Thursday, December 18, 2014

2015 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is accepting applications for its 2015 Educational Partnership Program, or EPP, Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program provides scholarships for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields that directly support NOAA’s mission.
Participants receive total awards valued at up to $35,000 in total support during their junior and senior years. During the first summer, scholars complete a nine-week paid summer internship at NOAA in Silver Spring, Maryland. During the second summer, scholars complete paid internships at NOAA facilities across the country. A stipend and housing allowance is provided. At the end of both summer internships, students present the results of their projects at an education and science symposium in Silver Spring.
Students attending an accredited Minority Serving Institution within the United States or U.S. Territories as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) are eligible to apply for the program. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must earn and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Applications are due Jan. 30, 2015.
For more information and to submit an online application, visit http://www.epp.noaa.gov/ssp_undergrad_page.html.
Questions about this scholarship opportunity should be directed to EPP.USP@noaa.gov.

2015 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

Do you know K-12 teachers or district-level administrators who are making a difference in education through the use of technology? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or in the professional development of teachers.
Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are eligible for this award. School principals, superintendents or associate superintendents may nominate eligible candidates. The award will be presented in April 2015 at the Space Foundation’s 31st Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The deadline for applications is Jan. 16, 2015.
Applications and more information are available online at http://www.astronautsmemorial.org/alan-shepard-award.html .
Questions about this award should be directed to amfreg@amfcse.org.

NOAA “Marine Debris Prevention Through Education and Outreach” Federal Funding Opportunity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, or NOAA MDP, is offering a federal funding opportunity called “Marine Debris Prevention Through Education and Outreach.”
The NOAA MDP seeks to fund projects that will lead to the prevention of marine debris in marine and coastal environments through the implementation of dedicated education and outreach activities. Projects awarded through this grant competition are expected to educate the public about marine debris through activities including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Encouraging changes in behavior to address marine debris.
2. Developing, using, and disseminating tools, products and campaigns to improve efforts to address marine debris.
3. Engaging the public in active, personal participation (e.g., a small-scale shoreline cleanup with students or other hands-on activities, etc.).
While the anticipated range of federal funding available per award is approximately $20,000 to $100,000, projects typically receive between $30,000 and $60,000. Eligible applicants include: U.S. institutions of higher education; nonprofit organizations; commercial (for-profit) organizations; and state, local and tribal governments. Applications from federal agencies or employees of federal agencies will not be considered. International organizations are not eligible.
To download the official Federal Funding Opportunity along with complete eligibility requirements, please visit Grants Online at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=270188.
The deadline for applications to this funding opportunity is 11:59:59 p.m. EST on Jan. 15, 2015. Applications must be submitted online via www.grants.gov.
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Alison Hammer Weingast at Alison.Hammer@noaa.gov.

National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge

The National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge is underway and seeking teams to propose innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, -based solutions for real-world problems. Teams must comprise community college students, a faculty mentor and a community or industry partner.
Challenge entries consist of two components: a written entry and a video entry. Each team’s entry must address one of the five themes outlined by the National Science Foundation. This year’s themes are Big Data, Infrastructure Security, Sustainability, Broadening Participation in STEM and Improving STEM Education.
Finalist teams will be invited to attend an Innovation Boot Camp, a professional development workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship.
The entry submission deadline is Jan. 15, 2015.
For additional information about the challenge, visit http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/communitycollege/.
Questions about this challenge should be directed to InnovationChallenge@nsf.gov

Free Program — Cubes in SpaceTM

idoodlelearning™ is offering two flight opportunities as part of the Cubes in Space program. A free science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM, program for students ages 11-18, Cubes in Space provides opportunities for students to design and compete to launch experiments into space.  
In partnership with Colorado Space Grant Consortium as part of the RockSat-C program, experiments will be launched via a sounding rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, in late June 2015. This opportunity is open to U.S. and international students 11-14 years of age.
Through partnership with NASA Langley Research Center, a second flight opportunity is offered on a zero-pressure scientific balloon to be launched from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, in September 2015. The Science Missions Directorate Astrophysics division manages the NASA scientific balloon program; Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia oversees Balloon Flight Operations. This opportunity is open to students 11-18 years of age who are U.S. citizens.
Using formal or informal learning environments, students and educators will learn about the methodology for taking an idea from design through the review process. Throughout the experience, students will acquire key 21st century skills necessary for success in a highly connected, global society.
The deadline for program registration is Jan. 12, 2015.
For more information, visit http://www.CubesInSpace.com.
Questions about this program should be directed to info@cubesinspace.com.

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.
This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.
The second challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multiuser virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team′s design solutions.
Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME.
The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.
For more information, visit http://itpo.gsfc.nasa.gov/optimus/.
Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.
TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2014 Hasbro. All rights reserved.

2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA has opened team registration for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. Organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event will be held April 16-18, 2015, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, also in Huntsville.
The challenge engages high school, college and university students in hands-on, experiential learning activities, while also testing potential technologies needed for future deep space exploration. Both U.S. and international teams may register to participate. For U.S. teams, registration closes Feb. 6, 2015. Registration for international teams closes Jan. 9, 2015.
Student teams participating in the Rover Challenge must design, engineer and test a human-powered rover on a mock course designed to simulate the harsh and demanding terrains future NASA explorers may find on distant planets, moons and asteroids.
For more information on the 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge and registration, visit http://go.nasa.gov/14dikMF.
Follow the Rover Challenge on social media for the latest news and updates:
https://www.facebook.com/roverchallenge?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/RoverChallenge
http://instagram.com/nasa_marshall.
View images from the 2014 Rover Challenge at http://go.nasa.gov/1iEjGRp.
International teams with questions about this event or registration may email Amy McDowell at Amy.McDowell@nasa.gov. U.S. teams with questions may contact Diedra Williams at MSFC-RoverChallenge2015@mail.nasa.gov.

2015 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize purse.
During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.
The competition is planned for June 8-13, 2015, in Worcester, and is anticipated to attract hundreds of competitors from industry and academia nationwide.
Registration is open until Jan. 6, 2015.
For more information about the Sample Return Robot Challenge and to register online for the competition, visit http://challenge.wpi.edu.
The Centennial Challenges program is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.
Questions about the Sample Return Robot Challenge should be sent to challenge@wpi.edu.

2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to create a robot designed to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe. Teams experience the entire engineering life cycle while building robots to compete in games that change every year. FIRST Robotics Competition teams are composed of high school students, with professional engineers acting as mentors. Additional FIRST programs are available for students of ages 6-18.
FIRST is a national organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen in Manchester, New Hampshire, to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technical fields.
The FRC Kickoff, the official start of the FIRST Robotics Competition design-and-build season, is set for Jan. 3, 2015. Teams have the opportunity to meet at local kickoff events to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts and get geared up for the exciting competition season. To find kickoff events in your area, visit http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/kickoff.
For more information about FIRST Robotics and to register your team to participate, visit http://www.usfirst.org/.
Questions about FIRST Robotics should be submitted via http://www.usfirst.org/contactform.

Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy

Communities across the United States are working to advance understanding of climate variability and change. Leaders inside and outside of government are helping to increase science-based understanding and awareness of current and future climate change, enhancing climate literacy in K-12 classrooms, on college and university campuses, and in parks and museums across the country. There has been tremendous progress to date, but there is still more work to be done.
A climate-literate workforce will be required for tomorrow’s community leaders, city planners, and entrepreneurs to have the information, knowledge, and training to make sound choices and grow businesses in the context of a changing climate. That’s why on Dec. 3, 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, focused on connecting Americans of all ages with the best-available, science-based information about climate change. This initiative builds upon a Call to Action around climate education and literacy that received nearly 150 submissions from schools, communities, individuals, and organizations across the country. These responses demonstrated the magnitude and diversity of efforts underway and articulated ideas for future action.
Today, we’re asking you to help us identify and honor local leaders who are taking action to enhance understanding of climate change as Champions of Change for Climate Education and Literacy. These extraordinary leaders will be invited to the White House to celebrate their accomplishments and amplify their work to promote climate education and literacy as a critical step toward building an educated, next-generation American workforce that grasps the climate change challenge and is equipped to seek and implement solutions.
Please submit nominations by midnight EST on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Nominees may include the following types of individuals:
–Educators who serve as leaders in promoting and integrating best-available climate science into their classrooms.
–Outstanding students who demonstrate a high proficiency in climate knowledge and skills and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom.
–Young scientists who are advancing understanding of climate impacts and solutions.
–Leaders from organizations that are developing high-quality, science-based tools, resources, and other learning opportunities for students of all ages.
–Individuals from place-based institutions (zoos, parks, aquaria, museums, etc.) that are effectively engaging visitors around climate change.
–Business leaders taking action to enhance understanding and awareness around climate change.
Click on the link below to submit your nomination (be sure to choose Climate Education and Literacy in the “Theme of Service” field of the nomination form):
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Laura Petes via email at Laura_E_Petes@ostp.eop.gov.

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 project is now accepting applications for the Cycle 3 — 2015 Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors, or AAA, program. The AAA program is an exciting and unique opportunity for teams of two educators to receive online astronomy instruction and a trip to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California to participate in two SOFIA science flights. The science flights offer educators interaction with astronomers, engineers and technicians aboard the aircraft and a view to the collaboration that leads to astronomical data collection and the research papers that follow.
One team member must be a science teacher; the other team member may be a teacher, informal educator or amateur astronomer. The eligibility and program requirements are detailed at http://www.seti.org/sofia. The program pays all costs.
Applications are due Dec. 22, 2014.

Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Pamela Harman at pharman@seti.org.

Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development

NASA Educator Professional Development is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources to bring NASA into your classroom.
NASA STEM Power With Matter and Energy: Middle School and Beyond
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 5-8
Event Date: Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
Participants will explore the NASA Beginning Engineering Science and Technology, or BEST, Next Generation Activity Guide. This guide features activities that challenge students to design a storage container to keep spacecraft propellant cold and a transfer system to move propellant from one container to another.
Solar System and the Periodic Table
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades K-12
Event Date: Dec. 18, 2014, at 7 p.m. EST
Participants will learn about our solar system and how it relates to the periodic table of elements. This standards-based workshop will teach you basic principles of what the table represents using our solar system as an exciting basis for understanding.
NASA STEM Power With Matter and Energy: High School and Beyond
Audience: 
Pre-service, In-service, Home School and Informal Educators of Grades 9-12
Event Date: Dec. 22, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST
Participants will explore the “Gaining Traction on Mars” guide, which challenges students to work in engineering design teams to create and test various wheel designs and materials to see which would perform best in a Martian environment.
For more information about these webinars and to register online, visit https://paragon-tec.adobeconnect.com/admin/show-event-catalog.
Questions about this series of webinars should be directed to Clarence Jones at Clarence.F.Jones@NASA.gov.

New Diversity Tool Available from MissionSTEM — Unconscious Bias in STEM: Addressing the Challenges

On behalf of NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, the agency’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is pleased to announce exciting new content available on the MissionSTEM website. The newest civil rights technical assistance tool for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, grantees is titled “Unconscious Bias in STEM: Addressing the Challenges.” This tool is designed to provide STEM program administrators, faculty, staff and students with a better understanding and appreciation of the ways in which unconscious bias can impact the STEM environment, as well as fresh perspectives on how to avoid the pitfalls of such bias and maintain compliance with the law. The tool is also designed to support equal opportunity compliance officials, such as Title IX coordinators, in their efforts to help ensure equal opportunities and to advance diversity and inclusion in STEM programs.
To view the tool, visit http://missionstem.nasa.gov/eLearn.html.
NASA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity hope you find these materials helpful in your continuing efforts to advance equal opportunity compliance and diversity and inclusion at your respective institutions. We invite you to offer your questions or commentary at http://missionstem.nasa.gov/ask.html, or to register for the MissionSTEM mailing list at http://missionstem.nasa.gov/index.html in lower left corner.

TED: Jeremy Howard - The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn - (2014)

What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize objects in photos, or to help think through a medical diagnosis. (One deep learning tool, after watching hours of YouTube, taught itself the concept of “cats.”) Get caught up on a field that will change the way the computers around you behave … sooner than you probably think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4kyRyKyOpo


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Free iOS and Android App - The Berlin Wall HD

Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.exozet.app.theberlinwall&hl=en

iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-berlin-wall/id453037843?mt=8

iPAD HD - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-berlin-wall-hd/id575590285?mt=8

The Berlin Wall divided East and West for 28 years, two months and 28 days. It cut the city in two, ran through buildings, interrupted streets and tore apart families, friends and couples. But where exactly did the Wall run?

The iPad app 'The Berlin Wall HD' gives a detailed answer. An interactive map in the app shows the exact location of the Wall. Photos, audio and video clips and texts about the respective site are stored at historically important locations between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdam Square. A free data package with more information on historically important sites throughout Berlin and Potsdam can be downloaded in the app. The app serves both as an interactive travel guide on the spot and as a general source of information.

Functions:
- map showing the location of the Wall and sites of interest
- suggestions for Wall tours
- filtering option for historical sites, escapes, traces of the Wall, exhibitions, memorials and border crossings
- the optional Discovery Mode tells you when a historical site is nearby - personalised tours
- directions to find sites of interest
- public transport connections

The app is based on the website chronik-der-mauer.de and is a joint project by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Deutschlandradio and the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam e.V. "The Berlin Wall" was awarded with the "Politikaward 2011", "digita 2012" and the "Comenius-EduMedia-Siegel 2012".

Please note:
Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. (This is used for Discovery Mode.)

What's New in Version 1.2

* Updated for iOS8 compatibility
* Bugfixes