Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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January 1 - December 31, 2015 Hubble Space Telescope's 25th Anniversary

January 1 - December 31, 2015 International Year of Light

April 22, 2015 Earth Day

July 14, 2015 New Horizons mission flies by Pluto


Free Earth and Space Science Workshop for 8th grade in Houston
The Lunar and Planetary Institute, working with members of the STEP program, will be offering a series of free workshops August 5-7 for 8th grade science teachers and middle school science student teachers; topics include lunar phases, tides, seasons, topography, and characteristics of the universe. Registration will be on a space available basis and opens by April 20th!

Mars Through Time Workshop in Houston
Mars Through Time is a four day (July 13-16, 2015), high school teacher professional development training focusing on Mars science and exploration and the nature and process of science, which will be conducted at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Participants explore the relationship between technology and science using the history of Mars exploration as an example. Participants also learn about and discuss the nature and process of science with each other and invited speakers. Registration is free. Travel stipends are available for select participants based on need. The application period closes May 15, 2015.

NASA Educator Professional Development: Hubble Space Telescope 25th Celebration" Webinar Series
The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative at Texas State University is providing six free webinars during the month of April to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. Educators are invited to attend and learn how to incorporate exciting images, videos, and activities into classroom instruction for students of all ages.

MAVEN Educator Ambassadors (MEA) For Middle and High School Teachers
In September of 2014, the MAVEN mission began exploring Mars’ upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. In this NASA funded program (August 3-7, 2015, at Goddard Space Flight Center), you will receive training to become a MAVEN Ambassador, to train other teachers on NASA Heliophysics and Planetary Science educational resources. We expect that the educators involved in the MEA program will implement the lesson plans and education resources in their own classrooms, as well as train other teachers at local and regional professional development conferences or meetings. Participants receive a single travel stipend of $700. Free housing and meals will be provided.

DREAM2Explore Workshop at Goddard This Summer
Grade 6-9 science teachers are invited to participate in a free workshop, June 22-26, focused on lunar and planetary science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon, asteroids, and the moons of Mars is growing and changing with new data from current and recent planetary missions. In-service and pre-service science teachers are encouraged to apply.


Just 4 Teens at the HMNS
This Summer, the Houston Museum of Natural Science offers two high energy, project intensive programs for teens who love doing science and making their own discoveries. Crete your own computer game, analyze fossils, explore the cosmos and the ocean floor. With the Museum's world renowned exhibit halls as their classroom, students will create real projects with real data. Teachers, please contact Carolyn Sumners directly (, if you have any questions about those classes.

LPI Presentation "Movie Science: Who Cares If It's Wrong" in Houston
All inquisitive adults are invited to attend the May 7, 2015 Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series presentation, "Movie Science: Who Cares If It's Wrong?", by Dr. Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute. LPI’s Cosmic Explorations presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a light reception. Registration is free and required.

I C Ceres
As the Dawn mission explores the dwarf planet Ceres, there will be a Space Science Festival with activities and presentations on May 9, 2015; events will be occuring around the US, and communities are invited to host their own event.


Genes in Space
This challenge invites teachers and students in grades 7 through 12 across the nation to design a pioneering DNA experiment by proposing DNA amplification experiments using the unique environment of the International Space Station. Teachers and students, either alone or in groups of up to four, are invited to submit a written proposal for a DNA analysis experiment to be conducted aboard the International Space Station using miniPCR technology. The national winner will later have their experiment performed 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. Proposal deadline: Apr. 30, 2015.


NCTM Invites Applications for 2015 Middle School Student Engagement Grants
Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to persons currently teaching math in grades 6-8 to support the incorporation of materials or lessons which actively engage students in tasks and experiences that deepen their content knowledge. Deadline is November 6, 2015.

Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The PAEMST program announces that the 2014-2015 application period for 7-12 grade mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers is now open! Please consider nominating a talented teacher or applying yourself. The nomination deadline is April 1, and the application deadline is May 1. Presidential awardees receive a certificate signed by the President, a trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

ING Unsung Heroes Program's Class Project Awards
Each year, one hundred K-12 educators are selected to receive awards of $2,000 each to help fund their innovative class projects. Of the one hundred finalists, three will be selected for additional financial awards. All awards must be used to further the projects within the school or school system. Application deadline: April 30 2015.