Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

October 6, 1999

WSGC Newsletter for Educators

The Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium's electronic newsletter for teachers provides curriculum ideas, Internet links and other resources to help you better meet the Washington EALRs and the National Science Education Standards.

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SPRING ON URANUS

Thanks to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the seasonal changes on the planet Uranus can be seen for the first time by those on Earth. Once considered one of the blander-looking planets, Uranus is now revealed as a dynamic world with the brightest clouds in the outer Solar System and a fragile ring system that wobbles like an unbalanced wagon wheel.

A time-lapse movie, created by Hubble researcher Erich Karkoschka of the University of Arizona, clearly shows for the first time the wobble in the ring system, which is made of billions of tiny pebbles. To see the movie, go to:

http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/1999/11/animations.html

MINI-GRANT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE NOW

Applications for the 1999-2000 Washington Space Grant Mini-grants will be mailed out Oct. 26 in our fall newsletter, but teachers may request copies now.

Space Grant awards up to $250 per proposal. The mini-grants support a wide range of innovative science and math projects in areas such as astronomy, rocketry and weather. The mini-grants are open to teachers in both public and private schools, as well as certified home school teachers. Proposals are due at the Space Grant office Nov.15.

If you have questions about the mini-grant program, or would like to request an application, please call the Space Grant office in Seattle at (206) 543-1943, or 1-800-659-1943. You may also e-mail our office at

nasa@u.washington.edu

SEND YOUR HOMEWORK INTO SPACE

The NASA Student Involvement Program for grades 3-12 has added a new competition for high school students and the winners' experiments will be flown on the Space Shuttle or a sub-orbital rocket. Flight Opportunity winners and their teachers receive a trip to Student Flight Week at NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

Other NSIP competitions include Earth Systems in My Neighborhood for grades 3-4 and Design A Mission to Mars, with a division for grades 5-8 and another for high school students. Grades K-2 are invited to participate in the NSIP Pilot Competition.

The deadline for entry is Feb. 1, 2000. For educator resource guides and competition information, go to

http://www.nsip.net

MEET THE PEOPLE BUILDING THE JET OF THE FUTURE

Students can chat online with the folks from NASA and the Boeing Co. who are developing the next generation of supersonic passenger jets. The High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) would fly 300 passengers at more than 1,500 miles per hour - more than twice the speed of sound.

The designers' biographies and journals are posted on the Aero Design Teams Web site. Chats are scheduled for Oct. 14 and Oct. 26. There is also a resource site for teachers and an archive to review previous chats with team members. For more information, visit

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/hsct.html

SHARE YOUR IDEAS

Do you have a science or math Web site you've found especially helpful to your students? Send us the address and the grade level it best serves. We'll pass it on.

Ideas should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at

isvete@uw.edu