October 6, 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
-- SPACE EXPLORATION: ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
-- PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER OPEN HOUSE (K-12)
-- SEND YOUR EXPERIMENT TO SPACE (K-12)
-- VISIT NASA AT WSTA (K-12)
-- NASA PRINTING AVAILABLE LOCALLY
-- ERC OFFERS TWO SATURDAY WORKSHOPS (5-12)
-- 'EINSTEIN'S BIG IDEA' AIRS (5-12)
On Oct. 13, "Space Exploration: Envisioning The Future" brings together a panel of noted space scientists and science fiction writers for a roundtable discussion of the recent breakthroughs that will shape the future of space travel. The free event, sponsored by the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, takes place at 7 p.m. in the JBL Theatre in Experience Music Project at Fifth Avenue North and Harrison Street.
Featured guests include mathematician and author Vernor Vinge; Geoffrey A. Landis, an award-winning science fiction author and NASA scientist currently working on the Mars Rover mission; Jordin Kare, an independent designer of advanced space systems and technology; Robert M. Winglee, scientist and chair of the UW Department of Earth and Space Sciences; and Michael Laine, president and founder of LiftPort Inc, the company devoted to the commercial development of an elevator to space.
For more information, go to
On Oct. 15, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle will hold a free open house for educators and school support personnel. Check-in is from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Educators are welcome to spend the entire day exploring the center and enjoying free IMAX screenings including the new feature, "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D."
Teachers and school support personnel must check-in to receive their free admission and movie tickets Please bring school ID for check-in. School staff may bring up to three guests, including family members and all ages are welcome. From 8:30-10 a.m., educators will have exclusive time in PSC's newest exhibit "Whodunit?: The Science of Solving Crime." For more information, call 206-443-2925.SEND YOUR EXPERIMENT TO SPACE (K-12)
Applications are now being accepted for student-designed experiments to be flown aboard the International Space Station. At least one flight slot in this opportunity is being reserved for the informal education community such as museums, science centers, afterschool and community groups.
The SEM Satchel carrier provides the opportunity for students to place different types of materials in NASA-provided vials to conduct a "fly and compare" type of investigation. Each experiment consists of up to 5 vials. The current opportunity will launch 60 SEM Satchel experiments on the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) mid-year 2006. The application deadline is Dec. 23, 2005.
An integration workshop will be conducted at Kennedy Space Center in support of flight preparation of experiments. Two students and one educator from 10 groups across the country will be provided transportation to KSC for integration of their experiments and to participate in facility tours. For informal education, the program is open to partners working with youth from grades 6 to undergraduates. Winning teams will be selected on a competitive basis.
For additional information about SEM Satchel, go to
To apply for the integration workshop, select NESC- KSC Satchel Integration Workshop (Space Station) from the pull-down menu at the site below:
Space Science Network Northwest will have an exhibit booth at the Washington Science Teachers Association meeting Oct. 14-15 in Wenatchee. Stop by for some great NASA handouts and to help plan the 2006 summer educator workshops for Central and Eastern Washington. Let organizers know what activities and topics would be most useful in your classroom.
Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium's new student programs coordinator, Tracy Maschman Morrissey, will be on hand with hot-off-the-press applications for the 2006 Space Grant scholarships for the University of Washington and information on Space Grant programs at other Washington Space Grant colleges and universities. For more information on the WSTA meeting, go to
Educators and NASA enthusiasts, who download documents such as posters from the agency's Web site, can now have the large files printed at the closest OfficeMax store. OfficeMax Print and Document Services facilities are offering savings of up to 50 percent on all materials printed from the NASA Web site.
Teachers and other space enthusiasts can either print the materials themselves or click the new OfficeMax icon on the NASA Web site. The materials will be professionally copied and collated for delivery, shipping or available for next-day pick up at the nearest OfficeMax store. In many cases, materials are lengthy and have numerous color pictures and graphics, which can take hours to download. Teachers can download and print educator guides, classroom activities, posters, pictures, and information about science, technology, rocketry, planets and engineering.
To search the NASA website for educational materials, go to
The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center is offering two Saturday workshops this fall.
On Oct. 29, NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Brian Hawkins returns with "Visit to an Ocean Planet," a half-day workshop on the science of oceans, satellite sensing activity and professional development opportunities for educators interested in earth sciences. Participants will receive and use the NASA CDs "Visit to an Ocean Planet" and "Winds of Change." The workshop, which runs from 12:30-4:30 p.m., also features a talk by UW student researcher Nimisha Gosh Roy on her work on river sediments flowing into oceans. Four clock hours are available from WSTA for $15.
On Nov. 12, Denise Thompson -- an Orting High School teacher and veteran of last summer's intensive astrobiology educator workshop at the NASA Ames Research Center -- will present an astrobiology sampler geared to help teachers fit this fascinating new discipline into their middle school science curriculum or even design an entire astrobiology course for high school students. Participants will receive copies of many astrobiology education materials. The workshop runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Participants should bring lunch; beverages and snacks will be provided. Six clock hours are available from WSTA for $15.
Both workshops take place in Condon Hall, Rm. 311. To register, call 1-800-659-1943 or e-mail
On Oct. 11, PBS stations nationwide will air a new NOVA program, "Einstein's Big Idea." The two-hour show is based on David Bodanis' book,"E=mc2", and is a biography of the famous equation. The Department of Energy's Office of Science is co-sponsoring show -- and its associated materials for middle schools, high schools and libraries nationwide -- as part of the celebration of the World Year of Physics. Program information is available at
Teachers' guides have been distributed nationwide to high school physics teachers, middle school science chairs and middle school physics teachers. To download a copy of the teacher's guide, visit
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
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