What’s New at NASA’s Space Place Website

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM


It’s that time again — the beginning of a new school year! Here at the Space Place, we know that it can be a stressful time for educators. That’s why we think it’s a great idea to remind you of all the helpful resources we have developed specifically for you. Do you want material presented in visual, written and animated formats for reading exercises in line with the Common Core? Look no further than our new “Space Place in a Snap” series. Do you want a handy way to provide Space Place activities to all your students even if they don’t have a computer? We’ve made all of them available in PDF! Struggling to come up with material relevant to the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS? Check out our helpful NGSS search feature in the educators’ section. While you are there, be sure to check out all the other great resources we provide.

What’s New? Jupiter!
From massive planets, long distances and extreme forces, it’s a challenge for educators — let alone students — to fully grasp the sizes and scales behind astronomical and planetary science. The Space Place grapples with just this issue in one of its latest additions — a new article titled “What’s it like inside Jupiter?” Building up from the pressure you might feel at the bottom of a pool all the way to the pressure felt in Jupiter’s core, this article uses midsize sedans as its primary unit of measurement. It comes with a fun animation, too. Check it out at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/jupiter.

What’s New? Tectonics ‘Snap!’
We’ve got a new release in our popular series “Space Place in a Snap.” This time the combined poster and animation presentation tackles the concepts behind plate tectonics and the shifting nature of Earth’s crust. This is a great resource for any earth science curriculum. Check it out athttp://spaceplace.nasa.gov/tectonics-snap.

Spotlight on Space Place Activities
With the arrival of the new school year, it’s a good time to remember that our popular make-and-do activities are now available to download as easy-to-hand-out, ready-to-print PDF files. Perfect for the classroom or afterschool programs, these activities are a great way to bring the Space Place to all your students even if there are a limited number of computers or Internet connections. Check out popular activities like “Build Your Own Spacecraft,” “Make Oreo Moon Phases” and “Get Your Gummy Greenhouse Gases.” The downloads are sorted by topic and can be found at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/make-do-pdf/.

For the Classroom
What better way to decorate your classroom than with the Space Place calendar? It’s now available for the 2014-2015 school year! The calendar has beautiful images and a plethora of fascinating NASA facts and trivia. You can download it month by month, or as a complete set, athttp://spaceplace.nasa.gov/calendar.

For Outside the Classroom
Everybody loves a good story. Why not read an educational one? We’ve posted an entertaining new article on the discovery of Uranus. Despite being visible to the naked eye in the night sky, it was discovered thousands of years after the other visible planets of our solar system. Find out the reasons why and learn the story behind this much-delayed discovery at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/uranus.

Special Days

Sept. 5: National Cheese Pizza Day.
Make a galactic mobile with the cardboard from your pizza. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/galactic-mobile

Sept. 13: Positive-Thinking Day
Make your positive ions outnumber your negative ions when you do the “Ions in Action” experiment. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ion-balloons

Sept. 16: Collect Rocks Day
Asteroids are big rocks in space. But how are they different from comets? http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/posters/#solarsystem

Sept. 18: Voyager I took first full frame photo of Earth and Moon together, 1977.
Check out other photos of the solar system at the Space Place. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/gallery-solar-system

Oct. 4: First satellite, Sputnik, launched by Soviet Union, 1957.
Do comets or asteroids do more than explode or kill off dinosaurs? http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/comet-ocean/en/.

Oct. 14: Dessert Day.
Make yummy El Niño Pudding for dessert today. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/el-nino

Oct. 29: Internet Day.
Celebrate by downloading some Space Place wallpaper for your computer desktop.http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/wallpaper

Want some help spreading the word about NASA’s Space Place? We’ve got a page with ready-to-use website descriptions, logos and links to all our social media. Check out http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/share.

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use The Space Place in your teaching. Send toinfo@spaceplace.nasa.gov.

Sally Ride EarthKAM Announces 2014 Fall Missions

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

Students and educators have two chances to participate in Sally Ride EarthKAM this fall. The 2014 fall missions are scheduled to take place Oct. 21-24, 2014, and Nov. 18-21, 2014. Guide your students in hands-on research as they program a camera aboard the International Space Station to take pictures of specific locations on Earth. The optional online curricula at the Sally Ride EarthKAM website are targeted at middle school students but are adaptable for other grade levels. All students and educators are welcome, including participants in afterschool programs.

For more information and to register for an upcoming mission, visit the Sally Ride EarthKAM home page at https://earthkam.ucsd.edu/.

If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please email ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

OSSI NIFS — Spring 2015 Opportunities

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

NASA’s One Stop Shopping Initiative for Internships, Fellowships and Scholarships, or OSSI NIFS, strives to provide high school students and undergraduate and graduate students at all institutions of higher education access to a portfolio of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered by NASA mission directorates and centers.

Visit the Office of Education Infrastructure Division LaunchPad to find information on internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities. The site features the OSSI NIFS online application for recruiting NASA interns, fellows and scholars. This innovative system allows students to search and apply for all types of higher education NASA internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in one location. A single application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.

Applications for spring 2015 opportunities are due Oct. 12, 2014.

To find available opportunities and to fill out an online application, visit https://intern.nasa.gov/index.html.

Inquiries about OSSI NIFS should be submitted via https://intern.nasa.gov/oic/.

REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

The Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014 will take place this fall, offering U. S. high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

Zero Robotics challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code from a Web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists will be selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station.

Registration for the competition closes on Sept. 24, 2014. The competition begins with a live webcast kickoff event from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sept. 6, 2014. To be an official competitor, code for the 2D Practice competition must be submitted by Sept. 26, 2014.

For more information about the tournament and to register your team to participate, visithttp://www.zerorobotics.mit.edu.

Zero Robotics is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation and TopCoder, and is sponsored by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.

Please email any questions about this opportunity to zerorobotics@mit.edu.

Free Education Webinar From NASA Educator Professional Development — Microbes in Space

Written by Nathan Smith on . Posted in STEM and STEAM

Join NASA Educator Professional Development on Sept. 9, 2014, at 7 p.m. EDT, for a look at some of the big questions concerning life science. How do scientists classify living things? What role do universal ancestors play in classification? What would life look like on other worlds? Participants in this hourlong webinar will discuss the answers to these questions and more.

For more information and to register online, visit https://events-na11.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1088539485/en/events/event/shared/1097653603/event_landing.html?sco-id=1214580293.