Category Archives: Education

Teachers in Space invites applications for Flight Experiment Summer Workshop

Joe Latrell of Photos-To-Space sends me this announcement:

2013 Summer Flight Experiment Workshop Applications Opened
Teachers in Space Announces Opening for
Flight Experiment Summer Workshop Applications

The Space Frontier Foundation’s Teachers in Space (TIS) project today announced that teacher’s applications are now being accepted for its free Flight Experiment summer workshop.

Teachers in Space is a project to inspire student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging teachers with authentic astronaut training and real space science experiences combined with information and resources they bring into classrooms across America.

The workshop is offered for high school teachers of math, science and technology.

The Flight Experiment workshop offers hands-on, repeatable experience with suborbital and orbital experiment design and launch processes. Participants will build, launch, track, retrieve, and analyze captured data from weather balloon experiments which can be recreated within a typical classroom budget. Teachers will learn about commercial spaceflight, suborbital and glider and balloon flight, meteorology, basic glider controls, basic instrumentation, control surfaces, and simple premade instruments that will be flying with teachers in gliders and on weather balloons. They will also learn about pressure change, accelerometers, and dosimeters. The experience will culminate with teachers practicing what was learned during the week as they launch their own weather balloons.

Leading the workshop are James Kuhl, 6th Grade Earth Science Teacher from Syracuse, NY and finalist in the 2004 NASA Educator Astronaut program; Rachael Manzer, district science coach in the Suffield, Connecticut School District and former NASA distance learning educator; and Robert “Mike” Schmidt, a second-generation teacher and high school math teacher at University High School in Tucson, AZ.

The workshop will be held at the Aero Institute in Palmdale, CA on July 15-21, 2013. A tour of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center will also be available.

If you are a teacher of science, technology, engineering, or math at the high school level we encourage you to apply. Space is limited; only 30 seats are available. The deadline for workshop applications is April 1, 2013.  The workshop is free of charge. Subsidized housing will be available at a cost of $25 per night (shared rooms). Meals are not provided, but a limited number of stipends will be available to help defray the cost of meals and transportation. The maximum size of a stipend is $400. If you require a stipend, you are urged to apply early.

U.S. Highschool STEM (Science Technology Engineering or Math) teachers may apply at

Titan & Europa essay contest – Grades 5-12

Here’s a message from the  Titan and Icy Worlds  Education and Public Outreach Teams at NASA JPL:

Dear Teachers and Students,

NASA is holding an essay contest about Saturn’s moon Titan & Jupiter’s moon Europa for students in the United States in grades 5-12.

.The contest deadline is February 28, 2013.  The contest website is here:

Questions about the Titan & Europa essay contest can be sent to:

The topic of the Titan & Europa essay is either a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan or to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Both of these missions would study a world that is exciting for astrobiologists(*).Your assignment is to decide which of the proposed missions would be more interesting to you, and why. Be creative, be original, and ask good questions that you hope the mission would answer.

The Titan mission would include a Titan orbiter and a Titan balloon. The Europa mission would include a Europa orbiter and a Europa lander. The orbiters, balloon, and lander would each have science instruments to study either Titan or Europa.

In your essay, you can include information about what science instruments you would put on the orbiter and balloon or lander, if you wish, based on what you hope to find on Titan or Europa.

Winning essays will be posted on a NASA website, and winners and their classes will be invited to participate in a videoconference or teleconference with NASA scientists.

Contest videos about Astrobiology, Titan, and Europa can be found here:

(*) Astrobiologists are scientists who study the origins, evolution, future and distribution of life in the universe. The main question astrobiologists are trying to answer is: “Is there life beyond Earth?”

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The Titan and Icy Worlds NASA Astrobiology Institute Education and Public Outreach Teams

Rocket Science Tutors (RST)

Rocket Science Tutors (RST) aims to help students boost their studies in t Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM):

RST is a 501C-3 non-profit, all-volunteer organization comprised of technical professionals and engineering graduate students dedicated to exciting students about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). RST brings STEM to life with an extensive 24 week, inquiry based, after school program structured on California standards. Since 2005, RST has developed and honed a classroom-proven approach that has the potential to be expanded for use across the country.

RST believes it is imperative to create interest in math, science and engineering before students enter high school. A common complaint by students is “Why study math… I’ll never use it!” since they typically do not see the link between math and science. Because algebra is the gateway to higher-level math, and therefore science and engineering, the student’s failure to grasp algebra effectively limits the pursuit of a technical career. For this reason, RST addresses the challenge at the 8th grade Algebra level.

The backbone of the RST program is the weekly lab requiring students to build an experiment, use math skills to calculate the expected outcome, measure that performance and compare the results. This reinforces the link between math and science and provides the thrill of “hands-on“ engineering. Analysis of student performance data shows strong correlation between attendance at RST sessions and improved test scores. It should be noted that RST volunteers include female technical professionals who provide outstanding role models for female students.

RST works under the direction of the teaching staff to reinforce lesson plans in a weekly after-school session structured to excite students about “aerospace” applications of math being learned in the classroom. Our purpose is to support the teacher by first helping students to learn the classroom material and then to gain an appreciation of this material through discussions, examples and sample problems.


RocketSTEM releases free magazine for young people and educators

Here is an announcement of a new magazine oriented towards young people with the goal of encouraging them to purse studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I must note, though, that this issue is totally focused on NASA and is devoid of any acknowledgement of any space activities in the private sector. For young people who want to time travel back to the Space Age of the 1960’s, this is definitely the magazine for them. For those who want to know about the New Space Age in their own future and about the opportunities opening up for them to participate in space development and even to go to space themselves, then this publication, at least if this issue is the standard, won’t give them a single clue.  I can only hope future issues will correct this enormous flaw in their approach.

RocketSTEM releases free magazine to inspire children and help educators

Sparking the imaginations of students and inspiring them to pursue knowledge and careers within the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is the main focus of a new digital magazine which released its first issue this week.

RocketSTEM is the first project of a private, not-for-profit organization formed to foster STEM education efforts, and to promote space exploration. The magazine, which is FREE to view or download, may be read online at the organization’s website – – as well as at and

Among the featured items in the premier issue are:
• One-on-one conversations with Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.
• The story behind Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon.
• The twin Voyager spacecraft continue to make discoveries as they near the edge of the solar system.
• An interview with Flight Director Emily Nelson profiling her work within NASA’s Mission Control Center.
• The Curiosity rover embarks on a lifetime of discovery on the surface of Mars.
• Joy abounds for participants during a NASA Social event at JPL.
• A spotlight on the National Naval Aviation Museum.
• And much, much more. Sixty-eight pages of pure content. No advertising

Each issue of RocketSTEM will have a wide variety of content geared to appeal to everyone from little kids to adults, as well as teaching aids for primary and secondary school educators. The publication will mix in space history – past, present and future – along with interviews, career paths, astronomy lessons, aerospace news, museum features, NASA tech spinoffs, puzzles, games, quizzes, lesson plans and other educational resources, and easy-to-follow explanations of the mathematics and physics of all things to do with space travel.

The first issue of RocketSTEM was produced by an all-volunteer staff comprised of journalists, photographers, scientists, teachers and even students. In all, nearly 30 people contributed to the production of the first issue.

“One of my most satisfying moments while I was covering the end of the Space Shuttle program as a journalist, was going to the KSC Visitor Center and giving kids prints of some of my Shuttle photos so they’d have something for the ‘astronaut of the day’ to sign,” said RocketSTEM founder Chase Clark. “It was a most rewarding experience, but I wanted to do much more. I wanted to make a real difference in inspiring the children of America to dream big and become the next generation of rocket scientists and astronauts, as well as hopefully elevate the public’s perception of NASA and space exploration. Lucky for me, I have a lot of friends who feel the same way. They volunteered their time and expertise to help take RocketSTEM from conception all the way through the production and release of the first issue in just three months time.”

RocketSTEM will be releasing new issues as Spring (April) and Summer (June) editions before moving to a monthly production schedule with the August 2013 issue. As well as being free to read online, future plans include releasing each issue as an enhanced multimedia application for tablet computers such as the iPad. A limited number of printed copies of the magazine also are available and may be purchased at .

RocketSTEM Media Foundation, a private, non-for-profit was established in 2012. Based in Pensacola, Florida, the organization has volunteers located throughout the United States, England and several other countries. While focused on development of the magazine for the time being, the foundation has plans to develop comprehensive classroom lesson plans to be used by teachers at all grade levels. It also will be endowing a scholarship fund for college students pursuing aerospace studies, and for younger students wishing to attend Space Camp in Alabama or the National Flight Academy in Florida.