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NASA Space Spinoff Contest

NASA tech innovation posterNASA’s second annual OPSPARC Challenge asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify everyday items that were first developed for a space mission and then imagine a new humanitarian purpose for that technology. Deadline for submission is February 10, 2017.

That question lies at the heart of NASA’s Optimus Prime Spinoff and Research Challenge, a contest that asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify and dream up a new purpose for technology first developed for a space mission.

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Think Outside the Box Contest

Future Engineers Think Outside the BoxTo celebrate the launch of BEAM, the first expandable habitat to the International Space Station, as well as the first commercial 3-D printer in space, NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers are challenging K-12 students to think outside the box with 3-D printing – literally!

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Star Trek Space Food Contest

International Space Shuttle astronaut Luca Parmitano juggling food packsCalling all Starfleet cadets! Star Trek and NASA want you to “boldly go where no one has gone before” and engineer the future of food in space by creating a digital 3-D model of a non-edible, food-related item for future astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

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Are We Alone?

young astronaut looking for life on mars The year is 2032 and your middle-school explorers have successfully achieved a manned mission to Mars! After establishing criteria to help look for signs of life, they conduct a scientific experiment in which they evaluate three “Martian” soil samples and determine if any contains life.

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SciJinks for Kids: Wild Weather

SciJinks volcanoFrom tidal curiosities and solar flares to bad weather jokes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SciJinks website offers a wealth of resources for learning and teaching about Earth’s climate and geography.

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NASA Summer STEM Fun

NASA Earth from spaceNASA has a host of heavenly STEM offerings for students and teachers this summer. Check them out!

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Asteroid Impact!

asteroid impactIn this first of eight activities, students in grades 6 – 8 learn about the engineering design process and earth science by beginning to design an underground cavern that can shelter people for one year after an asteroid strike makes Earth uninhabitable.

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Mission: Solar System

Teachers TryScience logoTo mark the Year of the Solar System, NASA and PBS’s Design Squad Nation have teamed up to create a series of fun, space-based engineering challenges for children in grades 4 to 8.

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Feature: Enter the Dragon

dragonWhen the Space Shuttle Discovery made its final flight May 12 and landed at the Smithsonian National Air and Space annex in northern Virginia, it marked “a very emotional, poignant, bittersweet moment” for former astronaut Mike Mullane. A few short weeks later, a spacecraft named Dragon made history as the first commercial vehicle ever to successfully berth at the International Space Station.

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