April 8, 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
-- THE VIRTUAL ASTRONAUT (5-8)
-- SUMMER FLIGHT WORKSHOP (6-12)
-- WHAT'S IN A NAME? A CHANCE TO WIN
-- ASTROBIOLOGY SITE OFFERS BASIC CHEM MODULE (5-8)
-- 2003-4 NSIP POSTER AVAILABLE IN SPANISH (K-12)
-- NASA EXPLORES WORKING IN SPACE (K-12)
-- A WORKSHOP ON SOLVING DISEASE MYSTERIES (6-9)
The Virtual Astronaut Project is an interactive site that integrates life science research data and NASA educational products into a suite of instructional materials in physical sciences, space sciences, space medicine, biomedical research and living in space.
These activities are combined into a single educational tool that provides fun and informative educational activities. One caution, the 3-D components of the site do not support MacIntosh users. To participate, go to
The Science of Flight workshop introduces teachers to the physics of flight and instructional strategies to bring these principals into the classroom. The workshop is sponsored by Seattle Pacific University. Session I takes place July 28-31 at Harvey Field in Snohomish; Session II take place Aug.4-7 at Paine Field in Everett.
The workshop includes two hours of flight instruction, classroom time and field trips to aviation-related sights such as The Boeing Co. plant in Everett; the Federal Aviation Administration control center in Auburn; The Museum of Flight and Airlift Northwest in Seattle. The cost, including three graduate credits, aircraft rental, instructors and admission fees, is $250.
To register or for more information, contact Gary Evans, adjunct SPU faculty, at
Name the Astrobots on board the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft and win a LEGO Discovery Saturn V Moon Mission set. The Mars Exploration Rovers launch for Mars in May and June. Onboard each rides a new breed of explorer and adventurer -- the currently nameless Astrobots, representations of LEGO mini-figures suited up for space.
The Astrobots will become mini-robot explorers who will send diaries of their adventures back to Earth. These regularly posted Web diaries will teach kids about Mars and the mission as the Astrobots explore the spacecraft and the surface of Mars. The contest is open to all age groups.
Entry deadline is April 23. To enter, visit
Astro-Venturean educational, interactive, multimedia Web environment highlighting NASA careers and astrobiology researchoffers a new Atmospheric Science training module and classroom lessons.
Using the online program, students change the amounts of gases in our atmosphere and draw conclusions about which factors are necessary for human survival. They then engage in classroom activities that help them understand atoms, elements, and molecules as gas components. They further explore the process of chemical change, with a focus on some of the chemical reactions most important to human survival.
For more information, go to
A Spanish version of the 2003-04 NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP) poster"Programa de Participacion Estudiantil de la NASA"is now available on NASA Spacelink.
The poster contains printable pages with descriptions, learning objectives and procedures for next year's student investigations and design challenges. The six competitions are designed for individual, team or whole class entries.
A link to an English language version is also posted at
This week NASAexplores features the articles on techniques NASA uses to stop space vehicles once they reach their destination and "robot arms" for construction work in space. To access the articles and lesson plans, go to
A free workshop on environmental health science May 17 utilizes a curriculum called ToxRAP (Toxicology, Risk Assessment, and Pollution) to let teachers and their students become health hazard detectives.
In this lesson, students assume the role of environmental health scientists to help the Sanchez family members discover what is causing the variety of health problems that began after their home renovation. Students conduct interviews, collect environmental samples, interpret data and learn about exposure and dust.
The workshop, jointly offered by University of Washington and Oregon State University, takes place from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the UW campus. It includes lunch, curriculum and supplemental classroom materials. The deadline to register is May 7.
Note, due to the loss of money associated with registrants who have RSVP'ed and then fail to show up, there will be a completely refundable $25 registration fee. This will be returned upon your arrival at the workshop.
For more information, contact Sandra Uesugi at 541-737-4374 or e-mail
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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