Scientist for a Day challenges students in grades 5–12 to think like NASA scientists. Students examine real spacecraft images of Uranus’s moon Miranda, Neptune’s moon Triton, and Pluto’s moon Charon. First they choose the destination they think would be the best place to return to with another spacecraft in order to learn more about these amazing worlds. Then they support their choice in an essay of no more than 500 words. Essay writers will be divided into three groups: grades 5 and 6, grades 7 and 8, and grades 9 to 12. Teachers can use the contest as a writing assignment in English or science classes. The assignment involves both inquiry-based learning and problem-based learning. The essay contest meets various US national standards set by the National Council of Teachers of English/International Literacy Association, and the National Research Council. It also addresses topics covered in the Next Generation Science Standards. The essays of winning students will be published on NASA’s Solar System Exploration website. Winning students and their classes will participate in a teleconference or videoconference with NASA scientists and/or engineers. All participating students will receive a certificate with the images of the three moons they studied. The 2019–2020 essay contest is sponsored by the Radioisotope Power Systems program at NASA, the group that develops the power technology that enables spacecraft to explore the planets and moons of the outer solar system. Essay entries must be received by February 20, 2020, at 5 p.m. (PT). The tele/videoconference with NASA scientists will take place in May 2020.
The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds that fits right in a user’s pocket. Developed for all experience levels, it will help users identify the birds around them, keep track of the birds they’ve seen, and get outside to find new birds near them.
The Science Without Borders Challenge is an international art contest that engages students in promoting the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world’s oceans and aquatic resources. This annual contest inspires students to be creative while learning about important ocean science and conservation issues.
The Body VR lets users experience the wonders of the human body and its billions of living cells. Users travel through the bloodstream and learn everything there is to know about how blood cells work to spread oxygen through the human body. They also learn how the body reacts when it is faced with deadly viruses.