September 22, 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
-- LIVING AND WORKING ON MARS (5-8)
-- NATURE'S GREATEST STORMS
-- SCIENCE AND THE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS
-- MUSEUM OF FLIGHT OPEN HOUSE (K-12)
-- CELEBRATE SOLAR WEEK SEP. 26-30 (6-12)
-- BECOME A TEACHER LEADER (6-12)
-- PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY ANIMATIONS
Many hurdles must be overcome as NASA turns its attention to human travel to the moon and Mars. NASA Quest is challenging students to work with the help of NASA scientists to design solutions to these obstacles.
During the months of October and November, NASA scientists will be using locations at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California as analogs for future fieldwork on Mars. By studying the snowfields there, scientists hope to learn more about the technologies that will be needed to understand and explore Mars. They will also learn about polar ice caps and the possible life forms that could exist there. Students will adapt what they learn by shadowing NASA scientists in Lassen and designing items needed for their mission to Mars. For more information, go to
What is a hurricane? What's the difference between a hurricane watch and a warning? What's the difference between a category 3 and category 4 storm? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane page provides answers to these questions and more. Visit
Science is as much about asking questions as seeking answers. On Oct. 18, join Carole Kubota, UW professor of education and the 2005 UW Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, an interactive evening of fun and scientific discovery for wondering minds of all ages. "Science: The Answers Are Not in the Back of the Book" will explore the nature of science first-hand and present some strange science phenomena that can't be experienced from a book!
The free lecture, sponsored by UW Bothell and the UW Alumni Association begins with refreshments at 6 p.m.; lecture at 6:30 p.m. The event takes place at UW2 Commons, UW Bothell campus. Space is limited and advance registration is required. For more information, visit
On Oct. 1, the Museum of Flight in Seattle will hold an open house for educators from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for K-12 educators and their families.
Learn about the variety of education programs offered both at the Museum and through outreach at schools. For teachers, professional development workshops for clock hours are offered throughout the day. For more information, please call 206-768-7228 or e-mail
Solar Week uses lessons, games, and activities to focus on the Sun-Earth Connection. Students learn about the Sun-Earth interaction via a series of daily topics and interact online with solar physicists acting as role models and mentors. One day is devoted to careers in science, with particular encouragement for girls. To participate, go to
Additional resources, including lesson plans, movies and more, are available through the NASA Sun-Earth Connection missions and research programs. For more information, go to
Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Education and Human Resources, seeks to retain and renew middle and high school teachers of science by integrating the best practices of research-based science education with the process of mentoring. Participants are provided training in astronomy content, pedagogy and leadership skills.
Participants receive stipends, a two-week workshop at Kitt Peak National Observatory (including 5 nights observing with research telescopes), and $1,000 to implement astronomy research in their classroom, as well as partial support to attend an NSTA conference. The distance learning course takes place January-May 2006; the Kitt Peak workshop takes place in June-July.
The application deadline is Oct. 17. Participants must have five or more years experience teaching middle or high school and commit to using research-based pedagogy in the classroom for at least two years. For more information, go to
Looking for ways to show your students physics and astronomy ideas rather than just tell them? Michael R. Gallis, a physics professor at Pennsylvania State University, has gathered more than 100 brief movies to illustrate beginning concepts from astronomy, optics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism. To view his catalog, go to
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
If you are not a regular subscriber and would like to receive our newsletter, simply go to UW's Mailman and fill in a subscription form. Concerned about spam? Please note Space Grant does not sell its address lists.