications for Formal K-12 Education Projects that advance inquiry-based Earth systems science learning and stewardship directly tied to the school curriculum, with a particular interest in increasing climate literacy.

To address this goal, the solicitation will support service-learning and professional development projects related to NOAA’s mission in the areas of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather and climate sciences and stewardship. Please note that projects related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are highly encouraged. A successful project will catalyze change in K-12 education at the state, regional and national level through the development of new programs and/or revision of existing programs to improve the environmental literacy of K-12 teachers and their students. A successful project will also leverage NOAA assets, although the use of non-NOAA assets is also encouraged.

For further information, please visit: http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/funding_opps.html

(23) OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENHANCING DIVERSITY IN THE GEOSCIENCES
(Letter of Intent Due Oct. 1; Full Proposal Due Nov. 10)

The Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) Program is designed to address the fact that certain groups are underrepresented in the geosciences relative to their proportions in the general population. Goals of the OEDG Program are to increase participation in the geosciences by minorities, and to increase the perceived relevance of the geosciences among diverse segments of the population. The OEDG Program supports activities that will increase the number of members of underrepresented groups who:

  • Are involved in formal pre-college geoscience education programs;
  • Pursue and earn associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the geosciences;
  • Enter geoscience careers; and
  • Participate in informal geoscience education programs.

The OEDG Program offers three funding Tracks: OEGD Planning Grants, Proof-of-Concept (short-term) project, and Full-Scale (long-term) projects.

To view the Proposal Solicitation, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10599/nsf10599.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click

(24) NASA ASTROBIOLOGY INSTITUTE MINORITY INSTITUTION RESEARCH SUPPORT PROGRAM
(Proposals Due: Oct. 7)

The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program is intended to help train a new generation of researchers in astrobiology and to increase diversity within the astrobiology community. This solicitation seeks proposals to continue the process of recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by involving faculty and students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in astrobiology research.

NASA is soliciting proposals from accredited US institutions of higher education, non-profit higher education professional organizations, and consortia of those types of organizations and institutions. Proposals from MSIs and non-profit organizations serving underrepresented students are strongly encouraged. Other organizations, including for-profit organizations, with a demonstrable capability to engage minority populations are also eligible to propose.

The full text of the solicitation can be found at: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/.The point-of-contact for all questions is Ms. Beatrice Morales at beatrice.m.morales@nasa.gov.

(25) NSF SEEKS PROPOSALS FOR TRANSFORMING STEM LEARNING (TSL)
(Full Proposal Due March 11, 2011)

TSL combines interests and resources of separate programs in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) to explore the opportunities and challenges implied by innovative visions of the future for STEM learning. The TSL program invites interdisciplinary teams to submit proposals for the following categories:

Challenge 1:Studying Existing Examples of Innovative Models for STEM Education:We invite proposals for descriptive and analytic research projects that will study existing innovations to determine how and what students are learning, and features of successful programs. Proposals for work on those objectives should involve interdisciplinary teams, as appropriate, of STEM-related specialists and experts.

Challenge 2: Designing, Developing, and Studying New Structural Models for STEM Learning Environments: We invite proposals for planning and pilot development projects from interdisciplinary teams of STEM-related specialists and experts. The aim of these projects would be the development and study of new models for STEM learning environments that produce learners with understanding and skills to engage in scientific, engineering, technical, and mathematical thinking and practices. They should yield learning outcomes markedly superior to the yield of current practices in STEM education.

Questions may be directed to DRLTSL@nsf.gov

To view the full solicitation, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10602/nsf10602.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

(26) NASA SCIENCE MISSION DIRECTORATE PLANS TO ADVERTISE E/PO LEAD POSITION

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) intends to advertise the position of SMD Lead for Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) this fall. SMD is responsible for expanding scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live. The SMD Lead for E/PO is responsible for developing, approving, evaluating, and coordinating the Directorate’s policies and programs aimed at enhancing the Nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and at communicating NASA’s science results, findings, and applications to external users and the general public.

Applications for this position will only be accepted through the USA Jobs website (http://usajobs.com). Individuals considering applying for the position are encouraged to register with USA Jobs for notification when the application process opens. Questions may be addressed to Paul Hertz, Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, paul.hertz@nasa.gov

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EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

(27) NASA BLAST BACK TO SCHOOL

NASA offers educational resources for use with kindergarten through college, as well as resources for the informal education community. Many of NASA’s educational products are quick and easy to find on the NASA website.

Visit the NASA Blast Back to School page to find educational resources and NASA events taking place in your area. From the site, you can find information relating to the following topics, including NASA Explorer Schools, NASA Summer of Innovation, opportunities for students and educators, homework topics, NASA teaching materials, as well as other helpful resources.

For more information, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/blast-back-to-school-2010.html

(28) NOTES FROM THE FIELD BLOG: THE WESTERN SIBERIA EXPEDITION 2010
An international team of scientists working in Siberia report on their expedition to collect data related to the Earth’s carbon budget and to document the effects of climate change in the region.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/category/the-western-siberia-expedition-2010/

(29) NEW BLOG: ELEGANT FIGURES

The Earth Observatory’s lead visualizer, Robert Simmon, blogs about data visualization and information design done on the Earth Observatory.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/elegantfigures/

(30) GULF OF MEXICO OIL SLICK IMAGES: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This FAQ explains why oil is more obvious in some satellite images than others, and why the Earth Observatory doesn’t post new images of the oil slick every day.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OilSlick/?src=ese_ed

(31) NASA GRIP HURRICANE MISSION AND HURRICANE RESEARCH WEBSITE

The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) is an science field experiment being conducted to better understand the formation and development of tropical storms into major hurricanes utilizing the Global Hawk aircraft. Deployment is scheduled from Aug. 15-Sept. 30, with information on findings posted on the mission’s website: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/missions/grip/main/index.html

In addition, the NASA Hurricane Research Website (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/missions/index.html) provides resources on hurricane development, including images, video, news, and other information on hurricane research. NASA Hurricane Research can also be followed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NASAHurricane

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SCIENCE NEWS

(32) U2 AND NASA CREATE VIDEO TO CELEBRATE COLLABORATION

Aug. 27 – NASA and U2 released a commemorative video highlighting a year’s worth of collaboration in space and on the Irish rock band’s 360 Degree tour.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-199_U2_Video.html

(33) KEPLER DISCOVERS MULTIPLE PLANETS TRANSISTING A SINGLE STAR

Aug. 26 – NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/26aug_kepler/

(34) THE MUTATING MARS HOAX

Aug. 25 – For the seventh year in a row, the Mars Hoax is infecting email boxes around the world. Passed from one reader to another, the message states that on Aug. 27 Mars will approach Earth and swell to the size of a full Moon. It’s not true.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/25aug_marshoax/

(35) “AVATAR” DIRECTOR AND NASA FOCUS ON EARTH SCIENCE EXPLORATION IN PSA CAMPAIGN
Aug. 24 – James Cameron, director of “Avatar,” the most successful film ever released, is featured in a series of new NASA public service announcements that describe the many contributions of the agency’s Earth science program to environmental awareness and exploration of our home planet.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_M10-119_Cameron_PSA.html

(36) NASA ANNOUNCES LATEST FINDINGS BY KEPLER SPACECRAFT

Aug. 23 – NASA held a media teleconference Thursday, Aug. 26, at 1 P.M. EDT to discuss the Kepler spacecraft’s latest discovery about an intriguing planetary system.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_M10-120_Kepler_Telecon.html

(37) DROUGHT DRIVES DECADE-LONG DECLINE IN PLANT GROWTH

Aug. 19 – Global plant productivity that once was on the rise with warming temperatures and a lengthening growing season is now on the decline because of regional drought according to a new study of NASA satellite data.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-196_Global_Plant_Decline.html

(38) COUNTDOWN TO VESTA

Aug. 19 – NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is slated to enter orbit around Vesta in late July 2011. As the first images are beamed back to Earth, researchers will quickly combine them into a movie, allowing us all to ride along.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/19aug_dawn2/

(39) NASA AND MARY J. BLIGE ENCOURAGE SCIENCE CAREERS FOR WOMEN

Aug. 18 – NASA is collaborating with award-winning recording artist Mary J. Blige to encourage young women to pursue exciting experiences and career choices by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-195_Melvin_Blige_PSAs.html

(40) NASA ANNOUNCES 2010 GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION AWARDS

Aug. 17 – NASA has awarded $7.7 million in cooperative agreements to 17 organizations across the United States to enhance learning through the use of NASA’s Earth science resources. The selected organizations include colleges and universities, nonprofit groups, and a community college.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-192_Global_Climate_Ed_Awards.html

(41) JAPANESE SPACECRAFT APPROACHES VENUS

Aug. 16 – Akatsuki, a Japanese mission also called the Venus Climate Orbiter, is approaching Venus and will enter orbit on Dec. 7, 2010. It will circle the planet’s equator in an elliptical orbit for at least 2 years, monitoring the atmosphere at different altitudes using various wavelengths.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/16aug_vco/

(42) NASA AND ISRAEL SPACE AGENCY SIGN STATEMENT OF INTENT FOR FUTURE COOPERATION

Aug. 11 – During a meeting at NASA Headquarters in Washington, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Israel Space Agency Director General Zvi Kaplan signed a joint statement of intent to expand the agencies’ cooperation in civil space activities.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-189_Israel_Signing.html

(43) TWIN BROTHER NASA ASTRONAUTS AVAILABLE FOR SATELLITE INTERVIEWS

Aug. 11 – For the first time, twin brothers are slated to be in space simultaneously early next year. Mark Kelly will be in command of the last scheduled space shuttle flight, and Scott Kelly in command of the International Space Station.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_M10-112_Twins_Tweet.html

(44) NASA INVITES MEDIA TO ALPHA MAGNETIC SPECTROMETER ARRIVAL

Aug. 10 – The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometes (AMS), a state-of-the-art device designed to further our understanding of the universe, will launch to the International Space Station during the last scheduled space shuttle flight next year. The instrument, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a particle physics detector constructed, tested, and operated by an international team representing 16 countries.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_M10-111_AMS_Event.html

(45) PLANETS ALIGN FOR THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER

Aug. 5 – The show began at sunset, Aug. 12, when Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon popped out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope was required to enjoy this event.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/05aug_perseids/

(46) NASA CROWNS 16 EDUCATORS AS HUBBLE “TOP STARS”

Aug. 3 – A planetarium show, student-authored wiki pages and a card game are among the entries selected as Top Stars in the fourth and final round of a NASA-sponsored contest that invited U.S. formal and informal educators to submit their best examples of using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in science, technology, engineering or mathematics education.
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/hubble-top-stars.html

(47) NASA AND ESA’S FIRST JOINT MISION TO MARS SELECTS INSTRUMENTS

Aug. 2 – NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have embarked on a joint program to explore Mars in the coming decades and selected the five science instruments for the first mission.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/aug/HQ_10-181_Joint_Mars_Mission.html

(48) NASA HOSTS WORKSHOP TO DISCUSS EXPLORING NEAR EARTH OBJECTS

Aug. 1 – NASA held an interactive workshop to identify objectives for exploration missions to near-Earth objects, or NEOs, on Aug. 10-11. Presentations and reference materials are available for download at the following website: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/new_space_enterprise/home/neoworkshop.html

(49) NASA GRIP PROJECT STUDYING HURRICANES

Aug. 1 – The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes mission, or GRIP, will study how hurricanes are created and why they can intensify rapidly. The mission involves three NASA research aircraft based in Florida, Texas, and California, and observations from several NASA satellites. GRIP will run from Aug. 15 to Sept. 25.
http://www.nasa.gov/grip

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CALENDAR

Sept. 1 – NASA Explorer Schools Project Launches
Sept. 1 -NOI due for New Investigator Program in Earth Science & Fellowships for Earth Career Researchers
Sept. 1 -NOI due for E/PO Research Awards
Sept. 3 – Request for Partnerships for NASA Summer of Innovation Project Responses Due (pdf)
Sept. 3 -Proposals Due for New Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy Sites
Sept. 8NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute Kick-Off
Sept. 8 – Pre-Proposal due for NOAA Formal K-12 Education Projects Advancing Earth Systems Science Learning and Stewardship
Sept. 13-15 -NASA Education Stakeholders Summit
Sept. 18 – International Observe the Moon Night
Sept. 22-24 -National Conference Science and Technology Out-of-School Time
Sept. 22-Oct. 28 -Climate Change Webinars
Sept. 29-Oct. 2 -North American Association for Environmental Education 2010 Conference
Oct. 1 – LOI Due for Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) Program
Oct. 4-10 – World Space Week
Oct. 7-Proposals Due for NASA Astrobiology Institute Minority Institution Research Support Program
Oct. 7-9 -National Science Teachers Association’s Fall Professional Learning Communities Institute
Oct. 8 -Deadline, Call for Papers: International Space University’s 15th Annual International Symposium
Oct. 8-10 – Astronomy Camp Workshop for Girl Scout Leaders
Oct. 10-16 -Earth Science Week: Exploring Energy
Oct. 25-28 -International Symposium on the A-Train Satellite Constellation 2010
Oct. 25-29 -Teacher Training Opportunity: Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program
Oct. 27 – Deadline: 2010 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest – Grades 5-12
Oct. 27-Dec. 10Global Climate Change Education for Middle School
Oct. 28-30 – Science: The Foundation of the Future – National Science Teachers Association 2010 Area Conference
Dec. 11-12 – FINESSE Workshop at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Dec. 15Deadline to Submit Phase 1 Project Solution for RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge
Jan. 18-19, 2011FINESSE Workshop at The Association for Science Teacher Education International Conference
Feb. 24-25, 2011 -FINESSE Workshop at the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs National Conference
March 11, 2011 - Proposal Due for Transforming Stem Learning


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

NASA Science Mission Directorate: Larry Cooper, Stephanie Stockman and Ming-Ying Wei.

Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), theresa_schwerin@strategies.org.

Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES, morgan_woroner@strategies.org

Contributions from: Melinda George, PBS; Donovan Goode, PBS; Andrea Jones, NASA GSFC; Barbara Mann, Virginia Space Grant Consortium; Don McCarthy, The University of Arizona; Tim Slater, University of Wyoming; Kevin Ward, NASA EO and Sigma Space Corporation.


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