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LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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December 4 - December 17, 2018 Geminid Meteor Shower

December 24, 2018 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8 "Earthrise" View of Earth

January 1, 2019 New Horizons Flies Past Kuiper Belt Object

January 3 - January 4, 2019 Quadrantid Meteor Shower

January 20 - January 21, 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse

July 20, 2019 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

 

LIGO International Physics and Astronomy Program for Educators
LIGO will offer its International Physics and Astronomy (IPA) Program for Educators from July 14-20, 2019. The IPA program is an exciting one-week intensive program geared towards high school educators from around the world. Based at the LIGO Hanford Observatory near Richland, Washington, the IPA program offers participants opportunities to discuss with and hear from experts in modern physics and astronomy, tour sites of historic and scientific interest, and engage in classroom activities that they can use in their home institutions. Topics of discussion range from nuclear physics to the emerging fields of gravitational wave and multi-messenger astronomy. Applications will close on January 31, 2019.

 

Texas STEM Conference
Where: Grand Hyatt on the Riverwalk in Historic San Antonio When: January 9-11, 2019 Learn cutting-edge technologies, STEM best practices, innovative approaches to teaching & learning, successful partnership strategies, hear inspiring keynote speakers & more!

Space Exploration Educators Conference
The 25th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) will take place February 7-9, 2019 at Space Center Houston. This conference is for grades kindergarten to 12th -- and not just for science teachers! Space Center Houston strives to use space to teach across the curriculum. Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists and engineers working on exciting endeavors like the International Space Station and explorations of Mars and the planets beyond. Hear from the astronauts leading the charge in exploration! Come learn about the bold vision to send humans back to the Moon and off to Mars! Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready to implement classroom ideas and experience minds-on, hands-on fun. Network with fellow educators, take back a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas and activities and earn 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

2019 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
The Space Port Area Conference for Educators (SPACE) takes place July 24-26, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This conference is for K-12 formal and informal educators who are U.S. citizens teaching in the United States. Experience stimulating presentations from astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts; tour Kennedy and surrounding facilities. Get ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse your classroom with STEM and multifaceted, space-related content.

Cosmic Exploration Presentation: Surprises in the Saturn System
On January 24, 2019, inquisitive adults are invited to attend the next free Cosmic Exploration presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. "Surprises in the Saturn System" will be given by Dr. Linda Spilker of NASA JPL. The presentation will be live-streamed and recorded.

 

NASA’s Langley Research Center 2019 Student Art Contest
Calling all artists in grades K-12! NASA's Langley Research Center invites you to take part in its 2019 Student Art Contest. The theme for this year’s contest is "Explore" and encourages you to illustrate your vision of the future in aeronautics, exploration and Earth science. Artwork entries may consist of drawings, paintings, mixed media and digital creations. Entry Deadline: Dec. 31

NASA GLOBE Observer: Adopt a Pixel Citizen Science Project
The NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Observer team invites educators, students and the public to make a better world land map using the GLOBE Observer app. The new "Land Cover: Adopt a Pixel" module lets citizen scientists photograph with their smartphones the landscape, identify the kinds of land cover they see (trees, grass, etc.) and then match their observations to satellite data. Users can also share their knowledge of the land and how it has changed.

2018-2019 Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
The Scientist for a Day contest challenges students grades 5-12 to become NASA scientists studying moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Participants examine three moons and choose the one they think NASA should return to that would yield the best scientific results. This year's topics are Saturn's moon Enceladus, Saturn's moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa. After researching the three options, students write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice. Entry Deadline: Feb. 8, 2019

2019 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
The competition will be held April 12-13, 2019, in Huntsville, Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Teams of high school and college students are challenged to design and build a human-powered vehicle to traverse the simulated surface of another world. The course includes 14 obstacles and five tasks, and teams must meet NASA specifications. Each school may enter up to two teams. U.S. Team Registration Deadline: Jan. 17, 2019.

Cubes in Space
Cubes in Space is a free STEAM education program for students ages 11-18. The program lets students design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in late June 2019 or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in late August 2019. Registration Deadline: Feb. 8, 2019

Ultima Art Campaign
Open to students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Send your best space artist rendition of what you think New Horizons mission will encounter. Drawings, paintings, 3D printed models, clay, Playdoh or paper mâché models ... the medium and the ART are up to you. Submit a photo or scanned copy (jpg, png or pdf files only) of your Ultima art, labeled with your first name, last initial and age. File size limit is 25 MB. The deadline is December 27, 2018, 11:59 PM CST.

UH Mars Rover Celebration
This event on March 23, 2019, at the University of Houston is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience building a mock-up Mars rover. Students participate in the design and construction of a model rover to carry out specific activities. Entries are limited, and registration closed Dec. 15.

 

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The 2018-2019 nomination window for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program is now open. Teachers of grades 7-12 mathematics and science are encouraged to sign up to apply. The PAEMST awards are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The 2018-2019 nomination window will close on March 1, 2019. The application window will be open until May 1, 2019.

Shell Science Lab Challenge
The annual Shell Science Lab Challenge Competition recognizes exceptional and innovative science educators for their exemplary approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources, and raise awareness and exposure of the outstanding work being done in the science education field. Application deadline: December 21, 2018.

 

STAR Net's "Summer of Space"
In the summer of 2019, 16,000 libraries across the country will celebrate space exploration in their summer reading programs. The slogan "A Universe of Stories" was chosen by library professionals. This site includes a information and links to resources and activities to assist libraries in their planning.

Apollo Anniversary Resources by NISE Network
These NASA and other resources and links have been assembled by the NISE Network for museums and science centers.

LPI Apollo Anniversary Resources
Founded at the height of the Apollo program in 1968, the Lunar and Planetary Institute is proud to share our Apollo and lunar resources with the world as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo and look to the future.

NASA Models, Spacesuit Parts and More Available
NASA invites U.S. educational institutions to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and blankets, spacesuit parts, various NASA spacecraft and aircraft models, space food packages and many other NASA artifacts for donation. A nominal shipping fee must be paid with a credit card online. Login ID: NASA Password: ARTIFACTS

New Access to Apollo 11 Audio
The air-to-ground loops between the Apollo 11 crew and Mission Control were released to the news media and public as they happened. With original tapes locked away in special climate-controlled vaults, the conversion to a digital format has finally been completed. All 19,000 hours of audio recordings are now available online.

 

New Mission to Venus
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced plans to launch an approximate 100-kilogram orbiter to Venus in 2023.Twelve instruments are already planned for the orbiter, including cameras and spectrometers. The mission will also include a balloon that would carry instruments to approximately 55 kilometers above Venus’ surface --a region with temperatures and pressures not very different from those at the Earth’s surface.

Hear Mars!
For the first time ever, you can "hear" what Mars sounds like. The newly-landed Mars InSight mission has instruments sensitive enough to record the vibrations from the Martian wind.

News and Events

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