Edu News  August 24, 2022
A Lesson for Every Day of the School Year
With 180 lessons in our online catalog, you can explore Earth and space with us all year long. We show you how with this handy NASAJPL school year calendar.
We just added the 180th lesson to our online catalog of standardsaligned STEM lessons, which means JPL Education now has a lesson for every day of the school year. To celebrate and help you make the year ahead stellar, we've put together this monthly calendar of upcoming NASA events along with links to our related lessons, Teachable Moments articles, and student projects you can use to engage students in STEM while they explore Earth and space with us all year long.
August
The Voyagers Turn 45
The twin Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977 on a journey to explore the outer planets and beyond – and they're still going. Now more than 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from Earth in a region known as interstellar space, they're the most distant humanmade objects in space.
Get a primer on these fascinating spacecraft from Teachable Moments, then use it as a jumping off point for lessons on the scale, size, and structure of our solar system and how we communicate with distant spacecraft.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Voyager Lessons for Educators
Explore the science behind NASA's Voyager spacecraft with this collection of standardsaligned STEM lessons.
 Collection
Voyager Actvities for Students
These DIY projects, slideshows, and videos will get students exploring the science behind NASA's Voyager spacecraft.
 Teachable Moments
The Farthest Operating Spacecraft, Voyagers 1 and 2, Still Exploring
The twin spacecraft launched in 1977 on an epic journey through the solar system and beyond offer lessons in what it takes to travel farther than ever before.
 Teachable Moments
Then There Were Two: Voyager 2 Reaches Interstellar Space
Find out how the twin Voyager spacecraft took advantage of a rare planetary alignment to embark on a journey no spacecraft had before – or has since.
September
Rendezvous with an Asteroid
A distant asteroid system 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers) from Earth was the site of NASA's first attempt at redirecting an asteroid. On September 26, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, mission impacted the asteroid Dimorphos in an attempt to alter its speed and path around a larger asteroid known as Didymos. Dimorphos and Didymos do not pose a threat to Earth, which makes them a good proving ground for testing whether a similar technique could be used to defend Earth against potential impacts by hazardous asteroids in the future.
Get a primer on the DART mission and find related resources for the classroom in this article from our Teachable Moments series. Plus, explore our collection of standardsaligned lessons and activities all about asteroids to get students learning about different kinds of space rocks, geology, and meteoroid math.
Lessons & Resources:
 Teachable Moments
The Science Behind NASA's First Attempt at Redirecting an Asteroid
Find out more about the historic first test, which could be used to defend our planet if a hazardous asteroid were discovered. Plus, explore lessons to bring the science and engineering of the mission into the classroom.
 Collection
Asteroids Lessons for Educators
Explore a collection of standardsaligned lessons all about asteroids and craters.
 Collection
Asteroids Actvities for Students
Explore projects, videos, slideshows, and games for students all about asteroids.
A Closer Look at Europa
Just a few days later, on September 29, the Juno spacecraft that had been orbiting Jupiter since 2016 captured the closest views of Jupiter’s moon Europa in more than 20 years. The icecovered moon is thought to contain a subsurface liquidwater ocean, making it an exciting new frontier in our search for life beyond Earth. NASA's Europa Clipper mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2024 is designed to study the moon in more detail. But until Europa Clipper arrives at the Jovian system in 2030, these observations from Juno are our best chance to get a closer look at this fascinating moon.
Learn more about Europa and why it is interesting to scientists in this talk from our Teaching Space With NASA series featuring a Europa Clipper mission scientist. Then, explore our Ocean Worlds Lesson Collection for ideas on making classroom connections.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Ocean Worlds Lessons for Educators
Explore a collection of standardsaligned STEM lessons all about ocean worlds throughout our solar system.
 Collection
Ocean Worlds Actvities for Students
Learn about the ocean worlds throughout our solar system with these science and engineering activities for students.
 Expert Talk
Teaching Space With NASA – Robotic Oceanographers
Hear from scientists exploring Earth's oceans and learn about how we use robotic explorers to collect data on how our oceans are changing as well as explore ocean worlds beyond Earth.
October
Celebrate Halloween Like a Space Explorer
The month of October is the perfect time to get students exploring our STEM activities with a Halloween twist. Students can learn how to carve a pumpkin like a JPL engineer, take a tour of mysterious locations throughout the solar system, and dig into the geology inside their Halloween candy.
October 31 is also JPL's 86th birthday, which makes October a great time to learn more about JPL history, including the team of female mathematicians known as "human computers" who performed some of the earliest spacecrafttracking calculations and the Laboratory's role in launching the first U.S. space satellite.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Halloween Actvities for Students
Explore student projects and slideshows that put a Halloween twist on STEM.
 Project for Kids
Pumpkin Stencils
Celebrate the fall season and Halloween by making your very own spacethemed pumpkins with these easytouse stencils from NASA's Space Place!
 Teachable Moments
When Computers Were Human
Learn about the important but littleknown role women played in the early days of space exploration, then try a math lesson inspired by their work.
 Teachable Moments
Explorer 1 Anniversary Marks 60 Years of Science in Space
The fascinating history of America’s first space satellite serves as a launching point for lessons in engineering design, motion and flight, and Earth science.
November
Watch a Total Lunar Eclipse
Look up in the early morning hours of November 8 to watch one of the most stunning spectacles visible from Earth: a total lunar eclipse. This one will be viewable in North and South America, as well as Asia and Australia.
Learn more about lunar eclipses and how to watch them from our Teachable Moments series. Then, get students of all ages outside and observing the Moon with lessons on moon phases and the hows and whys of eclipses. Students can even build a Moon calendar so they always know when and where to look for the next eclipse.
Lessons & Resources:
 Teachable Moments
How to Watch a Total Lunar Eclipse and Get Students Observing the Moon
There’s no better time to learn about the Moon than during a lunar eclipse. Here’s how eclipses work, what to expect, and how to get students engaged.
 Collection
Moon Lessons for Educators
Teach students about the Moon with this collection of standardsaligned activities inspired by real NASA missions and science.
 Collection
Moon Activities for Students
Learn all about the Moon with these projects, slideshows, and videos for students.
Artemis Takes a Giant Leap
NASA is making plans to send astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since 1972 – this time to establish a sustainable presence and prepare for future human missions to Mars. The first major step is Artemis I, which is testing three key components required to send astronauts beyond the Moon: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The uncrewed Artemis I mission marks the first test of all three components at once.
Get your K12 students following along with lessons in rocketry and what it takes to live in space. Plus, register to follow along with the mission with resources and updates from NASA's Office of STEM Engagement.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Artemis Lessons for Educators
Get students engaged in NASA's Artemis Program with STEM lessons all about the Moon, rockets, space habitats, and more
 Collection
Artemis Activities for Students
These STEM projects and activities for students will get them exploring the Moon, rockets, space flight and other facets of NASA's Artemis Program.
 Public Event
Join NASA Online for Artemis I
Register to receive updates and resources related to Artemis I – the first in a series of Artemis Program missions designed to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon and prepare for future human missions to Mars.
 Educator Resources
Artemis Toolkit
Explore Artemis resources for educators and students from NASA's Office of STEM Engagement.
 Teachable Moments
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA's Apollo Moon Landing
Explore the incredible history of the Apollo missions and find out what's in store for NASA's next mission to the Moon.
December
Satellite Launches on a Mission to Follow the Water
As crucial as water is to human life, did you know that no one has ever completed a global survey of Earth’s surface water? That is about to change with the launch of the SWOT mission. SWOT, which stands for Surface Water Ocean Topography, will use a stateoftheart radar to measure the elevation of water in major lakes, rivers, wetlands, and reservoirs. It will also provide an unprecedented level of detail on the ocean surface. This data will help scientists track how these bodies of water are changing over time and improve weather and climate models.
Engage your students in learning about Earth’s water budget and how we monitor Earth from space with these lessons. And be sure to check out our Teachable Moments article for more about the SWOT mission and the science of our changing climate.
 Teachable Moments
NASA Mission Takes a Deep Dive Into Earth's Surface Water
Explore how and why the SWOT mission will take stock of Earth's water budget, what it could mean for assessing climate change, and how to bring it all to students.
 Collection
SWOT Lessons for Educators
Explore the science and engineering behind the SWOT mission with this collection of standardsaligned lessons all about water.
 Collection
SWOT Actvities for Students
Explore projects, videos, slideshows, and games for students all about the water cycle and sea level rise.
Prepare for the Science Fair
Before you know it, it'll be science fair time. Avoid the stress of science fair prep by getting students organized and thinking about their projects before the winter recess. Start by watching our video series How to Do a Science Fair Project. A scientist and an engineer from JPL walk your students through all the steps they will need to create an original science fair project by observing the world around them and asking questions. You can also explore our science fair starter pack of lessons and projects to get students generating ideas and thinking like scientists and engineers.
Lessons & Resources:
 Video Series
How to Do a Science Fair Project
Learn all the ins and outs of crafting your very own science fair project.
 Collection
Science Fair Lessons for Educators
Teach students how to craft their own science and engineering fair project with these video tutorials and lessons featuring NASA missions and science.
 Collection
Science Fair Actvities for Students
Learn how to design a science and engineering fair project and get inspired with our catalog of student projects featuring NASA missions and science.
January
Explore STEM Careers
January is the time when many of us set goals for the year ahead, so it's the perfect month to get students exploring their career goals and opportunities in STEM. Students can learn more about careers in STEM and hear directly from scientists and engineers working on NASA missions in our Teaching Space video series. Meanwhile, our news page has more on what it takes to be a NASA astronaut and what it's like to be a JPL intern.
For students already in college and pursuing STEM degrees, now is the time to start exploring internship opportunities for the summer. The deadline for JPL summer internships is in March, so it's a good idea to refresh your resume and get your application started now. Learn how to stand out with this article on how to get an internship at JPL – which also includes advice for precollege students.
Resources:
 Expert Talks
Teaching Space With NASA
Hear from experts and education specialists about the latest missions and science happening at NASA and get your questions answered.
 Articles
Career Guidance
Get advice from scientists, engineers and educators about what it takes to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and how to get a foot in the door.
 Articles
Meet JPL Interns
These interns are pushing the boundaries of space exploration and science at the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system.
 Opportunities
JPL Internships and Fellowships
Discover exciting internships and research opportunities at the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system.
 Opportunities
JPL Jobs: Opportunities for Students
Start here to learn more about internship, fellowship, and postdoc opportunities at JPL and how to apply.
 Opportunities
NASA Internships
Learn about internship opportunities at NASA centers across the U.S., and apply today!
February
Mars Rover Celebrates 2Year 'Landiversary'
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover celebrates its "landiversary" on February 18, which marks two years since the rover made its nailbiting descent on the Red Planet. The rover continues to explore Jezero Crater using science tools to analyze rocks and soil in search of signs of ancient microbial life. As of this writing, the rover has collected twelve rock core samples that will be sent to Earth by a future mission. Perseverance even witnessed a solar eclipse! Meanwhile, the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which the rover deployed shortly after landing, has gone on to achieve feats of its own.
The Mission to Mars Student Challenge is a great way to get students of all ages exploring STEM and the Red Planet right along with the Perseverance rover. The challenge includes seven weeks of education content that can be customized for your classroom as well as education plans, expert talks, and resources from NASA.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Mission to Mars Student Challenge
Get K12 students exploring Mars with NASA scientists, engineers, and the Perseverance rover as they learn all about STEM and design their very own mission to the Red Planet!
 Teachable Moments
NASA's Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars
Learn how, why, and what Perseverance will explore on Mars, plus find out about an exciting opportunity for you and your students to join in the adventure!
March
Take On the Pi Day Challenge
Math teachers, pielovers, and punaficionados rejoice! March 14 is Pi Day, the annual celebration of the mathematical constant used throughout the STEM world – and especially for space exploration. This year's celebration brings the 10th installment of the NASA Pi Day Challenge, featuring four new illustrated math problems involving pi along with NASA missions and science.
Explore the full collection of pi math lessons, get students learning about how we use pi at NASA, and hear from a JPL engineer on how many decimals of pi we use for space exploration at the links below.
Lessons & Resources:
 Teachable Moments
10 Years of NASA's Pi Day Challenge
Learn more about pi, the history of Pi Day before, and the science behind the 2023 NASA Pi Day Challenge.
 Collection
Pi in the Sky Lessons
Find everything you need to bring the NASA Pi Day Challenge into the classroom, including printable handouts of each illustrated math problem.
 Student Project
NASA Pi Day Challenge
This collection of illustrated math problems gets students using pi like NASA scientists and engineers exploring Earth and space.
 Article
How Many Decimals of Pi Do We Really Need?
While you may have memorized more than 70,000 digits of pi, world record holders, a JPL engineer explains why you really only need a tiny fraction of that for most calculations.
 Article
18 Ways NASA Uses Pi
Whether it's sending spacecraft to other planets, driving rovers on Mars, finding out what planets are made of or how deep alien oceans are, pi takes us far at NASA. Find out how pi helps us explore space.
April
Celebrate Earth Day With NASA
You may not immediately think of Earth science when you think of NASA, but it's a big part of what we do. Earth Day on April 22 is a great time to explore Earth science with NASA, especially as new missions are taking to the skies to study the movements of dust, measure surface water across the planet, and track tiny land movements to better predict natural disasters.
Whether you want to focus on Earth’s surface and geology, climate change, extreme weather, or the water budget, we have an abundance of lessons, student projects and Teachable Moments to guide your way.
Lessons & Resources:
 Collection
Earth Lessons for Educators
Discover a collection of standardsaligned STEM lessons all about Earth and climate change.
 Collection
Earth Activities for Students
Try these science and engineering projects, watch videos, and explore images all about the planet that we call home.
 Teachable Moments
Climate Change Collection
Explore this collection of Teachable Moments articles to get a primer on the latest NASA Earth science missions, plus find related education resources you can deploy right away!
May
Summer Learning Adventures
As the school year comes to a close, send your students off on an adventure of summer learning with our doityourself STEM projects. Additionally, our Learning Space With NASA at Home page and video series is a great resource for parents and families to help direct students' learning during outofschool time.
Lessons & Resources:
 Student Resources
Summer Activities for Students
Explore Earth and space with these handson projects, slideshows, videos, and more for K12 students.
 Student Resources
Learning Space With NASA
Explore space and science activities you can do with NASA at home. Find video tutorials, DIY projects, slideshows, games and more!
TAGS: K12 Education, Teachers, Students, Lessons, Resources, Projects, Events, Artemis, Voyager, DART, Asteroids, Europa, Ocean Worlds, Halloween, History, Earth, Climate, SWOT, Lunar Eclipse, Science Fair, Career Advice, Mars, Perseverance, Pi Day, Earth Day, Summer STEM
Teachable Moments  March 10, 2022
Pi Goes to Infinity and Beyond in NASA Challenge
Learn about pi and some of the ways the number is used at NASA. Then, dig into the science behind the Pi Day Challenge.
Update: March 15, 2022 – The answers are here! Visit the NASA Pi Day Challenge slideshow to view the illustrated answer keys for each of the problems in the 2022 challenge.
In the News
No matter what Punxsutawney Phil saw on Groundhog Day, a sure sign that spring approaches is Pi Day. Celebrated on March 14, it’s the annual holiday that pays tribute to the mathematical constant pi – the number that results from dividing any circle's circumference by its diameter.
Every year, Pi Day gives us a reason to not only celebrate the mathematical wonder that helps NASA explore the universe, but also to enjoy our favorite sweet and savory pies. Students can join in the fun by using pi to explore Earth and space themselves in our ninth annual NASA Pi Day Challenge.
Read on to learn more about the science behind this year's challenge and find out how students can put their math mettle to the test to solve real problems faced by NASA scientists and engineers as we explore Earth, the Moon, Mars, and beyond!How It Works
Dividing any circle’s circumference by its diameter gives you an answer of pi, which is usually rounded to 3.14. Because pi is an irrational number, its decimal representation goes on forever and never repeats. In 2021, a supercomputer calculated pi to more than 62 trillion digits. But you might be surprised to learn that for space exploration, NASA uses far fewer digits of pi.
Here at NASA, we use pi to understand how much signal we can receive from a distant spacecraft, to calculate the rotation speed of a Mars helicopter blade, and to collect asteroid samples. But pi isn’t just used for exploring the cosmos. Since pi can be used to find the area or circumference of round objects and the volume or surface area of shapes like cylinders, cones, and spheres, it is useful in all sorts of ways. Architects use pi when designing bridges or buildings with arches; electricians use pi when calculating the conductance of wire; and you might even want to use pi to figure out how much frozen goodness you are getting in your ice cream cone.
In the United States, March 14 can be written as 3.14, which is why that date was chosen for celebrating all things pi. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution officially designating March 14 as Pi Day and encouraging teachers and students to celebrate the day with activities that teach students about pi. And that's precisely what the NASA Pi Day Challenge is all about!
The Science Behind the 2022 NASA Pi Day Challenge
This ninth installment of the NASA Pi Day Challenge includes four brainbusters that get students using pi to measure frost deep within craters on the Moon, estimate the density of Mars’ core, calculate the water output from a dam to assess its potential environmental impact, and find how far a planethunting satellite needs to travel to send data back to Earth.
Read on to learn more about the science and engineering behind the problems or click the link below to jump right into the challenge.
› Take the NASA Pi Day Challenge
› Educators, get the lesson here!
Lunar Logic
NASA’s Lunar Flashlight mission is a small satellite that will seek out signs of frost in deep, permanently shadowed craters around the Moon’s south pole. By sending infrared laser pulses to the surface and measuring how much light is reflected back, scientists can determine which areas of the lunar surface contain frost and which are dry. Knowing the locations of waterice on the Moon could be key for future crewed missions to the Moon, when water will be a precious resource. In Lunar Logic, students use pi to find out how much surface area Lunar Flashlight will measure with a single pulse from its laser.
Core Conundrum
Since 2018, the InSight lander has studied the interior of Mars by measuring vibrations from marsquakes and the “wobble” of the planet as it rotates on its axis. Through careful analysis of the data returned from InSight, scientists were able to measure the size of Mars’ liquid core for the first time and estimate its density. In Core Conundrum, students use pi to do some of the same calculations, determining the volume and density of the Red Planet’s core and comparing it to that of Earth’s core.
Dam Deduction
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT mission will conduct NASA's first global survey of Earth's surface water. SWOT’s stateoftheart radar will measure the elevation of water in major lakes, rivers, wetlands, and reservoirs while revealing unprecedented detail on the ocean surface. This data will help scientists track how these bodies of water are changing over time and improve weather and climate models. In Dam Deduction, students learn how data from SWOT can be used to assess the environmental impact of dams. Students then use pi to do their own analysis, finding the powered output of a dam based on the water height of its reservoir and inferring potential impacts of this quickflowing water.
Telescope Tango
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is designed to survey the sky in search of planets orbiting bright, nearby stars. TESS does this while circling Earth in a unique, neverbeforeused orbit that brings the spacecraft close to Earth about once every two weeks to transmit its data. This special orbit keeps TESS stable while giving it an unobstructed view of space. In its first two years, TESS identified more than 2,600 possible exoplanets in our galaxy with thousands more discovered during its extended mission. In Telescope Tango, students will use pi to calculate the distance traveled by TESS each time it sends data back to Earth.
Teach It
Celebrate Pi Day by getting students thinking like NASA scientists and engineers to solve realworld problems in NASA Pi Day Challenge. Completing the problem set and reading about other ways NASA uses pi is a great way for students to see the importance of the M in STEM.
Pi Day Resources

Pi in the Sky Lessons
Here's everything you need to bring the NASA Pi Day Challenge into the classroom.
Grades 412
Time Varies

NASA Pi Day Challenge
The entire NASA Pi Day Challenge collection can be found in one, handy slideshow for students.
Grades 412
Time Varies

How Many Decimals of Pi Do We Really Need?
While you may have memorized more than 70,000 digits of pi, world record holders, a JPL engineer explains why you really only need a tiny fraction of that for most calculations.

18 Ways NASA Uses Pi
Whether it's sending spacecraft to other planets, driving rovers on Mars, finding out what planets are made of or how deep alien oceans are, pi takes us far at NASA. Find out how pi helps us explore space.

10 Ways to Celebrate Pi Day With NASA on March 14
Find out what makes pi so special, how it’s used to explore space, and how you can join the celebration with resources from NASA.

Infographic: Planet Pi
This poster shows some of the ways NASA scientists and engineers use the mathematical constant pi (3.14) and includes common pi formulas.

Downloads
Can't get enough pi? Download this year's NASA Pi Day Challenge graphics, including mobile phone and desktop backgrounds:
 Pi in the Sky 9 Poster (PDF, 11.2 MB)
 Lunar Flashlight Background: Phone  Desktop
 Mars InSight Lander Background: Phone  Desktop
 SWOT Mission Background: Phone  Desktop
 TESS Mission  Downlink Background: Phone  Desktop
 TESS Mission  Science Background (not pictured): Phone  Desktop
 Medley Background (not pictured): Phone  Desktop

Pi Day: What's Going 'Round
Tell us what you're up to this Pi Day and share your stories and photos on our showcase page.
Plus, join the conversation using the hashtag #NASAPiDayChallenge on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Recursos en español
Related Lessons for Educators

Planetary Egg Wobble and Newton's First Law
Students try to determine the interior makeup of an egg (hardboiled or raw) based on their understanding of center of mass and Newton’s first law of motion.
Grades 38
Time 30 min to 1 hour

Whip Up a MoonLike Crater
Whip up a moonlike crater with baking ingredients as a demonstration for students.
Grades 16
Time 30 min to 1 hour

Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler
Students use math concepts related to transits to discover realworld data about Mercury, Venus and planets outside our solar system.
Grades 612
Time 30 min to 1 hour

Tracking Water Using NASA Satellite Data
Using real data from NASA’s GRACE satellites, students will track water mass changes in the U.S.
Grades 48
Time 30 min to 1 hour

Modeling the Water Budget
Students use a spreadsheet model to understand droughts and the movement of water in the water cycle.
Grades 58
Time 30 min to 1 hour
Related Activities for Students

NASA's Earth Minute: Mission to Earth?
NASA doesn't just explore outer space! It studies Earth, too, with a fleet of spacecraft and scientists far and wide.
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Look at the Moon! Journaling Project
Draw what you see in a Moon Journal and see if you can predict the moon phase that comes next.
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Mars in a Minute: Are There Quakes on Mars?
Are there earthquakes on Mars – or rather, "marsquakes"? What could they teach us about the Red Planet?
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Explore More
Infographic
Facts and Figures
Missions and Instruments
Websites
TAGS: Pi Day, Pi, Math, NASA Pi Day Challenge, Moon, Lunar Flashlight, Mars, InSight, Earth, Climate, SWOT, Exoplanets, Universe, TESS, Teachers, Educators, Parents, Students, Lessons, Activities, Resources, K12