February 6, 2002
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
-- COSMONAUT AND SPACE SCIENTIST TO SPEAK
-- ERC OPEN OVER WINTER BREAK (K-12)
-- NEW SATURDAY WORKSHOP SCHEDULE POSTED(K-12)
-- SEARCH FOR A HABITABLE PLANET (5-8)
-- THE CORNELL AND CONTOUR COMET CHALLENGE (5-12)
-- MIDDLE SCHOOL INSTITUTES OFFERED (6-8)
On Feb. 19, Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Dr. Alexander Martynov, former director of ballistics for the Russian Mission Control Centre, will speak on their experiences. The lecture, "From Mir to Mars," will take place at 7 p.m. in the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Building, Room 105. Admission is free and open to the public.
Vinogradov, a flight engineer, led the efforts to restore lost power to the Mir space station in 1997 after it was damaged in a collision with a docking cargo ship.Martynov was responsible for landing space vehicles on the Moon, Mars and Venus. Both men will be available to sign autographs after the lecture.
For more information, go to
The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center welcomes browsers over the winter break. The center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. The center offers a wide selection of NASA-developed materials on space flight, astronomy, aeronautics and earth science resources. Materials include curricula, videos, slides, CDs, visual aids and books.
The ERC is located in the Space Grant office, 401 Johnson Hall, on the University of Washington's Seattle campus. If you contact the office in advance, vouchers for free campus parking will be provided. To arrange an appointment, call (206) 543-1943, or e-mail
The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center continues its free Saturday workshop series on Feb. 16 with "Get Ready for Sun-Earth Day!" This workshop for teachers of grades 2-10 will tie into Sun-Earth Day on March 20. ERC Director Dr. Julie Lutz will cover what the sun is and how it works, how humans regarded the sun in various cultures and the effects the sun has on our planet (aurora, communications disruptions, etc.) Participants will receive activity packets, CDs, posters and videos.
On March 16, teachers can sample some of the most popular activities from Space Grant's summer workshop "Planetary Volcanism," a concept with is key to understanding features on the surfaces of many planets and moons. On April 13, "Exploring Meteorite Mysteries" with NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Brian Hawkins presents activities on asteroids, meteors, meteorites, meteor showers and meteor craters. Participants will receive a curriculum guide and will be certified to borrow meteorite samples from NASA.
ERC workshops will take place 1-4 p.m. in Johnson Hall 401 on the University of Washington 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
For more information, visit
Searching for a fictional planet on which people could live is only one of the student activities available Astro-Ventures, a new interactive NASA Web site.
A cartoon guide leads students through a series of role-playing steps. Young people can observe the effects of changes to the Earth and draw conclusions about what is needed for survival. Participants can 'feel' that they are part of an Internet world by receiving information seamlessly, through use of graphics, audio, video and audio transcriptions.
Webcasts enable students to watch live video, listen to audio and interact in real-time on the Internet with experts. For more information, see
Cornell University and the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) mission team invite teachers and students to participate in the CONTOUR launch activities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July of 2002 by developing a plan to share their excitement and experiences with their community. The Discovery mission CONTOUR will study comets in unprecedented detail.
During the days prior to the launch, the teams will have one-on-one interactions with the CONTOUR scientists, take part in a variety of educational events on the study of comets and the CONTOUR mission, tour the Kennedy Space Center, and attend a VIP briefing with the CONTOUR engineers and scientists. These activities will culminate with a spectacular viewing of the launch of the spacecraft from Cape Canaveral. After participating in the launch activities, participants will follow through with their plan to share their experience with other students and community members.
U.S. students, grades 5 through 12, are eligible to participate. All proposals must be received by March 31. To learn more about this opportunity, please visit
http://www.contour2002.orgMIDDLE SCHOOL INSTITUTES OFFERED (6-8)
This summer, the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials will again offer its MSSTI three-day institutes. Ten teachers will be selected for each of the three institutes.
Teachers will receive a stipend and continuing education credits. All institutes include training in engineered biomaterials and hands-on, inquiry based teaching and learning. Upon completion of an institute teachers are allowed to check out curriculum and kit materials to use in their classrooms.
For more information, call Janet Blanford at 206-221-5823, or go to
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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