June 2, 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
-- CASSINI REACHES SATURN
-- KIDS' SCIENCE NEWS AT THE MOVIES (K-5)
-- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TEACHER GRANTS (K-12)
-- ACTIVITIES AT EXPLORATORIUM ONLINE (K-12)
-- SCIENCE LEARNING THROUGH OCEAN EXPLORATION (6-12)
-- HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN SCIENCE (PRE-K-5)
-- E-LETTER GOES TO SUMMER SCHEDULE
On July 1, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will fire its main engine to reduce its speed, allowing it to be captured by Saturn's gravity and enter orbit. The spacecraft will then begin a four-year tour of the ringed planet, its mysterious moons, the stunning rings, and its complex magnetic environment.
During the Saturn Tour, Cassini will complete 74 orbits of the ringed planet, 44 close flybys of the mysterious moon Titan, and numerous flybys of Saturn's other icy moons. The first significant flyby is June 11 when Cassini will pass Phoebe -- the furthest moon orbiting Saturn -- at an altitude of 2,000 km (1,243 miles).
For more images and more information, go to
Beginning mid-June 2004, Regal Cinemas will provide movie fans with a unique opportunity to view programming from NASA's Kids Science News Network (KSNN). One-minute video news breaks from NASA's KSNN will be featured within programming shown in the lobbies of Regal Cinema's 400 digital projection theaters.
KSNN" uses animated characters and Web/video technology to explain everyday phenomena of our world, correct misconceptions, and answer frequently asked questions. Each standards-based news break includes a follow-up written explanation, inquiry-based activities, related print and electronic resources, and a computer-graded quiz.
For more information, go to
There is still time to apply for a National Geographic Society Education Foundation teacher grant. This year, the foundation will award grants of up to $5,000 each to help teachers -- or a group of teachers -- make an even greater impact in the classroom, school, district, and/or community through innovative geography education projects.
Applications for the 2004-2005 school year or summer 2005 must be received by 5 p.m. ET, June 10. Awards will be announced by August 31, 2004.
The foundation is most interested in projects that seek to improve student achievement through geographic literacy and include one or more of the following strategies: Exploring the world's many diverse cultures; exploring uses of new technologies; expanding student experiential-learning opportunities; and engaging families and/or communities in education.
For an application, go to
http://nationalgeographic.com/education/teacher_community/get_grant.htmlACTIVITIES AT EXPLORATORIUM ONLINE (K-12)
Exploratorium Online features dozens of online learning activities and exhibits. Visitors can make a mold terrarium, explore the brain, and learn about magnetism, motors, Mars and more.
Founded in 1969 by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, the San Francisco museum also draws on its more than 650 exhibits for webcasts of science demonstrations by teachers, as well as more than 3,000 photos and movies. Visit
Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration is a newly-developed curriculum for middle and high school teachers based on lesson plans developed for the NOAA Voyages of Discovery and the Ocean Explorer websites.
Each lesson focuses on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and is correlated to the National Science Education Standards. The curriculum themes are arranged in an order that progresses from physical science through earth science to biological and environmental science, as ocean sciences include all of these areas.
To download the curriculum, go to
Helping Your Child Learn Science offers hands-on learning activities parents can use at home to help children ages 3-10 learn about things like friction and chemical reactions using simple household items. For activities, go to
The Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium Newsletter for Teachers is going to its summer schedule. There will be a single newsletter in July and another in late August. We will resume our regular twice-monthly schedule in September.
For the latest Space Grant news, please visit our website at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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