January 5, 2005
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
- LORD OF THE RINGS: CASSINI-HUYGENS AT SATURN
-- ANCIENT OBSERVATORIES, TIMELESS KNOWLEDGE WORKSHOP (3-12)
-- GROWING GALAXIES IN YOUR OWN CELESTIAL BACKYARD (6-12)
-- LISTEN TO THE SINGING SUN
-- WSU SUMMER ENGINEERING PROGRAM (6-12)
-- THE NSTA INSTITUTE WEB SEMINAR SERIES
On Jan. 26, Dr. Toby Smith of the UW Astronomy Department will give a free public talk on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, its discoveries and the future of Saturn exploration. The Seattle Astronomical Society will provide telescope viewing of Saturn after the lecture, weather permitting.
The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 120 of Kane Hall on the University of Washington Seattle campus. The Huygens probe is scheduled to land on Titan (one of Saturn's moons) in mid-January. For more information, go to
NASA's Sun-Earth Day is March 20 and this year's theme is "Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge." On Feb. 5, Dr. Julie Lutz - research professor of astronomy and director of the NASA Educator Resource Center -- will lead a free workshop featuring the 2005 Sun-Earth Day kit, which includes engaging activities for students, as well as posters, CDs, lithographs and a DVD.
The workshop is geared to teachers of grades 3-12 and all participants will receive a full 2005 kit to use in their classrooms. The workshop takes place 12:30-4:30 p.m. at the NASA Educator Resource Center, 310 Condon Hall, University of Washington. For complete information and registration, visit
On Feb. 12, Cheryl Niemela, NASA HEASARC ambassador, will lead a free workshop introducing galaxies, their formation and their sizes. You will discover that not only are there different types of galaxies, but that many active galaxies show evidence for black holes and dark matter.
The workshop will take place 12:30-4:30 p.m. in Puyallup. The workshop highlights several NASA missions, along with their amazing discoveries. Participants will receive the NASA classroom materials used in the workshop. Clock hours are available. For more information, go to
Have you ever wondered what the sun would sound like if you could hear it? Sound won't travel through space, of course. But with the right instrument, scientists can "hear" pulsations from the Sun.
The entire sun vibrates from a complex pattern of acoustical waves, much like a bell. If your eyes were sharp enough, you could see a bell's surface jiggle in complex patterns as the waves bounced around within it. To hear the sun sing and learn other fun sun facts, go to
Washington State University, with funding from the National Science Foundation, is offering a six-week, hands-on summer engineering program to familiarize middle and high school teachers with engineering processes. Participants in Summer at WSU - Engineering Experiences for Teachers (SWEET) work with a faculty mentor and solve real engineering problems. They also develop and pilot a teaching module to take their new knowledge into the classroom.
The program begins in late June. Teachers receive a stipend, living allowance and travel expenses. The application deadline is Feb. 15. For more information, contact at Dr. Richard L. Zollars, WSU Department of Chemical Engineering, at 509-335-4332, or e-mail
NSTA Institute has launched a free web seminar series. These one-hour, live, interactive sessions underwritten by NASA Explorer Schools feature NASA scientists, engineers and education specialists. They will showcase NASA Education resources that are available via the Web. Topics include robotics and planetary surfaces. The first session is Jan. 5 at 7-8 p.m. (EST).
The sessions will begin with a general introduction followed by an opportunity to interact with the presenter through an interactive whiteboard, quizzes, and polling questions. The session will then conclude with a short evaluation of the session and a drawing for a content related giveaway. To participate, 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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