February 27, 2003
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
-- IN SEARCH OF A SECOND EARTH
-- BECOME A NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL (5-8)
-- ASSESSMENT; WHO KNOWS WHAT? (K-12)
-- EARTH SCIENCE FLASHCARDS ONLINE (6-12)
-- SUMMER CHAUTAUQUA FOR TEACHERS (9-14)
-- REVEL TEACHERS HEAD TO SEA (7-12)
Noted Polish radio-astronomer and astrophysicist, Aleksander Wolszczan will be speaking Friday, March 7, at the University of Washington. Wolszczan is widely recognized for his discovery of the first planets outside the solar system.
His talk, "In Search of a Second Earth," will take place at 7 p.m. in the Physics-Astronomy Building, Room A102. There will be a wine and cheese reception following the lecture.
In his lecture, Wolszczan will discuss the development and importance of the new, exciting field of astronomy of the extrasolar planets, from its surprising beginnings marked with the discovery of pulsar planets to the most recent, spectacular detections of giant planets around Sun-like stars. For more information, go to
Schools now have a unique opportunity to form a three-year partnership for professional development and student experiences. The NASA Explorer Schools (NES) program will provide NASA's resources in science, mathematics, and technology to bring rich learning environments to educator/administrator teams, students and their families.
The program will offer stipends, grants and a one-week summer workshop at a NASA Center. This is the pilot year and will focus on grades 5-8. Applications are now being accepted for the first 50 NASA Explorer School Teams. To learn more about the program, go to
Western Washington University will host the WSTA Spring Conference, April 26 and 27. Conference topics include assessing student understanding of phases of the moon and seasons, preparing for the science WASL, and assessment for FOSS and/or STC science kits. For more information, visit
http://www.smate.wwu.edu/smate/wstaEARTH SCIENCE FLASHCARDS ONLINE (6-12)
Over 90 flashcard sets for testing knowledge in geology, astronomy, oceanography and meteorology are available at the Flashcard Exchange. Cards on the site won't tap higher order thinking skills and some of the flashcard answers lack depth. However, the site is a quick way to gauge subject matter mastery. Flashcards are also available for the humanities, languages, and the humanities.
To browse the cards, go to
The Chautauqua summer courses for teachers, held at the University of Washington, cover areas of in the biological, physical and social sciences, along with effective teaching methodologies.
Their aim is to assist current and future faculty members in colleges and secondary schools to enhance their current courses and to introduce new modules and subjects in current and new courses. Topics include global climate change, classroom assessment techniques and ecology lessons from Mount St. Helens.
Each course is 3 or 4 days long, providing 24 to 30 hours of instruction. Details on course content, with abstracts and application information, is available at
The Research and Education: Volcanoes, Exploration and Life (REVEL) Project offers 7-12 grade science teachers a chance to bring cutting-edge earth and ocean research into their classrooms. REVEL immerses teachers in the scientific process as they explore the seafloor of the Juan de Fuca Plate in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.
Teachers participate in sea-going field research alongside scientists and in complementary professional development opportunities that help teachers increase their content knowledge, and enhance their teaching skills. The deadline to apply is March 28. Applicants must be employed in a K-12 public, private or parochial school in the United States.
Applications for the 2003 season are available at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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