June 3, 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 MAGIC OF AURORA BOREALIS (6-12)
-- LASER OFFERS SUPPORT FOR FOSS AND STC UNITS
-- TO MARS WITH MER FOR TEACHERS
-- FOOD AND COMMUTING IN SPACE (K-12)
-- EARTH SCIENCE LESSONS AVAILABLE
Learn how auroras work, how scientists study them and how to predict and observe them through a free workshop June 30. The workshop, which takes place from 9 a.m.-noon on the University of Washington campus features Laurie Ruberg and Jane Neuenschwander of the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
"Let the Magic of Aurora Borealis Light Up Your Science Students," sponsored by NASA Space Science Network Northwest, is an interdisciplinary workshop combining math, science and reading. Some data collection and analysis will be included in the workshop. For more information, go to
LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) has just launched new Web pages designed to support classrooms using inquiry-based units from Full Option Science Study and Science,Technology for Children. The first pages support FOSS Sound of Physics units and more are being added. The pages were created with support from The Boeing Co. For more information and resources, go to
Mars Exploration Rover (MER) teams are working hard to get both MER rovers launched in June or July. The twin robotic explorers, each about the size of a golf-cart, are equipped with the equivalent of a geologist's rock hammer and lens, plus more sophisticated instruments to analyze rocks and minerals. Their mission is to land at two different MARS sites where researchers suspect water may once have been and to beam back data and images to Earth.
Classroom materials related to the mission are available through NASA Passport to Knowledge at
For more general information, go to
NASAexplores is featuring the articles on commuting to space and why the taste of food changes in space. Still in the planning stages, the Orbital Space Plane will become NASA's first new manned launch vehicle in 30 years. In a second set of lessons, students explore the theories on how the sense of taste may work under space flight conditions. NASAexplores offers lesson plans for separate grade levels.
To access the articles and lessons, go to
"Exploring Earth: Investigations" provides more than 75 earth science investigations. Each is organized around a question: What stories do rocks tell? Could Mars support life? How can one volcano change the world?
Photos and text (and sometimes video) help students answer each question. Among the topics are rocks; volcanoes and plate tectonics; earthquakes and mountains; surface and ground water; wind and currents; atmosphere and weather; climate change; oceans; our moon and solar system; and Earth's history. For more information, visit
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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