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. Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium K-12 Newsletter – September, 2011

    1. Teaching From Space Office Seeks Educators to Experience Microgravity

    Proposal Deadline: Sept. 21, 2011

    2. NPP Educator Launch Conference

    Event Date: Oct 24-25, 2011

    3. NASA Education Invites Students to Drop Everything!

    Proposal Deadline: Nov. 1, 2011

    4. New DIY Podcast Module: Rocket Science


    1. 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


    2. NPP Educator Launch Conference

    Oct 24-25, 2011

    Register now for this exciting Conference

    An important and unique opportunity

    Targeting K-12 educators & administrators

    For formal and informal education

    Witness the launch of NASA’s next-generation climate and weather mission. The NPP mission will help link the current generation of Earth-observing satellites called the Earth Observing System (EOS) to a next-generation of operational polar-orbiting environmental satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    This educational program will provide a personal tour of the NASA mission data center, close-up viewing of the powerful Delta-II launch vehicle on the launch pad before and during launch as well as hands-on practical educator workshops and presentations by NASA & NOAA principal investigators and other practitioners.

    Learn about real-world Earth, atmospheric, and rocket science, and NPP’s cutting-edge satellite instrument technology. All of NPP’s data products bear on understanding global change and climate science and will also help meteorologists improve weather forecasts. The remote-sensing instruments aboard NPP will measure the Earth’s atmospheric and sea surface temperatures, humidity sounding, land and ocean biological activity and cloud and aerosol properties. NOAA meteorologists will incorporate the data into their weather and climate prediction models to produce accurate life-saving forecasts and warnings. NPP will aslo help emergency responders monitor and react to natural disasters.

    The workshops will provide a general introduction to the NASA NPP mission and a variety of K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) topics as well as the specific science behind the NASA NPP satellite.

    Enjoy a wonderful evening of a delicious dinner at the Vandenberg Air Force Base Officers’ Club and one-on-one interfacing with many formal and informal STEM educators, scientists, and engineers.

    This may very well be the last such opportunity to witness such a launch as the Delta-IIs are discontinued and any future vehicles will be launched from less accessible sites.


    3. NASA Education Invites Students to Drop Everything!

    NASA’s Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) and What If No Gravity? (WING) allow students in high school and in middle school to design and build an experiment that will be operated in a NASA research drop tower. This will put the students’ experiment in microgravity, just as if it were in space.

    Four teams in the high school DIME competition will be invited to visit NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and operate their experiment in the drop tower. Four additional teams will send their experiment to Glenn for the drop tower staff to operate it.

    Teams of students in grades 5-8 in the WING program will propose for the opportunity to build an experiment to be operated in the same drop tower by NASA drop tower staff.

    All DIME and WING teams will analyze their data from the experiment operations and write a final report. The students’ process of experiment development through to a final report mimics the process used by NASA and other researchers.

    Proposal postmark deadline date is Nov. 1, 2011. Selected teams will be announced in early-December and drop tower operations will be conducted in March 2012.

    The DIME & WING competitions are funded by NASA’s Teaching From Space program.

    For more information about both DIME & WING, please visit

    If you have questions about this opportunity, please e-mail your
    inquiries to the DIME & WING team at


    4. New DIY Podcast Module: Rocket Science

    Launch into the new school year with a new Do-It-Yourself Podcast topic module: Rocket Science.

    NASA Launch Vehicle Systems Analyst (rocket scientist) Tristan Curry provides expert sound bites for students to build podcast episodes about the laws of physics that govern building and launching rockets. Education specialist Fred Kepner explains the stability of a rocket and how to achieve it.

    Whether you’re building a film canister rocket or a launch vehicle to travel beyond Earth, the science behind rockets is the same. The topic module includes 33 video clips with Curry, Kepner, historical footage of rockets and shuttle launches, and animations. Sixteen audio clips also are included in the module. Students may download these NASA multimedia materials and integrate them into their own recordings and narration to create a podcast.

    Other DIY Podcast topic modules are:

    — Fitness.

    — Lab Safety.

    — Newton’s Laws.

    — Robots.

    — Solar Arrays.

    — Spacesuits.

    — Sports Demo.

    Students can build their own multimedia projects, while teachers meet national education standards.

    A companion blog offers tips and suggestions for incorporating the DIY Podcast into the classroom.

    To learn more and to start building podcasts, visit

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