March 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
-- SUN-EARTH DAY PROGRAM AIRS APRIL 10 (6-8)
-- FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION AT UW APRIL 4-5
-- ASTOUNDING ASTRONOMY DEADLINE EXTENDED (6-12)
-- BRING AN OCEANOGRAPHER INTO YOUR CLASSROOM (6-12)
-- EXPLORING FOR MARTIAN LIFE LECTURE (6-12)
-- EXPLORING THE EXTREME GUIDE AVAILABLE (K-8)
-- GETTING READY FOR SPACE DAY (K-12)
Dancing in the Night Sky, a television special aimed at middle school students, will air April 10 at 11 a.m. (EST) on PBS and NASA-TV. The half-hour show looks at how NASA engineers and researchers use data analysis and measurement to study the auroras, key regions of the Earth's geospace or space environment.
The special is part of Live from the Aurora, the theme of this year's Sun-Earth Day events. Dancing in the Night Sky addresses national math and science standards. For more information, go to
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 and open to everyone.
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 application deadline for the summer workshop, Astounding Astronomy, has been extended until April 4. This summer workshop for middle and high school teachers 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. For more information, visit
The ORCA (Oceanic Remote Chemical-optical Analyzer) project offers a free educational outreach program aimed at introducing concepts in marine science and the oceanography of Puget Sound to students in the greater Seattle area. The program consists of one or multiple classroom visits from an oceanographer working on the University of Washington-based project and includes a presentation and hands-on demonstrations and activities.
The curriculum is highly flexible. Topics can be adapted for the level of the class and the teacher's interests. Among the potential topics are what determines water density; dissolved gases in the ocean; seasonal changes in water properties; seasonal plankton blooms; and the effects of pollution on the South Puget Sound and other coastal areas. Follow-up activities will be available through the Internet.
For more information, contact research scientist Wendi Ruef by phone at (206) 221-6760, or by e-mail at
Teachers and students have two opportunities to hear Mars expert Dr. Jack Farmer speak on "Exploring for Martian Life" at the University of Washington campus. There will be a free public talk at 7:30 p.m. April 22 in Room 120, Kane Hall.
A second free talk, geared specifically to middle and high school students, will take place at 4 p.m. April 23. To bring a class, you must make a reservation indicating the size of your class, including students and adults. The lectures are sponsored by Astrobiology at the University of Washington.
To reserve space, e-mail Linda M. Khandro at firstname.lastname@example.orgEXPLORING THE EXTREME GUIDE AVAILABLE (K-8)
The NASA educator guide "Exploring the Extreme" is now available. The K-8 guide has activities that demonstrate the basic science of aeronautics while offering challenging tasks in design. Download "Exploring the Extreme" from
As the nation prepares to commemorate the Centennial of Flight in the coming year, Space Day 2003 will honor the past 100 years of aviation and aerospace accomplishments while seeking to inspire the next generation of inventors, innovators, aviators, and dreamers.
To help classes prepare for the festivities May 1, a teacher's space has been created featuring design challenges, a lesson library, discussion board and more. Visit the Space Day teacher's space at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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