March 11, 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
-- ASTOUNDING ASTRONOMY WORKSHOP OFFERED (6-12)
-- FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION AT UW APRIL 4-5
-- EARTH FROM ORBIT LECTURE
-- PROJECT ASTROBIO SEEKS PARTNERS (3-12)
-- FREE SPRING ERC WORKSHOP SCHEDULE SET (3-12)
-- NASA SPANISH LANGUAGE MATERIALS (K-12)
-- NCAR SUMMER TEACHER WORKSHOPS (6-12)
Astounding Astronomy offers spellbinding space science and awesome astronomy activities. The intensive five-day workshop on planets, stars and galaxies will take place July 21-25 and is open to Washington and Oregon teachers.
Watch the clock hours speed by as lead instructor Dr. Julie Lutz and other astronomers guide educators through topics like solar system exploration, astrobiology, the lives of stars (ordinary and extraordinary) and new views of the universe. The workshop takes place on the UW campus. Applications are due March 24. For more information, visit
The FIRST Robotics Pacific Northwest Regional Competition will take place April 4-5 at the Bank of America Arena (also known as Hec Ed) on the University of Washington campus. This is a great opportunity for individuals of all ages to experience robotics in the 21st Century. All events are free of charge.
The competition teams professionals and high school students to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The PNW Regional will have a total of 36 teams competing in a variety of highly visual robotics tournaments.
Spectators will have an opportunity to talk with the teams to discover how their robots are built. The pits open at 8 a.m. and competition takes place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, go to
The Museum of Flight's new temporary exhibit, "Space Art: The Earth from Orbit" displays 48 photographs which reveal the familiar Earth in startling and compelling ways. Curator Howard Doughty takes visitors "behind the lens" at 2 p.m. March 22 to explore beneath the surface of the images and learn how they were produced, what scientists are using them for, and what they tell us about our impact and future on fragile Spaceship Earth.
From the Great Wall of China to tidal waves near the Rock of Gibraltar to a 20-mile-across meteor impact uncovered by drifting sands in northwest Africa, the exhibit reveals "macro" features that could never have been seen prior to the advent of space exploration. Doughty is a professional photographer, a fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographical Society and chairman of the World Vista Foundation. The lecture is free with museum admission.
For general information, go to
Project AstroBio -- an amalgamation of "classic" Project Astro with a new component of astrobiology -- is now forming partnerships between amateur/professional scientists and teachers of grades 3-12. Project AstroBio currently has 63 partnerships representing about 1,900 students in participating schools throughout the Puget Sound region.
Astrobiology is the study of the origin, history, and extremes of life on Earth, and possibly on other planets. Project AstroBio is especially interested in hearing from potential science partners. The deadline for applications from teachers and scientists is April 15. For more information, go to
You can also contact program coordinator Linda Khandro, UW Department of Astronomy, at
This spring, the free NASA Regional Educator Resource Center workshops will look at the structure of the of the universe and new information of Earth's oceans.
Structure and Evolution of the Universe, April 12, explores recent research results in the fast-changing fields of structure and evolution for individual galaxies, clusters of galaxies and the universe. The workshop is geared for teachers of grade 9 and up. The approach will be largely visual and not heavily mathematical. All participants will receive a NASA Structure and Evolution of the Universe kit.
On May 3, NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Brian Hawkins will present activities (for grades 3-10) concerning our oceans with a special emphasis on looking down from Earth's orbit to obtain information. Participants will have a chance to work with NASA's Ocean Planet CD-ROM, which they can take home along with other materials on water.
All presentations are tied to the state Essential Academic Learning Requirements and/or the National Science/Math Standards. Workshops are held on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Clock hours are available for $15 (cash or check). For more information and registration, visit
A recent article in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific newsletter offers a wealth of links to NASA's Spanish language materials for teachers.
Author Teresa Kennedy of Idaho Space Grant and Space Science Network Northwest has been assembling a collection of NASA materials translated into Spanish from the various NASA centers since 1996. She is currently translating selected NASA educational materials into the Spanish language with her translation team, representing Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.
For more information, see "New Spanish Language Astronomy Resources" at
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will conduct two summer workshops for middle and high school teachers. Up to 20 educators will be selected to attend each 12-day workshop in Boulder, Colo.
NCAR will provide travel support, honorarium, lodging, and meals. Graduate level credits will also be available. The application deadline for both workshops is April 4.
Modeling in the Geosciences, June 16 - 27, will introduce teachers to modeling concepts, state-of-the-art Earth system models used by scientists, as well as training on models that can be used in the classroom to explore Earth system concepts. For more information, go to
Climate and Global Change Geoscience Education Workshop, July 21 - Aug. 1, will provide standards-relevant science content, training on easy to implement inquiry-based classroom activities, and a broad overview of the geosciences. For more information, 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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