August 7, 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
-- SURF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
-- ADD ASTRONOMY TO THE ARTS (K-12)
-- NASA VIDEO BROCHURE AVAILABLE (K-12)
-- FLIGHT ART CONTEST FOR GRADES (2-4)
-- MOSS IN SPACE DOES SOMETHING ODD
-- SUMMER METEOR SHOWERS PEAK AUG. 12-13
-- CLOUD STUDY MAY IMPROVE CLIMATE CHANGE FORECASTS (K-12)
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has just released "Surfing the Solar System," a new treasure hunt game and puzzle about the solar system. The online game is part of a new program called Family ASTRO, which is developing activity kits and evening and weekend events that help families enjoy doing astronomy together.
In "Surfing the Solar System," players are given clues in words and pictures to specific worlds or features among the planets and moons in our system. The first letters of the answers then spell out what is likely to be one of the most popular tourist attractions when travel among the planets becomes routine. The puzzle provides a clue for each question and suggests some sites for finding out more if you get stuck.
A free Flash player is required and can be downloaded from the game site. To play, visit
The NASA Educator Resource Center's free summer workshop, Incorporating Astronomy Content and Activities into Reading, Writing, Art and Music, will help teachers meld creativity and science. The workshop takes place Aug. 17 on the University of Washington campus. Separate sessions are offered for teachers of grades K-5 and 6-12.
Learn about space songs, creative writing and art activities, books on astronomy and the NASA Student Involvement Program. Brainstorm how to incorporate astronomy into your classroom. ERC Director Dr. Julie Lutz will be the workshop leader. Participants are invited to bring favorite books and activities to share with others.
The cost for three clock hours (one session) or six clock hours (both sessions) is $15. For more information, go to
The 2002 brochure for the Liftoff to Learning series is now available on NASA Spacelink. "Liftoff to Learning" is a series of NASA educational videotapes for K-12 students. The series captures the excitement of space flight and explains, in basic and practical terms, the scientific, mathematical, and technological concepts that make space flight possible.
To download the brochure, go to
This year the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) annual art contest recognizes the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers achievement by focusing on flight. Imagine you could fly up above the Earth - what would you see? Depending on how high you choose to fly, you could see your neighborhood, city, region, country, or our planet, Earth.
The contest is limited to U.S. students, grades 2-4. The winning entry will be printed - along with the artist's name, age, school name, and hometown - as the 2002 IGES greeting card. Additionally, the winning artist will receive a $250 savings bond. The second place winner will receive a $100 savings bond; third place, a $50 savings bond. Entries must be received by October 31, 2002. For contest rules, see
Samples of fire moss that travel onboard the space shuttle do something odd: they spiral. Scientists say its a clue to the fundamental inner workings of plant cells. For the whole story, visit
The Earth is now moving through the Perseid meteor shower. The annual event, which peaks August 12-13, should be remarkably good this year. And the moon sets early in mid-August so lunar interference will not be a problem. Sky watchers can expect to see dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. For more details, go to
Studies of cirrus clouds by some 450 scientists may lead to improved forecasts of future climate change. Cirrus clouds are high, cold clouds composed of ice crystals. In the tropics, cirrus form at altitudes of about 30,000 to 60,000 feet (9-18 km).
CRYSTAL-FACE, a measurement campaign designed to investigate tropical cirrus cloud physical properties and formation processes. Their site includes games and lesson plans on atmosphere and climate. For information, view
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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