Wednesday, March 27, 2013

iPad Quick Reference Guide - Free, Courtesy of Custom Guide

Click HERE to download the free reference card (PDF).  There are many other free guides at the Custom Guide site,

Appreciation to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning for sharing this information.

Courtesy of Custom Guide

Free iOS App - iSolveIt: MathScaled


MathScaled is a prototype series of puzzles based on a balance-scale format. The goal is to place different shapes with unknown weights on the scale so that it is balanced. Puzzles have embedded supports for solving, such as a Scratch Pad for recording information and the option for immediate feedback on your progress. Learners can also choose from different levels of puzzle challenge.

These puzzles were developed as part of the iSolveIt project at CAST (, an educational research & development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning (UDL). iSolveIt is being developed as a mobile digital learning environment to support the development of logical thinking and reasoning skills, essential competencies for algebra and mathematics in general.

To learn more about the iSolveIt Project and to learn how to play the puzzles, go to iSolveIt was developed with funding from the Oak Foundation, the Intel Foundation, Eastern Bank, and the Cabot Family Charitable Trust.

Free iOS App - iSolveIt: MathSquared

MathSquared is a prototype series of grid-based puzzles using basic math operations that help learners develop logical thinking and reasoning strategies. Puzzles have different levels of challenge and include embedded supports for solving, such as a Scratch Pad for recording information that supports problem solving and the option for immediate feedback on your progress.

These puzzles were developed as part of the iSolveIt project at CAST (, an educational research & development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning (UDL). iSolveIt is a mobile digital learning environment that supports the development of logical thinking and reasoning skills, essential competencies for algebra and mathematics in general.

To learn more about the iSolveIt Project and to learn how to do the puzzles, go to iSolveIt was developed with funding from the Oak Foundation, the Intel Foundation, Eastern Bank, and the Cabot Family Charitable Trust.

Free iOS App Today - Math Expert: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division for kids and parents


Create and complete unique tests involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using this straightforward, easy to use app.

Whether you’re a young kid wanting to practice your times-tables or an adult wanting to improve your basic numeracy, mathTrainer is a fun and intuitive way to learn arithmetic.

Devise your own personalised tests involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using the numbers 0 to 12.

Tests can be created easily by selecting different numbers and operators and the desired number of questions - individualised tests are then generated automatically.

Choose whether to type answers or select the correct answer from a choice of 4.

Results can be displayed in one of two ways: basic statistics show how different users performed on individual tests, whilst our unique, intelligent statistics show a user’s progress by taking into account their performance over time.

Statistics for individual numbers and operators allow users to identify their weak spots.

The add-free app combines a simple, easy to understand layout (for the kids) with the ability to set different tests and track each user’s progress (for the parents)

  • Devise personalised tests with combinations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using the numbers 0 to 12
  • Simple and intuitive design makes the app suitable for young children
  • Basic statistics show users how well they performed on individual tests
  • Intelligent statistics show how users are progressing
  • Three different test modes:
  • (1) Multiple-choice mode (select the correct answer from 4 possible answers)
  • (2) Challenge mode (type the answer yourself)
  • (3) Flashcard mode (correct answers are shown on the next screen)
  • No repetition of questions until all unique questions have been answered
  • Tests can be finished at any point
  • Supports multiple user accounts, each with their own profile picture 
In app purchase of 99¢ to unlock all numbers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Free Screen to Video - Screen Capture & Screen Recorder

Free Screen to video is a freeware designed to record your computer screen activity in video. You can record the whole screen or only some areas of the screen. The video formats in FLV and SWF do not require any additional CODECS installation. Everything is included in the software.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mind Riot at the Leonardo

Technology in Education – Some Big Ideas…

Technology in Education – Some Big Ideas…

By Nathan Smith, Director of Technology
Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services
Utah State University, Logan, Utah


Hurdles we face in our current education system…

My first day as an elementary school teacher is vivid in my memory.  I was standing outside the door of my portable classroom trailer.  The school that hired me was in its first full year of operation, and already bursting at the seams.  I watched the children, and listened to their chattering laughter as they filed into the school.  A loud commotion in the distance caught my attention.  I saw a set of parents literally dragging their son to school.  He had his boots dug into the desert sand, and was crying, “You can’t make me go!  You can’t make me go!”  He was forcefully led to my classroom, not too gently seated at a desk, and commanded to stay.  The parents then left.  I looked at him.  He glared at me, and began chewing and swallowing his pencil.  With utter disgust in his voice, he said, “I hate you, Teacher.”

That was a rude awakening for the first working day of my chosen profession.  That morning, as I faced my thirty-six fifth and sixth grade students, I was thinking, “How in the world do I personally connect with each of them?  How can I reach out and help each of these wonderful kids, despite their differing ages, skills, interests, backgrounds, and passions?  Will I ever be able to make a positive difference for every one of them?” 

Fortunately, with the help of some great mentors, including a special education teacher who helped me turn this particular young boy around, I had a successful first year.  Many times, the task seemed overwhelming.  I faced so many long nights and early mornings that year.  Indeed, being a successful teacher is one of the hardest jobs I know. 

Why is it hard to be a good teacher?  I didn’t have time to give it much thought then.  I was just thankful to have been hired as a new teacher, and committed to do my best.  Now that I’ve been in education for 33 years, I have learned much through experience and my studies.

So, why is it hard?  There are frustrations every public teacher experiences, at least at a gut level – hurdles built into our system of education:  First of all, we disconnect children from the real world by pulling them into an artificial environment – school – and grouping them by age.  They come in large groups (my classes ranged between 26 – 42 students).  Every class I encountered ranged widely in their skills, interests, and motivation to learn.  Teachers are required to teach “subjects” which break real-world knowledge and experience into silos - small, disconnected chunks content we often call core standards and objectives.  These chunks lose nearly all context with the real world.

Despite all those hurdles there are many wonderful, successful teachers who rise above all that to reconnect, inspire, motivate, and help their students learn. 

In recent years I’ve watched another trend that hampers a teacher’s ability to creatively work around classroom hurdles.  It is the intense focus on high-stakes testing and assessment.  Assessment is an important part of the educational process.  But when the focus on testing forces a teacher to march through scripted content at the expense of student engagement, we have a recipe for disaster.  When salaries are tied to assessment, teachers feel as though their hands are tied.  They must succeed (or else)!  The option to be creative, or to try a new teaching strategy with even a remote possibility of failing, seems to dissolve in the pressure cooker of high stakes testing.  To be successful you always focus on the student.  What are their needs?  What are their interests?  What are they passionate about?  Start with that, and then plan to deeply engage them in meaningful, relevant activities.  If your focus drifts off target to assessment, technology, content - anything else - you’ll lose them.

Connie Yowell, Director of Education at the MacArthur Foundation, eloquently described the problems teachers face in a video entitled “Engaged.”  You can find this video and several other very good, thought-provoking videos at

In the video she says,
“We really think that part of what’s wrong with the current educational system, and why people talk about it as ‘broken’ is that it’s fundamentally starting with the wrong question.  The educational system often now starts with the question of outcomes.  It starts with, “What do we want kids to learn?  What are the goals and what’s the content?  What’s the material they need to cover?” 
Then everything [we do] is defined by that.  It doesn’t almost matter who the kid is so long as we’re going on pace through the material and the content, and reaching those educational standards, and those outcomes – because that’s our starting point.
Our core question is, “What’s the experience we want kids to have?”  So, the core question is around engagement.  And as soon as you start with, “Is the kid engaged?  What is the learning experience we want the kid to have,” you have to pay attention to the kid.  In the design world, you have to start with the user.  You have to start with the experience of the young person - of the learner.  So instead of starting with the outcomes, which is, for most educational systems, a math problem, or a math fact, or a literacy fact – which is not particularly [useful]… it’s decontextualized – it has no relevance to the learner, we instead start with, “What is the experience?  Really, what do we want them discovering?”
In our traditional school system, where we’re driving home facts and discreet knowledge, we don’t make room for curiosity.   We don’t create the opportunity for kids to take things apart anymore, to look inside, to see how they’re made, to put them back together again.  You know, we used to do it with our old chemistry sets. We used to just play and see what would happen, and wonder about it.  And that engages the imagination, and can trigger the imagination.  As we get more and more serious about test scores in our kids’ future, we move further and further away from those little opportunities to constantly fail and to iterate.  We forget that those are also opportunities to iterate with one’s identity, and to play around, and to mess around.  It’s so important to do that when you’re at the middle school age and early and middle adolescence.  Even as adults, we’ve got to have these opportunities to be curious about who we are in the world, and about how the world works, and to fail and not be embarrassed by it, and to come back to those failures and do things over and over again.
We all understand what a page turner is.  You can’t wait to turn the page to find out what’s on the next page, and what’s happening.  You feel it viscerally.   It’s not just in your head.  You don’t just have an intellectual curiosity.   You really have a desire, a physical desire, to find out what’s happening next.  In fact, sometimes you can’t go to sleep because you just want to keep reading the book.  That’s a need to know.
In school, we so decontextualize what they’re learning.  We take it out of context and just teach them discreet facts.  Because we’re so focused on these outcomes we’ve forgotten the learner, and we’ve forgotten that we actually have a passion for learning.

But how do you create a need to know in a kid?  That’s an emotional question.  That’s an intellectual question.  That’s an identity question.  When you start designing learning experiences around that, then getting to the content and getting kids to engage in core questions related to academic core, that’s actually the easy part.  How do we design an experience where kids have a need to know fractions?  What in the world would that look like?  If I really wanted to design an experience for a 9 year old – a nine year old boy – a nine year old girl – to want to know what a fraction is?  And often, that’s one of the reasons in our grant making we’ve turned to games.  So games create an incredible narrative and a wrapper of meaning that you can put discreet skills or competencies within, that you might want to desperately know how to do a fraction in order to solve a broader complex problem that’s wrapped inside a game, [or] the narrative of a game.  I can tell you that my son just jumps at stuff like that.  But in school, he could care less about knowing what a fraction is.  If it’s in the middle of game play, where he’s really working with a set of peers around solving some complex problem, he’ll demand that somebody teach him how to solve a fraction so that he can move on to the next thing.
Content is just the context for participating.  It’s the context for solving broader problems.  It’s the context for being engaged with peers.  And that’s – and this is an academic word – but that’s one of the big paradigm shifts that we have to make in education today, is to not think about that content as an outcome of learning, but as the context of learning, and instead, think much more about, “Well, what do we want kids participating in, that that content is at the core of it?”  And that’s a much harder thing to design and to think about.  And so one of the challenges for education is for us to actually step back and say, “We’ve got content over here.  This is one of the things that is so disconnected in our educational world.  We put content over here on one hand, and then we think about what kids are doing on the other hand.  And they stay disconnected.  We have to deeply connect those for kids.  Otherwise, the learning has no meaning.”


What has educational technology to do with this?

Ironically, almost everything!  Our current education system is modeled on a 150 year-old industrial era notion that knowledge is a scarce commodity, that one must go to school to get it.  Knowledgeable teachers were another scarce commodity provided by schools.   Back then, the education system was designed to produce a workforce for industrial factories.

Technology has changed this dramatically.  Now, as long as a person has access to the internet, content knowledge is literally at our fingertips via our “smart” devices.  Social networks allow us to interact with potentially billions of mentors and teachers.  Employers are demanding a workforce who is creative, collaborative, and who are independent thinkers and problem-solvers – skills that are needed for an information-based, technology-rooted society and workforce.  (For example, see

Technology has the potential, if used correctly, to alleviate some of the hurdles mentioned previously.  For example, if excellent content is freely available online, students can be taught to access it there, and use class time for the important discussions, interactions, field trips (virtual or otherwise), guest presentations, etc.  This would normally not happen in the traditional lecture mode.  One increasingly popular teaching model is the “flipped classroom” which promotes this type of interaction.  A teacher using this model is more of a facilitator than a teacher in the traditional sense.
A word of caution: the phrase “if used correctly” is critical.  Will Richardson, in his book, “Why School?” points out that new technologies can be used in two different ways.  One is to continue doing what we do now in classrooms - march our students through disconnected content, rehash paper-based textbooks into “interactive” ebooks (think content again), assess them on that content, and on to the next set of standards and objectives.

The other way is to use technologies to allow engagement, solve real world problems, connect and collaborate, explore, create, develop, help students find their passion in life and become life-long learners.

Mr. Richardson says,
“In this new narrative, learning ceases to focus on consuming information or knowledge that is no longer scarce. Instead, it’s about asking questions, working with others to find the answers, doing real work for real audiences, and adding to, not simply taking from, the storehouse of knowledge that the web is becoming. It’s about developing the kinds of habits and dispositions that deep, lifelong learners need to succeed in a world rife with information and connections. The emphasis shifts from content mastery to learning mastery. That means students have more ownership over their own learning, using their access to knowledge and teachers to create their own unique paths to the outcomes we, and they, deem important.”

(Watch Will Richardson’s TedxNYED talk – I think you’ll be impressed.

Our education system is a huge entity with such inertia that it will take a mighty push to create a change direction.  But an increasing number of voices are calling for change, and advances in technology are making those changes become feasible.  It’s happening right now.

Let me finish with a few quick points:

Technology is only a tool.  You must have a plan before you buy and use the tool to accomplish it. As Connie Yowell said, We must begin by designing the experience we want our students to have (and the way we’ll deeply engage the students in that experience).  Once there is a plan, we can embed content to be learned, and we can then choose the proper tools to help us achieve the end result.  Some of these tools may be technology-based.  Too many times, in my role as a technology director, I’ve been asked, “We just bought [insert technology here].  How can we use those in our classrooms?  Will you train us on what we can do with it?”  That approach is backwards, and will likely fail.  You need to start with a carefully crafted plan, then get the tools you’ll use to implement it.

If you choose to purchase a technology-based tool, be sure to build in funding for adequate training.  You’ll want to make sure help is readily available when things go wrong (since they invariably will).  You’ll need to plan funding for updating, maintenance, and eventual replacement – technology grows outdated so quickly.

Connecting with our students in meaningful, positive ways – making each of them feel wanted, important, safe, valued, and needed – is to me the real “art” of teaching.  I call this aspect of teaching “the human touch.”  Technology used in education needs to enhance the human touch. 

First, let’s look at an example of a technology that removes the human touch: business telephone answering machines.  If you’re like me, by the tenth time you’ve pressed a key on your phone to step through multiple levels of questions or choices, you feel dehumanized. 

There are many examples how technology can enhance the human touch:  In the flipped class model, teacher becomes a facilitator.  Students learn content online, and class time is used to do “homework.”  The teacher spends time personally helping the students as they practice.  Or, class is used to discuss, debate, connect, visit, etc.  Students get more personal time with the teacher than in the traditional lecture mode of teaching.  If technology can administer and automatically correct tests, quizzes, and assignments – more of teacher’s time can be freed to interact with students.  Technology can connect our students to many wonderful mentors who can be anywhere in the world.  I have watched classes connect to astronauts in the International Space Station, to National Geographic expeditions in the Antarctic, scientists at Houston Space Center, and more. 

Teachers may worry that technology will replace them.  I don’t think that will ever happen – good teachers are desperately needed.  Will Richardson said in his book,
 “In my travels, I ask parents that [why school?] all the time.  Not surprisingly, the first answer on their lips is not “I want them to be good test takers.”  Nor is it “I want them to know a lot of stuff.”  What I hear instead are things like: “I want them to love learning.”  “I want them to be able to solve real problems.”  “I want them to be independent thinkers.” Those, and many similar outcomes, are what I want for my kids, too.”
I, as a father, agree completely.  We need great teachers who will help our children network, inquire, create, share, collaborate, and be all they can be.  They are too precious a resource to lose (both teachers and students) – and we’re currently losing too many of them.

To conclude, our education system needs to change direction, moving away from the industrial era model of teaching to one where technology allows teachers to provide rich, deeply educational engagement for their students.  Schools need to become places where students are excited to go, to participate, to solve real world problems, and interact with peers internationally, to create new ideas, inventions, to discover new knowledge.  Teachers and students need the freedom to explore, experiment, to fail and try again without being penalized.  Discussions should be initiated in school faculties to brainstorm ways to make this a reality.  There are exciting success stories.  Find them, share them, and be inspired by them.

Some thought-provoking resources:

Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single):  Will Richardson (Author): -

TEDxNYED - Will Richardson - 03/05/2011 -

Connected Learning  -

Connected Learning – Engaged:

Connected Learning – Everyone:

Connected Learning – Play -

Connected Learning – Creative -

Connected Learning – Mentor -

The five connected learning videos above can also be seen at

TED: Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation -

TED - Beau Lotto + Amy O’Toole: Science is for everyone, kids included -

Louie Schwartzberg – Moving Art – GRATITUDE -

Saturday, March 16, 2013

CamStudio - Free Screen Recording Software for Windows

CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)

Here are just a few ways you can use this software:
  • You can use it to create demonstration videos for any software program
  • Or how about creating a set of videos answering your most frequently asked questions?
  • You can create video tutorials for school or college class
  • You can use it to record a recurring problem with your computer so you can show technical support people
  • You can use it to create video-based information products you can sell
  • You can even use it to record new tricks and techniques you discover on your favourite software program, before you forget them

YouTube Capture for iPhone and iPad


Film and share videos with YouTube Capture:

✓ Easy, fast recording
✓ Touch up videos with color correction, stabilization, trimming, and music tracks
✓ Upload to YouTube, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously

Friday, March 15, 2013

TED - Catarina Mota: Play with Smart Materials

Catarina's Open Materials Website:

Published on Mar 15, 2013
Ink that conducts electricity; a window that turns from clear to opaque at the flip of a switch; a jelly that makes music. All this stuff exists, and Catarina Mota says: It's time to play with it. Mota leads us on a tour of surprising and cool new materials, and suggests that the way we'll figure out what they're good for is to experiment, tinker and have fun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's New at NASA's Space Place Website

Earth Day is coming up April 22. What is the most abundant component of Earth’s surface? Water, of course. Water is such a big part of life on Earth that we may take it for granted. But where did it come from? What makes it liquid, solid or gas? And why should we care? Lots of NASA’s Earth studies are about water in all its forms.

What's New?
Many students are surprised to know that during July, Earth is at its farthest point from the sun, and during January it is at its closest. But that fact has nothing to do with why there are seasons. This new article explains and illustrates the reason for the seasons and why some in the U.S. are putting on swimsuits to play in a recently icy lake, just as some in southern Chile and New Zealand are digging out their skates as their lakes freeze over. Check it out to help you enlighten your class at

La Tierra en EspaƱol
¿Es la Tierra en parte un cometa? Now you can read in Spanish, as well as English, about where our oceans may have originated. With new space telescopes that can analyze the composition of passing comets, we can actually begin to tease apart these 4-billion-plus-year-old mysteries. Learn what they are finding out at

Spotlight on Mission Chronicles
Some NASA missions don't get nearly as far off the ground as you might think. Operation IceBridge is one that uses instruments on an airplane rather than a satellite to study the elevation and thickness of ice at the North and South Poles. So, although it may be a while before any NASA scientists make it to the moon, they can have a pretty alien-world experience right here on Earth. Christy Hansen, manager of the Operation IceBridge Mission, and her team took a trip to the South Pole and lived to tell the tale at

For the Classroom
Clouds, of course, are another form of water. But it's not easy to tell from the ground how much water is actually in the clouds above us. They may look very threatening but produce very little precipitation. In the classroom activity called “Sizing Up the Clouds,” the teacher sets up three simulated clouds representing three different cloud types. Students use different methods to estimate precipitation contents of each cloud type. Each method is roughly analogous to methods actually used in weather forecasting. Finally, the precipitation from each cloud is released, and the students will compare their estimates to what is actually experienced on the ground. “Precipitation” in this activity is represented by colored chocolate candies, which may help to keep the students’ attention! Find the activity in PDF format at

For Out of School Time
The “Go With the Flow” game presents puzzles in which the player must figure out how to place salt (which makes water denser) and heat (which makes water less dense) in an underwater grid scenario in order to create a current that will move a tiny, unpowered submarine to a floating key, which will then open a treasure chest at the bottom of the sea. We have watched kids playing this game, with or without their parents, at our take your child to work days. We can hardly tear them away! Go to

Special Days

March 5, 1979: Voyager 1 flew past Jupiter.
Another spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter and will spend a lot more time there.

March 10, 1876: First telephone call.
Alexander Graham Bell called Thomas Watson. How do spacecraft exploring the solar system call home?

March 14: Pi Day! or
p Day

All circles are 3.14… (ad infinitum, as far as we know) times as big around as across, a value called pi. What would pi be in binary numbers?

April 10: Encourage a Young Writer Day
Invite students to write about our future in space.

April 22: Earth Day
It's important, and fascinating, to study Earth's history. Like where did Earth's water come from?

April 28: Tell a Story Day
Check out some of the stories on The Space Place. They could be called creative nonfiction, always a fun genre!

A Great Earth Resource
Check out other activities and articles under the Earth menu on The Space Place. Remember, NASA has many more missions to planet Earth than to all of the other planets in the solar system combined. Earth is a very interesting planet!

Send Feedback
Please let us know your ideas about ways to use The Space Place in your teaching. Send to

Don't Forget…
You can find dozens of other ideas and rich resources for the classroom and out-of-school time at our Parents & Educators page,

2013 Lunar Workshops for Educators

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, mission is sponsoring a pair of workshops for educators of students in grades 6-9. These workshops will focus on lunar science, exploration and how our understanding of the moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has allowed scientists to measure the coldest known place in the solar system, map the surface of the moon in unprecedented detail and accuracy, find evidence of recent lunar geologic activity, characterize the radiation environment around the moon and its potential effects on future lunar explorers and much, much more!

Workshop participants will learn about these and other recent discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, gain tools to help address common student misconceptions about the moon, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, work with LRO data and learn how to bring these data and information to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grades 6-9 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks.

Workshops will take place: June 24-28 and July 8-12, 2013, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to tour the LRO Mission Operation Center and the Goddard spacecraft testing facilities.

Each workshop will be limited to 25 participants. Interested educators are encouraged to apply early to secure a spot. Qualified applicants will be accepted in the order they apply.

For more information and to register for the workshops, visit

Questions about these workshops should be directed to Katie Hessen at

National Space Biomedical Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, or NSBRI, seeks solutions to health concerns facing astronauts on long-duration missions. This research also benefits patients on Earth. The NSBRI is currently soliciting applications for its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

NSBRI's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides support for postdoctoral fellows in any U.S. laboratory carrying out space-related biomedical or biotechnological research. Funding is for a two-year period with an option for a third year of support. Applicants must prepare proposals with the support of a mentor, and all proposals are evaluated by a peer-review panel.

Applications are due June 7, 2013.

For detailed information on the application process, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a 747SP aircraft carrying a 2.5 meter-diameter telescope. The SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Program is seeking educator teams of two to participate in an upcoming SOFIA flight. One of the team members must be a middle- or high-school educator. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents teaching in a U.S. school.

Applications are due May 3, 2013.

For more information and to apply online, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Pamela Harman at

Global Precipitation Measurement Mission Anime Challenge

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission has teamed up with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to hold a design challenge for people around the world to develop an anime character to represent the GPM mission. GPM is an international satellite mission that will use multiple satellites orbiting Earth to collect rain and snow data worldwide every three hours.

Participants should learn about the GPM mission and design their characters to represent the mission's objectives. The winning character will star in a comic series that will teach the public about GPM and precipitation science.

Participants must be at least 13 years old. Entries must be submitted by April 30, 2013.

For more information, including instructions for submitting a character design, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

Reduced Gravity Education Flight Opportunity for Students at Minority Serving Institutions

NASA is offering undergraduate students from minority serving institutions an opportunity to test experiments in microgravity aboard NASA's reduced gravity aircraft.

This opportunity is a partnership between the Minority University Research and Education Program and NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, which gives aspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced-gravity experiment. Selected teams will test and evaluate their experiments aboard NASA's reduced-gravity airplane. The aircraft flies about 30 roller-coaster-like climbs and dips during experiment flights to produce periods of weightlessness and hypergravity ranging from 0 gravity, or g, to 2 g.

Proposals are due April 17, 2013.

All applicants must be full-time undergraduate students, U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be emailed to Suzanne Foxworth at

The Challenge of Discovery! Educator Workshops

You want to go where? What does it take to make a NASA mission happen, and who are the people that drive these tremendous projects?

In Discovery Program's third annual multisite professional development workshop, we delve into the stories behind some amazing NASA missions, from conception to science results. Learn how scientists, engineers and mission operators collaborate to meet the challenges of complex missions to assure the science goals are met. Investigate what it takes to move a fantastic idea from dream to reality.

The Challenge of Discovery workshop will take place on April 6, 2013, in four locations.
            -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
            -- NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas
            -- University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
            -- Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

All sites will offer special speakers, hands-on activities for K-12 and out-of-school-time educators and resource packets.

The cost of the workshop is $25. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration closes on April 1, 2013.

For more information, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Mary Cullen at

MAVEN Educator Ambassador Workshop

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the solar wind. Set to launch in November 2013, the mission will provide invaluable insights into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water and planetary habitability.

The MAVEN Educator Ambassador, or MEA, workshop will bring together educators from around the country for in-depth learning experiences around MAVEN science. The goal of the MEA program is for participants to develop the knowledge and skills needed to train other teachers on NASA’s educational resources. Participants will attend a weeklong professional development workshop and receive training on a variety of standards-based classroom activities, as well as receive follow-up support for several years. The expectation is that participants will implement some of the lesson plans and resources in their classrooms, as well as conduct teacher trainings in their local areas on the MAVEN mission and related educational activities.

A $700 travel stipend is offered, along with a $700 honorarium after a local workshop is conducted. Housing and meals are provided.

Applications are due March 31, 2013.

For more information about the workshop and to apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Stephanie Renfrow at

Sun-Earth Days 2013: Solar Max -- Storm Warning: Effects on the Solar System

Join NASA in celebrating Sun-Earth Days with a series of programs and events that occur throughout the year, culminating with a celebration on March 22, 2013. This year's theme, “Solar Max -- Storm Warning: Effects on the Solar System,” invites participants to explore the violent nature of our sun at the peak of solar activity and the discoveries coming from the heliophysics and planetary missions during this exciting period. During solar maximum, there are many sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, all of which can affect communications and technology on Earth.

Learn about solar maximum and how it, along with space weather in general, affects our daily lives. Find out why scientists and engineers find it important to track space weather, much like meteorologists track storms on Earth. And learn about NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore and its role in launching rockets to explore weather on Earth and in space.

On March 22, 2013, join the Sun-Earth Days team for a live Sun-Earth Days webcast. For this webcast, the team will combine forces with the award-winning NASA EDGE team known for their offbeat, funny and informative look behind the NASA curtain.

For more information, educational resources and social media connections, visit the Sun-Earth Days website at

Questions about Sun-Earth Days events should be emailed to

Free Lecture -- GPS for Humanity -- The Stealth Utility

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, has become a ubiquitous, but often invisible, part of modern life. On March 21, 2013, Dr. Bradford Parkinson, chief architect and original program director for GPS in the 1970s, will present the history, applications and future of GPS and the Global Navigation Satellite System.

The lecture begins at 8 p.m. at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. For those unable to attend in person, the lecture will be webcast live.

For more information, visit

Questions about this lecture should be directed to

Heat Transfer: MESSENGER -- My Angle on Cooling Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, the NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on March 21, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how the MESSENGER mission to Mercury takes advantage of passive cooling methods to keep the spacecraft functioning in a high-temperature environment. You will also see how to use the mission’s Staying Cool activities to lead students through an examination of different solutions to the problem of how to deal with too much sunlight and energy.

This is the final time this seminar will be repeated during the current school year.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures Web Seminar

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on March 20, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to incorporate the excitement of rocketry into your classroom during this Web seminar and receive an overview of the student engineering design challenge, Spacecraft Structures, where students design and construct a strong, but lightweight, structure that can withstand the launch of a water bottle “rocket.”

This is the final offering of this Web seminar during the current school year.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

OSSI -- Summer 2013 Opportunities

The NASA One Stop Shopping Initiative, or OSSI, strives to provide students at all institutions of higher education access to a portfolio of internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities offered by NASA mission directorates and centers.

Visit the Office of Education Infrastructure Division LaunchPad to find information on internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities. The site features the OSSI online application for recruiting NASA Interns, Fellows and Scholars, or NIFS. This innovative system allows students to search and apply for all types of higher-education NASA internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in one location. A single application places the student in the applicant pool for consideration by all NASA mentors.

Applications for summer 2013 opportunities are due March 15, 2013.

To find available opportunities and to fill out an OSSI online application for recruiting NIFS, visit

Inquiries about the OSSI should be submitted via
Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight through participation in NASA's Exploration Design Challenge, or EDC. NASA EDC invites students around the world to think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles of deep space long-duration exploration -- the dangers associated with space radiation. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, currently being developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners to carry astronauts to space, venturing farther than humans have ever gone before.

Through a series of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, engagement activities, students in grades K-8 will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding and recommend materials that best block radiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will think and act like engineers as they apply what they learn to design shielding to protect a sensor on the Orion crew module from space radiation. After a review of the design solutions submitted by teams in the grades 9-12 challenge, five finalist teams will be selected and matched with a mentor from NASA to test their designs in a virtual simulator. The winning team will build a prototype radiation shield that will be analyzed and submitted to Lockheed Martin for flight certification on the inaugural flight of the Orion Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1.

The five U.S. finalist teams from the grades 9-12 challenge will be invited to attend the EFT-1 launch, currently scheduled for November 2014. The names of all students, grades K-12, participating in the NASA EDC will fly aboard the spacecraft as honorary virtual crewmembers for Orion’s first flight. The deadline to register students for the virtual crew is March 14, 2014.

For more information and to register online, visit

For more information about Orion, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Free iOS Apps - March 13, 2013

I went hunting for free apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  I found several educational apps that may interest you.  Some are repeats of things I've posted some time ago, but worth mentioning again...

Pocket (Formerly Read It Later)
  • When you find an interesting article, video or web page that you want to read, watch or view later, put it in Pocket. Once it’s in Pocket, it automatically syncs across to your phone, tablet and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, even without an internet connection.
Wikihood for iPad
  • Experience a brand new Wikihood, fully redesigned for iPad, with lots of extra information and a compelling visual design.  Dive into the world of Wikipedia information around you with high-res images and densely packed information.
Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine
  • Designed for iPad and iPhone, Flipboard is a personal news magazine filled with everything being shared across the Web, from breaking news to stories on world events, sports, travel and more. Simply pick a few topics and your Flipboard is instantly populated with the news you care about. If you want more, use the search bar to find favorite sources or browse recommended reading from the staff at Flipboard. When you find a new source you love, just tap the “+” to add it to your Flipboard. And if you’re short on time, use the Cover Stories tile to see some of the most interesting stories from all of your sections on Flipboard.  But it’s not just about news. Use Flipboard to flip through social networks. Add Facebook, Twitter to browse articles and photos friends are sharing. Instagram and Flickr photos are beautiful to see in your personal magazine. Now the news your friends share is easy to flip through, with headlines and excerpts that give you an immediate glimpse into everything. It’s a fun way to catch up on all your social news.
Stitcher Radio
  • Listen to your favorite news, comedy, sports and talk radio shows ON DEMAND from your mobile device. Discover the best of NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, WSJ, Adam Carolla, SModcast, Joe Rogan, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh, Fresh Air, Freakonomics, Radiolab and over 15,000+ shows and live stations. Change the way you listen to radio - on your schedule, not the schedule of traditional stations.  
  • GoObserve enables school administrators to conduct their classroom Observations and Walkthroughs in a totally mobile and paperless environment. By connecting user accounts, GoObserve with GoCloud service creates analytics gauging performance trends at the department, school, district, and even state levels.
  • It's easy to manage your WordPress blog or site from your iOS device. With WordPress for iOS, you can moderate comments, create or edit posts and pages, view stats, and add images or videos with ease. All you need is a blog or a self-hosted site running 3.1 or higher.
Dragon Dictation
  • Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.
  • The original and most popular handwriting app for iPad. Penultimate gives you the natural experience of writing on paper, with the added power and availability of Evernote. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea -- in the office, on the go, or at home on the sofa.
  • TeacherKit is a personal organizer for the teacher. It enables the teacher to organize classes, and students. Its simple and intuitive interface enables teachers to track the attendance, grades and behavior of students.
Awesome Eats
  • Sort, stack, pack and plate a rainbow of fresh-from-the-garden foods! In each level you’ll stack and sort fruits, veggies and whole grains across wacky contraptions to win stars and score big points! Be on the lookout for thieving birds and tap to shoo them away for extra points. You and your kids will unlock hours of challenging game play and get loads of healthy eating tips along the way.  Featuring 48 challenging levels, a cast of over 50 characters, healthy eating tips, skill bonuses, obstacles and fun surprises to keep you on your toes!
Science360 for iPad
  • The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 for iPad provides easy access to engaging science and engineering images and video from around the globe and a news feed featuring breaking news from NSF-funded institutions. Content is either produced by NSF or gathered from scientists, colleges and universities, and NSF science and engineering centers.
Sushi Monster
  • Meet Sushi Monster! Scholastic’s new game to practice, reinforce, and extend math fact fluency is completely engaging and appropriately challenging.  Strengthen reasoning strategies for whole number addition and multiplication by helping monsters make a target sum or product. Earn points with each correct answer… but watch out for distractions! To be successful, plan ahead and strategically select numbers from the sushi counter. Meets Common Core State Standards - Extend fact knowledge to support strategic reasoning and computational flexibility in addition and multiplication.
NOVA Elements
  • Did you ever wonder why the periodic table is shaped the way it is, what gives each element its own unique set of properties, or even how elements combine to make everyday objects such as a cup of coffee? With “NOVA Elements,” explore an interactive periodic table, play a game hosted by David Pogue, or watch the two-hour NOVA program, “Hunting the Elements."
The Design Museum Collection for iPad
  • The Design Museum Collection App for iPad presents 59 remarkable objects from London’s Design Museum; these key pieces from the collection are explored through film, audio, text and photographs. Search options include: time, material, colour, location, manufacturer and designer. Classic pieces include: the Anglepoise lamp, the Dyson vacuum, the Thonet chair, the Face magazine, the British telephone box, the Vespa and the Kindle, a recent addition to the Collection.  The App includes video commentary from Deyan Sudjic, Design Museum Director, and Helen Charman, Design Museum Head of Learning. Stephen Bayley - Design Museum Founding Director has also written an observation on each item. 
Minds of Modern Mathematics 
  • If you have ever wondered how mathematicians and mathematics have shaped the world we live in, this is the app for you. The Minds of Modern Mathematics takes you on an interactive journey that spans nearly 1,000 years. It tells the story of mathematics and how it has impacted almost every aspect of human progress, from science to music, art, architecture, and culture.
    Minds of Modern Mathematics is a digital recreation of a 50-foot-wide wall installation that was part of the groundbreaking 1961 Mathematica exhibition sponsored by IBM and designed by the legendary design team, Charles and Ray Eames. 
MyScript Calculator
  • Easy, simple and intuitive, just write the mathematical expression on the screen then let MyScript technology perform its magic converting symbols and numbers to digital text and delivering the result in real time. The same experience as writing on paper with the advantages of a digital device (Scratch-outs, results in real time, …).
WWF Together
  • Experience the world’s most amazing animals in one app — together. This interactive experience brings you closer to the stories of elephants, whales, rhinos and other fascinating species. Discover their lives and the work of WWF in a way you’ve never seen before. Try out “tiger vision,” stay as still as the polar bear during a hunt, and chop the panda’s bamboo. New species stories — which you can fold and share with the world — are added regularly.
Habit Heroes
  • The Habit Heroes mobile app is a comic book that chronicles the adventures of the healthy Habit Heroes as they clean up health hazards around the globe. Each of the three comic book issues unlocks an interactive tool that helps foster healthy habits—physical activity, nutrition, hydration and relaxation—in your everyday life. 
Jumbled Sentences 3
  • 'Jumbled Sentences' series is designed for beginners to improve their writing skills. This app offers an easy and interactive way for beginners to learn the word order in a fun way. 'OK' button allows you to do self-checking on your own and get the correct answer without anyone's help.
Clara City
  •  Acquire the skills and behaviors needed to move around the city safely. Learn the correct way to cross the street and respect traffic lights. Instructions for parents available in: English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Hindi. Identify different items used in everyday life. Educate ourselves in personal hygiene habits like washing our hands. Practice basic knowledge about shapes and colors and more advanced knowledge like science experiments...
Phrasal Verbs Machine
  • At Cambridge University Press, we know that Phrasal verbs are complicated for non-native English speakers to learn and use. We also know that it's essential to use them if we want our writing and speaking to sound natural. However, studying unending lists doesn't seem to be the best way to learn and use them efficiently. Phrasal verbs are, more than anything, action. And action must be visual. The more visually stimulating the learning, the better we will understand and assimilate the phrasal verbs. 
The Electric Company Party Game: Lost on Prankster Planet
  • From wacky challenges to counting races, this game will have your team laughing and learning as you add, draw, discuss, think, act, problem solve, and dance your way back to Earth. The app is based on the PBS KIDS series The Electric Company.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Win one of four document cameras - Epson Document Camera in the Classroom Contest

Epson is asking K-12 and post-secondary educators in the United States and the District of Columbia to share their top five benefits of using document cameras in the classroom. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: creative use of document cameras in the classroom (50%), practicality of implementing the idea using real life examples/application (25%), and impact of using document cameras on student learning (25%). Epson will select the top four entries and highlight them on the new Epson document camera website. Winners will be announced in early June 2013.
Contact Information

Leslie Fisher's UCET2013 Keynote Resources

I have to thank Darren Draper, Canyons District Ed Tech Director, for tweeting out all of these links as Leslie Fisher was giving her UCET 2013 Closing Keynote!

screenleap: Share your screen instantly to any device with a browser -

PrimaryPad: Collaborative word processor, no account needed -  

Infuse Learning: Classroom tools, assessment, attendance, interactive tools - 

CloudOn: Microsoft Office on iOS

CollabraCam: Group video capture -

Vyclone: Think Instagram for video -

Aurasma: Create a virtual aura, bring images to life -

Layar: Augmented reality -

LeapMotion: Touch-free 3D motion to control your computer (May 2013) -

Google Glass: Make ALL of your friends really nervous -

Parrot AR Drone 2.0: iPad-controlled drone with camera - 

Word Lens: See the world in your language - 

Celluon laser keyboard

All Star Guitar: Slide your iPad into a guitar -

Small Demons: Replace your media specialist - 

Clint Stephens' UCET 2013 Resources

Clint Stephens is an amazing presenter, from the southern region of the state!  Here are his UCET 2013 Presentations, go check them out!

Clint Stephens' UCET 2013 Resources

Adam Bellow's Symbaloo

If you happened to miss Adam Bellow's breakout session, Web Tools to Make Your Classroom Rock, @ UCET2013, or just need access to his Symbaloo links, here they are.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Free iOS App Today - Marble Math


Based on the Common Core Curriculum, Marble Math is an engaging way for upper elementary students to practice mental math. Earn new marbles and collect bonuses while reinforcing key concepts in pursuit of a high score. But watch out math whizzes! You’ll need to be focused and nimble to avoid the obstacles in your path.


Marble Math gives you the option to Replay the question or Show the correct answer in a game simulation, before moving on to the next problem.


Add as many custom profiles as you like. Individual game settings, including problem types by level, and scores are saved in each user profile. And the profile avatar creator is so much fun, it’s like its own game.


Along with high scores and three separate difficulty levels to suit different ages and abilities, there are 16 unique marble styles to choose from. Parents and teachers can customize gameplay to concentrate on specific math concepts by selecting problem types for each player and level or just let the game roll with random problem generation for unlimited practice and play!



• addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
• adding and sequencing fractions with different denominators
• sequencing roman numerals
• factoring
• sequencing decimals
• adding and subtracting negative integers
• counting money (USD, AUD, CAD, EUR or GBP)
• comparing number values
• simplifying equations

UGIC Conference K-12 GIS Educator Workshop

Thursday, April 4, 2013
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Marriott Hotel & Conference Center - Provo, Utah
Cost: $20 (includes lunch, breaks, training, and conference sessions)

Registration and additional conference information:

The Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) is proud to offer a workshop for K-
12 educators as part of the annual UGIC conference. The workshop will provide
training and discussion regarding the use of Geographic Information System (GIS)
software, web based options, data, and applications. The focus will be on the
ArcGIS Online Education based subscription available to Utah K-12 schools through
the UEN Esri Statewide K-12 license. Intel based laptops will be provided and
training will be hands on. K-12 Educators (formal and non-formal) are also invited to
bring their own laptops (Macs or PC Intel) if they prefer.

The workshop will include an opportunity for teachers to network with GIS
professionals and vendors, go through a self-taught hands on lesson on either
“Creating a Map in ArcGIS Desktop” or “Introduction to ArcGIS Desktop”, and attend
a couple of breakout sessions presented by GIS professionals on varied GIS topics.
Snacks and drinks will be provided during breaks as well as a “working” lunch with
the opportunity to network with GIS professionals and vendors. The workshop will
be limited to the first 25 teachers and educators registered. GIS professionals
interested in mentoring K-12 educators will also be available to assist during the

For questions about the workshop please contact David Davis at:

8:30 - Introductions
8:40 - ArcGIS Online workshop (part 1)
10:00 - Break
10:30 - ArcGIS Online workshop (part 2)
Noon - Working Lunch -Visit with GIS Professionals & Vendors
1:00 - ArcGIS Online wrap up
1:30 - Access to the Esri Hands On Learning Lab
2:50 - Attend Conference Breakout Session
3:30 - Break
4:00 - Attend Conference Breakout Session
4:40 - Wrap Up Discussion
5:00 - Workshop ends

Utah Geographic Alliance

The mission of the Utah Geographic Alliance (UGA) is to improve geogrphic literacy in Utah.  By promoting quality geography content and relevant inquiry skills in the Utah classroom, the UGA will help prepare students to participate in and contribute to today's diverse and rapidly changing world.  UGA accomplishes this by providing high quality professional development opportunities for teachers, creating unique learning opportunities for students, building ties with the professional geography community, and creating public awareness.
  • Annual Conference:  September 28, 2013
  • Community Mapping Institute:  Integrate GIS/GPS skills in curriculum through service learning.
  • Geography Olympiad:  Academic competition for 9th grade students
  • Professional Development
  • Scholarship/Travel Opportunities
  • Online Resources
Community Mapping Workshops - Learn to use GIS/GPS in the classroom and field
  • St. George - June 10-14
  • Utah County - July 15-19
  • Salt Lake - July 29-Aug 2
 The Community Mapping Program involves teachers and students in a community-based project that incorporates geospatial technology and other characteristics of active and inquiry-based curriculum.  Students use GIS/GPS in the process of discovering and answering questions about their community rather than learning technology for technology's sake.  The five day Community Mapping Workshop models active classroom and fieldwork with community partners as participants design a classroom project.
Eligibility:  Grades 4-12 Teachers and Administrators
Costs:  $50 registration fee payable to Utah Geographic Alliance.  Travel to and from the workshop.  Registration fee for SUU credit (optional). 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Smart Skies: Sector 33 App Now Available for Android

The NASA Smart Skies project recently updated the "Sector 33" application, or app, to support Android smartphones and tablets.

"Sector 33" is an air traffic control game designed to interest students in aeronautics-related careers and to connect mathematics and problem solving to the real world. In "Sector 33," the player role-plays an air traffic controller with the task of guiding two to five airplanes through a sector of airspace by changing the planes' routes and speeds. The challenge is to get the planes through the sector in the fastest time possible while maintaining proper spacing.

The app serves as a companion piece to the Smart Skies "LineUp With Math" classroom mathematics activity and is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices. To learn more about "Sector 33," visit

Android is a registered trademark of Google Inc.
Apple is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

NASA ISS FIT iPad App Challenge

The NASA Tournament Lab has launched a new challenge in support of International Space Station operations. The ISS Food Intake Tracker, or FIT, iPad App Challenge asks participants to design, develop and produce an iPad application that will allow space station crewmembers to easily track what foods they eat.

The application should seamlessly identify the user, track all dietary intake (food and beverages) and provide a timestamp of when the intake was consumed. And the app must be compatible with the iPad operating system.

This challenge is divided into multiple stages, and each stage has its own start and end date. The challenge is currently scheduled to run through May 23, 2013. For full challenge details and a list of what steps are currently in progress, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Pre-Service Teacher Institute at NASA’s Stennis Space Center

NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center has partnered with Jackson State University to offer a two-week Pre-Service Teacher Institute taking place July 14-26, 2013, in Jackson, Miss. The Pre-Service Teacher Institute is for college students who are preparing to teach middle school grades.

The program is designed to increase students' skills in teaching mathematics and science, while incorporating technology in the curriculum. This is achieved through the development of a problem-based learning aerospace theme. Each student is assigned to an Institute Flight Team. Students develop a lesson plan that they will teach to children from a local school.

Applications are due April 5, 2013.

Applicants must attend a designated member institution. For more information and a list of eligible institutions, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to Pamala Heard at

Sun-Earth Days Observing Certificate Challenge

Attention amateur astronomers! NASA's Sun-Earth Days program wants to feature your astronomy photographs and videos (up to 90 seconds each) of our active sun. Images will be featured on the Sun-Earth Days Solar Maximum Flickr page. And each week, a different image will be selected to highlight on the NASA Sun-Earth Days home page.

Once your image or video is uploaded with the proper supporting information, you will be able to download a certificate of appreciation from the NASA Sun-Earth Days team.

Participants are also invited to upload images of Sun-Earth Days Solar MAX events, celebrations, activities and star parties. These images often provide others with inspiration and new ideas! Make sure to include your name, club or organization's name and a description of the event.

Images and videos must be submitted online by March 22, 2013.

For more information, including instructions for submitting images and videos, visit

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

2013 NASA Space Settlement Design Contest

Design a space settlement! Space settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to being on the moon or other planets. Designing a space settlement involves physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science and many other disciplines.

The NASA Space Settlement Design Contest is intended for students in grades 6-12, although younger students may enter. Individual or teams from anywhere in the world may enter. Grade levels are judged separately, except for the grand prize. All participants will receive a certificate.

Submissions must be received by March 15, 2013.

For more information about the NASA Space Settlement Design Contest, visit

If you have any questions about the contest, please email Al Globus at

Pre-Service Teacher Institute at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

NASA's Kennedy Space Center has partnered with Oklahoma State University to offer a 10-day Pre-Service Teacher Institute taking place May 28-June 7, 2013, in Florida. The Pre-Service Teacher Institute is for college students who are preparing to teach elementary or secondary science.

The institute will focus on inquiry-based learning and the incorporation of technology into curriculum. Education specialists from the Kennedy Space Center Educator Resource Center will provide participants with training to inspire student learning of science content through the use of education resources based on NASA missions of research and discovery. Participants will work in small groups to develop lesson plans using NASA educational resources and present these activities to local elementary level students.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. Lodging and a stipend, as well as transportation for participants who live outside of Florida, will be provided.

Applications are due March 15, 2013.

For more information and to apply online, visit

Please email any questions about this opportunity to