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.

Upcoming Events & Activities
 

January 2nd to February 28th – NASA’s 2023 Winter Astrophoto Challenge

 Webb’s famous Pillars of Creation forms the background of this image: Layers of semi-opaque red colored gas and dust, bottom left, with three prominent pillars that rise toward the top right. The left pillar is the largest and widest, the second and third pillars are set off in darker shades of brown and have red outlines. Beyond the pillars is a view of the vast, star-studded, dark blue background of outer space. The text overlaying this image reads: NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge: Process your own image usi

You are invited to join NASA’s 2023 Winter Astrophoto Challenge, an exciting opportunity for learners of all familiarity levels to engage in the scientific practices of a scientist using real, accessible astronomical data and tools to create and share their own composite images of the iconic Pillars of Creation and the broader Eagle Nebula in which they reside. 

While some challenge participants will use the images they create to explore the impact of hot stars on the gas and dust that make up the Pillars, others may create images just to capture their sheer beauty.  And whether you capture your own real-time telescope image using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network or choose to work with an archival set of data files taken with multi-wavelength NASA, European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency space telescope missions (Webb, Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and Herschel), this Challenge provides all the necessary instruction, guidance, and tools to make it all possible. 

Join the NASA's Astrophoto Challenge and submit your creations between January 2, 2023 through February 28, 2023 for a chance to see your images highlighted as standout entries commented on by scientists.

Learn more about other opportunities to discover the universe for yourselves with NASA's Universe of Learning: https://www.universe-of-learning.org/

 

This NASA’s Neurodiversity Network logo shoes a sky-blue N with a three situated on top of the right side. Behind the N, there is a shadow in the shape of an infinity symbol. Incorporated into both loops of the infinity symbol and the middle portion of the three are gold-colored circles of various sizes.

February 9th – Stanford K-12 Neurodiversity Network for Education & Advocacy Webinar

Dr. Ariana Riccio and Prof. Lynn Cominsky from NASA’s Neurodiversity Network (N3) – which provides pathways to NASA participation and STEM employment for neurodiverse learners – will present information about the N3 program and summer internship opportunities as guests on the Stanford University Neurodiversity Network for Education & Advocacy (NNEA) bi-weekly webinar. NNEA is Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy. It is a group organized by high school students that features a wide variety of speakers every other week. If you are interested in awesome opportunities for neurodiverse youth, please register to attend. 

Date: February 9th, 2023
Time: 7 p.m. EST. 

Register

 

During this NASA eClips Spotlite Design Challenge, a smiling middle-school-aged student wearing a bright orange hoodie discusses the possible science misconception that matter in the solid state contains non-moving molecules.

February 23rd – ITEEA Roundtable Discussion: One Project To Develop Many Skills, The NASA Spotlite Cloud Detectives Challenge

Adult learners and educators alike are invited to join this free International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Roundtable Discussion about the NASA eClips project’s NASA Spotlite Cloud Detectives Challenge. Work with experts from NASA eClips, the Global Learning & Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, and Screencastify for a hands-on, step-by-step overview of the Challenge, which encourages students to form teams and produce a video for the NASA eClips website. As a part of this video production challenge, student teams will: 

  1. Confront a science misconception by gathering their own evidence through observations and explorations.
  2. Capture their questions and findings through video.
  3. Share their video to challenge viewers to make their own observations.

Join this ITEEA Roundtable discussion to learn how the engineering process frames the challenge, gather citizen science data using the GLOBE Observer app, and practice using Screencastify for video editing and production. Exemplary student productions are showcased on the NASA eClips website and incorporated into lessons to engage other learners.

Date: February 23rd, 2023
Time: 6:00 p.m. EST

Register

 

On-Demand Events & Activities

 

James Webb Space Telescope STEM Toolkit

an undulating, translucent star-forming region in the Carina Nebula is shown in this Webb image, hued in ambers and blues; foreground stars with diffraction spikes can be seen, as can a speckling of background points of light through the cloudy nebula

One of the first full-color Webb images released: “Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula (NIRCam Image). Read more about this image: https://bit.ly/3RwxGn

The James Webb Space Telescope will be a giant leap forward in our quest to understand the universe and its origins. Webb will examine every phase of cosmic history from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets, to the evolution our own solar system. NASA has put together a Webb STEM Toolkit so that students can participate in the excitement of the James Webb Space Telescope too! Whether you’re a student ready to learn or an educator looking to #UnfoldtheUniverse with your students, this Toolkit contains wonderful resources, activities, videos, lesson plans, and more.

Access the James Webb Space Telescope STEM Toolkit

 

Explore Planetary Defense

gaspra.png

​The asteroid Gaspra as seen by the Galileo spacecraft en route to Jupiter. Credit: NASA.

Did you know that NASA has an entire office dedicated to defending our planet?!

Asteroids and comets have slammed into planets, moons, and asteroids throughout our solar system, including our Earth. NASA scientists and engineers are studying asteroids and comets, where they are, and how to deflect them from Earth in the future.

In fact, in November 2021, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) – the first-ever spacecraft designed to impact an asteroid as a test of technology. But don’t worry – DART’s target asteroid is NOT a threat to Earth. DART is targeting an asteroid system that’s a perfect testing ground to see if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course, should an Earth-threatening asteroid be discovered in the future.

Families and informal-educators can help learners discover how planetary scientists explore the characteristics of asteroids and comets using candy bars, dry ice, and more with these hands-on, interactive asteroid/planetary defense activities and resources from the Lunar & Planetary Institute.

Learn more