March 27, 2000
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.TABLE OF CONTENTS
-- FLYING TOYS AUTHOR RETURNS WITH CREATIVITY WORKSHOP
-- CHANDRA MAPS COSMIC PRESSURE FRONTS
-- SIGN-UP SET FOR SUMMER AEROSPACE CAMP (GRADES 1-9)
-- VIEW INSIDE MARS REVEALS RAPID COOLING AND BURIED CHANNELS
-- GROWING CRYSTALS ABOARD THE INT'L SPACE STATION (GRADES 5-12)
-- STORMY REGIONS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SUN NOW VISIBLE
Ed Sobey, author of Fantastic Flying Fun with Science: 69 Projects You Can Fly, Spin, Launch and Ride, returns to the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center on April 29 with a workshop on "juicing up" creativity in the classroom.
The Saturday event is part of the ERC series of free teacher workshops. Pre-registration is required and clock hours are available. Teachers will leave with activities and hands-on ideas. The Seattle Times recently featured Sobey's approach to Making Science Fun.
Workshops take place from 1-4 p.m. at the Space Grant office, Rm. 401, Johnson Hall. Free parking is available on campus. To register for the workshop, call (206) 543-1943, or e-mail
A colossal cosmic "weather system" produced by the collision of two giant clusters of galaxies has been imaged by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
For the first time, pressure fronts in the system can be traced in detail. They show a bright but relatively cool 50 million degree central region embedded in a large elongated cloud of 70 million degree gas, all of which is roiling in a faint "atmosphere" of 100 million degree gas.
"We can compare this to an intergalactic cold front," said Maxim Markevitch of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass., and leader of the international team involved in the analysis of the observations. "A major difference is that in this case, cold means 70 million degrees."
For images and progress reports, visit the Chandra sites at:
The Museum of Flight's Summer 2000 Aerospace Camp Experience will hold sign-ups from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 1. Children who register that day will attend a private reception with Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise. The weeklong camps are open to boys and girls entering grades one through nine this fall. Camp fees range from $250-$400.
A new Flight Camp for students entering grades one to five will examine the world of flight with fun, hands-on projects. Students entering grades five through eight will attend the Planetary Voyagers Camp which combines Challenger space missions and hands-on activities with field trips. An advanced camp for returning students entering grades seven through nine will feature two simulated Challenger Learning Center space mission; a visit to the Boeing flight simulator facilities; a chance to fly in and control an actual airplane; and either a sleep-over-in-space experience at the Museum or survival training at a wilderness camp.
For more information on registration, please call Mason Marsh, camp coordinator, at 206-768-7141, or e-mail him at
Some of Mars' best kept secrets, long buried beneath the surface of the red planet, were recently revealed by instruments on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. New observations of Mars reveal that the planet's flat northern lowlands were an early zone of high heat flow that later may have been the site of rapid water accumulation. Elevation and gravity measurements, which have been used to probe beneath the surface of Mars, indicate a period of rapid cooling early in Martian history. There is also evidence for large, buried channels that could have formed from the flow of enormous volumes of water.
Maps of the interior of Mars may be viewed at
NASA Quest will showcase a chat on experiments by international astronauts to grow crystals in space and the science of Macromolecular Crystallography. The chat takes place 8-9 a.m. Tuesday, April 4 with Drs. Long and Moore from the University of Alabama.
The program a discussion of various types of crystals, underlying processes and methods of their growth, and the importance of crystal growth and how it can effect student's lives. Students will be able to send questions via online chat following the live Webcast. For more information, go to
A week's advance warning of potential bad weather in space is now possible thanks to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.
With a technique that uses ripples on the Sun's visible surface to probe its interior, SOHO scientists have, for the first time, imaged solar storm regions on the side of the Sun facing away from the Earth. Like the unanticipated arrival of hurricanes before the advent of weather satellites, a group of previously hidden solar storm regions can rotate suddenly into view as the Sun turns, blazing away with explosive eruptions. Images and additional information are available at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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