Earth and Space Science News for Educators

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



February 1 - February 28, 2022
Celebrate Black History Month with NASA

February 2, 2022
Groundhog Day: Seeing Shadows in Space

February 14, 2022
Valentine's Day

February 20 - February 26, 2022
National Engineers Week

March 1 - March 31, 2022
Celebrate Women's History Month with NASA

March 14, 2022
Pi Day

March 20 - March 26, 2022
Solar Week

March 20, 2022
Spring Equinox


Workshops and Courses

Online Workshop: Increasing Community Resilience to Extreme Weather and Environmental Hazards - February 15 @ 1:00 p.m. CST
The Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities (CSCRC) education project is used to engage participants in active learning and resilience planning about four natural hazards (heat waves, sea level rise, extreme precipitation, and drought). This workshop will explore ways you can engage your communities in this programming.

Online Workshop: Exploring a Phenomenon Through the Practices of Science - February 28 @ 6:30 p.m. CST
Register now for a free professional development webinar from the Knowles Teacher Initiative. In this course, teachers will teachers will consider places in their curriculum where phenomena and science practices can support students in building content knowledge.

Online Workshop: Working with STEM Experts - If Only There Was A Guide… Now There Is! - March 1 @ 1:00 p.m. CST
This online workshop by the NISE Network will offer best practices for integrating experts into any programming topic in an informal learning setting, as well as helpful tools for creating successful, fun, effective experiences for all. Come learn how to utilize the valuable expertise in your community and provide access to these experts for your audiences.

Summer 2022: Teacher Innovator Institute - Applications are open!
Middle School (grades 5-8) STEAM teachers who have an interest in expanding their practice to include informal education techniques are encouraged to apply to the Smithsonian's Teacher Innovator Institute. Selected applicants will spend two weeks in Washington, DC, working with education and STEAM experts to explore the connections between informal STEAM education and authentic learning. There is no cost for teachers to participate. Applications close on February 15, 2022.

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.



Exploring Distant Worlds with Webb - February 17 @ 7:00 p.m. CST
Following the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the LPI excited to bring you the next installment in our CESS speaker series! Join us to hear from Dr. Susan Mullally, Deputy Project Scientist for the JWST at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), as we explore what we know about exoplanets and the fundamental questions that confound us.

Roving with Perseverance: Findings from One Year on Mars - February 17 @ 9:00 p.m. CST
After a year on the planet, what can Perseverance teach us about Mars’ watery past and our potential future? Join the JPL to hear from Jennifer Trosper, Mars 2020 Project Manager, and Dr. Kathryn Stack Morgan, Deputy Project Scientist on Mars 2020, about the latest scientific findings and the future of the Mars 2020 mission.

Moon Dance: Exploring the Moons of the Outer Solar System - March 17 @ 9:00 p.m. CDT
Join the JPL and Dr. Marina Brozovic, Navigation Engineer at NASA/JPL, for a free, virtual lecture about the moons of our outer solar system. By knowing where the small moons of our solar system are, we can plan our missions. This will be a practical story of why orbits are important when looking at solar dynamics, resonances, and moons of the outer solar system.

Introduction to Amateur Astronomy, Part 2: Discovering the Night Sky - January 29 @ 12:00 p.m. CST
The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society is happy to present a five-part lecture series that will help you become a star-hopping skymaster! Your first task as an amateur astronomer is to learn your way around the night sky. In Part 2 of this series, you'll learn how to use of a simple star map or planisphere and discover the wonders you can observe with the naked eye.


Get Involved

NASA Space Place Art Challenge!
Do you love making art and using your imagination? So do we! Every NASA mission starts with a creative idea about how to explore something in a new way. Submit your drawings between 1/4/22 and 1/31/22. Selected art submissions will appear on the website during the first week of February!

Student Challenge: Cubes in Space
Cubes in Space lets students design and compete to launch small experiments into space. Formal and informal educators are invited to register. You can bring space exploration, scientific research, and technology development tto students! Educators register for the program and students (ages 11-18) design experiments. Selected experiments are launched from a NASA facility in summer 2022 and returned to students. Registration deadline Feb. 4, 2022.

AI4Mars - Help Train NASA’s Rovers to Better Explore Mars
NASA needs YOUR help to make future Mars rovers safer! By participating in this project, you will help improve the rovers’ ability to identify different, sometimes dangerous terrain - an essential skill for autonomous exploration. More than 12,000 citizen scientists have already volunteered, individuals and teams of all ages are invited to get involved today!

NASA Challenges Students to Design Moon-Digging Robots
NASA seeks young engineers to help design a new robot concept for an excavation mission on the Moon. The Lunabotics Junior Contest is open to K-12 students in U.S. public and private schools, as well as home-schoolers. To enter the contest, students must submit entries, which must include an image of the robot design and a written summary explaining how the design is intended to operate on the Moon, by Jan. 25, 2022.

Join the GLOBE Program - Calling educators, students, and citizen scientists
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is an international science and education program that provides students and the public with the opportunity to particiapte in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth System and global environment. Get started today!

2021-2022 Growing Beyond Earth: Maker Contest
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, in Miami Florida is partnering with researchers and engineers at NASA to improve food production technologies for long duration space travel. Together, we’re calling on makers across America to submit new designs for gardening systems to be used aboard spacecraft.


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.



The HistoryMakers: Science Curriculum Toolkits (K-12)
ScienceMakers Toolkits are great for use in any classroom. They feature the lives, careers and scientific work of 211 of the nation’s top African American scientists. Each volume has biographies, allowing students to compare their background with that of the scientists, and also include easy to use experiments and activities, discussion questions, and much more.

The Science Behind Valentine's Day Treats - Activities for all ages
Food is a great way to connect relevance of STEM content to our lives. Celebrate Valentine's Day by exploring the science of cooking and preparing food with a variety of activities fromt he NISE Network!

60 Children's Books to Ignite Curiosity
Check out A Mighty Girl's recommendations of books for all ages about girls and women who love science, engineering, and math. They're the perfect choice to inspire budding young scientists!

Engineering Activites
Bring engineering and technology lessons to your students with these easy-to-implement activities from Discover E!

NASA's Afterschool Universe
Want to make out-of-school-time totally out-of-this-world? Afterschool Universe is an out-of-school-time astronomy program targeted at middle school students. It explores astronomy concepts through engaging hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the Universe beyond the solar system.

NASA Coloring Pages
Encourage young learners to exercise their creativity, learn about amazing technologies, and explore faraway worlds with these coloring pages!

Energize Schools
​SEI's Energize Schools curriculum engages students in sustainability projects, develops valuable career skills, and is aligned with ​Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Career Technical Education. It is available by request, at no cost to educators.


Mission News and Science

Stay up to date on the JWST Mission - Check out "Where is Webb?"
On December 25, 2021, the highly anticipated James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was successfully launched from Earth and began its journey to the distant L2, where it will make extraordinary observations of the universe. For the next several months, the JWST will undergo commissioning and calibration. With NASA's "Where is Webb?" site, you can follow all the developments and find everything you need to know about the ongoing mission.

Launching in 2022: NASA's 4 New Missions to Study the Earth
In 2022, NASA will launch four new Earth science missions, each offering something unique, from storm and forest fire monitoring to surveying changes in our planet's surface water. These four missions (TROPICS, EMIT, JPSS, and SWOT), each launching in 2022, are set to change the way we understand our planet. 2022 is going to be a big year for earth science, and that is good news for all of us.

Hidden Water Discovered at the Bottom of Mars' Valles Marineris
Water is known to exist on Mars, but most of it has been found at the planet's poles. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is able to "look" below the dusty surface, mapping out regions where hydrogen (a measure of water content) is present. In an exciting new discovery, TGO has spotted significant amounts of water at the heart of Mars’ vast canyon system, Valles Marineris, a finding that will impact future missions and the search for habitable environments.

An Explanation for the Strange Features on Pluto's Surface
After New Horizons made its close flyby of Pluto in July of 2015, scientists were astounded at the incredible closeup views of Pluto’s icy surface, which was composed of mysterious polygonal features. New research suggests the origin of these features and the importance of Pluto's surface climate in controlling their expression.

First Image from DART Mission
The goal of the DART mission is to intentionally collide with Dimorphos, a small asteroid in our solar system, to determine if an impact will change its orbit. Asteroid impacts, like the one that DART will undertake, could be a viable strategy for deflecting hazardous asteroids away from Earth. While DART's first image is not very remarkable, its last images are sure to be amazing! DART will reach its target in September 2022.

Can Uranus’s Rings Reveal the Planet’s Deepest Secrets?
The ice giant planets of our solar system, Uranus and Neptune, are far more mysterious than either Jupiter or Saturn and hold a great potential for new science. Almost nothing is known about what goes on beneath the planets’ clouds. Ring seismology, a technique that was successful at piercing Saturn’s depths, might also help in understanding its smaller siblings.

Parker Solar Probe Flies Through the Sun’s Outer Atmosphere for the First Time
In April of 2021, the Parker Solar Probe entered the Sun's corona, marking the first time that a spacecraft has flown through the Sun's outer atmosphere. During the next four years, Parker will spiral closer and closer to the Sun. The researchers say the next close flyby in January 2022 will likely bring the spacecraft through the corona again. As researchers continue to study data from the probe, they hope to solve longstanding mysteries about our Sun.


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