August 13, 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
-- A MARS VIEWING PARTY PLANNED
-- 2003-2004 NSIP COMPETITION (K-12)
-- DLESE OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHERS (K-12)
-- ACTIVITIES FOR EARTH SCIENCE WEEK 2003
-- ANTICIPATING EARTHQUAKES
-- IDEAS AT KIDSASTRONOMY.COM (2-12)
Mars will soon be closer to earth (and appear larger and brighter) than at any time in the past 60,000 years. To celebrate, the U.W. Astronomy Department and the Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) will host a special free "Mars party" on the college campus Sept. 3.
From 8:30-10 p.m., telescopes will be set up on the plaza lawn of the Physic-Astronomy Building, located at the northeast corner of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Pacific. Dr. Toby Smith will present and speak on recent spacecraft images of Mars and NASA's plans to search for water and life when its two Mars rovers land and explore the Martian terrain in January 2004. For more details, see
Posters announcing the 2003-2004 NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP) competitions for K-12 students are now available. Categories include Earth-focused research, planetary mission design, communicating the story of flight in print or on videotape, and creating experiments for NASA launch.
The competitions are easily adapted to local curriculum and support science, math, geography and technology standards. All participants receive NSIP certificates. Awards include plaques, medals, NASA ceremonies at schools, Space Camp scholarships, and trips for high school students and their teacher to the National Symposium and/or Student Flight Weeks.
Posters and additional competition information are available at
Headed to the NSTA Regional Conference in Reno Dec 4-6? The Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at Colorado State University is looking for 25 teachers to take part in a Digital Library for Earth Systems Education (DLESE) training workshop.
DLESE offers Earth science information on the Web for teachers, students and the general public. The workshop will acquaint teachers with all aspects of the site so that they will be able to serve as ambassadors at their state and local education meetings. Participating teachers will receive one night of lodging in Reno.
They will be expected to make presentations at two local or statewide venues over the next year. Logistical and financial support will be available and a $200 honorarium will be made after the presentations are completed. For more information, go to
The 2003 Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "Eyes on Planet Earth: Monitoring our Changing World." This year Earth Week takes place Oct. 12-18. The American Geological Institute is providing information on contests, activities, and resources at
Satellites high above Earth where seismic waves never reach may soon be able to detect earthquakes--before they strike.
Although earthquakes seem to strike out of the blue, the furious energy that a quake releases builds up for months and years beforehand in the form of stresses within Earth's crust. Satellite technologies being developed at NASA and elsewhere might be able to spot the signs of an impending quake days or weeks before it strikes, giving the public and emergency planners time to prepare.
For the whole story, go to
KidsAstronomy.com offers a wealth of classroom resources including star maps, an astronomy dictionary, puzzles and games, online lessons for ages 7-11 and 12-18, and a great demonstration of the size of the universe, courtesy of Powers of Ten. 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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