Space Technology Drives Exploration and Student Invention

Let’s take a look at how NASA technology drives our society into undiscovered places through technology. Take 3-D printing, for example. The first 3-D printed material is the faceplate seen in the image below. The material was built layer by layer, and was created to inspire the use of printed tools on long duration space flights. […]

International Cooperation on the ISS

At the beginning of the Space Race in the late 1950s, the idea of international space missions was unthinkable. The grueling competition between the United States and Russia from the 1950s to the mid-1970s led to the rapid growth of space exploration and research. However, it soon was apparent that humanity needed international cooperation to […]

The Solar System and Beyond

Our solar system is a marvel. It houses millions upon millions of objects and perhaps the greatest marvel of all—life on Earth. With the fast-approaching reality of sending astronauts to Mars, it’s more important than ever to understand our solar system—and what lies beyond it. The Solar System Our solar system includes the sun and everything […]

HoloLens Revolutionizing STEM Education

Demonstrations of the HoloLens, Microsoft’s entry into the virtual reality field, have convinced a number of teachers that it will change STEM education. Professors of medicine, archeology and art history at Case Western Reserve University are testing the new technology and their reactions are unequivocally positive. What is HoloLens? The HoloLens is a device able […]

Inflatable Space Station for NASA?

NASA has been researching inflatable habitats since the 90s in order to help astronauts get to Mars without having to live in an extremely small space. Kriss Kennedy, a NASA space architect, was at the forefront of the project. The inflatables were to be made of Kevlar material that becomes rigid when put under pressure. […]

Winds of Change

At NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) change was inevitable once the Space Shuttle Program came to a close in the summer of 2011. Today KSC has gone and continues to transform and morph into the World’s Space Port for space access and exploration. At the helm of all this transformation is NASA’s Ground System Development […]

NASA’s History of Spinoff Tech

3-2-1 Tech Off: Transferring Technology Advances for 40 Years! What do you think of when you think of NASA?  Maybe it’s men walking on the moon, the space shuttle helping to build the International Space Station, rovers on Mars, or winglets on airplanes.  While those are all true, there are numerous items that incorporate NASA […]

NASA’s Coral Reefs Rescue Mission

News from NASA usually evokes imagery of constellations, space stations, and massive black holes swallowing galaxies. This time, though, NASA’s news has more to do with our oceans here at home. As global warming continues, it is becoming more and more pressing for us to understand exactly how our coral reefs are being affected. With this […]

Mine Craft in Space

Why NASA is Embracing the KERBAL Space Program Interested in how to engage elementary students in STEM education through technology? There are many apps that can help. I would like to know which ones you have tried in a school or home setting and what were your results? What are your pro’s and con’s about […]

Teaching with NASA STEM Inquiry Resources

Letting Students Stumble I came to teaching with a passion for learning.  From the minute of my first day with my own class I knew my responsibility for my students was to help them love science and discovery. So inquiry was not something that was optional for me or my students, it was the journey […]

The Science Behind the Colors of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is an undoubted national treasure, best known for its stunning display of vivid color. With an inside of bright blue that matches the sky and an outside comparable to a raging fire, Yellowstone is a site of unmatched visual quality. But just what causes this incredible display? The Bacteria Behind the Beauty […]

NASA’s LAUNCH BOX

Over the years NASA’s Spaceport access to our Solar System and the Universe has been through the numerous manned and unmanned mission launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) focuses on unmanned missions to Earth, Solar System, and Beyond. LSP had it first mission back on October […]

NASA Current News for the K-12 Classroom

OSIRIS-REx MISSION: One-Week Post Launch Looking for a current NASA news story, and engaging activities to share with your students? THE NEWS Make sure to discuss the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft with your students! OSIRIS-REx succesffully launched just this past week at 7:05pm EDT on September 8th, 2016 from […]

Astronomers Propose Low-Mass Supernova May Have Triggered The Formation Of The Solar System

With evidence from meteorites and new scientific models, astronomers have proposed that a low-mass supernova may have triggered the formation of the solar system. Yong-Zhong Qian and his colleagues have provided evidence of not only the way in which the solar system was formed, but the possible trigger event that started it all. The Beginning […]

Artificial blood vessels developed in the lab can grow with the recipient

Doing surgeries involving artificial blood vessels is nothing new. But surgeries with regenerative blood vessels? That’s unheard of. The need Congenital heart defects (CHD’s) effect about 1% of all newborns in the United States (source). Often these children need to have surgery to replace or re-structure their blood vessels, and replacement pieces of vessels can […]

NASA’s Ideas for the Future of Aeronautics

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is internationally renown for its missions to the moon, to mars, and beyond. Kids from foreign countries visiting Texas often make it a priority to visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and leave with precious souvenirs. However at the core of almost everything NASA does is aeronautics, which […]

Hurricanes In Your Classroom: Real NASA Data for Real Learning

Growing Up With Hurricanes “Hurricanes” is an exciting STEM topic that brings real NASA data for real learning into your classroom. Hurricanes have fascinated me since I was a child. Growing up and living near the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes were always a part of my life each summer. As a child, hurricanes were “fun”. […]

Meet the Crew Aboard The ISS

Little we think about what moves around the Earth. Your first thought would probably be the moon, but how often do you think about who is orbiting our planet. The answer, there are currently three astronauts aboard the International Space Station: Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Peggy Whitson, and Jack Fischer. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer photographed the […]

Expedition 52 of the International Space Station

Expedition 51 astronauts Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA, Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) have been aboard the International Space Station since November 2016. On April 20, 2017, they were joined by NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos. Astronauts […]

Exploring Water Traces On Mars

By now, there is no doubt that liquid water flows on Mars. On September 28, 2015, NASA released evidence confirming that water flows on Mars, today. Following the discovery of dark streaks on the walls of Garni crater on Mars, its mission identified they were formed by, most likely, salty water. These streaks seemed to […]

Just how frequently do meteors hit Earth?

How often is Earth hit by meteors from space? For technicality’s sake, a meteor is just a piece of an asteroid or comet that has entered Earth’s atmosphere. Before arriving at the atmosphere, these pieces are called meteoroids. Thousands of small rock fragments enter the atmosphere every year, and most of the debris is burned […]

A Look Back At Cassini’s Missions: Saturn and Its Moons

It’s been a long trip and now, Cassini’s final countdown has begun. Cassini-Huygens was launched back on October 15, 1992. It’s equipped with two main parts, the Cassini – which is the Saturn orbiter, and Huygens the lander for the moon Titan. The names are in honor of two astronomers, Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens, who […]

NASA is with you when you fly: Museum in a Box

On March 3, 1915, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was founded with the intent of coordinating aeronautical research.  It quickly became a leading research organization through the first supersonic flights.  In 1958 the aeronautical research torch was passed with the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directors […]

Discovering Exoplanets: Is there Anybody Out There?

Is there anybody out there? – a question humans have been asking since the beginning of our existence. It would most likely be the greatest discovery of human-kind if/when we discover the definitive answer to that question. NASA has been a leader in exploring that question and searching for the answer. On February 22, 2017, […]

Exploration Then and Now: Student Lesson

Survival! What would it take to survive on the Moon? As shown in the video below, NASA astronauts are dependent on their available resources, as well as their ability to survive and adapt to new environments. NASA’s BEST –Living on the Moon In 1610, the Jamestown settlers who traveled to the United States, were also […]

10 Interesting Facts About Neptune

Neptune is the eighth planet in our solar system. It was discovered in 1846 by Johann Galle and it’s also known as the Windiest Planet. We have not visited this dark, cold, ice giant that often, but what we know will blow your space suits off! This picture of Neptune was produced from the last […]

Fluid Batteries Can Be The Future Of Electric Cars

Prude University researchers have developed a safe, affordable, and more environmentally friendly method that can be used in the future to recharge electric cars. Prude University professor, John Cushman, has developed and, is planning on commercializing, a method that can expedite the recharging process of electric or hybrid cars. He co-founded the technology known as […]

Eclipse Activities from the National Informal STEM Education Network

For the first time in almost 40 years, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. Anyone within the path of totality will be able to see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. In preparation for this monumental event, NASA […]

Juno Spacecraft and Mission

Juno Spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011, aboard an Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It reached Jupiter in July 2016. Since, it has taken stunning pictures of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and begin to study the planet’s auroras. Juno’s mission goals are to: understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for a […]

Amazon Trees Kick-Start Their Rainy Season

The Amazon’s ecosystem is a fragile balance between the interaction of the plants, animals, microbes and the climate. These depend on each other to keep a flourishing environment. Insects, animals, and microbes depend on the plants for shelter and food, just as the plants depend on them for the breakdown of nutrients which go back into […]

A Soft Robotic Muscle’s Workout

Through engineering, human ideas can become a reality. The continued education and experimentation will lead humanity forward with ever-evolving technology capable of making life easier, safer, faster, reusable, cleaner -you name it! Multi-material fluidic actuators glove. Image by Harvard Biodesign Lab. One example of this is the increase in research of soft robotics. Depending on […]

How To Find a Planet

Have you ever wondered how many other Earths can there be in the vast universe? Given the idea that in our Milky Way alone there are 100 billion stars, one would think that there must be many planets out there like our Earth. Well, the short answer to that question is, scientists are still looking. […]

Types Of Eclipses And How They Work

An eclipse, whether solar or lunar, happens when the Sun, Moon, and Earth align with each other. A solar eclipse, like the one on August 21, 2017, is when the Sun’s light will be blocked by the Moon. A lunar eclipse is when the Moon passes behind the Earth into its shadow. As the Sun’s […]

NASA Expeditionary Skills: Preparing for the Learning Adventure

One of our greatest challenges as educators is helping our students prepare for lifelong learning and success.   NASA has developed a set of lesson plans to introduce and practice working as team to solve problems.  https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/stem-on-station/expeditionary-skills-for-life.html The lessons are divided into four modules (Self Care/Team Care; Cultural Competency; Leadership/Followship; and Teamwork Communication) designed to guide […]

Cassini Mission and Findings

On October 15, 1997, the Cassini orbiter and its attached Huygens probe launched on a seven-year journey to Saturn. The Cassini mission was a collective effort of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian space agency, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). Along the way, the spacecraft collaborated studies of Jupiter for six months in […]

The Influence of Atmospheric Rivers on Earth’s Atmosphere

For the first time, atmospheric rivers have been studied in a global scale by NASA and several partners. Their findings give us a profound understanding of their global impact on floods, droughts and the areas affected by these phenomena. What Are Atmospheric Rivers? “Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow, short-lived jets of air that transport water […]

Pluto and New Horizons’ Findings.

First discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, our knowledge of Pluto has come a long way. From its orbit, composition, its five satellites and, most recently, all the data gathered from the New Horizons spacecraft visit, what we continue to discover about the dwarf planet continues to amaze scientists. Timeline Long after its discovery more […]

How Hurricanes Form

Although beautiful when photographed from space, hurricanes are violent storms that form around the Equator. Their structure is always the same but what makes a hurricane destructive are its fast winds as it moves through water and reaches the coast. The scientific term for these storms is Tropical Cyclone, though depending on its location they […]

Hot Gases in the Perseus Galaxy Cluster

The Perseus galaxy cluster is one of the most massive objects in the universe. It contains more than 1,000 galaxies, it’s located about 240 million light-years away and at its center, there’s a supermassive back whole. It caught scientists’ attention in 1970 when a high X-ray emission was detected during an Aerobee rocket flight. When […]

Happy Launching with NASA’s Launch Services Program(LSP) Schedule Manifest for 2018

Get ready! NASA is Launching six missions, six launching sites, in six different months and five different rockets all happening in 2018. The missions could not be any more different form one another. It’s been 15 years since LSP has had such a robust launch schedule for a single year. From Earth base missions to […]

Expedition 54 Highlights and Spacewalks

Since their start aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Expedition 54 has given us many amazing pictures, performed successful spacewalks and completed much research and studies in bacteria, manufactured fiber optics in microgravity, measured the total amount of sunlight Earth receives, gathered data on space debris in low-Earth orbit, and studied self-replicating materials. Let’s take […]

Growing Plants in Space

FYears of careful experimentation and research has helped scientists and astronauts reach great milestones in the field of space gardening. Early experiments have led to the germination of this field aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and will eventually bloom to be able to safely growing plants that astronauts can eat in space, Mars and […]

Preparing for Orion’s Ascent Abort-2 Test

This spring has been an exciting time for NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) personnel. Fresh off its Centennial Year celebration, “A Storied Legacy, A Soaring Future,” the Center witnessed a significant step into NASA’s future with mass properties testing of the nation’s next deep-space manned crew capsule, Orion. What are mass properties, you ask? Mass […]

AMES Research Center (ARC) Hosts MEI 2018

On June 4, 2018, NASA AMES Research Center (ARC) security guards took extra time checking in visitors. This time instead of a quick flash of the badge of one or two people in a vehicle, security guards had to step onto a large bus and give clearance to over 50 Educators participating in the MUREP […]

Exploring Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. Its closeness greatly influences Mercury’s atmosphere, temperature, and surface. Fastest Orbit Mercury is about 1/3 the size of the Earth. It’s is only slightly larger than our moon and Mercury itself possesses no moons. Mercury is 3,032.3 miles (4,880 kilometers) wide. To put it in perspective, if […]

Insight, Marsquakes, and New Missions to Mars

Just a few weeks ago, NASA’s InSight Mars lander launched from California, in hopes of getting the first in-depth look at the “heart” of Mars: its crust, mantle and core. In other words, it will be the Red Planet’s first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. NASA usually launches interplanetary spacecraft from […]

SWING FOR MARS WITH NASA!

As a third grader in rural Georgia, I remember listening as President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous speech on September 12, 1962, stating, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to […]

Precipitation Education: Engaging Students to Think Critically and Creatively

Fresh water is our most precious resource.  While Earth is the water Planet, most of the water (97%) is salt water. Only 3% of the planets water is fresh water and only 1% is potable. Precipitation is the main source of the freshwater required by living things on the planet. (What’s up with Precipitation? https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/articles/understanding-earth-whats-precipitation […]

How Would Your Students Like to Operate a Telescope?

There is a big push right now for students to do authentic science research that has real world applications. I, personally, cannot think of a more authentic way to involve students in citizen science than having them operate an Earth-based radio telescope looking out into space or request images of Earth be produced by a […]

Expedition 56

Finished in 2011, the International Space Station is a critical source of data for space agencies across the globe. Regular expeditions have gone to the ISS to conduct critical research to gain insights into life in space. A recent mission, Expedition 56, was the fifty-sixth manned crew to the ISS. This expedition was part of […]

NASA Will Launch ICESat2 into Space September 15th to Track Earth’s Melting Ice

The ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) mission is designed to measure the depth of Earths sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. The satellite will carry a single photon counting altimeter called the ATLAS (Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System). Why does Sea Ice Melt Matter? Engaging Students in STEM Real World problem Solving.   […]

NASA EPDC: ICON Launch

There are so many mysteries in space. However, the Earth itself is host to so many unanswered questions as well. One mystery lies just shy of the Earth, in the tumultuous area where our atmosphere ends and space begins. The ionosphere is part of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. It’s critical to study for space exploration […]

Integrating STEM Into Your Curriculum

I have been in contact with a number of school districts and STEM Specialists lately that are struggling with the same issues. Teachers are unsure how to add STEM into their already crowded curriculum and teachers are uncomfortable with their current understanding of STEM in relationship to doing science in their classrooms.  There remains a […]

3D-Printed Magnetic Structures

New 3D-printing technique helped engineers create magnetic structures capable of moving with a wave of a magnet. The magnetic structures can wrinkle, squeeze themselves and even crawl, roll, jump and snap close to catch a rolling ball. Among the many new soft devices being created and designed to shape-shift or move, these 3D-printed magnetic structures […]

Best Practices in Professional Development

Research has identified a number of best practices (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009; Guskey & Yoon, 2009; Rhoton & Wohnowski, 2005; NCCTQ, 2011) in providing professional development to teachers and educators. BEST Educators professional development should be based on the following six practices: BE OF SUFFICIENT DURATION The duration of professional development should be significant and […]

Mars 2020 rover landing site

After four years of debate, NASA announces Mars 2020 rover landing site. Although today we know Mars as a desolate red planet, it wasn’t always this way. Mars had a molten core that generated a magnetic field for a billion years. The planet once was warm and covered in liquid seas. There’s a chance that […]

NASA announces commercial equipment drops to the moon for 2020

The Moon is the closest celestial body to Earth, and yet we have so little information about it. NASA plans to change this with an ambitious new plan. In addition to studying the Moon itself, the space agency plans to set up the Moon to be an eventual outpost for deep space exploration. Although deep […]

Happy Birthday, NASA!!

In July of 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, which transformed the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) into today’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The nation had been galvanized into action by the surprise launch of Sputnik I on October 4, 1957. With Cold War […]

The Discovery Of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Gamma-Ray Bursts are the single, most violent events in the universe! Ironically these are one of the hardest events in the universe for us to witness. The discovery of these was purely coincidental and after their research, we now know so much about them and how rare they are to spot. How were Gamma-Rays Discovered? […]

Small Steps to Giant Leaps: Celebrating Apollo 50 Years Later

Apollo 50th Anniversary Logo “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” These are the iconic words spoken from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 by Neil Armstrong, almost 50 years ago. From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program […]

The groundbreaking OSIRIS-REx mission

Many objects and bodies travel through our solar system. Planets, comets, the Kuiper Belt—our solar system is full of bodies for study. However, of these bodies, scientists on the OSIRIS-REx mission are particularly interested in asteroids. These floating mounds of rock and minerals have the potential to impact deep space exploration for decades to come. […]

From the Moon to Mars: The 2024 Orion Mission

 It’s been over 45 years since Americans set foot on the Moon. While we learned a lot in the early days of space exploration, NASA has plans to expand humanity’s reach in the solar system in the coming years. Thanks to international and commercial partnerships, NASA plans to put Americans on the Moon’s surface […]

NASA prepares the Mars 2020 rover

Mars is the next frontier of space exploration. But before we can send a human crew to Mars, we need to learn more about our neighboring Red Planet. NASA scientists intend to do just that with the Mars 2020 rover. The currently-unnamed rover will pave the way for future study and exploration on Mars to […]

NASA kicks off Artemis Moon program

The next era of space exploration has begun with NASA’s new Artemis program. Congress tasked NASA with putting humans on the Moon by 2024, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by the U.S. for decades. The program, called Artemis, will put humans back on the Moon. However, the Artemis mission is nothing like the world […]

NASA’s return to the Moon with commercial partners

Man first landed on the Moon in July of 1969. It’s been 50 years since we first stepped foot on the lunar surface, but NASA and other space organizations around the world soon plan to usher in a new era of exploration—to the Moon and beyond. The Moon is the perfect proving ground and eventual […]

A First Step for the Ages: NASA Helps Inspire the Next Generation of Explorers

Nearly 50 years ago, humanity achieved what seemed impossible. Human presence graced the surface of Earth’s moon. At the height of tremendous social, political, and cultural change, the Apollo 11 lunar landing became the first manned mission to land on the moon and a marked a monumental milestone in human history by displaying the possibilities […]

Microbes and fungi on the ISS and beyond

Did you know that life exists in space? According to a recent study by NASA, there are plenty of micro-organisms aboard the International Space Station, or ISS. NASA asked astronauts to collect samples on the ISS to catalog the bacteria and fungi growing in the microgravity environment. Although the ISS has been in operation for […]

How does NASA repair equipment on Mars?

Mars is 33.9 million miles away from Earth. It takes months to journey between the two planets, which means all mission components have to last. While NASA is using robotic landers and instruments to study Mars before human exploration, robots come with their fair share of problems. On Earth, you can take your broken computer […]

Making history with the InSight lander

The InSight lander successfully landed on Mars November 26, 2018. Since that time, InSight has already made history in a slew of scientific firsts. Although it’s still early days for InSight’s two-year mission, the robotic lander is already collecting groundbreaking data. What is InSight? InSight is an acronym for “Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, […]

How Earth Volcanoes Offer a Window into the Evolution of Life and the Solar System

Volcanoes aren’t just on volcanic islands. From the ocean floor to the icy poles of the Earth, volcanoes are an important force of nature. While active volcanoes are incredibly destructive, they’re essential to life on Earth. Volcanoes actually made life on Earth possible in the first place. But Earth isn’t the only celestial body in […]

Spacewalks on the ISS

In March of 2019, social media lit up with the promise of the first all-female spacewalk. Unfortunately, the spacewalk fell through due to spacesuit issues, but it captivated the public. In the months since, people have been wanting to know more about spacewalks on the International Space Station (ISS). There have been over 200 spacewalks […]

The Mysteries of Black Holes

Black holes are one of the most powerful and mysterious forces in the universe. They have a significant impact on how galaxies and stars form and evolve over time. But as important as black holes are, we know very little about them. Recent discoveries have proven black hole theories, shedding light on how black holes […]

NASA funds multi-million dollar project to test 3D printing in space

In addition to putting humans back on the Moon in a few years, NASA is laying the groundwork for a manned mission to Mars. NASA has been partnering with private, third-party companies to make this happen in less time for a lower cost. Private companies are working fast to innovate NASA technology, going so far […]

NASA begins processing data from the Parker Solar Probe

The Sun is the center of our solar system. We orbit around the Sun and rely on this massive star to provide life-giving energy to Earth. But as much as the Sun is a part of our lives, we know very little about it. That’s why NASA created the Parker Solar Probe, a specialized craft […]

NASA kicks off the next phase of lunar commercialization

As NASA prepares to put humans on the Moon once again by 2024, the organization knows it needs a little help. That’s why NASA is partnering with private, commercial entities to speed up the timeline, decrease costs, and improve innovation. The Artemis program will put humans on the Moon by 2024, but a lot of […]

Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus, Contains Never-Before-Seen Organic Compounds

At their closest point, the Earth and Saturn are 746 million miles away from each other. Despite the distance, researchers are interested in the possibility of life in the Saturn system.  Thanks to the European Space Administration and the Italian Space Agency, the Cassini probe was able to collect swaths of data on Saturn over […]