Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

November 8, 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

-- EARTH UPDATE
-- ODYSSEY OF THE MIND PROGRAM (K-12+)
-- SPACE GRANT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE (9-12)
-- TIS THE SEASON FOR AURORAS
-- FROM THE GROUND UP (7-8)
-- MARS ODYSSEY'S FIRST LOOK AT THE RED PLANET
-- APPLY FOR A NASA EDUCATION WORKSHOP (NEW) (K-12)

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EARTH UPDATE

An interactive, real-time display system of Earth images and data designed for museums and schools. Running from the CD-ROM, the program displays hundreds of images and movies of the 'best of Earth' images and data, documented, with web references of how to find out more. Includes 5 modules: atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere. To visit, go to

http://earth.rice.edu/mtpe/spheres.html

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND PROGRAM (K-12+)

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program for students from kindergarten through college. The competitions involve creative exercises in which teamwork, cooperation and ingenuity are applied to complete various tasks. Students choose from one of six long-term "problems" and form teams to develop solutions. The problems range in nature from the technical to the artistic, and solutions are judged for creativity, originality, and other criteria. In the spring, teams take their solutions to official competitions at the regional, state/country and world level.

The NASA-sponsored problem, named OMER's Earthly Adventures after the raccoon-like Odyssey of the Mind mascot OMER, is a technical problem based on environmental preservation that also incorporates elements of theatrical performance. Students will attempt to correct hypothetical environmental problems, and create the illusion of OMER traveling. For more information on NASA's involvement in the Odyssey of the Mind program, visit

http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

SPACE GRANT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE (9-12)

The Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium annually offers scholarships for incoming UW freshmen. Each year some of the state's best high school seniors, Running Start, and Early Entrance students vie for a chance to study science, engineering, or math at the University of Washington on a Space Grant Scholarship. These competitive scholarships are based on high school academic achievement, standardized test scores, personal essays, recommendations, and future academic promise.

Scholarships are due January 18, 2002. Applications are now available at

http://www.waspacegrant.org/UWschol.html

TIS THE SEASON FOR AURORAS

Autumn is a good time to spot Northern Lights, and scientists would like to know why.

On Oct. 21st, a cloud of magnetized gas from the Sun (a "coronal mass ejection") swept past Earth and rocked our planet's magnetic field. Northern sky watchers were delighted as red and green lights rippled across the sky. It was the aurora borealis -- breaking out for the third time last month. For the whole story, go to

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast26oct_1.htm?list58966

FROM THE GROUND UP (7-8)

From the Ground Up provides resources for students and teachers to explore how imagery of the Earth is used in managing natural resources, mostly in a .pdf format.

Designed by the Department of Forest Services at the University of Minnesota, the site includes activities to strengthen student involvement in environmental issues and increase awareness of satellite imagery and its application to managing our natural resources. For more information, go to

http://terrasip.gis.umn.edu/projects/fromthegroundup/

MARS ODYSSEY'S FIRST LOOK AT THE RED PLANET

NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey gave mission managers a real treat this Halloween with its first look at the red planet. It's a thermal infrared image of the southern hemisphere of Mars that captures the south polar carbon dioxide ice cap at a temperature of about minus 120 C (minus 184 F). The Mars Odyssey image is available on the Internet at:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/mars/odyssey_mars.html

APPLY FOR A NASA EDUCATION WORKSHOP (NEW) (K-12)

The NASA Education Workshops (NEW) program selects K-12 educators to spend two weeks in the summer at one of NASA's centers. Travel expenses, housing, and meals are included as part of the program. Graduate credit is available. Applications must be received by February 20, 2002. To apply, visit

http://www.nsta.org/new

FEEDBACK

Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at isvete@u.washington.edu

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