May 15, 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
-- REACH FOR THE STARS SUMMER WORKSHOPS (K-12)
-- REVEL 2002 GOES LIVE MAY 15 (K-12)
-- TRIVIA PURSUIT NASA-STYLE
-- NASA LESSONS IN RACE CARS AND WATER (K-12)
-- CLOUDS IN THE GREENHOUSE
-- MIRROR MOLECULE ACTIVITIES ONLINE (5-12)
-- DISCOVER A COMET WHILE ONLINE WITH SOHO (6-12)
-- VENUS PILLARS AND DOGS IN SIGHT
Space Grant's free summer workshops for teachers offer hands-on activities to meet the Washington EALRs and bring topics like the stars, solar system, and aerospace science into the classroom.
Exploring Aerospace in the Classroom on July 19 will show middle and high school teachers how to connect fun activities such as a class expedition to Mars with required science concepts such as Newton's Laws. On Aug. 17, Incorporating Astronomy Content and Activities into Reading, Writing, Art and Music will help teachers meld creativity and science. Separate sessions are offered for teachers of grades K-5 and 6-12.
Workshops take place on the University of Washington campus. Clock hours are available for all workshops. For registration and information, go to
From May 15-22, teachers and students can follow the sea-going adventures of five teachers in the northeast Pacific Ocean as they collaborate with scientists mapping the seafloor of the Juan de Fuca Plate. The goal of the REVEL Project's expedition, funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation, is to initiate the development of two seafloor proto-observatories off the coast of Washington and Canada.
Online logbooks allow students to track the team's progress and post questions directly to the scientists and teachers. To participate, go to
Whether you're searching for trivia questions to use for a space-related lesson plan or you're just a space nut who likes anything to do with outer space and rocket ships, NASA Trivia on Spacelink is the place to challenge your trivia know-how.
NASA Spacelink has assembled two lists of trivia questions that can be used for educational purposes or just for fun. Choose a list with easy-to-find answers or test your skills with more difficult ones. Please help us evaluate this activity.
Click on the link at the bottom of the NASA Trivia page to send us your comments. "NASA Trivia" is located at
NASAexplores offers two new articles, "The NASA/NASCAR Connection," on racecars and "Water: It's Not Just For Drinking," on water.
Quite a few NASA technologies are put to use in NASCAR racecars. Thermal blankets for heat protection, rocket engines, composite materials in the tires, cool suit for drivers, and the car aerodynamics themselves all came from NASA research. Water doesn't occur naturally in space. How do astronauts get the water they need for survival, and how do they dispose of wastewater?
Both articles include lesson plans for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. For more information, go to
As vexing as they are beautiful, clouds play an important role in Earth's planetary greenhouse.
Using new space-based instruments, scientists are learning much more about them. "Clouds remain one of the largest uncertainties in the climate system's response to temperature changes," laments Bruce Wielicki, a scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center. "We need more data to understand how real clouds behave."
To learn more about clouds, visit
Many molecules differ in the same way a left and right hand differ. Called stereoisomers, they are mirror images of each other.
This site, created by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, offers molecule explanations and directions for activities such as using orange and lemon peel to "smell the difference" between mirror molecules. For more information, go to
A new comet was discovered over the Internet by a Chinese amateur astronomer visiting the Web site for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft.
The comet "C/2002 G3 (SOHO)" was first reported on Friday, April 12, by XingMing Zhou of BoLe city, in the XinJiang province of China, who discovered the comet while watching SOHO real-time images of the Sun on the Internet. The comet is a new comet, not belonging to any known group.
Visitors might not make equally stellar discoveries, but they will have a chance to discover lots of new facts about the sun, not to mention downloads with images books, posters, models and even a coloring book. The site also includes lesson plans. For more information, go to
Brilliant Venus is at the heart of a planetary gathering this month in the western evening sky.
Millions of people are watching. If you're one of them, and something about Venus doesn't seem quite right, you may have spotted a rare Venus pillar. Or better yet ... a Venusdog! For the full story, visit
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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