K-12 Educator

Astronomical Collisions

It's the ultimate merging when lightyear-size galaxies attract each other and collide. The process takes billions of years, and although we won't be able to record a whole collision in our lifetime, the Hubble Space Telescope has given us glimpses of various galaxies around the universe at different stages of their collision. What Happens When Galaxies Collide?...

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Curiosity’s Five Years of Mars Exploration

Five years ago the Curiosity Mars Rover landed on the surface of the red planet. Curiosity's mission is to determine Mars' habitability by examining the planet's climate and geology. It was set to explore the 96 mile-wide Gale Crater and study its structure, chemical composition, how it came to be, and how its history impacted its habitability. So far, Curiosit...

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South by Southwest’s 2016 Education Expo

South by Southwest’s education expo will be held on March 7-10 in Austin, Texas. The education expo brought close to 6,000 students, parents, and educators together last year. SXSWedu is a part of the South by Southwest network. This includes the annual music and arts festival of the same name. The education expo has a varied speaker lineup and demonstrations fro...

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Preparing Students for Future STEM Jobs

It is no secret that STEM jobs are high in demand and will continue to grow over the next several decades. However, what is needed is a wide variety of approaches that will enable educators to engage and entice students to pursue STEM fields to meet this growing demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Spring 2014 Occupational Outlook Quarterly (now...

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The Future of Human Spaceflight

The moon, Mars, and beyond—for decades humans have been fascinated by the potential of space travel. After nearly 50 years of space exploration, humanity is looking for the next great leap in the future of human spaceflight. Until recently, space programs were run by the government and focused on low-Earth orbits. Humans landed on the moon for the first tim...

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“Off The Earth For The Earth” for a #YearinSpace Adventure on ISS

This will be the longest duration spaceflight for any American Astronaut since Michael López-Alegría spent 215.4 days aboard the ISS.  For the Russians, 365 days won’t break their record of 438 days, set 20 years ago in 1995 by cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov aboard the Mir Space Station (Schwirtz, 2009). From fluids to flames and crystals to leafy greens,...

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NASA is with you when you fly! Celebrate Aeronautics with NASA

Did you know that NASA wasn’t always called NASA? That's right! NASA used to be NACA, or the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. NACA was formed in 1915, followed by the establishment of what is now NASA Langley Research Center in 1917--or what I like to call the mothership of NASA, since it was the first NASA center. If you're thinking that those dates ...

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Send Your Name on the Journey to Mars

Welcome Future Martians! You can now send your name to Mars on a microchip aboard InSight for its March 2016 mission. The deadline to submit your name is September 8, so don’t forget to sign up! There are three essential questions that have been driving Mars exploration. Is there water on Mars? Is or was Mars ever capable of sustaining life? Coul...

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