May 15, 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
--ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY CATALOGS BEST SITES (GRADES K-12)
--"HIGHWAY TO SPACE" WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS (GRADES K-4)
--ROCKET WORKSHOPS BROADCAST ONLINE (GRADES 5-12)
--PICTURE THE PLANETS ON PARADE
--SUMMER PLANETARY WORKSHOP FOR EDUCATORS (GRADES 6-12)
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has created an annotated catalog of 140 sites that offer what the group considers to be "the best hands-on astronomy (and space science) activities on the Web."
Organized by topic from moon phases to cosmology, the catalog reviews each activity briefly, explains what is involved and notes what grade range it best serves. The activities come from NASA, science education reform projects, educational organizations and individual astronomers.
There is also a listing of 12 space-science activity books that can be downloaded in their entirety. To view the catalog, visit
This May 19 workshop answers the often-asked question, "How does a rocket fly?" Topics covered will include the principles of rocketry on the elementary level. Dr. Wil Robertson, NASA aerospace education specialist, will help teachers develop a better understanding of rocketry using inquiry-based/hands-on science.
The workshop airs at 10 a.m. (CDT). For a list of materials and links to the educator guides needed, go to
http://tgir.msfc.nasa.gov/education.htmlROCKET WORKSHOPS BROADCAST ONLINE (GRADES 5-12)
On May 19, Marshall Space Flight center will broadcast a series of online educator workshops on rocketry.
"Pushing the Envelope " features material for Grades 5-8. The workshop -- set for 10:20 a.m. (CDT) -- emphasizes the X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle and includes a brief study of Newton's Laws of Motion. Participants will learn how to build and launch simple rockets as part of the hands-on activities in this workshop.
"Simplified Aerodynamics" airs at 10:40 a.m. (CDT) and is aimed at Grades 9-12. Participants will be introduced to laws of aerodynamics at
For a list of materials and links to the educator guides needed, go to
http://tgir.msfc.nasa.gov/education.htmlPICTURE THE PLANETS ON PARADE
Exclusive images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft will show four planets marching together on the side of the sun opposite from Earth, near the climax of a line-up of planets that is fascinating amateur astronomers around the world this month.
Because the planets travel around the sun at different speeds, their position in the sky as seen from Earth changes. Rarely, some or all of the planets appear together in the same area of sky, a circumstance called planetary conjunction. In the past, people attributed special significance to celestial events, so such alignments have altered the course of history.
The current conjunction presents a striking but benign spectacle, with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn grouped most tightly on May 17. Images are available on the Internet at
Join experienced scientists and educators in an eight-day exploration of the planetary sciences through a study of Washington geology and the latest information about Mars.
Mars Geology: A Summer Workshop for Teachers gives participants an opportunity to use their new knowledge to develop instructional plans for their classroom or educational setting using NASA and other educational resources. The workshop targets relevant Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and/or National Science Education standards.
The comprehensive program begins with a three-day field trip to the Channeled Scablands of central Washington to examine landscape features analogous to those formed early in the history of Mars, and continues at the University of Washington campus in Seattle with four days of workshops.Instructors include UW professor and former NASA research scientist Dr. Tony Irving; planetary scientist Dr. Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston; and Dr. Donald Brownlee, UW astronomer and the principal investigator for the NASA Stardust Mission.
The registration is $75 and includes materials, field trip expenses, final banquet dinner and lodging. For more information, visit
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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