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SMD Discipline: Planetary Science

This Feed Tab contains announcements - posts - about activities, events, and resources of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education and Communications Community and related news of interest.

To find specific content, select Posts or Calendar Events in the left sidebar and type in a keyword to narrow your search. The "Topics" Tab is another place to find content; similar content is grouped together and presented as individual topics.

NSF Survey Researcher Fellowship

The National Science Foundation (NSF), National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) provides policy makers and the public high-quality information on the science and engineering enterprise.

What will I be doing?

As part of the fellowship, you will identify or draft measurement items, test these measures, and ultimately field a fully tested questionnaire on an online...

The Radio JOVE Project announces Radio JOVE 2.0, a new radio astronomy telescope kit for beginner and advanced
citizen scientists to observe radio emissions from the Sun, Jupiter, the Milky Way, and Earth-based sources.
Visit The Radio JOVE Project to find out how to participate.


Just a reminder: the deadline for submitting abstracts to the Advancing IDEA in Planetary Science virtual conference is Feb 23. Details about this conference were in this post, and can be found at  

The conference is scheduled for April 25–29, 2022.

Purpose and Scope

Recently, there has been a transformation of thought in the planetary and astrobiological sciences regarding the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and...

The Astronomical Society welcomes nominations for its awards for astronomy education.  The following awards will be given in 2022. 

1) The RICHARD H. EMMONS AWARD for excellence in college astronomy teaching.  This is a lifetime award designed to honor those whose careers have made a difference in the education of undergraduates, particularly the teaching of introductory astronomy for non-science majors.  Previous winners include Ed Prather, Chris Impey, and Charles Tolbert. 


The 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) will be held as a hybrid conference on March 7–11, 2022. With in-person and global virtual participation, attendees will have the opportunity to share their research and network with colleagues. Planetary scientists, educators, and communication specialists are invited to submit an abstract for the Education and Public Engagement poster session at LPSC 2022.

Abstract Submission Information

A complete list of 2022 topics and...

We are happy to share the new National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) professional development guide designed to help informal educators find, prepare, and work with STEM experts to engage with the public.

Sincere thanks to all the NASA SciAct colleagues whoWorking with STEM Experts Guide cover including an image of expert  puring a liquid and using a strainer with a girl and her family at a museum public event CREDIT Marbles Kids Museum contributed to the content featured in the guide and reviewed draft sections!

The guide is available for free download on the NISE Network website:

Sharing Planetary Science: Engaging Children
Tuesday, October 19, 3:00 p.m. CDT

All planetary scientists and engineers, including early career scientists and graduate students, are invited to join us on October 19 at 3:00 p.m. CDT for this free seminar. Many scientists are less experienced in interacting with young audiences. Join Sha’Rell Webb (LPI Public Engagement Lead), Vivian White (Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Director of Free Choice Learning) and Christine Shupla (LPI...

Saturday, October 16 is International Observe the Moon Night! You are invited to join observers around the world in learning about lunar science and exploration, making celestial observations, and honoring cultural and personal connections to the Moon. This annual, worldwide public engagement event takes place when the Moon is close to first quarter – a great phase for evening observing.

You can participate in International Observe the Moon Night from wherever you are. Attend or host a...


The Lunar and Planetary Institute's Cosmic Exploration Speaker Series presents:

The Adventures of OSIRIS-REx: Journey to Asteroid Bennu and Daring Sample Return

Thursday, October 7, 7:00 p.m. (CDT)

In the year 2135, the asteroid, Bennu, will make a close approach to Earth. Although this near-Earth object will not pose a danger to our planet at that time, Bennu is considered a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA). In 2016, NASA sent the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to Bennu. After spending...

The Lunar and Planetary Institute's Virtual Exploration Experiences with Planetary Scientists (VEEPS) presents

Venus: Cloudy with a Chance of Lava Flows
Wednesday, September 22, 6:00 p.m. CDT

Why is Venus so different from Earth? Despite being our closest neighbor in the solar system, we still have a lot to learn about this mysterious planet. Venus’ super-hot surface is cloaked in thick clouds that make it difficult to observe. Recently, NASA selected two missions that will study...

Over the years, I have published topical guides to useful resources for astronomy education on a variety of websites, inculding those of several NASA projects. I got a request recently to consolidate the current guides in one convenient place, so people can find the (darn) things.  

So I have given each current guide a short URL and listed them all on one sheet.  

You can find the list now at: 

New among them are:

1. An updated guide to the work of...

We would like to share about the New York Academy of Sciences’ Scientist-in-Residence program (SIR), which pairs science mentors with NYC public school educators and supports them in creating and implementing a year-long research project.

SiR is open to graduate students, postdocs, and STEM professionals who are interested in volunteering in a classroom, mentoring students and sharing their passion for the sciences. 

Important links:


Application deadline...


What are the tools needed for collecting samples? What is the training needed to prepare for this type of exploration? Hear and learn from Kelsey Young, a research space scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Trevor Graff, who has participated in five Mars missions and is the chief scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division, who are on the front lines planning, designing tools, and developing methods and science objectives...

Happy Monday!  Just a note to remind y'all about the many exciting NASA-related events in CitSciVirtual still ahead this month!

May 11, 1:30-3pm ET "Understanding your air quality using available sensor and satellite data" Karmann Mills (RTI International), et al. 

May 12, 12-1:30pm ET "Understanding your air quality using available sensor and satellite data" Karmann Mills (RTI International), et al.

May 12,...

Announcing CitSciCon!

May 21 and May 22, 2021 8:00am Pacific |11:00am Eastern - 4:00pm Pacific | 7:00pm Eastern

Free, open-door, series of online, interactive events for the public featuring 10 minute talks from most of NASA's citizen science projects, and exciting guest speakers like Phil Plait, Chis Lintott, Science Friday and more!   

Come to and preregister!  Please help us spead the word to your community!  

This first-of-its-kind online event series...


Please share with your K-12 Education Networks

GBH Science Activation Webinar: Strategies for Supporting English Learners in Science – Grades 6–12

March 25, 2021; 7–8 pm ET

Webinar Objectives:

  • Explore principles for engaging English learners in science instruction

  • Learn about GBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms collection of Earth, space, and physical science resources, produced in collaboration with NASA, and how to use them to  support English learners...

Please share with your K-12 Education networks.

GBH Webinar: Strategies for Supporting English Learners in Science - Grades K-5

March 23, 2021; 7-8pm ET

Webinar Objectives:

  • Explore principles for engaging English learners in science instruction

  • Learn about GBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms Earth, space and physical science resources, produced in collaboration with NASA, and how to use them to support English learners in your classroom

  • Hear ...

NASA’s new Planetary Analogs website introduces planetary analog field work to broad audiences. Verbal and visual storytelling convey Earth’s role in helping scientists to understand our solar system’s past, present, and future. Visit the site:

Initial content, published in February 2021, emphasizes geologic analogs. Examples of mission analogs and astrobiology analogs, with links to existing NASA websites focused on these topics,...


Convener: Manoj Nair (
Co-Conveners: Edgar Bering (spacephy@Central.UH.EDU) | Raju Sakar ( | Hannah Rogers ( | Tereza Kameníková (

This symposium calls for papers describing innovations in geoscience instruction methods, citizen science initiatives and community learning efforts. Papers are welcome on all aspects of education and citizen-science including methodology, data collection, data...

Join the NASA eClips Team at the Virtual Children's Engineering Convention to learn how to use remote engineering and collaborate virtually to design and test spaghetti towers. Participants will learn by doing. We will model how to use the 7E model, the engineering design process, and virtual collaboration like NASA scientists and engineers.

Learn more about the 25th Annual Children's Engineering Convention.

Making Our Way to Mars: Journey Through Space with NASA Astronauts

1-2 pm EST, February 17, 2021

Livestream open to all! Tune in on YouTube:

Event webpage:

Perseverance, NASA's newest and most advanced rover, is on target to land on Mars on February 18, 2021. How did it get there and what might it reveal about our nearest planetary...

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' annual Astronomy Days will be virtual this year, with seven days of astronomical programming! Join NCMNS, the Raleigh Astronomy Club, and NASA Langley Research Center to discover the big picture of the universe. There's something for space enthusiasts of all ages! Visit the official event website for full details, including all programs and member benefits:

There will be three presentations using

Astronomy Online: Secrets of Saturn

Virtual family-friendly program from American Museum of Natural History

January 8, 2021, 1 pm EST

Saturn as visualized in OpenSpace.

Why do our planets form a disk around the Sun? The NASA Cassini mission revealed that Saturn is a natural laboratory for investigating this question and even helped to demonstrate how new solar systems form around far-away stars.

Find out about Cassini’s discoveries with American Museum of Natural History Curator Denton Ebel and planetary...

NASA’s astromaterials sample collections, which include a library of Apollo lunar and Antarctic meteorite samples, are now offered online through a new virtual exploration tool for scientific researchers and the public. The Astromaterials 3D Explorer site offers an unprecedented research tool to engage the public in a new way to explore the significance of NASA’s space rock collections.

Read more here.

Virtual Programs with NASA Scientists were conducted to create memorable experiences, by providing opportunities for patrons to “meet” and engage in meaningful two-way discussions with scientists. Initial evaluation (surveys, polls, interviews) found that the programs benefited the library staff, scientists, and patrons.

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