Calling All Student Explorers!

  • Jan 12, 2016

Expedition 2

DIRECTV and NatGeo Mundo are sending four lucky high school students on the adventure of a lifetime this summer. Encourage eligible students to apply today for their chance to go on a National Geographic Student Expedition of their choice!

It’s a dream for adventure enthusiasts, but a dream that’s now well within reach thanks to National Geographic Student Expeditions, a unique travel program offering students the opportunity to get out into the field with NatGeo photographers, scientists, and writers.

Through the NatGeo Mundo Explorer program, four deserving high school students (two from the U.S. and two from Latin America) will experience one of these fabulous Expeditions this summer—with exciting destinations around the world to choose from!

Share the video below with your students and encourage them to apply today. They just might find themselves on the all-expense-paid adventure of a lifetime, courtesy of DIRECTV and NatGeo Mundo Explorer.

Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2016. For more information, and to apply, visit our program web site.

To find out about other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

A Writing Contest for Young Space Enthusiasts

  • Dec 18, 2015


As I write this, the unmanned Cassini spacecraft is headed for Saturn en route to a scheduled close flyby of the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus on December 19th—a mission that will garner invaluable geological data about a world far, far away.

Just think about that for a moment. Scientific exploration of alien worlds via technology that was science fiction not all that long ago.

It’s a stunning moment in human achievement, not to mention STEM advocacy, but moreover it’s a golden opportunity to ignite the imaginations of those very people who may one day take the exploration even further: your students. Which is why we bring you news today of the Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest.

NASA Education invites students in grades 5-12 to pen a 500-word essay on the Cassini Mission for a chance to win once-in-a-lifetime recognition and a very special opportunity for their fellow students!

The winning essays and their student authors will be featured on NASA’a web site. In addition, winning schools will be guaranteed participation in a teleconference or video conference with Cassini scientists!

The contest meets U.S. National English and Science Education Standards. Deadline for submission is Friday, February 26, 2016. For more information visit the official contest web site.

And to find out about other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Note: Watch the video below for a compelling overview of the Cassini Mission.

Great Opportunity for Student Writers

  • Nov 12, 2015


Teachers, do you have any talented young writers in your classroom? It’s possible. And wouldn’t you just love to be perhaps the first person in their lives to tell them they’ve got a gift?

If so, we’d encourage you to check out Scholastic’s annual Kids Are Authors competition, a wonderful opportunity for young writers and artists to pursue their crafts together on a serious level and possibly even get published!

The contest is open to all students grades K-8 in the United States, including its territories and possessions, and the deadline for submission is March 15th, 2016. There are two categories, Fiction and Non-Fiction, and the two grand-prize-winning illustrated books (21-29 pages) will be published by Scholastic and sold at Book Fairs throughout the country.

By the way, according to Scholastic this will be the final year for the competition, so now’s your chance!

For more information visit the official Kids Are Authors web site.

And to find out about other great free educational resources and opportunities, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Teachers, Show Off Your STEM Lesson Flow and You Might Be a Winner!

  • Sep 30, 2015


There’s a $2,000 Amazon gift card awaiting the educator who creates the best STEM Lesson Flow aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, a wonderful opportunity from our friends at Common Sense Graphite and the Carnegie Foundation.

Even STEAM approaches integrating art are encouraged!

But whether STEM or STEAM, you’ll have to act fast. The deadline for submission is Oct. 19, 2015 at midnight PST.

Ready to take the #STEMchallenge? Visit Common Sense Graphite today.

And to find out about other great opportunities, as well as free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Spread the Word About the C-SPAN StudentCam 2016 Short Documentary Competition!

  • Jul 30, 2015


Back-to-school season brings with it the arrival of C-SPAN’s annual StudentCam short documentary competition—a fabulous opportunity for any civic-minded student (grades 6-12) with a camera and a point of view to influence the national conversation and vie for cash prizes.

Participating schools and teacher advisers are eligible for cash prizes as well!

This year’s theme:

“Road to the White House”
What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?

The contest launches officially on September 9th, and students may begin uploading their documentaries on November 2nd. The final deadline for submissions is January 20th, 2016.

Pictured above (left to right) are Anna Gilligan, Michael Lozovoy and Katie Demos, 2015′s Grand Prize-winning team of 8th graders from Lexington, Kentucky.

Imagine your own students celebrating such an accomplishment!

But win or lose, participation in the contest is an exercise in intellectual growth. Just ask Clifton Raphael, a StudentCam Teacher Advisor at Oklahoma’s Jennks High School. “StudentCam forces my students to exercise a different set of creative muscles,” says Raphael, “and it’s work that helps them in their other classes as well, whenever they have to use critical thinking and organizational skills.”

For more information, visit C-SPAN’s StudentCam.

And to stay abreast of other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Enter to Win Cool Contests for Earth Science Week 2015!

  • Jul 27, 2015

Earth Science

In celebration of Earth Science Week 2015, teachers and students K-12 are invited to take part in essay, photography and visual arts competitions, courtesy of the American Geosciences Institute.

A big thank you to our friends at NASA Education for making us aware of these opportunities to explore science through art, and maybe win a prize!

The deadline for submission to all three contests is October 16, 2015:

Open to: All educators and students
Theme: “Earth Systems Interacting”
Photographs should show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community. Pictured (right) is last year’s winning photo, from Eva Jasinski, depicting the influence of Earth systems upon one another and the theme “Connections in My Community”.
Official contest site

Open to: Students K-5
Theme: “Picturing Earth Systems”
Submit an original 2-D visual arts project that shows how land, water, air and living things affect each other.
Official contest site

Open to: Students grades 6-9
Theme: “Earth System Visualization Today”
In 300 words or less, explain one way that geoscientists’ use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today.
Official contest site

Now get busy!

And to stay abreast of other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Earth Science

Student and teachers — got any innovative, STEM-based ideas for solving problems in your community?

  • Sep 26, 2014

Samsung Solve

“This competition changed the entire culture of our urban school.”

 Julie Hasfjord, STEM Instructional Leader, Bailey STEM Magnet Middle Prep, Nashville, TN


In a nutshell, Samsung’s annual Solve For Tomorrow competition is about teachers and students working together to apply STEM principles to the task of solving problems in their communities.

And a survey of some of last year’s winners is impressive, to say the least:

At Washington state’s East Valley High School, students concerned about high electricity usage during the summer months employed science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to design an energy efficient cooling system.

At Philadelphia’s Academy at Palumbo, surveys and crime data were used to created algorithms that determined the safest routes for children to travel to and from school.

Real problems. Real solutions. All the product of students and their teachers.

AT DIRECTV we’re enthusiastic supporters of STEM education and always on the lookout for practical, innovative approaches to getting students engaged. And so we’re pleased to be able to partner with Samsung on this exciting endeavor. In fact, we created the Math Makes-it-Work Award to challenge students and teachers to make math a fundamental part of their contest entries. DIRECTV will award the winning school a $25,000 cash grant to expand upon their submitted project. In addition, the teacher(s) of the winning classroom will receive our In-Kind Teacher prize, which includes a free year of DIRECTV programming to enjoy at home.

See the graphic below for contest details, and be sure to visit the Solve For Tomorrow web site.

The deadline for this year’s competition is October 31st.

For more news about exciting opportunities like this, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

 —Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Tell the world about your favorite math teacher and you just might win them a prize!

  • Jul 29, 2014

takepart logo

Continuing in its commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, DIRECTV recently joined forces with the social action platform TakePart to recognize the contributions of outstanding math teachers. And what better way to find these folks than through those who know their work best, their students.

Thus, any student age 13 or older is invited to tell the world about their favorite math instructor through TakePart’s Teacher Stories contest. Tell them a story about a great math teacher and that person might win free DIRECTV for a year! In addition, your school could win up to $5,000 from DIRECTV Goes to School to spend on math projects and/or a math-related field trip through

The contest closes on September 19. For more details, visit the Teacher Stories campaign on

And tell your story!

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio