Earth and Space Science News for Educators

Calendar Workshops and Courses Events Get Involved Grants and Awards Resources Mission News and Science



July 28, 2021
Pasadena Public Library presents Virtual Kids Program: LPI - Comet Tails and Comet Tales

August 12, 2021
Perseid Meteor Shower

August 12, 2021
LPI Intern Stories (Panel 3)

October 16, 2021
International Observe the Moon Night

October 16, 2021
Lucy mission launch to asteroids

October 31, 2021
Launch of James Webb Space Telescope

November 1, 2021
Artemis 1 Launch

November 24, 2021
DART mission launch to asteroid

December 14, 2021
Geminid Meteor Shower


Workshops and Courses

Galaxies and Dark Energy (Grades 6-12)
What is this thing we call Dark Energy? What’s the ultimate fate of the Universe? We’re not able to answer either of these questions, but teachers who join us for this workshop will learn about galaxies, about the expansion of the universe, and about the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). This workshop will total 8 CPE hours. Teachers will experience a series of activities centered around galaxies and universe expansion. There will be live chats, videos to watch, and some will be independent assignments. All the activities use common materials found around the house or classroom and are ready for you to share with your students. We will take you on a virtual tour of our biggest telescope, and then conclude the week with a live chat with a dark energy astronomer.

NASA Educator Professional Development Workshop
This is a list of NASA's current and future events for educators, administrators, and science enthusiasts across all levels.

NISE Network Online Workshops
The National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network runs a series of free online workshops as professional development opportunities for partners.



LPI Intern Stories - August 12, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. (CDT)
Join us for the third edition of the LPI Intern Stories series. We will be hearing from a panel of current and former LPI summer interns about how they transitioned from college to career, what they are doing now, and how their involvement in a research internship helped them prepare. Join us to ask your questions!

International Observe the Moon Night - October 16, 2021
International Observe the Moon Night is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon.

Comet Tails and Comet Tales - July 28, 3:00 p.m. (CDT)
All are invited to this interactive virtual program, to hear stories about comets, to see a demonstration of how comets form tails, and to ask questions and share your ideas about comets!


Get Involved

NASA TechRise Student Challenge: New Student Challenge Offers Hands-On Tech Development, August 18
NASA will initiate a new competition for the 2021-22 school year, providing student teams a chance to design, build, and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and high-altitude balloon flights. NASA and Future Engineers, the challenge administrator, will offer a series of virtual events for educators to hear from agency experts and learn more about this exciting opportunity for students.

Lucy Soundscape
Are you a musician, composer, performer, music educator, or student, inspired by exploration and discovery? Share your inspiration in your unique voice, and join with others to create the Lucy Soundscape, a public collection of original music inspired by NASA’s Lucy mission launching in 2021!


Grants and Awards

Toshiba Grants for Grades 6-12
Toshiba America Foundation accepts applications from teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students.

NSTA Awards
NSTA Awards Programs honor teachers and principals from all grade levels for outstanding work; nominate yourself, a fellow teacher, or a student.

Toshiba Grants for K-5
K-5 grade teachers are invited to apply on-line for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their own classroom. Grant applications are due on October 1st each year.

Donors Choose Teacher Grants
Donors Choose is funding teacher projects for all subject areas.

Motorola Solutions Foundation's Innovation Generation Grants
These grants support innovative, hands-on STEM programs serving K-university students and teachers in the United States.

Kinder Morgan Foundation Education Grants
$1,000 to $5,000 go to educational programs for K-12 youth in the United States and Canada in communities focusing in areas of academic programs, including tutoring, arts education programs, and environmental education programs that work with local schools and meet curriculum standards.



NASA Universe of Learning
NASA’s Universe of Learning provides resources and experiences that enable youth, families, and lifelong learners to explore fundamental questions in science, experience how science is done, and discover the universe for themselves.

"Earth as Inspiration" Toolkit
Educational materials emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.

"Earth Materials in Our Lives" Toolkit
These educational resources focus on the ways that Earth materials impact humans - and the ways human activity impacts these materials - in the 21st century.

Moon 101 Video Series
The Moon 101 series has recently been remade for a new generation of lunar explorers by The Aerospace Corporation. The 12-episode video collection provides a snapshot of the most important and exciting discoveries about our Moon. The concept originated from the Moon 101 Lecture Series developed by the late Dr. Paul Spudis at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI). The Moon 101 series features interviews with Apollo-era scientists and engineers telling their stories about how they reached the Moon and lessons learned.

Explore Mars with JMARS
This site designed for science teachers will acquaint you with Mars, introduce JMARS, an authentic research platform for exploring Mars, empower you to search out the answers to your own questions based on data using JMARS, and launch you into your own Mars research to answer your own questions.​


Mission News and Science

Record-Setting Flare Spotted on the Nearest Star to the Sun
As stellar neighbors go, the Sun is a pretty good one it occasionally produces a sizeable solar flare, but mostly, it leaves Earth well enough alone. The Proxima Centauri solar system isn’t so lucky, however: Blasts of electromagnetic radiation from Proxima Centauri, the next nearest star to our own, can be potentially lethal to nearby planets.

Comets Have Tails of Gas, Dust and Metal?
In outer space, an object’s location has a huge impact on its temperature. The closer the object is to its star, the hotter it most likely is. Heat then plays a major role in what materials are present in that object’s atmosphere, if it has one. Lighter elements such as hydrogen and helium and much easier to take a gaseous state and create an atmosphere. So it came as a surprise when two different teams found much heavier elements in the atmosphere of comets that were relatively far away from the Sun. And one of those comets happened to be from another solar system.

Asteroids are small, rocky bodies that can provide clues to the primitive composition of our solar system and how organic material was delivered to Earth.
A NASA team has found that organic salts are likely present on Mars. Like shards of ancient pottery, these salts are the chemical remnants of organic compounds, such as those previously detected by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Organic compounds and salts on Mars could have formed by geologic processes or be remnants of ancient microbial life.

Did Impacts Between Asteroids Produce the Solar System's Earliest Organic Materials?
Asteroids are small, rocky bodies that can provide clues to the primitive composition of our solar system and how organic material was delivered to Earth.

Europa’s Interior May Be Hot Enough to Fuel Seafloor Volcanoes
Jupiter’s moon Europa has an icy crust covering a vast, global ocean. Recent research predicts the existence of seafloor volcanism, which could support a habitable environment on Europa. NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission, targeting a 2024 launch, will swoop close to the icy moon and collect measurements to shed light on these findings.


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