July 12, 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 LITERACY OUTREACH (K-4)
-- EARTH SCIENCE WEEK KITS FOR TEACHERS (K-16)
-- MESSENGER TO MERCURY LAUNCHES
-- SPECIAL ASTRO ADVENTURES WORKSHOP (4-9)
-- JOIN NASA CONNECT ON THE 'A' TRAIN EXPRESS (6-8)
-- THE SCIENCE OF FLIGHT FOR TEACHERS (5-12)
-- NASAEXPLORES: A SUMMER READING LIST (K-12)
The Cassini K-4 Literacy Program is now available online, focusing on ways to strengthen elementary students' basic skills in reading and writing through scientific content. This month the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft began sending back the first up-close images of Saturn, its mysterious moons, the stunning rings, and its complex magnetic environment.
The materials developed for "Reading, Writing, and Rings," are divided into 2 grade level units. One unit is designed for students in grades 1 and 2 while the other unit focuses on students in grades 3 and 4 unit includes a series of lessons that take students on a path of exploration of Saturn using reading and writing prompts.
For more information, go to
The 2004 Earth Science Week kit supports the theme of "Living on a Restless Earth" through activities suitable for elementary through college-age students, for use in the home or classroom.
Educational materials will include posters and fact sheets from AGI, NASA, IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), and DLESE (Digital Library for Earth System Education), as well as an Earth Science Week bookmark with the geologic time scale on the back. The Southern California Earthquake Center will be supplying an informational booklet entitled "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country." The U.S. Geological Survey and National Weather Service will also be contributing materials.
To request a kit, visit
The MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center between July 30 and August 13.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are terrestrial (rocky) planets. Among these, Mercury is the smallest, the densest (after correcting for self-compression), the one with the oldest surface, the one with the largest daily variations in surface temperature - and the least explored. NASA scientists say understanding this "end member" among the terrestrial planets is crucial to developing a better understanding of how our own Earth formed, how it evolved, and how it interacts with the Sun.
For more information, go to
There is also a special link for teachers, students and families to celebrate the launch at
On July 28-30, "Astro Adventures II: A Summer Workshop for Teachers" will guide educators through content and activities in "Astro Adventures II," the new version of the popular Pacific Science Center curriculum designed to cover the Washington State EALRs and the National Science Education Standards for astronomy in grades 4-9. The workshop will be lead by Dennis Schatz, the author of the book and vice president of the Pacific Science Center, and by Dr. Julie Lutz, director of the NASA Educator Resource Center.
The workshop takes place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Condon Hall 311, University of Washington. All participants will receive a copy of "Astro Adventures II," as well as many other useful curricula materials. A $15 registration fee covers parking, all materials, instruction, snacks and beverages. The registration fee must be received on or before July 26, 2004.
To register for the workshop call 206-543-1943 or (toll-free) 1-800-659-1943 or e-mail
Please include your home address in the message so we can mail you a UW parking pass for the workshop days. For more information, go to
On "The 'A' Train Express" students will learn how weather affects everyone's daily lives, and will see national and international scientists using satellite technology to help improve weather forecasting and our understanding of aerosols and clouds. They will also be introduced to two NASA satellite Earth Science missions, CALIPSO and CloudSat. By conducting inquiry-based and web activities, students will make connections between NASA research and the mathematics, science, and technology they learn in their classrooms.
NASA CONNECT is an annual series of free integrated math, science, and technology programs with three components--television broadcast, educator guide, and Web activity--designed as an integrated instructional package. For more information, visit
Two aviation camps for teachers will be held at Paine Field in Everett this summer. The fourth annual "Science Flight for Teachers" will be offered July 26-29 and Aug. 2-5.
Sessions include two hours of flight instruction, aircraft rides, field trips to aviation-related sites such as Airlift Northwest, the Boeing Co. and the Museum of Flight, demonstrations and strategies for teaching aviation.
The cost is $250 and provides three Seattle Pacific University graduate credits. For more information, contact Gary Evans at 360-629-2005 or e-mail
NASAexplores is pleased to present its summer reading list for 2004. Topics range from observations to hands-on projects. NASAexplores will resume its regular publication schedule of articles and lessons on July 29. For more information, go to
or directly to the 2004 reading list at
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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