November 8, 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
--HELP TEST NASA's NEW ASTROBIOLOGY SITE (5-8)
--MINI-GRANT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE NOW (K-12)
--MONITORING THE WORLD'S GREAT CORAL REEFS
--SPACECRAFT DOUBLE-TEAM THE KING OF PLANETS
--NEW RESOURCES POSTED TO FREE (K-12)
--MARINE SITE HELPS WADE THROUGH SOURCES (K-12)
NASA is seeking educators, including those at museums and science centers, interested in pilot testing the Astro-Venture Astronomy Training Module and the accompanying lesson plans. The interactive, multimedia Web environment highlights NASA careers and astrobiology research in the areas of astronomy, geology, biology and atmospheric sciences. Students use role-playing and scientific inquiry as they search for and build a planet with the necessary characteristics for human habitation. As a part of the module, students observe the effects of changes to star type, Jupiter's orbit, Earth's mass and Earth's orbit in our solar system and how those changes affect Earth's habitability for humans.
Teachers pilot testing the Astro-Venture Astronomy Training Module will need to use it and at least five of the accompanying lessons during the month of January, 2001. Teachers are expected to provide feedback from themselves and their students on the module, the Web site and at least five lessons. This will require a minimum of 10 hours of classroom/instruction time. For those who elect to do all of the lessons, instruction time should not exceed 35 hours. For more information on how to apply, visit
or contact Christina O'Guinn at NASA Ames Research Center
(Please mention where you saw this posting.)
Applications for the 2000-01 Washington Space Grant Mini-grants may be downloaded from our Web site. 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.17.
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 go to our Web site at
The structure and extent of coral reefs can now, for the first time, be monitored globally, thanks to new observations from NASA's Landsat 7 spacecraft.
Detailed images of reefs from nearly 900 locations around the world have been collected in the first year of the Landsat 7 mission. The Landsat Web site includes links to Quicktime movies, an archive of downloadable images and explanations of the threat to the coral reefs. To access the archives, go to
Beginning next month, two NASA spacecraft-- Cassini and Galileo -- are teaming up to scrutinize Jupiter and gain a better understanding of the planet's stormy atmosphere, diverse moons, faint rings and vast bubble of electrically charged gas. Four lesson sets related to the event can be downloaded from
Twenty new sites have been added to FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence), the online portal to free educational resources offered by more than 40 public agencies around the country. Participants range from the National Gallery of Art to the U.S. Geological Survey. To search for science and math materials, go to
The Bridge offers a place where teachers can find marine science education resources that are screened by science educators and research scientists.
Sponsored by the National Marine Educators Association and the national network of Sea Grant educators, the site features classroom ideas, a discussion list, and links to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), a fast-paced academic competition for high school students. There is also a special section of lesson plans for elementary classes and tips to help middle and high school students prepare a scientific research paper.
Visit The Bridge at http://www.vims.edu/bridge/FEEDBACK
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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