Professional Development


Penn State Space Grant: Educator Workshop

Amazing educator workshop program that I have done myself!  Great experience for any teacher!  A MUST DO opportunity.

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13 thoughts on “Professional Development

  1. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Professional Development Opportunities

    1. FMA Live
    Exclusive Engagement for NASA employees and their families. Please join Honeywell for a one-night only performance of FMA Live at Central High School, Capitol Heights, MD, Thursday, September 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. FMA Live is a hip hop musical about Isaac Newton and his Laws of Motion. Honeywell collaborated with NASA to create FMA Live, an award-winning show that has been touring middle schools across North America for that past seven years. Featuring high-energy actors, music, video and demonstrations, FMA Live teaches the process of scientific inquiry in an innovative, entertaining, and memorable way. The show is free. Pizza and beverages are provided at minimal cost. For more information and to make a reservation, contact Debbie McClain at 410-964-7530. RSVP deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 14. Appropriate for audiences 8 years and older.

    2. Save the Date Earth Science Week 10/9-15/11 Look for some events.

    Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar
    Audience: 9-12 and Informal Educators
    Event Date: Sept. 12, 2011

    4th Digital Media and Learning Competition Kick-Off Event
    Audience: All Educators and Students
    Event Date: Sept. 15, 2011

    Properties of Living Things: Searching for Life on Mars
    Audience: 4-8 and Informal Educators
    Event Date: Sept. 15, 2011

    DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge
    Audience: High School Students
    Deadline: Sept. 16, 2011, or until 200 teams have registered

    Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators to Experience Microgravity
    Audience: K-12 Educators
    Proposal Deadline: Sept. 21, 2011

    Global Water Experiment Webcast
    Audience: K-12 Educators and Students
    Event Date: Sept. 22, 2011

    Fall 2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day
    Audience: 5-12 Educators and Students
    Entry Deadline: Oct. 26, 2011

    2012 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition
    Audience: Higher Education Educators and Students
    Registration Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

    2012 RASC-AL Competition
    Audience: Higher Education Students
    Deadline: Jan. 20, 2012

    Solving the Challenges of Space in the RealWorld and InWorld
    Audience: 7-12 Educators and Students
    Deadline: Jan. 27, 2012


    Additional Frequently Asked Questions

    NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums Plus Opportunities for NASA Visitor Centers and Other Informal Education Institutions (CP4SMP+) (Announcement Number: NNH11ZHA004N, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 43.008)—Available For Download
    Audience: Informal Education Institutions
    Proposal Due Date: June 29, 2011

    Four Frequently Asked Questions received after the proposal due date have been added to the CP4SMP+ portal page on NSPIRES at the following URL:



    Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA Web Seminar

    As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute web seminar for educators on Sept. 12, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn to use satellite data from NASA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites missions in your meteorology lessons. Access websites containing authentic GOES and POES data and imagery files and learn how to download and use this data to supplement your curriculum.

    For more information and to register online, visit URL

    To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit .

    E-mail any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at


    4th Digital Media and Learning Competition Kick-Off Event

    Today learning happens anytime, anyplace, at any age. How can 21st-century learners demonstrate their knowledge and skills? Digital badges can inspire learning, unlock jobs, encourage educational and civic opportunities, and open new pipelines for talent.

    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with Mozilla and HASTAC, invites you to an event on Sept. 15, 2011, to explore the potential of Badges for Lifelong Learning. Badges are a new assessment tool that will help identify skills mastered in formal and informal settings; virtually and in physical spaces; and in schools, workplaces and communities.

    Featured speakers include:
    — The Honorable Arne Duncan, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
    — Charles F. Bolden Jr., Administrator, NASA.
    — Emily Stover DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute and the National Center for the American Workforce.
    — Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation.

    The event will feature the announcement of the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition, which will provide up to $2 million in grants for innovations in the use of Badges for Learning.

    To watch a live video stream of the event from the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2011, from 9 a.m-10:30 a.m. EDT, visit

    For more information about the 4th Digital Media and Learning Competition, visit


    Properties of Living Things: Searching for Life on Mars

    As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar for educators on Sept. 15, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Review criteria for determining if something is alive and learn how students can apply the criteria in a hands-on activity. A video will be shown that connects the activity to a NASA mission. Attendees will collaborate with other participants about ways of using and adapting the activity. Extension activities for students interested in the topic will be provided.

    For more information and to register online, visit URL

    To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit .

    E-mail any questions about this opportunity to John Entwistle at


    DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2011 SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge

    The new deadline for the Zero Robotics registration is Sept. 16, 2011, or when 200 teams are reached, whichever is first! The competition will continue on schedule, but you may join even after the Kickoff.

    The Kickoff event will be held Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT). Are you not sure if you’re interested? Watch the Kickoff, transmitted LIVE on NASA TV and via webcast (link at ). The Kickoff will describe this year’s game and tournament structure and will introduce the online programming environment.

    NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Space Systems Laboratory are offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.

    The 2011 Zero Robotics challenge is a continuation and expansion of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics education program using bowling-ball-sized spherical satellites aboard the International Space Station.

    The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, are used inside the station to test maneuvers for spacecraft performing autonomous rendezvous and docking. The three satellites that make up SPHERES fly in formation inside the station’s cabin. Each is self-contained with power, propulsion, computing and navigation equipment. Test results support satellite servicing, vehicle assembly and spacecraft that fly in formation.

    The SPHERES Zero Robotics Challenge requires high school student teams to write their own algorithm to fly the satellites in the station. Teams must register before Sept. 16, 2011, at .

    Entries will be evaluated using simulations. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., will host a ground test 2-D competition in October. Two elimination rounds in the 3-D online simulation will be held in November. The top 27 teams will have their code sent to the station, where an astronaut will program the SPHERES satellites to run their tests.

    The Zero Robotics challenge, facilitated by MIT, TopCoder and Aurora Flight Sciences, continues the STEM focus of the SPHERES program. The 2011 challenge expands on a pilot program performed in 2009 and 2010. By making the benefits and resources of the space program tangible to high school students, Zero Robotics is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers. Students will have the opportunity to push their limits and develop skills in STEM. This program builds critical engineering skills for students such as problem solving, design thought process, operations training, teamwork and presentation skills.

    MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory developed SPHERES in 2006 to provide DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), NASA and other researchers with a long-term test bed for validating technologies critical to the operation of future satellites, docking missions and satellite autonomous maneuvers. The satellites provide opportunities to test a wide range of hardware and software at an affordable cost.

    For additional information about NASA and MIT’s Zero Robotics program, visit

    For additional information about DARPA, visit .

    Please email any questions about this opportunity to Jason Crusan at


    Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators to Experience Microgravity

    Teaching From Space, a NASA Education office, in partnership with the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program announces the opportunity for students and educators across the country to collaborate on an experiment to be tested aboard a microgravity aircraft. This incredible opportunity is open to any current K-12 classroom educator in the United States. Educators must also be U.S. citizens.

    The Microgravity Experience begins with students and educators developing and proposing a reduced gravity experiment. Selected educator teams will then be engaged in a suite of activities that include online professional development on classroom resources for microgravity, collaboration with a NASA mentor and a reduced-gravity flight. With combined input from their students and mentor, educator teams will design and fabricate their experiments to be tested and evaluated aboard an aircraft that flies approximately 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of micro and hyper gravity, ranging from zero gravity to 2 g.

    Seven teams of four to five educators will be selected from this application process to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Educators will participate in Reduced Gravity Flight Week Feb. 6-11, 2012, and fly their own experiments aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft (Note: This opportunity is contingent upon the NASA Education budget).

    Educator teams interested in participating in this unique Microgravity Experience need to submit a proposal no later than Sept. 21, 2011. For more information, check out or send an e-mail to


    Global Water Experiment Webcast

    During the International Year of Chemistry 2011, students around the world are invited to explore one of Earth’s most critical resources, water. The results of their investigations will contribute to a global experiment, which will possibly become the biggest chemistry experiment ever.

    Join specialists from NASA and the American Chemical Society, on Sept. 22, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT, as they discuss this experiment and how water filtration affects our lives on Earth and in space.

    Check out the webcast at .

    To learn more about the experiment, visit


    Fall 2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day

    The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This choice must then be supported in a 500-word essay. Teamwork is encouraged. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.

    The contest is open to all students in the United States from grades 5-12, working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essays will be divided into three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Each student can submit one entry.

    Deadline for Fall 2011 submissions is noon Pacific time (3 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 26, 2011.

    For more information, visit If you have questions about this contest, please e-mail your inquiries to


    2012 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

    NASA is challenging U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and build a telerobotic or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot, that could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The lunabot must be able to mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of lunar simulant in 10 minutes.

    Design teams must include one faculty advisor from a college or university and at least two undergraduate or graduate students. Universities may work in collaboration, and multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

    Selected teams will compete in the Lunabotics Mining Competition at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 21-26, 2012. Registration is limited to the first 60 approved teams. Registration is limited to one team per university campus. Internationally, registration is limited to 10 teams per country.

    Registration will end when NASA approves 60 applications, or on Nov. 30, 2011, whichever occurs first.

    For more information about the competition and to apply online, visit

    Please email any questions about this opportunity to Susan Sawyer at

    Like NASA Lunabotics on Facebook at .
    Watch Lunabotics videos on YouTube at
    Follow Lunabotics on Twitter at!/Lunabotics.


    2012 RASC-AL Competition

    NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2012 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage Competition. RASC-AL is a design project competition aimed at university-level engineering students.

    The RASC-AL contest challenges participants to design projects based on real NASA projects. Participants can choose from four different themes. These design projects potentially could be implemented by NASA.

    Interested teams are requested to submit a notice of intent as soon as practical, and teams must submit an abstract for their proposed project by Jan. 20, 2012. The RASC-AL Steering Committee of NASA and industry experts will evaluate the proposals and select as many as ten undergraduate and five graduate teams to compete against each other at a forum in June 2012 in Florida.

    The RASC-AL competition is open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited university. University design teams must include one faculty or industry advisor with a university affiliation and two or more undergraduate or graduate students. A group of universities may also work in collaboration on a design project entry. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged.

    For more information about this competition, visit

    If you have questions about this competition, please contact Shelley Spears at


    Solving the Challenges of Space in the RealWorld and InWorld
    The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge encourages students in grades 7-12 to explore and build skills essential for successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through two phases of project-based learning and team competition.

    RealWorld (Phase 1): Teams of middle- and high-school-aged students with support of their teachers/coaches/parents work collaboratively as engineers and scientists to explore and design solutions related to the James Webb Space Telescope and Robonaut 2.

    RealWorld Phase begins: September 1, 2011.
    RealWorld Phase ends: January 27, 2012. To be considered to move to the InWorld phase, all RealWorld work must be submitted by this deadline.

    Recognition: Submitted final project solutions will be featured on the RealWorld-InWorld website, and teams will receive recognition for their work once they complete the RealWorld challenge and InWorld registration.

    InWorld (Phase 2): Participating college students select teams of two to four middle- and high-school-aged students who have completed the RealWorld phase to build their InWorld teams. Participation is limited to U.S. citizens. Teams work in a 3-D virtual online environment using 21st Century tools to refine designs and to create 3-D models of their design solutions.

    InWorld Phase begins: January 28, 2012.
    InWorld Phase ends: April 20, 2012.

    Recognition: InWorld teams will compete for cash awards ($1,000 per member, including team leader, for each winning team). Contest rules apply.

    NASA scientists and engineers visit and “chat” virtually throughout both phases of the challenge.

    To learn more about the challenge and to register for online resources for this free and flexible project, visit .

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