October 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
-- PUBLIC STARGAZING OPPORTUNITIES
-- STUDENT MICROGRAVITY RESEARCH TEAMS WANTED (9-12)
-- DO SUMMER RESEARCH AT AN OBSERVATORY (7-12)
-- NASA TV SPECIAL ON FLIGHT
-- EXOTIC STARS REVEALED AS SUPER-MAGNETS
-- MAC USER? FREE OS 10.2 FOR TEACHERS (K-12)
Seattle-area teachers and their students have oodles of opportunity to study the night skies this fall. The Seattle Astronomical Society holds free public observing nights south of the Bathhouse Theater at Seattle's Greenlake Park and at Shoreline's Cromwell Park. The events are free. The next observing night, weather permitting, is Nov. 9. For more information, please visit
On the first and third Wednesdays of each month, the University of Washington Campus Observatory holds free astronomy presentations followed by an evening of observing. On Oct. 30, there will be a special Halloween open house focused on "The Black Hole from Outer Space." For more information, please call (206) 543-0126 or visit
The Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) competition allows high school students to work in a team to research microgravity, develop a hypothesis, and write a proposal for a microgravity experiment. If selected, the team then designs their experiment, builds it, and sends it to NASA Glenn Research center in Ohio for operation in the 2.2 Second Drop Tower facility.
Four students and an adult advisor from each selected team win travel and per diem to NASA Glenn for the three days of DIME Drop Days in late-April. Student teams based in each state, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico are eligible to enter. Proposals for the present school year must be postmarked by November 1, 2002. DIME information is available at
Want to study the stars through telescopes at Kitt Peak Observatory near Tucson? Count sunspots on a 50-cm diameter solar image at the National Solar Observatory at Sunspot, New Mexico? Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRBSE)--a new National Science Foundation-sponsored program--lets middle and high school science teachers do all this and more.
TLRBSE teachers learn how to acquire astronomy data and how to support their students in conducting authentic astronomy research projects. They also can earn graduate credits and receive all-expense paid trips to observatories, as well as to a national NSTA meeting. Applications are due Nov. 1. Information and online applications are available at
Questions? Dr. Julie Lutz, astronomer and NASA Educator Resource Center director, can help. Contact her at
On December 17, 1903 the Wright Brothers achieved the first powered flight. This December is the beginning of a yearlong celebration leading up to the 100th anniversary.
During the week of December 2-6, NASA will be "Celebrating Flight" by showcasing aeronautics-related videos on NASA TV. Multimedia products and web resources related to this theme will also be highlighted. For information on how to receive to NASA TV, go to
Scientists have found that a rare and enigmatic class of neutron stars. The stars (of which only five are known) are actually magnetars--exotic stars with magnetic fields trillions of times stronger than the Sun's or Earth's, so powerful that they could strip a credit card clean 100,000 miles (about 160,000 kilometers) away. For the whole story, go to
Apple is giving away free copies of Mac OSX 10.2 ("Jaguar") free to K-12 teachers, this includes shipping and handling. To find out more, 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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