Fifty years ago, NASA took one giant leap for mankind with the Apollo 11 mission. The Apollo program was dedicated to President John F. Kennedy’s goal of “putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth,” and July 20, 2019, will mark the 50th anniversary of the landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.

To celebrate, NASA’s Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP), is sponsoring the Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge (ANGLeS Challenge), an event for teams of middle-school and high-school students that features a nation-wide drone and robotic project.

Schools and youth organizations that would like to form teams must register by April 15, 2019.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown will serve as Pennsylvania’s Challenge Hub, with support from the NASA PA Space Grant Consortium. The team that wins the PA state Challenge on July 20, 2019, will win a special tour of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Facility in Greenbelt, MD, later in the summer.

For more information, visit the ANGLeS Challenge website here:

and the PA Challenge Hub site:


Click to read Penn State News article about the WMF research symposium!

Penn State News highlights a research symposium for WISER|MURE|FURP students

All are welcome! Experience the great research being done by our 2018 WMF student cohort!

Organized by Dr. Allison Beese, Dr. Erin DiMaggio, and various graduate students

First-Year Student Research Opportunity

Apply during the month of October for an opportunity to conduct research in a laboratory at Penn State for the spring & fall 2019 semesters.

NASA PA Space Grant Consortium offers Women in Science and Engineering Research (WISER), Minority Undergraduate Research Experience (MURE), and Freshman Undergraduate Research Program (FURP) opportunities at Penn State University Park that include research experiences and mentoring in laboratories within the Colleges of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Education, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts, Information Sciences and Technology, and the Eberly College of Science. View participating labs here:

For more information, visit the WISER/MURE/FURP homepage.


 Educator workshop for Summer 2018

Bighorn Basin Educator Workshop:
Introduction to geology and paleontology field methods

The Bighorn Basin Teacher Workshop is a one week course in introductory field geology and paleontology with special emphasis on a portion of the Mesozoic and early Cenozoic era sedimentary rock and fossil deposits of the Bighorn Basin in Wyoming and Montana. Through daily field excursions and evening classroom sessions, teachers will be introduced to and employ various modern field techniques used by geologists and paleontologists to study the depositional and structural history of the region, paleoenvironmental change through time, and discover first-hand the fossils (including dinosaurs!) that characterize the fauna and flora of these time periods.

For more information and to apply please visit the course website at:

*applications will be accepted through April 20th, 2018.


Congrats to our awesome solar eclipse teams from Pitt, Temple, and Gannon! Great job!

To watch observation videos from the ballooning projects

please visit the eclipse 2017 project site


PA Solar Eclipse Ballooning Teams are almost ready for their big day on August 21st, 2017! Check out cool pictures and videos and learn more about each team by checking out the 2017 PA Solar Eclipse Ballooning webpage.

OSIRIS-3U Principal Investigator Sven Bilén (left) with SSPL students Rebecca Arenson (middle) and Sergio Gallucci (right) display the CubeSat in its launch configuration before heading to Houston, Texas for integration with the Nanoracks deployer. (credit: Rebekka Coakley)

This summer, astronauts on the International Space Station will launch a Penn State student-built satellite into orbit that will help learn more about space weather. Click here to read the whole story in the Penn State News. The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium is so proud to support such a great team!

Zena Cardman, a doctoral student in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and PA Space Grant Fellow, was named to NASA’s 2017 astronaut class on June 7! Read about Astronaut Candidate Zena and learn about her research at PSU. Congrats Zena!

Temple’s “High Altitude Balloon Payload” Wins Senior Design!

Lead by Dr. Helferty, the senior design team at Temple took top prize at the senior design competition; 1st place out of 41 teams! Click on the link above to read more about their awesome team and payload for the upcoming Solar Eclipse 2017. Congrats!

Drexel University Students Build Multi-Use Drop Vehicles

Dr. Ajmal Yousuff and three students work to prove the practicality of a drone navigating to a particular destination and then dropping its payload at the targeted spot.

Temple University Solar Eclipse Team Update

Dr. John Helferty and his College of Engineering students are participating in the solar eclipse balloon launch. Watch the teams successful test launch on April 11, 2017. They flew to 96,000 feet and had manual control of the camera!

Carnegie Mellon Students Create Inflatable Martian Greenhouse

Carnegie Mellon University has developed two new interdisciplinary courses to allow students the chance to design and build a prototype biome in which to grow plants on Mars.

NASTAR Center Student Payload Testing Available

The NASTAR Center has developed procedures that allow cubesat-size (4″x4″x4″) self-contained experiments to be flown in its centrifuge on the same profile used for commercial suborbital spaceflight training.

Temple University Summer 2016 Robotics Course for High School Students

temple-su16-robotics“John Helferty is truly a blessing to the children of Philadelphia. This program is awesome! His personality and efforts to get youth involved in college and thinking about careers is amazing. This experience has been invaluable and will help our son as he begins to focus on his future college career.” ~Happy parent of son who participated in program