November 3, 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
-- SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS IN ASTRONOMY (K-12)
-- INCORPORATING ASTRONOMY INTO THE CLASSROOM (1-5)
-- NSIP MINI-GRANT DEADLINE EXTENDED (K-12)
-- DESIGN A TOY, LEARN NEW SCIENCE (5-8)
-- NEW CALENDAR TRACKS SPACE EVENTS
-- TUNES IN THE KEY OF PI (K-12+)
Are you attending the NSTA Northwestern Area Convention in Seattle Nov. 18-20? Do you want to learn more about research and activities in astronomy?
The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center is sponsoring "Soaring to New Heights in Astronomy," a pair of workshop tracks that incorporate NSTA workshops and presentations. The "tracks" are Solar System Exploration and Stars, Galaxies and the Universe.
Participants will be able to earn 5-10 clock hours in one or both of the tracks, with a maximum of 15 clock hours possible. The fee is $15 for 5-10 clock hours; $20 for 11-15 clock hours. For more information, go to
Astronomy, or any science, can be incorporated into many other subject areas with one aiding understanding and retention of the other.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, Dr. Julie Lutzdirector of the NASA Regional Educator Resource Centerwill present a four-hour workshop on how to incorporate astronomy into reading, writing, social studies, art and music. The workshop takes place from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
"Incorporating Astronomy Into Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Art and Music" will cover day and night, the seasons, stars and the solar system, and will offer techniques and activities to incorporate these subjects into other disciplines fulfilling many level one and two benchmarks of the Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). Participants will receive the materials and skills needed to institute this unique approach to astronomy in their own classrooms.
There is no charge for Museum members; $25 for all others. The fee for clock-hours credit is $2 per hour, payable on arrival. To register, call 206-764-1384.NSIP MINI-GRANT DEADLINE EXTENDED (K-12)
The deadline to apply for a mini-grant to participate in the the 2004-5 NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP) has been extended to November 30.
Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium wants to encourage students and teachers to become involved in NSIP and to help them do so, Space Grant will provide mini-grants in the amount of up to $200 to 12 teachers whose students plan to submit NSIP projects.
NSIP competitions for students in grades K-12 help students learn firsthand the excitement of exploring science, mathematics, geography and technology. Categories include My Planet Earth, Science and Technology Journalism, and Designing a Lunar-based Mission to Mars. Depending upon the grade level, students may compete as a class, a team or as individuals
For more information, visit
For more on NSIP competitions, go to
Toys are a great way to learn about science, engineering, and the design process. TOYchallenge is designed to engage kids in an engineering activity that is fun. As girls and boys create a toy or game, they experience engineering as a creative, collaborative process, benefiting from a diversity of perspectives, and relevant to everyday life.
Interested students must find a coach; form a team of between three and eight membershalf of whom must be girlsand sign up by December 15. There is a $25 registration fee per team. Teams choose from among several toy categories such as Build It!, Get Out and Play, or Remarkable Robots. For more information, go to
When does the Leonids meteor shower begin? What day will the Huygens probe descend by parachute to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan? These and other questions can be answered with a quick visit to the new calendar section at NASA's Solar System Exploration website. Calendar notices provide links to background information on a variety of space-related events and phenomena. To visit the calendar, go to
The Math And Science Song Information, Viewable Everywhere (MASSIVE) database contains information on over 1700 science and math songs. Some of these songs are suitable for second graders; others might only appeal to tenured professors. Some songs have been professionally recorded; others haven't. Some are quite silly; others are downright serious.
MASSIVE is maintained by Greg Crowther, who is affiliated with the University of Washington, Science Groove, and the Science Songwriters' Association. The database itself is part of the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library. A companion site, MASSIVE radio, is an Internet radio station devoted entirely to science/math songs (requires a connection speed of at least 64k per second). 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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