NASA EXPRESS — Your STEM Connection for March 25, 2021

Check out the latest NASA opportunities for educators, students and families.
Do you have family or friends looking for at-home ideas? Share this newsletter with them and ask them to subscribe.
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Tournament Earth 2021: Astronaut Photography
March is here, and it’s tournament time. Voting for Tournament Earth 2021 is underway, and the focus is on astronaut photography. Over the last 60 years, astronauts have taken more than 1.5 million photographs of Earth from space.

Out of that multitude of images, 32 photos were selected to go head-to-head in this year’s tournament, but only one will win. Will your favorite make the cut?

Send a Pledge to the Moon
NASA is turning the page to a new chapter of human space exploration. We’re going to land the first woman and next man on the Moon, and we need you to help us with a pledge of the Artemis Generation to explore. Send a recorded video pledge, and we’ll send it to the Moon aboard the Artemis I mission. Pledges are due April 2.
STEM Webinars for
Educators, Parents and Caregivers
Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development
Collaborative at Texas State University for live educational webinars.
Radiation and
Humans in Space
March 25
at 6 p.m. EDT
Culturally Responsive Strategies and Resources
March 25
at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Habitation With Gateway
March 29
at 1 p.m. EDT
NASA’s BEST: Engineering Design Process
March 29 at 6 p.m. EDT
Crew Transportation With Orion
March 30
at 6 p.m. EDT
FlyBy Math: Teaching Distance-Rate-Time Using Aeronautics
March 31
at 6 p.m. EDT
For a full list of upcoming webinars, click here.

Celebrating Station Science With T.J. Creamer
Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Grades 3-12
Event Date: March 29 at 3:30 p.m. EDT

As a former astronaut and International Space Station Payload Operations Director and current space station Flight Director, T.J. Creamer offers a unique perspective on NASA’s missions. Watch the live event as Creamer answers questions from students across the U.S.

NASA is working to provide mission-driven opportunities that enhance STEM literacy and help build a vibrant and diverse next generation STEM workforce. Visit the NEXT Gen STEM website to learn more about other NASA K-12 STEM engagement opportunities.

‘NASA STEM Stars’ — James Webb Space Telescope: Reaching for the Stars With Jeanne Davis
Audience: Students Ages 13+
Event Date: March 31 at 3:30 p.m. EDT

“NASA STEM Stars” is a webchat series that connects students with subject matter experts to learn about STEM careers and ask questions about STEM topics.

Join “NASA STEM Stars” for a special episode focused on the James Webb Space Telescope. Program Manager Jeanne Davis will discuss her work on this groundbreaking infrared telescope and her STEM career path that led her to roles leading astrophysics missions at NASA.

Watch the live event and ask questions about pursuing careers in STEM.

GLOBE Mission Mosquito Webinar: Studying Diseases From Space
Audience: Formal and Informal Educators, Parents and Caregivers
Webinar Date: April 8 at 2 p.m. EDT
Contact: cassie_soeffing

Join the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program for a professional development webinar featuring Dr. Mike Wimberly from the University of Oklahoma. Learn how human modifications of Earth’s land surface has resulted in changes that affect many organisms, including disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Learn about several case studies that use satellite remote sensing to study connections between land cover and mosquito-borne disease transmission. Join us to discuss the opportunities and challenges of studying these relationships.

Register to attend:

More STEM Learning Resources
Celebrate Solar Week — Spring 2021
Audience: Educators and Students in Grades 5-9, Informal Educators, Parents and Caregivers
Event Date: March 22-26
Contact: outreach

Solar Week provides a series of online educational activities focusing on the star of our solar system, the Sun. Students can explore solar careers and learn about sunspots, solar energy and solar storms. The website features scavenger hunts, games and an online, interactive discussion board where students can submit questions to solar scientists. Students are invited to attend a 30-minute webinar, and solar scientists will be hanging out in a virtual meeting space throughout the week to answer questions.

Solar Week Webinar: Full Spectrum
Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Middle School Grades and Older
Event Date: March 26 at
2 p.m. EDT

The popular image of a scientist is a white man in a white lab coat. In the 20-minute documentary “Full Spectrum,” meet scientists changing this notion, and learn their perspectives on the challenges of diversity in the sciences.

Join the Solar Week team for a special screening of the NASA-funded short film, followed by a discussion with several of the scientists featured in the documentary. Click here to register. If registration is full, the event will be livestreamed on the Multiverse YouTube Channel.

New Education Resources — Snoopy and NASA: It Takes Perseverance!
Audience: Educators, Parents and Caregivers of Students in Grades K-6

Join Snoopy as he celebrates the landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover and its mission to find signs of ancient life on Mars. NASA has teamed with Peanuts Worldwide to send seasoned space traveler Snoopy on an adventure to the Red Planet. These STEM classroom activities teach students why scientists study Mars, how the term “perseverance” relates to their own lives and what the rover is doing on Mars. Activities are designed to work for classroom or at-home learning.

‘NASA eClips’ Winter 2021 Newsletter
Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Grades 4-7
Contact: shannon.verstynen

The latest edition of the “NASA eClips” newsletter is available. Watch three new “Ask SME: Close-up With a NASA Subject Matter Expert” videos, plus a new “NASA eClips at Home” video about extremophiles. Learn about the new eClips engineering webpage, and see who was selected to be members of the 2021 Educator and Technical Advisory Boards.

Want to receive the “NASA eClips” newsletter in your inbox? Click here to subscribe.

Model Stellar Evolution and Scientific Ways of Knowing
Audience: Educators, Parents and Caregivers of Students in
Grades 9-12
Contact: sina.kirk

Create stars from a stellar nebula, and track them through their life cycles as you dispel common misconceptions and answer questions from star party guests. Collect evidence of star colors, luminosity, solar mass, lifespans, composition and temperature along your journey. Educator resources are included.
Find this experience and more at

NASA Space Place — Deep Space Network Game — DSN: Uplink-Downlink in Spanish
Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Grades 3-6
Contact: info

NASA Space Place’s DSN Uplink-Downlink game is now available to play in Spanish. This game helps students learn how NASA communicates with distant spacecraft.

Access the new Spanish version here or the English version here.

Collaborate With NASA

Contact Opportunity: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Audience: All Educators, Informal Institutions and Youth Organizations
Proposal Deadline: March 31
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ARISS-US is accepting proposals from U.S. schools, museums and community youth organizations (working individually or together) to host an amateur radio contact with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station between Jan. 1-June 30, 2022. To maximize the events, ARISS-US is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education plan. Radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes. Visit the site for proposal guidelines and forms.

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 16 to the International Space Station
Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities
Inquiry Deadline: April 30
Start Date: Sept. 1
Contact: jeffgoldstein

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education announce Mission 16 to the International Space Station, a community engagement initiative in STEM. In each participating community, one proposed student experiment is selected to fly in low-Earth orbit on the space station. For precollege grades 5-12, each community is expected to engage at least 300 students in real microgravity experiment design and proposal writing. For an undergraduate community, at least 30 students are expected to engage. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than April 30.

Call for Proposals: MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research (M-STAR) Funding Opportunity
Audience: Minority-Serving Institutions
Pre-proposal Teleconference: March 29 at 4 p.m. EDT
Proposal Deadline: May 10

NASA is seeking proposals for competitive funding opportunities in support of the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) administered by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. Proposals are being accepted for the MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research (M-STAR) Implementation Funding activity. M-STAR will strengthen and develop the research capacity and infrastructure of U.S. Minority-Serving Institutions and enhance their capability to participate in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate research. These efforts will support the advancement of technologies needed for exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Virtual Space Biosciences Training Course: STAR
Audience: Principal Investigators, Researchers and Postdoctoral Scholars
Application Deadline: May 28
Contact: Egle.Cekanaviciute

Spaceflight Technologies, Application and Research (STAR) is a virtual NASA program for space biosciences training. The annual course targets principal investigators, senior research scientists and postdoctoral scholars. The purpose is to facilitate participants’ entry to space biology and to prepare them for conducting spaceflight experiments using NASA and commercial platforms.

Course curriculum includes space biology and its practical applications. Participants will have opportunities to interact with principal investigators with prior mission experience, developers of spaceflight technology and flight providers. The 2021 STAR Course will take place virtually between September 2021 and February 2022, and will consist of two two-hour seminars per month on weekday afternoons.

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

NASA’s Glenn Research Center 80th Anniversary Student Essay Contest
Audience: Students in Grades 4-12
Entry Deadline: March 31
Contact: GRC-Ed-Opportunities

To celebrate 80 years of pushing boundaries and breaking barriers, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is hosting an essay contest. Students can learn about NASA Glenn’s missions and people, and then write an essay explaining how Glenn’s explorations and discoveries inspire them and their career goals. Or, they may explain how exploration and discoveries could change the way we live and work in the future. Essays will be judged in three different age ranges, and winners will be invited to participate in a live, virtual recognition event with NASA scientists and engineers. Visit the website for essay topics and contest rules.

Artemis LEAPFROG Lander Competition
Audience: College and University Students and Faculty
Registration Deadline: April 15
Challenge Dates: May 15-June 15

The Artemis Lunar Entry and Approach Platform for Research On Ground, or LEAPFROG, competition is a national software and flight-based challenge for university-level students to gain understanding and training on lunar landing vehicle technology and innovation. Coordinated by the California Space Grant Consortium, the software challenge will be conducted in a virtual environment that simulates obstacles on the lunar surface. The challenge is designed to test students’ understanding of control theory, flight dynamics modeling and simulation for flight systems. Visit the website for details and registration information. Winners will receive a full lander kit to assemble through a summer boot camp supported by the LEAPFROG team.

2022 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge
Audience: Higher Education Faculty and Students
Proposal Deadline: May 23
Contact: xhab

NASA, in collaboration with the National Space Grant Foundation, is giving university teams the opportunity to develop innovative design ideas that could assist NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration objectives. The 2022 Moon to Mars Systems and Habitation (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge provides real-world, hands-on design, research and development opportunities for university students interested in aerospace careers. The winners of the challenge will receive $15,000 to $50,000 to design and produce studies, research findings or functional products that bridge strategic knowledge gaps, increase capabilities and lower technology risks related to NASA’s Moon to Mars space exploration missions. Awardees will follow a tailored systems-engineering process with projects to be completed in the May 2022 time frame.

Opportunities With Our Partners

Department of Education Webinar: Differing Abilities in STEM
Audience: Formal, Informal Educators, Parents and Caregivers
Webinar Date: March 25 at 2-3:30 p.m. EDT
Contact: Patti.Curtis

How do we make STEM education more accessible to all learners? Students of all abilities can be successful in STEM, and should be encouraged to pursue STEM experiences, coursework and career paths. Join the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, special guest speaker Dr. Temple Grandin and an esteemed panel to explore how to create inclusive STEM environments that make it possible for students of all abilities to be successful. Learn what the Department of Education and others are doing to expand access for all abilities in STEM education and innovation.

Click here to register to attend.

Research Announcement: Leveraging the ISS National Lab to Enable Digital Engagement and Higher Education
Audience: U.S.-based Institutions, including Educational and Not-for-Profits
Concept Summary Due Date: March 29
Contact: info

The ISS National Lab seeks to establish or expand programs and products related to STEM education for students of all ages. Proposals must focus on educational objectives related to the ISS National Lab. Concepts should state specifically how proposed initiatives would target and reach underrepresented demographics. This research announcement will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Step 1 concept summaries are due March 29.

Genes in Space Challenge
Audience: U.S. Students in Grades 7-12, Educators, Parents and Caregivers
Deadline: April 12
Contact: genesinspace

Students are invited to propose experiments using new gene analysis tools aboard the International Space Station. Working individually or in teams, students are challenged to design a DNA experiment that addresses challenges in space travel and deep space exploration. From bacterial cell growth to the human immune system, everything works a little differently in space. Participation is free and does not require specialized equipment.

NOAA Planet Stewards Virtual Educator Workshop — Community Resilience to Climate Change
Audience: All Educators
Workshop Dates: July 5-29
Contact: klaffey

Join the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Planet Stewards, NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and Artist Boat for an interdisciplinary 70% independent learning/self-paced virtual workshop for all educators on climate change impacts to human and natural communities, and the actions you can take to build resilient communities in light of these impacts. Educators will receive 24 continuing education credit hours. Space is limited, so register today.

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Are you looking for NASA STEM materials to support your curriculum?
Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at

Find NASA science resources for your classroom. NASA Wavelength is a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels — from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs.

Check out the ‘Explore NASA Science’ website! Science starts with questions, leading to discoveries. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit

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Visit NASA STEM Engagement on the Web:
NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement:
NASA Kids’ Club:
NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement | 300 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20546

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