Education and
Public Engagement
at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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October 21 - October 25, 2019 Fall 2019 Solar Week

April 22, 2020 Earth Day

July 1 - August 30, 2020 Mars 2020 scheduled to launch


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


Fall 2019 Solar Week, October 21-25
Solar Week, a week of online lessons, games and hands-on activities about the Sun for grades 5-9 or ages 9-14, happens twice a year, approximately mid-to-late March and mid-to-late October.

Conrad Challenge
Calling 9-12th Grade Educators! Register your students for the Conrad Challenge! Give students between the ages of 13-18 the chance to become entrepreneurs and apply innovation, science and technology to solve problems with global impact.

NASA SUITS (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students) challenges students to design and create spacesuit information displays within augmented reality (AR) environments.

The 10th Annual Space Foundation International Student Art Contest
The 10th Annual Space Foundation International Student Art Contest is now live and open for submissions.Student artists ages 3–18, are invited to participate by creating and submitting original, space-oriented artwork based on this year's theme.

Mars 2020: Name the Rover Contest
In fall 2019, NASA will run a nationwide "Name the Rover" contest open to K-12 students in the US. The spacecraft will need a name by July 2020, when it's expected to launch. The contest is part of NASA's ongoing effort to engage the public in its Moon to Mars mission, which will search for signs of microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology and pave the way for human exploration. If you're not a K-12 student but want to get involved, NASA is also accepting applications to judge the contest submissions.


The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Science Competition
The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision science competition encourages K-12 students to imagine what technology might be like in the future while experiencing scientific process and discovery in an engaging, hands-on way. Let’s empower the next generation of inventors, scientists and leaders.

Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching
TMA is accepting nominations for the 2020 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching.

Earthwatch Institute: Teacher Fellowship!
Teach Earth offers teachers the opportunity to step away from their desks and out of the classroom for an outdoor environmental learning experience.

USRA Scholarship Awards
The USRA Scholarship Awards provide college scholarship awards to students who have shown a career interest in science or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education, and aeronautics-related sciences.

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.


Help students reach for the stars
Get Involved with Science using resources from NSTA!

NASA eClips
Real World Resources for Educators to inspire students!

Solar Week Toolkit
Solar Week, a week of online lessons, games and hands-on activities about the Sun for grades 5-9 or ages 9-14, happens twice a year, approximately mid-to-late March and mid-to-late October.

Lunar and Planetary Bulletin - July 2019 Issue 157
This newsletter explores issues related to planetary science and exploration.

Solar System Ambassadors (SSA) program
The Solar System Ambassadors (SSA) program works with motivated volunteers across the nation to share the latest science and discoveries of NASA's missions through a variety of events that inspire their communities.

Astromaterials 3D project webpage is live!
Astromaterials 3D project webpage is now live! Check out the first lunar sample picked up on the Moon in interactive 3D as we celebrate NASA’s 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11!

Earth & Space Science for Early Learners
In this recording of an online workshop we heard from some of our NISE Network partners and collaborators sharing best practices for connecting young children and their families with the excitement of Earth and space science topics, as well as key science process skills.


Biggest Seaweed Bloom in the World
NASA satellites have found an unprecedented belt of brown algae, stretching from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. In the satellite imagery, major blooms occurred in every year between 2011 and 2018 except 2013. Before 2011, most of the free floating Sargassum in the ocean was primarily found in patches around the Gulf of Mexico and Sargasso Sea. Scientists suggest that the ocean biochemistry is changing, in relationship to the changing climate and that the algae blooms are likely to stay.

Mars Methane Mystery
Methane is an organic molecule associated with microbial life on Earth as well as from interactions between rocks and water. It has been detected in varying quantities in Mars' atmosphere. On Mars, methane production appears to be seasonal in nature. The Mars Curiosity rover recently detected a plume, in which a high level of methane was observed and then decreased sharply. Scientists are studying clues to locate the sources of the gas.

Dragonfly to Visit Titan
NASA has announced that their next destination in the solar system is Titan, Saturn’s organic-rich moon. The New Frontiers spacecraft mission to Titan, named "Dragonfly," is a rotorcraft, a drone with eight helicopter-like propellers. It will fly through Titan’s dense atmosphere to sample and examine multiple sites across Titan’s surface.