May 18, 2004
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 EDGE OF OUR SOLAR SYTSEM (5-8)
-- AMERICA'S FORGOTTEN SPACECRAFT (K-12)
-- SPACE SCIENCE FOR SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS WORKSHOP (K-12)
-- GENESIS SPACECRAFT RETURNS TO EARTH (K-12)
-- FREE NASA GEOLOGY AND BIOLOGY GUIDES (5-8)
"Unlocking the Mysteries: Science on the Edge of Our Solar System" features the award-winning Discovery Program, a 23-minute video which takes you along on the explorations being conducted by NASA's Discovery missions. Viewers can then become the scientists and engineers and design their own missions to investigate the cosmic unknowns.
The program package also contains a teacher guide, supporting materials and a list of Internet resources including 10 engaging activities, one from each Discovery mission. The materials can also be adapted for after-school programs or week-long camps.
For more information, go to
Long before the first launch of the Space Shuttle, NASA launched people into space aboard another winged spaceplane: the X-15. This forgotten spacecraft, which set records for speed and altitude, is featured in lesson plans this week on NASAExplores.
A second set of lessons features the glow-in-the-dark material used for safety devices on the Space Station, and as an emergency-lighting pathway on the station in the event of power failure. Lessons are available in packages for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.
To access the materials, please visit
The "Exceptional Space Science Materials for Exceptional Students" workshop, sponsored by NASA Space Science Network Northwest, still has a few openings.
The workshop will take place from July 17-22 on the University of Washington Seattle campus. Presenters from the NASA Office of Space Science (OSS) Education Support Network will familiarize educators with standards-based space science materials adaptable for exceptional needs students. The workshop will also serve to familiarize developers of NASA OSS education materials with the diversity of exceptional classroom and audience needs.
Applications must be submitted by May 24. Workshop participants pay a $75 fee which covers lodging (double rooms in a UW residence hall), food during the workshop, materials and instruction. Clock hours (35) or college credits (4) are available.
For more information and an online application form, go to
Questions? Contact Darlette Powell at 206-543-0214, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgGENESIS SPACECRAFT RETURNS TO EARTH (K-12)
The Genesis spacecraft will make a dramatic return to earth this fall. On Sept. 8, NASA plans to make an astonishing mid-air capture of the Genesis Sample Return Capsule (SRC). Professional stunt pilots flying helicopters with special retrieval equipment swoop in and swipe the solar wind samples Genesis has collected during its solar bath.
In planning the mission, Genesis scientists and engineers faced an enormous challenge: how to recover these solar specks safely? And, what is the likelihood that the minuscule contents -- which amount in mass to a few grains of sand -- return undamaged?
Genesis learning materials, kids' activities and more mission information are available at
Astro-Venture has release two new educator guides to help middle school teachers meet national education standards in geology and biology.
The geology guide addresses standards on the affects of heat and pressure on states of matter, density, convection, plate tectonics, volcanoes, the carbon cycle, the Earth's magnetic field, and radiation. The biology guide addresses standards for ecosystems, producers and consumers, energy, and the cycle of matter.
Astro-Venture is an interactive, multimedia Web site in which students role-play NASA careers, as they search for and design a planet habitable for humans. To access the new guides, visit
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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