September 5, 2001
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
-- HAVE A GREAT PLANETARIUM SHOW! (3-12)
-- MARS CITY WORKSHOPS (5-12)
-- ENDEAVOUR LIFTS OFF INTO SPACE
-- LEARN ABOUT THE MYSTERIES OF MICROBES (3-8)
-- CELEBRATE EARTH SCIENCE WEEK
-- TAKE YOUR STUDENTS INTO SPACE (5-12)
-- EXPLORE THE WORLD OF SCIENCE AND OPTICS (K-12) --
The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center kicks off its free Saturday workshop series on Sept. 15 with everything you need to know to have a great planetarium show.
UW Astronomy Instructor Stacy Palen will present a selection of activities to share with your students before and after their planetarium visit to help them make the most of their experiences. Participants will have a chance to view samples of typical planetarium presentations and discuss how their content relates to Earth and Space Science EALRs.
The workshop will take place 1-4 p.m. in the Physics and Astronomy Building A220 on the UW campus in Seattle. Free parking is available on campus. Pre-registration is required and clock hours are available. To register, call (206) 543-1943, or e-mail
The Museum of Flight is offering two workshops to teach educators how to facilitate the Challenger Learning Center's award-winning program Mars program in the classroom. "Mars City Alpha" is an interdisciplinary unit that uses principles of teamwork and simulation to enable participants to design and build a desktop-size city on the surface of Mars.
One-day workshops are scheduled from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sept. 8 and Oct. 20. Workshops are free to museum members; $25 for all others. Credit for six clock hours is $12.00, payable on arrival. To register, call 206-764-1384 to register. More information is available at
What is astrobiology? What do astrobiologists do? Students can find out by conducting their own fieldwork investigation while engaging in three NASA Quest webcasts and an online forum to compare and contrast their own investigation methods with those of astrobiologists studying microbial mats in Baja California, Mexico.
The series kicks off with a webcast on preparing for fieldwork, Sept. 13, 1-2 p.m. (EST). Students will conduct an 8-week investigation and enter their observations in the forum. A wealth of educational resources and lessons for this event are also available at
http://quest.nasa.gov/astrobiology/events/fieldwork/index.htmlENDEAVOUR LIFTS OFF INTO SPACE
The NASA educational lithograph "Space Shuttle Endeavour Lifts Off Into Space" features an image of Endeavour as it leaves the launch pad on mission STS-100, carrying a next-generation Canadian robotic arm to the International Space Station. The back contains facts, figures and detailed information about the launch.
"Space Shuttle Endeavour Lifts Off Into Space" is available at:
Get a free information kit to help your class celebrate Earth Science Week, Oct. 7-13. The American Geological Institute (AGI) initiated Earth Science Week in 1998, the institute's 50th anniversary, as a way to achieve its mission to educate people about Earth, the earth sciences and the importance of earth scientists' work in solving the challenges we face as the planet changes.
AGI acts as a clearinghouse of information for schools, museums, and other groups running Earth Science Week events in their communities. The Web site offers activities and posters. For your free kits and other information, go to
The Challenger Learning Center at the Museum of Flight in Seattle offers three simulated space missions for school and youth groups. Crews fly a two-hour simulated space mission based on the same kind of training received by the NASA astronauts receive. All crews work in realistic mock-ups of both a mission control room and a spacecraft as they complete one of our three exciting mission scenarios. Crews must use teamwork and communication to succeed in their mission.
Choose from "Rendezvous with a Comet," "Return to the Moon," or "Voyage to Mars." Programs fill early and reservations are required, but mission times are still open in September. To book a program, call 206-764-1384, or for more information, visit
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, a joint venture of The Florida State University, the University of Florida, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, offers a terrific activity guide on science and optics.
Subjects include computers, microscopes, microspace and macrospace. Grade levels are usually given at the end of the activity. Although many are designed to meet standards for grades K-5, they often include material to adapt the lesson to higher grades as well. Visit Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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