Student wearing glasses, pink sweatshirt, and blue plastic gloves, conducts experiments with plants in a classroom.

NASA Space Grant Supports K-12 Teams in “Plant the Moon” Challenge

In May, Frederic A. Priff Elementary School students, guided by teacher Brent Cunningham, won an award for the Best Crop Growth in the Elementary School division of the competition in the Plant the Moon competition, sponsored by organizations such as the Institute of Competition Sciences, NASA SSERVI and the Space Grant Consortium.

Cunningham described the work that he is doing with his fifth- and sixth-grade students:

“During the course of the year, we focused heavily on planetary science, the development of life on the early Earth, and the needs of living things. During the winter, I found a competitive science program called Plant the Moon through the Institute of Competition Sciences. This program sought to challenge elementary students and above with the task of growing viable crops in lunar or Martian regolith simulant. The program also collaborates with NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) and is supported by the NASA Space Grant Consortium and the Mosser Lee Company (through Soil Master). It contained over 700 teams from five different nations.


Read the full article on the New Jersey Education Association website.


Author Credit: NJEA

Image Credit: NJEA

A close-up image of the asteroid Ida taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Arizona Space Grant Consortium Alumni – The “Asteroid Hunter” Book to be Released in 2024

Engineering students practice launching a tethered high-altitude balloon Sept. 23 on the Macon campus.

NASA Space Grant Supports Students in Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project

A Mercer University team of engineering students will launch a high-altitude balloon into near space during the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse, as part of a nationwide NASA mission. In an annular solar eclipse, the sun’s outer edges can be seen as a bright ring around the moon.

The team will broadcast on NASA TV live, high-resolution video of the eclipse and collect data that will help scientists measure the eclipse’s disturbance to Earth’s atmosphere, said Dr. Anthony Choi, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The mission is part of the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project, which includes 75 participating institutions and over 750 students. Mercer is among about 30 teams participating in the engineering track, Dr. Choi said.


Read the full article on the Mercer University website.

Author Credit: Jennifer Falk

Image Credit: Photo courtesy Ashley Tyler


Connecticut Space Grant Supports Undergraduate Research Awards

Trinity College engineering majors Kevin Clark ’23 and Ananya Swamy ’23 recently received student project grant awards from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC).

Working on their senior capstone projects this year, the students have the opportunity to develop innovative engineering projects with the help of their group members, project advisers, and now the added support of NASA grant funds. The CTSGC is a federal program that provides funding and internship opportunities for students and faculty in Connecticut.

As the representatives for their projects, Clark—a physics and engineering major with a concentration in mechanical engineering—and Swamy—an engineering major with a concentration in computer engineering—submitted their grant proposals in October 2022. Clark received a $1,500 grant for his group’s project, “Geothermal Energy Systems,” and Swamy received a $1,075 grant for her group’s project, “Muscle Activation Visualization System for Microgravity Environments.”

Read the full article on the Trinity College website.

Image and Author Credit: Trinity College


NASA astronaut and Expedition 68 Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen is pictured conducting maintenance activities during his first week aboard the International Space Station. This is Bowen’s fourth visit to the orbital outpost. Credits: NASA

Wyoming Space Grant Consortium Hosts State’s First-Ever ISS Downlink

Students from Wyoming will have an opportunity this week to hear from NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station during the state’s first Earth-to-space call.

NASA astronaut Steve Bowen will answer prerecorded questions from students living in Laramie, Wyoming. The event is hosted by the Wyoming Space Grant consortia, the University of Wyoming, and the local Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.

The agency aired the downlink live at 10:25 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 19, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Read the full article on the NASA website.

Author Credit: Katherine Brown

Image Credit: NASA

Doctoral student Cyrus Koroni from Inglewood, California, and undergraduate Ally Almaraz from Caldwell, Idaho, study in the College of Engineering’s Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, posed, standing and smiling in a campus building

Idaho Space Grant Consortium Awards Student Fellows

It’s incredible how much space exploration research begins at Boise State. In keeping with a long tradition, two Broncos brought home prestigious NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium fellowships in 2022.

The fellowships provide funding for students to conduct research, attend conferences and participate in other STEM-related activities related to NASA’s mission – developing new technologies and advancing scientific knowledge.

Doctoral student Cyrus Koroni from Inglewood, California, and undergraduate Ally Almaraz from Caldwell, Idaho, study in the College of Engineering’s Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, but are tackling different areas of space exploration with their research.

Read the full article on Boise State News.

Author and Image Credit: Boise State News

Ziyad Muflahi presenting his research, standing at a podium with the screen behind him

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Awards NASA Fellowship to Student Studying Long-term Crewed Missions

Ziyad Muflahi is enjoying his second stint at Wayne State University much more than his first.

Muflahi initially came to Wayne State as an undergraduate but struggled due to personal reasons. He was, he said, “kicked out for poor performance.”

Community college helped him turn things around academically, and he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree. Now, Muflahi is back at Wayne State — this time as a Ph.D. student studying industrial-organizational psychology.

He was recently awarded one of NASA’s Michigan Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate Fellowships for his project titled “Long-distance Space Exploration Teams and Cognitive Integration.”

Read the full article on the Wayne State University Website.

Author Credit: Dave Pemberton

Image Credit: WSU

Researcher working on laptop and writing notes in agenda. Image taken from perspective above looking down on a desk.

Connecticut Space Grant Consortium Awards Grants to Five Wesleyan University Faculty and Students

Five Wesleyan University faculty and students were announced as recipients of grants from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium.

“I would say that these awards are a wonderful example of the broad range of research areas and activities that occur at Wesleyan. We are lucky to have such exciting research, active faculty, and motivated students, and Wesleyan always does very well. I am grateful that these NASA CT Space Grant funds enable wonderful activities here at Wesleyan,” said Seth Redfield, professor of astronomy.

Candice Etson, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, received a Faculty STEM Education Research Grant for her project Supporting Spatial Thinking to Improve Physics LearningMeng-ju Renee Sher, assistant professor of physics, received a Faculty STEM Education Programming Grant for the Wesleyan Girls in Science Summer Camp.

Read the full article on the Wesleyan University website.

Author Credit:

Plants growing in rows in greenhouse with Sun on the horizon

Arkansas Space Grant Consortium Grant Research Award: “Is a Martian greenhouse possible?”

The Arkansas Space Grant Consortium board voted to fund Dr. Gija Geme, Dr. Tim Schroeder of chemistry, and Dr. Copie Moore of agriculture on a joint venture to explore the feasibility of growing crops such as soybeans, corn, lettuce, kale, and more, in a Mars soil simulant that is improved with fertilizer to add micronutrients. The team received $50,000 from NASA funding through Arkansas Space Grant Consortium in the spring of 2023.

This project aims to measure heavy metal uptake by plants using Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectroscopy analysis. The soil on Mars is almost entirely made up of mineral matter with small amounts of water and no organic matter. NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, showed that the mineral matter in Martian soil comes from the weathered volcanic rock of mineralogy similar to weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii. Martian soil is reddish and sandy overall because it contains a significant amount of iron oxides (rust) throughout the planet’s surface since global dust storms move and redistribute the soil. The toxically high concentration of heavy metals in the soil will be reflected by higher concentrations of metals in plants.

Read the full article on the Southern Arkansas University website.

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BSU’s Emily Shupe Awarded NASA WV Space Grant Research Award(WVVA News)

BSU’s Emily Shupe Awarded NASA West Virginia Space Grant Research Award

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) – Emily Shupe, a rising junior at Bluefield State University, has been awarded a NASA West Virginia Space Grant research award and is also being considered for early admission into the West Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM).

She received the grant under the supervision of Professor Tesfaye Belay, and the grant will allow Shupe to continue her work researching a bacterium that can infect astronauts during space flight. “I submitted an essay describing my research and the steps involved in conducting the research,” she explained.

Read the full article on

Author Credit: Kassidy Brown

Image Credit: WVVA News