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Free STEM Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

Audience: In-service, Pre-service, Home School and Informal Educators

The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) at Texas State University is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate. To register, simply click on the link provided beneath the webinar description.

September 14, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. ET: Lava Layering: Making and Mapping a Volcano (Grades 5-8) – The focus of this webinar is interpreting geologic history through volcano formation and excavation. Baking soda, vinegar and play dough are used to model fluid lava flows. Various colors of play dough identify different eruption events. Students will (1) Construct a model of a volcano, (2) Produce lava flows, (3) Observe, draw, record, and interpret the history and stratigraphy of a volcano produced by other students, and (4) Draw connections between Earth and Mars by studying volcanic features on each. Register online to participate.


September 15, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. ET: Seeing Your Students at NASA: Engineering for Mars — Part 1 (Grades 3-10) – In Part 1 of this series, educators will review two classroom activities in which students work in engineering design teams to test various components of a Mars exploration vehicle. This ready-to-go facilitation guide, Gaining Traction, is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and includes a pre-assessment, handouts, rubrics and a post-assessment. In the first two activities of the project, students build batteries and test wheel friction while focusing on the subject areas of engineering, motion and interaction. Register online to participate.


September 19, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. ET: Seeing Your Students at NASA: STEM Careers Exploration Webquest (Grades 6-12) – Consider using a webquest in your classroom to engage students in guided inquiry. Students will begin to identify STEM career opportunities that they are interested in while clicking on video links about scientists and engineers who work with environmental issues and problems. The webquest and resources may be used by students working independently or for the whole class to stimulate discussion and collaboration.

Link to the webquest:

Register online to participate.


September 20, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. ET: Seeing Your Students at NASA: Rocks From Space and Other Worlds (Grades 3-8) –Astromaterials scientists at NASA study rocks and “soil” samples from other planetary bodies. Learn how students can use GLOBE materials to study Earth rocks and soils; find out about the Lunar and Meteorite Certification program for educators; and take a tour of the various missions and research NASA has conducted and continues to conduct in our solar system and beyond. Register online to participate.


September 21, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. ET: Virtual Missions and Exoplanets (vMAX): Part 1 — Curriculum Overview (Grades 6-12) – Learn how to help students study exoplanetary systems through hands-on activities, scenario-based problem solving, and 3-D multiuser virtual world simulations. The vMAX Curriculum (Part 1) webinar gives an overview of exoplanetary system resources that build upon the use of NASA data. These resources are organized for a one-week experience for middle school students but are flexible enough for any formal or informal audience and time period. Register online to participate.


September 22, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. ET: Virtual Missions and Exoplanets (vMAX): Part 2 — Technical Overview (Grades 6-12) – Learn how to help students study exoplanetary systems through hands-on activities, scenario-based problem solving, and 3-D multiuser virtual world simulations. To prepare teachers to use the vMAX virtual world with students, the vMAX Technical (Part 2) webinar addresses technical requirements to download, install and navigate the virtual world as an avatar. It is suggested that educators participate in BOTH webinars for a complete understanding of how to implement these resources. Register online to participate.


For the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development webinar schedule, go to:



For US Educators: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station–Students Talk to Astronauts

Call for Proposals — Window is September 1 – November 1, 2016

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the radio contact would be held between July 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits determine the exact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. Students learn about technology, communications, and science studied on board the ISS.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 1, 2016. For proposal information and details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, and days/times of Information Sessions, go to Please direct any questions




February 9-11, 2017

at Space Center Houston

1601 NASA Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

Experience three days of complete immersion into the out-of-this world adventure of space exploration!

This conference is for grades kindergarten to 12th – and not just for science teachers! Space Center Houston strives to use space to teach across the curriculum. The activities presented can be used for science, language arts, mathematics, history, and more.

Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists and engineers working on exciting endeavors like the International Space Station and explorations of Mars and the planets beyond. Hear from the astronauts leading the charge in exploration! Come learn about the bold vision to send humans back to the Moon and off to Mars! Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready to implement classroom ideas and experience minds-on, hands-on fun. Network with fellow educators, take back a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas and activities and earn 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

For more information or to register, visit : email or call (281) 244-2149.

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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