ASP Newsletter | February 2016
Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake of the European Space Agency _ESA_ shared this stunning nighttime photograph with his social media followers on Jan. 25_ 2016_ writing_ _Beautiful night pass over Italy_ Alps and Mediterranean._
ASP Awarded Over $2 Million In NASA Education Contracts
The ASP is receiving five years of funding to support three new NASA STEM education projects. In addition, ASP has been awarded a separate NASA Infrastructure Award to continue our work with nearly 500 amateur astronomy clubs comprising the Night Sky Network (NSN). 
NASA recently selected 27 organizations from across the United States to receive education awards totaling $42 million. These projects engage learners of all ages in NASA science discoveries and explorations. NASA's goals are to support STEM education, improve U.S. scientific literacy, and advance national educational goals through astronomy and space science. 
ASP's four new NASA contracts are:
Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts work on an activity
Credit: Pamela Harman, SETI Institute
"Reaching for the Stars," led by the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA, will support the Girl Scout's efforts to increase STEM interest and engagement among girls. "Reaching for the Stars" is a unique partnership with NASA that will develop innovative astronomy and space science activities, programs, and badges for the scouts -- providing girls and their leaders with exposure to NASA science, people, and missions. In addition to the ASP, partners in the project include the Girl Scouts of Northern California, the University of Arizona, and Goddard Space Flight Center. The ASP will assist in the development of astronomy activities and help train Girl Scout leaders and volunteers and, since we oversee the NASA Night Sky Network, we'll be partnering amateur astronomy clubs across the country with Girl Scout troops in their towns.
NASA Space and Earth Informal Science Education (SEISE)

The Visitor Center at NASA_s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt_ Md. hosted an event at the end of the International Year of Astronomy
Credit: Bill Hrybyk, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The goal of this ambitious and visionary project is to bring NASA science, people, and missions to an existing network of 500 science museums across the country. The project, led by the Science Museum of Minnesota, will build and distribute interactive exhibits and demonstration kits engaging the public directly in NASA astronomy and space science. The ASP will provide training in science content and pedagogy to the thousands of museum educators across the country responsible for bringing NASA science to their visitors.
CosmoQuest: Engaging Students & the Public through a Virtual Research Facility

Photographs from InOMN events around the world were selected in a random drawing. Twelve images were _bounced off the moon_. This image was one of the 12 chosen_ and shows what it looked like after being bounced off the Moon.
Credit: Jose Castro
This project brings NASA data directly to the people through a series of citizen science projects using mission data. The public will be able to participate directly in astronomy research projects. The project also emphasizes the involvement of science classrooms in these discoveries through their Educator Zone. Middle school teachers will receive professional development on how to integrate CosmoQuest into their classroom. These teachers will infuse their science curriculum with engaging hands-on astronomy explorations followed by the analysis of real NASA data. The ASP's role in this project is to develop these engaging hands-on investigations for the Educator Zone, building on our over 10 years of experience in doing just that for museum educators and amateur astronomers.

Left: This photograph, from an "International Observe the Moon" citizen science event, was "bounced off the Moon." The lower image shows what the photograph looked like after going to the Moon and coming back to Earth.   
The NASA Night Sky Network (NSN)

NSN member demonstrates making a comet activity to kids
NSN member teaching young children about the composition of comets. Credit: Jamie Jewell
The ASP will receive funding to support and expand the NASA Night Sky Network (NSN), a dynamic community of over 470 amateur astronomy clubs across the nation whose members share their time and telescopes to engage the public in observational astronomy. Since 2004, over three million people have been reached through participation in over 30,000 astronomy events logged by the clubs. Through this new NASA funding, ASP will continue to provide high quality training, resources, and materials to support the NSN clubs in their outreach efforts. ASP will also help the 27 newly-funded NASA projects connect with and disseminate to this vibrant and growing amateur astronomy community. 
Astronomical Society of the Pacific |

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