December 19, 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
-- A SOLAR ECLIPSE ON CHRISTMAS
-- MUSEUM OFFERS NEW BIO BULLETIN
-- PENN STATE WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS (6-12)
-- TWO WORKSHOPS FOCUS ON SOLAR SYSTEM (3-12)
-- FREE SPACE DAY POSTERS
This year, December 25 also offers the spectacle of a partial eclipse of the Sun, visible throughout all of North America with the exception of Alaska. This is the fourth and final solar eclipse of 2000. Those on the West Coast should begin looking for it from about 8 a.m. until 9 a.m.
The coverage of the Sun varies across the U.S., from over 60 percent in the northeastern states to less than 20 percent in the Southwest. If you add viewing it to your winter festivities, be sure to wear proper eye protection or learn how to view the eclipse safely. To see Moon phases and more sky highlights, go to
Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History presents data and stories on topics related to global biodiversity including population, habitat, species diversity and distribution, natural resources, and conservation.
Feature stories include "Man Bites Shark: Can These Great Survivors Survive?" and "West Niles Virus: A Medical Detective Story." Visit the Bio Bulletin at
Middle school and high school teachers from across the country have a opportunity to experience some of the most exciting fields of science -- astronomy, astrobiology, biotechnology, and physics -- with senior faculty known for their excellence in both teaching and research. Scholarships are available for five summer workshops being offered on the Penn State University Park campus.
Teachers will participate in hands-on activities, meet with scientists and researchers, and tour various labs and research sites. Participants will receive two graduate credits from Penn State for each workshop. Room, board, and a travel allowance are provided.
Information regarding the workshops and a downloadable application are available at
Our solar system and NASA's search for life on our neighboring planets will be the focus of the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center's free Saturday workshops this winter.
On Jan. 27, Debby Salter -- a Meadowdale Middle School teacher and NASA Solar System Educator -- will present classroom activities and the latest scientific results on the search for life in the solar system. "Origins: NASA's Search for Life," aimed at grades 5-12, goes beyond imaginary aliens and challenge students to question the very notion of "what is life."
On Feb. 10, Island Park Elementary teacher Thelma Ritchie brings the astronomy EALRs alive as she demonstrates her favorite activities for learning about the phases of the moon, as well as the characteristics and distance scale of the planets. Ritchie is active in Project Astro, Opportunity Skyway and the Museum of Flight Teacher Advisory Committee, as well as serving on the science curriculum committee for her district. "Solar System Favorites" is geared to grades 3-8.
Workshops take place from 1-4 p.m. at the Washington NASA Space Grant office, Rm. 401, Johnson Hall. Free parking is available on campus. Pre-registration is required and clock hours are available. To register, call (206) 543-1943, or e-mail
Free Space Day 2001 posters are available on a first-come, first-serve basis from Washington NASA Space Grant. The fifth annual Space Day will be celebrated May 3. To request a copy of the poster, call (206) 543-0213, or e-mail
Space Day is a global celebration dedicated to the extraordinary achievements, benefits and opportunities in the exploration and use of space. For classroom and online activities, design contests and local events, visit the Space Day Web site at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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