Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

December 4, 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.

Special Announcement

The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center will be closed for moving during the month of December. On Dec. 10, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, which houses the ERC, will move its offices to the third floor of Condon Hall (the former UW law school building) at 1100 NE Campus Parkway in Seattle. Please note our mailbox, e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers will remain the same.

The free Saturday ERC workshop on Mars will still be held Dec. 13 in the Physics and Astronomy Building on the UW main campus. For more information, visit our workshop page.

The ERC will re-open at our new location on Jan. 5, 2004.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

-- PARTICIPATE IN THE EARTHDIAL PROJECT
-- AAAS COMING TO SEATTLE
-- CAPTAIN PLANET GRANTS AVAILABLE (K-12)
-- NEW ASTROBIOLOGY SITE
-- NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL DEADLINE APPROACES (4-9)
-- UW SEEKING GIFTED SCHOLARS (5-8)

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PARTICIPATE IN THE EARTHDIAL PROJECT

For centuries humanity used sundials to mark time by tracking the motion of the sun across the sky. The EarthDial project will use a network of sundials around the world to show the passage of time in this ancient manner. EarthDial is a sundial of a standard design (although allowing for individual variations, especially reflecting local cultures) with a web camera always on it. The Planetary Society will then display near-real-time images of all these dials online. Visitors will be able to look over a single Web page and see how solar time varies all over the Earth! For information on how to build an EarthDial at your school or in your backyard, go to http://www.planetary.org/mars/earthdial.html

AAAS COMING TO SEATTLE (K-12+)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its annual meeting and science exposition in Seattle Feb. 12 - 16, 2004. The AAAS Annual Meeting offers a unique and exciting interdisciplinary blend of more than 130 symposia, plenary and topical lectures; seminars on nanotechnology, vaccines and proteomics; the Forum for School Science; poster presentations; career fair; career workshops; and an exhibit hall. Teachers may register at a reduced rate. There is also a lesson plan competition for a conference deluxe package that includes registration and accommodations. College students (sophomore to graduate school) can receive free admission by volunteering. For more information, go to http://www.aaas.org/meetings/

CAPTAIN PLANET GRANTS AVAILABLE (K-12)

Captain Planet Foundation funds environmental projects for children and youth. Projects that received funding over the past two years include a high school greenhouse on Vashon Island, an outdoor living lab at Dimmett Middle School and a water quality project at Des Moines Elementary School. Grants are awarded to community groups as well as schools. Awards are limited to $500 or less. Applications are accepted four times a year. The next deadline is December 31. For more information, go to http://www.captainplanetfdn.org/

NEW ASTROBIOLOGY SITE

The San Francisco-based Exploratorium has added a new section on astrobiology, looking behind the scenes as NASA scientists begin their search for liquid water on Mars. The site investigates what extreme forms of life on Earth may tell us about life elsewhere and includes field trips to laboratories as far away as Licancabur Volcano in Chile. http://www.exploratorium.edu/astrobiology

NASA EXPLORER SCHOOL DEADLINE APPROACHES (4-9)

Applications are now being taken to become a NASA Explorer School. Selected schools or school districts enter into a unique three-year partnership with NASA to bring exciting opportunities to educators, students, and their families. The NASA Explorer Schools (NES) program is sponsored and implemented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through a cooperative agreement with NSTA. Educators and students in a NASA Explorer School will become involved in the excitement of NASA research, discoveries, and missions through participation in engaging learning adventures and scientific challenges. The 2004 program will focus on content for grades 4-9. Materials will be grade-specific in appropriate concepts from national education standards. NASA Explorer Schools receive grants of up to $10,000. The NASA Explorer Schools program will be accepting applications through an online application. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2004. For more details, click on http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/portal/site/nes/

UW SEEKING GIFTED SCHOLARS (5-8)

The University of Washington Halbert & Nancy Robinson Center for Young Scholars is looking for the state's best and brightest fifth through eighth grade students. These are students who scored in the upper 3 percent in reading or mathematics in the past two years on such tests as the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills or the Stanford Achievement Test. The Washington Search for Young Scholars will identify the regionšs most capable students and work with them, their families, and their schools to develop more opportunities for academically gifted young people. To join the talent search, students must register with WSYS and pay a $10 fee. They also need to provide their address and record of scoring at the 97th percentile on one of the tests. Deadline for registering is Dec.10. Students and parents can obtain more information by calling (206) 543-4160 or by e-mailing cscy@u.washington.edu For additional information, go to http://depts.washington.edu/cscy/talent/index.shtml

FEEDBACK

Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at isvete@u.washington.edu

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