In This Newsletter Issue

NASA EXPRESS April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021


Earth Day and #LaunchAmerica

on April 22

Next week is filled with special events celebrating our home planet and the launch of a new crew to orbit it.


Don't miss the SpaceX Crew-2 launch from Florida and ways to show how we're all #ConnectedByEarth.


Celebrate Earth Day on April 22



On April 22, NASA joins the worldwide Earth Day celebration with a special focus on connections. Most of the connections we see around us are large and obvious, but we sometimes miss the little ones.


Download the Earth Day 2021 poster and join the #ConnectedByEarth celebration online. Bring the STEM celebration to the classroom with the Earth Day 2021 Toolkit filled with educational resources.



Register for NASA’s 2021 Virtual Earth Day Event

Audience: All Educators, Students, Parents and Caregivers

Event Date: April 21-24



Celebrate Earth during NASA’s 2021 Virtual Earth Day Event. The virtual event will feature live presentations and chats with NASA experts, interactive science content, a kids’ fun zone, a scavenger hunt, hundreds of downloadable resources and more.


Registration is free and open to the public. For more information, including a downloadable event guide and flyer, visit



NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Webinar Series: Earth Month

Audience: All Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students

Next Webinar Date: April 20 at

11 a.m. EDT



Throughout April, the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is hosting a series of live webinar events featuring world-renowned experts in Earth science.


Click here to see a full list of upcoming webinars and the link to all live events.



NASA Space Place's Earth Day Art Challenge

Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Grades 3-6



Have your students joined NASA Space Place’s Earth Day art challenge yet? We are accepting submissions from now until April 30, and we’d love to see your students exercise their creativity. Several imaginative drawings will be featured on our website, too.


Prepare to #LaunchAmerica


Are you ready for another human spaceflight launch from American soil? NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission is set to launch on April 22.



#LaunchAmerica STEM Mission Toolkit

Audience: All Educators, Parents

and Caregivers



Build excitement for the SpaceX Crew-2 launch with your students using activities and resources from the #LaunchAmerica STEM Mission Toolkit, a one-stop-shop launch resource filled with lesson plans, videos and educational resources for K-12 students.


Find more ways to bring resources from Commercial Crew and the International Space Station into your classroom by checking out NASA’s Next Gen STEM website.



Join NASA Virtually to #LaunchAmerica

Audience: Educators, Parents and Caregivers of Students of All Ages


You are invited to be a virtual guest for the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission. Join NASA for #LaunchAmerica as four astronauts travel to the International Space Station for a six-month mission.


Register for email updates to let NASA know you’ll be watching the launch. Participants will receive schedule updates and access to related activities and resources (including a boarding pass and a virtual passport stamp for email registrants). Organizations hosting launch-focused events, including school groups and museums, are also encouraged to register.


Send a Pledge to the Moon



There’s still time to submit a Pledge of the Artemis Generation to Explore (PAGE). NASA is turning the page to a new chapter of human space exploration with Artemis missions to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. All schools, museums, youth serving organizations, universities and other STEM organizations in the United States and its territories are invited to send a recorded video pledge to the Moon aboard the Artemis I mission. NASA is accepting pledges until June 4 or until storage space is full, whichever happens first.


The Steps Are Easy!

1.    Select Artemis focused resources.

2.    Record a video pledging to use them.

3.    Submit the video to NASA.

4.    Enjoy! Your pledge will fly on the Artemis I mission.


Give today’s youth the same excitement so many can recall from the Apollo missions when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon and said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”


Pledge to continue the story. Click here for details. Help us turn the PAGE!


STEM Webinars for

Educators, Parents and Caregivers

Join the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development

Collaborative at Texas State University for live educational webinars.

Monitoring Earth From the Space Station

April 15

at 6 p.m. EDT

Oceanography In the Classroom and Beyond

April 19

at 4:30 p.m. EDT

Future of Forests: Patterns of Succession

April 19

at 6 p.m. EDT


NASA STEM Resources That Celebrate Diversity

April 20

at 6 p.m. EDT

Infrared Astronomy With SOFIA

April 20

at 7:30 p.m. EDT

X-plane Glider Challenge

April 21

at 4:30 p.m. EDT


For a full list of upcoming webinars, click here.



Webinar Series — Taking Flight: How Girls Can Grow Up To Be Engineers

Audience: Students, Educators, Parents and Caregivers

Next Webinar Date: April 15 at

4 p.m. EDT



Join the public engagement team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California for a three-part series of live webinars featuring female engineers working on the Mars helicopter, Ingenuity. Find out how they got their start, hear useful career tips and ask questions about the helicopter and engineering careers. Each episode will include a brief helicopter update and focus on a specific career planning topic. Click here for series details.


Virtual Workshop: Exploring Biology With NASA

Audience: K-12 Educators

Workshop Date: April 17 at

1 p.m. EDT



Join the education team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California for an interactive workshop for educators. Participants will explore biology, oceanography and geology concepts through the lens of NASA's search for life beyond Earth. Join us to hear about current NASA missions and research in these fields. Follow along as we explore activities and demonstrations aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are ready for virtual or in-person classrooms. Participation is limited, and registration is required.



‘NASA STEM Stars’ — Ensuring Safety in the Skies With Advanced Air Mobility Expert David Zahn

Audience: Students Ages 13+

Event Date: April 21 at 2 p.m. EDT


“NASA STEM Stars” is a webchat series that connects students with subject matter experts to learn about STEM careers and ask questions about STEM topics.


Join “NASA STEM Stars” for the next in a series of webinars focusing on advanced air mobility research. David Zahn, a helicopter pilot now working with NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility team, will share how his aviation career has soared from military and commercial pilot experience to helping NASA develop procedures ensuring safe flight in urban air mobility environments.


Watch the live event, and ask questions about pursuing careers in STEM.



Night Sky Network Webinar Series: NASA Citizen Science and the Night Sky With SciStarter and ‘Astronomy’ Magazine

Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in High School and Up

Event Date: April 29 at 9 p.m. EDT



Join the NASA Night Sky Network and SciStarter for a webinar celebrating Citizen Science Month. The live event will feature a conversation with three citizen science project leaders and David Eicher, editor-in-chief of “Astronomy” magazine. Click here for full event details.



Collaborate With NASA


Call for Proposals: Funding Opportunities Through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project

Audience: Minority-Serving Institutions

Proposal Deadline: April 23


NASA is seeking proposals for competitive funding opportunities in support of the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) administered by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. Proposals are being accepted from coalitions led by Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) that support broadening participation in engineering. This activity enables MSIs to organize and lead coalitions comprising multiple organizations, institutions, agencies and industries to implement novel programmatic endeavors, or to support the expansion of existing successful programs or methodologies to address critical challenges with broad impact.


Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — Mission 16 to the International Space Station

Audience: School Districts Serving Grades 5-12, Informal Education Institutions, Colleges and Universities

Inquiry Deadline: April 30

Start Date: Sept. 1



The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education announce Mission 16 to the International Space Station, a community engagement initiative in STEM. In each participating community, one proposed student experiment is selected to fly in low-Earth orbit on the space station. For precollege grades 5-12, each community is expected to engage at least 300 students in real microgravity experiment design and proposal writing. For an undergraduate community, at least 30 students are expected to engage. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than April 30.



Call for Proposals: MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research (M-STAR) Funding Opportunity

Audience: Minority-Serving Institutions

Proposal Deadline: May 10



NASA is seeking proposals for competitive funding opportunities in support of the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) administered by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. Proposals are being accepted for the MUREP Space Technology Artemis Research (M-STAR) Implementation Funding activity. M-STAR will strengthen and develop the research capacity and infrastructure of U.S. Minority-Serving Institutions and enhance their capability to participate in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate research. These efforts will support the advancement of technologies needed for exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.



Call for Proposals: Minority-Serving Institutions Fellowships 2021

Audience: Educators and Graduate Students Attending Minority-Serving Institutions

Informational Webinar: May 4 at

4 p.m. EDT

Proposal Deadline: May 24



NASA is seeking student-authored and independently conceived graduate research proposals for competitive funding opportunities in support of the 2021 NASA Fellowship activity. Supporting NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement objectives, this activity provides academic institutions the ability to enhance graduate-level learning and development. Candidates must attend a Minority-Serving Institution and be U.S. citizens or nationals who are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program pursuing a NASA-relevant field. Fellows will receive annual awards of up to $55,000 for their institutions.



Call for Proposals: NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's University Leadership Initiative

Audience: Higher Education Faculty and Students

Applicant's Workshop: April 15

1-3 p.m. EDT

Proposal Deadline: June 22



The University Leadership Initiative provides the opportunity for university teams to exercise leadership in proposing technical challenges, defining multidisciplinary solutions, establishing peer review mechanisms and applying innovative strategies to strengthen research impact. Multiple awards are anticipated with nominal annual budgets in the $1 million to $2 million range per award. Awards will have a maximum duration of five years.


For workshop details and proposal guidelines, visit



Are You Ready for a Challenge?


Artemis LEAPFROG Lander Competition

Audience: College and University Students and Faculty

Registration Deadline: April 15

Challenge Dates: May 15-June 15



The Artemis Lunar Entry and Approach Platform for Research On Ground, or LEAPFROG, competition is a national software and flight-based challenge for university-level students to gain understanding and training on lunar landing vehicle technology and innovation. Coordinated by the California Space Grant Consortium, the software challenge will be conducted in a virtual environment that simulates obstacles on the lunar surface. The challenge is designed to test students’ understanding of control theory, flight dynamics, modeling and simulation for flight systems. Visit the website for details and registration information. Winners will receive a full lander kit to assemble through a summer boot camp supported by the LEAPFROG team.



Lucy in Space Contest

Audience: U.S. Middle and High School Students, Educators, Parents and Caregivers

Deadline: April 16



What's the connection between a 3.2 million year old fossil and a NASA mission? Enter the Lucy in Space Contest, share your artwork and tell your own story of human exploration.


Launching this fall, the Lucy mission, named in honor of the human ancestor fossil Lucy, will make history as the first mission to the Trojan asteroids. Middle and high school students in the U.S. can submit creative artwork, videos and essays about the drive that leads us to explore the origins of our solar system and ourselves.



2022 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge

Audience: Higher Education Faculty and Students

Proposal Deadline: May 23



NASA, in collaboration with the National Space Grant Foundation, is giving university teams the opportunity to develop innovative design ideas that could assist NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration objectives. The 2022 Moon to Mars Systems and Habitation (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge provides real-world, hands-on design, research and development opportunities for university students interested in aerospace careers. The winners of the challenge will receive $15,000 to $50,000 to design and produce studies, research findings or functional products that bridge strategic knowledge gaps, increase capabilities and lower technology risks related to NASA’s Moon to Mars space exploration missions. Awardees will follow a tailored systems-engineering process with projects to be completed in the May 2022 time frame.



Opportunities With Our Partners


‘STEM in 30’ Webcast — The Space Shuttle at 40

Audience: Educators, Parents, Caregivers and Students in Grades 6-8

Episode Available: Starting April 8

Live Web Chat: April 15 at 1 p.m. EDT



From 1981 to 2011, space shuttles flew astronauts and payloads to space and then returned to Earth, like a plane returning to an airport. NASA used them for a variety of critical projects including launching satellites, servicing the Hubble Space Telescope and building the International Space Station. Watch the episode, and then join a live chat to learn more about this one-of-a-kind spacecraft. 



Clean Coal and Carbon Management Opportunity With U.S. Department of Energy

Audience: U.S. Citizens With Graduate Degrees in Engineering or Physical Sciences

Application Deadline: April 30



The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy is accepting applications for an opportunity with its Carbon Management Division. Participants will take part in technology management projects focused on the Carbon Utilization Program’s conversion pathway, which includes electrochemical systems to transform carbon dioxide into fuels and chemicals. Stipends and travel reimbursements will be provided.



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Are you looking for NASA STEM materials to support your curriculum?

Search hundreds of resources by subject, grade level, type and keyword at


Find NASA science resources for your classroom. NASA Wavelength is a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels — from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs.


Check out the ‘Explore NASA Science’ website! Science starts with questions, leading to discoveries. Visit To view the site in Spanish, visit


Visit NASA STEM Engagement on the Web: 

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement: 

NASA Kids’ Club: