Earth and Space Science News for Educators

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

 

Workshops and Courses

ASP 2022: A Virtual Conference - December 8-10
Educators, scientists, science communicator, and public engagement professionals in astronomy and related fields are invited to attend the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's (ASP) Virtual Conference from December 8-10. Whether you teach astronomy to students, engage the public in astronomy live or online, or design astronomy learning experiences, the virtual 134th Annual Meeting of the ASP is not to be missed!

2023 Earth Educators' Rendezous - Save the date!
Save the date for the ninth annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous! NAGT and the Rendezvous Planning Committee are pleased to announce that next year's Rendezvous will be held in Pasadena, CA, from July 10-14, 2023, and is hosted by the Division of Natural Sciences at Pasadena City College (PCC) and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at California Institute of Technology (Caltech)!

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.

 

Events

Go on a Virtual Field Trip with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory - Choose from upcoming sessions
As NASA’s premier X-ray telescope, Chandra gives us a powerful tool to investigate hot regions of the Universe, from black holes, to exploding stars, colliding galaxies and more. Get a backstage pass to Chandra's Operations Control Center, tour the Chandra spacecraft through virtual reality, and take a (virtual) quick trip to some exploding stars in our own galaxy. This virtual field trip is part of the Code.org CS Journeys.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Postcards from the Universe 2022 - December 13 @ 8:00 p.m. CT
"Join the NASA Night Sky Network (NSN) for a free, virtual seminar by Dr. Robert Nemiroff, who will take us on a tour of the highlights from the Astronomy Picture of the Day archive for 2022. Along with Jerry Bonnell, Robert Nemiroff has written, coordinated, and edited NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) since 1995. The APOD archive contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the internet. "

 

Get Involved

Explore Data Challenges: EXPLORE the Surface of the Moon
The Senior Lunar Data Challenge is open to students, professionals and enthusiasts interested in planetary science and data processing. The Junior Lunar Data Challenge is aimed at school students aged 10-14 year, but activities are open to everyone that wants to have a go.

NASA Citizen Science Projects
NASA’s citizen science projects are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, volunteers (known as citizen scientists) have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries. Want to work on some real NASA science? Click on one of the 28 projects below to get started. NASA citizen science projects are open to everyone around the world, not limited to U.S. citizens or residents.

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission - Starts June 28
Educators, sign your classrooms up for EarthKAM's newest mission! EarthKAM allows students to take images of Earth from space using a camera aboard the International Space Station. Use EarthKAM as a teaching tool to study subjects ranging from geography to art to meteorology.

Fly Your Name Around the Moon with Artemis I
Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The flight paves the way toward landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon! Enter your name online tto have it included on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis I.

Sign up for NASA's "Artemis STEM I Learning Pathway"
Are you looking to share the excitement of Artemis Missions with your STEM learners? Leading up to launch, NASA’s Artemis I STEM Learning Pathway will provide weekly newsletters filled with STEM resources and ready-to-use content. Each week’s resources can be used individually or in combination to create a lesson plan tied to the learning series’ weekly theme. Registration is free, sign up today!

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!

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!

 

Grants and Awards

AGI Offers Award for K-8 Earth Science Teaching
"The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) invites science educators to apply for the Edward C. Roy Jr. Award For Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. This award is presented to one K-8 teacher and recognizes leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The winner of the Roy Award will receive a monetary prize of $2,500. To be eligible, applications must be submitted by January 20, 2023. "

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.

 

Resources

Hack-o-Lanterns and Pumpkin Carving with Power Tools
Why limit yourself to plastic toy knives and kitchen spoons when you can use power tools? Add LEDs, motors, and switches, you’ll find a new way to enjoy Halloween!

Relive the Mission - Apollo 17 in Real-time
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17, the last mission in which humans set foot on the Moon. You can explore the Apollo 17 mission and moon landing in real-time through this incredible multimedia project.

The Artemis Generation - Prepare for the Next Leap
Check out the new lunar-focused season of the award-winning video series #NASAExplorers, and meet the people who are preparing to conduct science on the lunar surface for Artemis.

Hands-on Learning with Pie-Pan Convection Activity
Visualize the fluid motion of convection cells. This phenomenon occurs all around us but is usually unseen. For this activity, all you need is soapy water, a heat source, and some food coloring—the effect caused by the rising and sinking fluids is spectacular.

A Lesson for Every Day of the School Year
With 180 lessons in JPL's online catalog, you can explore Earth and space with NASA all year long. Learn how with this handy NASA-JPL school year calendar.

The Mars Collection - Europlanet Educational Resources
Europlanet has produced a set of school resources exploring the possibilities of life on the Red Planet. The resources link areas of the curriculum with research into past and present conditions on Mars and how we can study these conditions via planetary field analogue sites here on Earth.

Checklist for creating safe environments for LGBTQ+ youth
Created by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, representing more than 5 million youth-serving professionals across the country, this checklist provides a research-based guide for schools and youth- serving organizations to create safe, inclusive and affirming environments for LGBTQ youth.

 

Mission News and Science

Perseverance has a Pet Rock!
How do you choose a rock on Mars? Sometimes you don’t— it chooses you. For the past 4 months, Perseverance has had an unexpected traveling companion. In early February, a rock found its way into the rover’s front left wheel, and since hitching a ride, it’s been transported more than 5.3 miles. The little travelling companion has made periodic appearances in the rover's Hazcam images.

New Details Revealed about NASA's DAVINCI Mission to Venus
NASA will send a probe to descend through the atmosphere of Venus in mid-2031 to measure the composition of the atmosphere and acquire images and mineralogical data from the venusian highlands. This information will help us understand why Venus has evolved so differently from Earth, even though the two planets are similar in size. The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission, will launch in 2029.

Samples of Asteroid Ryugu Contain More Than 20 Amino Acids
In 2014, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) dispatched its Hayabusa2 spacecraft to rendezvous with the asteroid, Ryugu. By 2020, samples of the asteroid were returned to Earth, where analyses revealed that the asteroid is rich in carbon, organic molecules, and volatiles. Recently, strains of more than 20 different amino acids -the building blocks of DNA and life itself- were observed! These findings could provide new insight into how life is distributed throughout the cosmos and could mean that it is more common than previously thought.

Discovery Alert: Two New, Rocky Planets in the Solar Neighborhood
NASA's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) mission has made an exciting discovery! The planet-hunting spacecraft has found two new super-Earths orbiting a star only 33 light-years away. These are two of the closest rocky planets ever found. Neither world is likely to support life, due to their extremely high temperatures, but scientists still think they’re worthy of further observations.

Dead Star Caught Ripping Up Planetary System
A star's death throes have so violently disrupted its planetary system that the dead star left behind, called a white dwarf, is siphoning off debris from both the system's inner and outer reaches. This is the first time astronomers have observed a white dwarf star that is consuming both rocky-metallic and icy material, the ingredients of planets.

Explanation for Strange Honeycomb Terrain on Mars
From orbit, an unusual landscape on Mars looks like a lacy honeycomb or a spider web. New observations helped scientists understand that the strange polygon-shaped features formed as water ice and carbon dioxide in the subsurface responsed to seasonal changes. And Mars isn’t the only place with polygons, they've been observed on Earth and Pluto, as well!

New maps of asteroid Psyche reveal an ancient world of metal and rock
A team of scientists studying Psyche, a large, metal-rich asteroid that is thought to be the ancient core of an early planet, has used gruond-based telescopes to create a detailed map of the asteroid's surface. The new maps reveal a surprisingly varied surface that may suggest a dynamic history, which could include metallic eruptions, asteroid-shaking impacts, and a lost rocky mantle.

 

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