NASA Science Events and Activities

Let NASA bring the universe to you!

We’re inviting every student, educator, and lifelong learner to share in the excitement of scientific discovery and space exploration through unique opportunities from NASA’s Science Activation Program – a community-based approach to connect NASA science with learners of all ages. Check out these events and activities for educators, families, and students in kindergarten and up.

Now thru Monday, August 5th, 2024: NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge

Intended Audience: Learners of all Ages and Levels

Join this exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own images of supernova remnant, Cassiopeia A. Use your images to explore or focus on creating an image that you think is beautiful. You can capture your own real-time telescope image using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network, or work with a set of data files taken with multi-wavelength space-based missions from NASA, the European Space Agency, and  the Canadian Space Agency (Hubble, Webb, Chandra, Spitzer). Standout entries receive expert feedback from NASA scientists!

Visit the NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge webpage for more information about the project and learn how to work with NASA data.

Cassiopeia A resembles a disk of electric light with red clouds, glowing white streaks, red and orange flames, and an area near the center of the remnant resembling a somewhat circular region of green lightning. X-rays from Chandra are blue and reveal hot gas, mostly from supernova debris from the destroyed star. X-rays are also present as thin arcs in the outer regions of the remnant. Infrared data from Webb is red, green, and blue. Hubble data shows a multitude of stars that permeate the field of view.

Monday, July 1st, 2024: Growing Beyond Earth Information Session for Teachers

Intended Audience: Classroom Teachers (Grades 6-12)

Interested in helping NASA feed astronauts on the International Space Station? Get involved with Growing Beyond Earth®! Growing Beyond Earth is a 6th-12th grade classroom-based citizen science project developed by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in partnership with scientists at NASA, designed to advance NASA research on growing plants in space. It includes a series of plant experiments conducted by students in a Fairchild-designed plant habitat similar to the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) on the International Space Station. 

Tens of thousands of middle and high school students and their teachers nationwide have contributed hundreds of thousands of data points and tested 180 varieties of edible plants for NASA, with four having been flown on the International Space Station based on the student's results. If you are a middle or high school teacher interested in bringing Growing Beyond Earth Citizen Science into your classroom, please join the upcoming information sessions, during which the Growing Beyond Earth team will explain the program and its implementation in the classroom (followed by a Q&A session). 

When: Monday, July 1, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. EST: Join the Webinar 

Photo of a student watering a plant and tending to 6 small plants inside a pink-illuminated grow box
Photo of a young female student watering seeds in a grow box emitting a pink glow (left) and a female astronaut water seeds on the International Space Station in a grow box that is also emitting a pink glow.

July, Multiple Dates: Creating Virtual Field Trips – Free Tools & Training for Educators

Intended Audience: Formal & Informal Educators

Virtual field trips provide an opportunity to contextualize science concepts by immersing students in landscapes and locales that support learning. With Tour It, Infiniscope’s free virtual field trip creator, you can make place-based learning accessible to all your learners, boosting engagement and learning outcomes while enabling them to build personal connections. Learn how to capture the magic of place-based learning with Infiniscope's free Tour It workshop, Tour It 101. In this training, you'll learn how to use the tool to create high-quality virtual tours and discover place-based learning strategies.

Format:

One-hour on-your-own digital lesson + Two live one-hour sessions

Dates:

Two live online sessions occur on consecutive days at 2:00 p.m. EST. Choose the set of dates that work best for you.

- July 8 & 9

- July 10 & 11

Agenda:

Prior to Day 1: Starting with Tour It

Day 1: Exploring Place-Based Learning

Day 2: Planning Your Virtual Tour

Promotional graphic for a free virtual field trip training with a tool called "Tour It," set against a picturesque beach scene with the name Infiniscope in the corner.

Saturday, June 22, 2024: Physics in an Astronomy Context – Virtual Workshops for Physics Educators

Intended Audience: Middle and High School Educators and Professors Teaching 1st-year College Students

NASA’s Heliophysics Education Activation Team (HEAT) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) have put together a free, monthly, virtual workshop series for high school and undergraduate-level introductory physics teachers. Each workshop session will provide an astrophysics mini-lecture, a small group engagement with the core activity, and discussion time to connect with like-minded educators. These workshops began in February and will continue through June, 2024. Here are the remaining sessions: 

  • June 22 – Sunspot Science: From the astronomy of solar cycles, learn about the physics of period and frequency.

Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m. ET

NASA HEAT provides educational guidance and resources for educators, communicators, and learners of all ages to deepen their understanding of our Sun and its effects on Earth and the Solar System. Learn more about NASA HEAT and the AAPT NASA HEAT Project.

Graphic that shows information about the six 2024 workshops in the Physics in an Astronomy Context series. Includes a NASA Partner and AAPT logo, list of team members, and shows some of the topics covered in each session. In the upper left portion of the graphic, there is a close-up view of the right half of the fiery hot Sun.

Thursday, June 27th, 2024: Night Sky Network Webinar – Perseverance: Three Years of Exploring Mars

Intended Audience: General Public

Join NASA’s Night Sky Network on Thursday, June 27, at 9:00 p.m. EST for a webinar with Kim Steadman where we’ll discuss the Perseverance Rover and its explorations of Mars.

The Perseverance Rover has spent three years exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars. After exploring the crater floor, Perseverance is now exploring the Delta and working its way to the crater rim.

Picture of Kim Steadman standing in front of a replica of the Mars Perseverance Rover

Tuesday, July 16th, 2024: Heliophysics Big Year and Math Enrichment Webinar

Intended Audience: Science & Math Educators (Grades 6-12); General Public

Topic of the Month: 

How long does it take for light to travel from the sun’s core to its surface? Astronomers call this the Random Walk Problem and it is the reason why the Sun has what is called a Radiative Zone between its core and its surface.

Math problems - Introductory: Steps and travel time to the sun; Intermediate: Random walk and distance traveled; Advanced: Sunlight escape by random walk

Time: 7 p.m. EST

This 14-month series for science and math educators focuses on heliophysics topics with related math problems at three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. It is sponsored by NASA's Heliophysics Education Activation Team. For more info contact Dr. Hilarie Davis.

Figure showing artist rendition of the Sun with a red line that starts at the center and shows a “random walk” out toward and past the outer edge of the Sun.

Tuesday, August 20th, 2024: Heliophysics Big Year and Math Enrichment Webinar

Intended Audience: Science & Math Educators (Grades 6-12); General Public

Topic of the Month: 

Many things are controlled by cycles, such as every September we start a new school year. There is also the ‘Cycle of Life’ that begins at birth and ends at death. This month we will explore our sun’s life cycle and how Today’s Sun is different from yesterday’s and tomorrow’s.

Math problems: Beginning: How long does it take an interstellar cloud to collapse into a star?; Introductory: How long can a star live by burning hydrogen into helium?; Advanced: What are the properties of stellar remnants like white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes?

Time: 7 p.m. EST

This 14-month series for science and math educators focuses on heliophysics topics with related math problems at three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. It is sponsored by NASA's Heliophysics Education Activation Team. For more info contact Dr. Hilarie Davis.

Artist’s rendition of a black hole

On-Demand Events & Activities

Role Model Strategies Guide: Encouraging Youth to Consider STEM Careers

Intended Audience: Subject Matter Experts, STEM Professionals

This Role Model Strategies guide aims to change how youth think about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Why are role models important? Sharing your lived experiences (your background, hobbies, and career goals) with youth can motivate them to pursue a career in STEM. Research shows that these strategies work towards breaking stereotypes. Seeing the variety of backgrounds, experience, and perspectives of STEM professionals can help inspire and motivate youth who might not otherwise "see" themselves in STEM. This booklet offers basic training for role models, introducing you to best practices for your volunteer efforts.

Image of the cover of the Role Model Strategies Guide: Encouraging Youth to Consider STEM Careers. From SciGirls (pbskids.org/scigirls), Produced by Twin Cities PBS, and Made Possible by NASA and the National Science Foundation. The cover of the guide shows three photos of youth participating in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities with an adult role model featured in one photo.

Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Program Cookbook

Intended Audience: Educators

Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA is a project within NASA’s Universe of Learning that empowers libraries and community-based organizations to engage girls and their families in exploring the wonders of NASA science and celebrate the contributions of women to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

The Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Program Cookbook has been designed to guide educators in creating their events. It includes “recipes” about different astrophysics-related topics with sample scenarios, accessibility tips, information on how to request a subject matter expert for the events, and much more!

A white illustrated rectangle-shaped box with round corners lies against an illustrated blue background. In the white box are the words “NASA’S UNIVERSE OF LEARNING Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA” in purple. Below that are large words “Program Cookbook” in black. At the top of the white box, above the words, is a logo featuring the dark silhouette of a girl’s face looking up at a blue illustration of a galaxy. They are inside a purple-bordered circle with the text “Girls STEAM Ahead” in white.
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