Reinvent the Rover Wheel

Challenge Audience: Educators, Parents and Students in Grades K-12
Deadline: July 26

This summer, the Perseverance rover will launch on a trip to explore Mars. Perseverance has six aluminum wheels with S-shaped treads called grousers that will help the rover drive across the sandy, rocky and hilly Martian terrain. To develop this wheel design, NASA engineers had to brainstorm ideas, create 3D designs and test different wheel prototypes.

What could wheels for future Mars rovers look like? We want innovative ideas from K-12 students! Use your creativity to design a rover wheel best equipped for the Red Planet’s terrain. Create a digital 3D model of your reinvented wheel, and write a short description of your design. While digital 3D models are encouraged, young inventors in grades K-5 can opt to provide an image of a sketch or mock-up instead of a 3D model. Out-of-this world entries will be featured with a NASA gold star in the challenge gallery.

For more information Click Here

Home on the Moon Project

Audience: Students and Families
Entry Deadline: Aug. 15

What would it be like to live on the Moon? Would living there be similar to living on Earth? The Aldrin Family Foundation wants you and your family to imagine what it might be like with the Home on the Moon project. 

Perfect for completing at home, this interactive project invites students, families, and teams to explore how systems work on Earth and how they can be modified to work on the Moon. Visit the project website to find step-by-step instructions and videos that will guide you through the process.

For more information Click here 

Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission

Audience: Parents, Caregivers, K-12 and Informal Educators
Mission Dates: July 14-17

Sally Ride EarthKAM is a free STEM educational program managed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. EarthKAM allows participants to take images of Earth from space using a camera aboard the International Space Station. Use EarthKAM as a teaching tool to study subjects ranging from geography to art to meteorology.  

The July mission is a great opportunity for those new to EarthKAM to learn how the system works and to start planning ways to incorporate EarthKAM into the school year. Visit the website for details and to register to participate.

For more information Click here

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Seeks Ideas From Entrepreneurs

Audience: U.S. Citizens Ages 18+
Application Deadline: June 26

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking novel ideas to support the development of new science instruments and related technologies to advance the agency’s science exploration goals in three broadly defined science technology focus areas. Through a three-stage process, SMD will award up to $100,000 in prize funding to each finalist, along with education opportunities provided by NASA’s Small Business Innovative Research program.

For more information Click Here

Next Gen STEM

In lieu of the regional face-to-face professional development sessions Next Gen STEM had hoped to schedule this summer, we are proud to announce that the Office of STEM Engagement will be hosting a series of virtual PD webinars for Next Gen STEM (NGS) over the summer to: 

  • Disseminate NGS content​ to NGS partner organizations
  • Model techniques for interacting with students using NGS content in a virtual environment

These webinars will be hosted via Adobe Connect and highlight different NGS Mission-focused Activities each week, the schedule and instructions are provided on the attached flyer.  You will be able to click a registration link to learn more about the webinar offering including any materials or supplies to have prepared to actively participate in the PD, and register for the events you plan to attend. We hope you are able to take advantage of this summer opportunity!

For more information and registration: Click here
Email questions to:  GRC-NextGenSTEM@mail.nasa.gov

2020 RASC-AL Competition—Virtual Forum

Audience: Educators, Parents, and Students in Grades 9-College
Event Date: June 16-18

The 2020 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts—Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) engineering design competition has narrowed entries down to 15 university teams, and finalists will present their projects via video during a virtual forum. Educators, students, and the public are invited to watch the event online. 

The RASC-AL competition challenged teams to develop new and creative concepts that leverage innovations for NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program and future human missions to Mars. Teams will discuss their projects via video, presenting digital posters and answering judges’ questions in real-time through livestreaming of the competition online at livestream.com/viewnow/rascal-forum.

Sessions begin at 9:50 a.m. EDT on June 16 and run through 5 p.m. EDT on June 18. A forum agenda, including selected teams and when they will present, can be found at https://livestream.com/viewnow/rascal-forum/images/205766353.

Space Technology Research Institutes Appendix Released

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled Space Technology Research Institutes (STRI), as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) umbrella NASA Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2020 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2020)” on June 2, 2020. The solicitation is available by opening the NSPIRES homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/, selecting “Solicitations,” then selecting “Open Solicitations,” and, finally, selecting “Space Technology Research Institutes (STRI).” To access the solicitation directly, visit http://tinyurl.com/NASA-STRI20.

The Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking to invest, via research institutes, in university-led, sustained, multi-disciplinary space technology research focused in strategic areas for transformative impact to future NASA exploration and science. The research institutes construct enables coordination of experts from a wide range of fields and organizations in a single distributed research structure. For research areas of overlapping interest, this approach could significantly increase partnerships between NASA, other government agencies, industry, and academia, enabling greater progress and benefit for all involved. The institute approach facilitates a more focused and coordinated set of research and development efforts than typically arise from a series of separate solicitations and individual research grants. Because the research institute maintains its focus for several years, more effective and substantial research progress is envisioned for the selected high priority research areas. The maximum award duration is five years and up to $15M total over the 5-year period. Only accredited U.S. universities are eligible to submit proposals; teaming with other accredited U.S. universities is required, and teaming with non-profit laboratories and industry is permitted. See Appendix section 3.0 for full list of eligibility requirements. The anticipated type of award instrument will be grants or cooperative agreements.

The Appendix exclusively seeks proposals that are responsive to one of the following two topics:

*         High-Power Electric Propulsion Ground Testing and Modeling Extensible to In-Space Operation
*         Revolutionary Advancements in Multidisciplinary Modeling and Simulation of Entry Systems

The financial and programmatic support for STRI comes from the Space Technology Research Grants Program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Awards are expected to be in place in summer 2021. Proposals are being solicited via a two-step process where preliminary proposals are mandatory, and only those invited may submit a full proposal. NASA plans to make approximately 2 awards as a result of this STRI solicitation, subject to the availability of funds and receipt of meritorious proposals. The actual number of awards will depend on the quality of the proposals received; NASA reserves the right to make no awards under this solicitation.

All preliminary proposals must be submitted electronically through NSPIRES or through Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) by an authorized organizational representative. Mandatory preliminary proposals are due on or before August 4, 2020, 5 pm Eastern, and the target deadline for invited full proposals is November 5, 2020, 5 pm Eastern. Detailed submission instructions and due dates are provided in the solicitation. Potential proposers and their proposing organizations are urged to familiarize themselves with the submission system(s), ensure they are registered in NSPIRES, and submit the required proposal materials well in advance of the deadline.

Technical and programmatic comments and questions may be addressed by email to the Space Technology Research Grants Program at hq-STMD-STRI@mail.nasa.gov. Responses to inquiries will be answered by email and may also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents located on the NSPIRES page associated with the solicitation; anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved. It is the offeror’s responsibility to monitor the Internet site for the release of amendments (if any).

WVSU NASA Engineering Camp

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton

Reasonable accommodations will be made to provide this content into reasonable alternate accessible formats upon request. Please contact our offices at (304) 204-4306 or bdillard@wvstateu.edu.

West Virginia State University Research and Development Corporation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or veteran status in any of its programs or activities.

FULL VIRTUAL! CoderZ from Intellitek

Target Audience: Students in 5th grade and up
Duration: 3-week program

Description:  Thanks to a generous donation from Amazon Future Engineer, CoderZ is a free option that only requires an Internet connection and a computer with the Chrome Browser to use the highly-regarded Coder-Z platform to learn to code, and to compete with a virtual robot.  This program is for students in 5th grade and up.  This is an amazing opportunity for so many kids to learn to code, compete, and participate in robotics!  Students are trained through a 3-week program (June or July sessions) to code and compete a virtual robot.  High School Students get the chance to learn Python as well.
NOTE: Students CAN participate in both a virtual and a F2F camp!

Schedule:  There are TWO SESSIONS!  We are offering the early session starting June 8th and lasting 3 weeks until June 26th.  The later session begins July 13th and runs until July 31st.

Register here

If you have questions, please contact: Todd.Ensign@FairmontState.edu, Todd.Ensign@FairmontState.edu

Hands-On Robotics Camps

Target Audience: Ages 6-8 and Ages 9-14

Description: Our camps are 4/5-days, hands-on programs that focus on fundamental building and programming skills, games, and fun challenges using a variety of robotics platforms.  Each camp will provide information on age appropriate competitions, and how to get involved and stay engaged in robotics!  Camps are staffed by NASA’s college interns sponsored by the IV&V Facility and the WV Space Grant Consortium, and hosted at partner sites across the state.

Schedule:  We are offering ½ day camp for students ages 6-8 years old, Tue.-Fri, 9am-12pm.  Our full-day camp is for students 9-14 years old, Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm. For both camps, you may drop off and pick up your camper ½ hour before or after the camp times.

•     Ages 6-8, half-day 9am-12pm, LEGO® Coding Express and WeDo 2.0 Robotics.
•     Ages 9-14, 9am-4pm LEGO® EV3, VEX IQ, and Parrot Mambo Drone.

Lunch:  For F2F, campers must bring their own bag lunch, drinks, etc.  We will provide a morning and afternoon snack.

Cost: We offer our F2F camps at a break-even or a loss and to ensure we are accessible to all students.  We are asking every family that can afford it for a suggested donation of $50/student for the younger student ½ day camp, and $100/student for the older student, full-day camp.  Both camps include snacks, use of robots, drones, tablets, and all materials.  Checks should be made out to “Fairmont State University” and will be collected on your first day of camp at the registration desk.  Note: If you can afford to donate more, your dollars will go to support another camper who is less fortunate.

Week ofHost SiteCity
July 6BridgeValley CTC (Virtual Camp Only)Charleston
July 13Mountaineer Middle SchoolMorgantown
July 20James Rumsey Technical InstituteMartinsburg
July 27Fairmont State UniversityFairmont
Aug. 3Robert C. Byrd InstituteHuntington

Register Here

If you have questions, please contact: Ryan.E.Utzman@nasa.gov, Todd.Ensign@FairmontState.edu