April 14, 2006
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
-- EARTH & SPACE SCIENCE CELEBRATION APRIL 28
-- A PLANET NAMED GEORGE
-- NASA'S NEW KIDS' CLUB (K-4)
-- FREE CLIMATE CHANGE LECTURE
-- PORTAL TO NASA EARTH SCIENCE MATERIALS (K-12+)
On April 28, help us celebrate the return of the UW Department of Earth and Space Sciencesand Washington NASA Space Grant Consortiumto the newly remodeled Johnson Hall. Grand opening festivities will include talks on tsunamis, advances in space propulsion systems, and the active faults and glacial history of the Puget Sound region, as well as the continuing eruption of Mount St. Helens.
There will be activities and tours of the laboratories, with opportunities to see minerals under a microscope, learn about earthquakes and discover the geology of your neighborhood. Visit the Space Grant offices and the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center in Room 141.
The formal opening ceremony and reception will take place in the courtyard at 5 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit
The grand opening is part of UW's annual Washington Weekend. Other events include a open houses at the College of Engineering and the Department of Astronomy. For other Washington Weekend events, go to
Ancient people didn't have TV or electric lights. When the sun went down, they got their entertainment by watching the sky. And it was entertaining. Without city lights to interfere, the Milky Way was spectacular. Meteors flitted across the sky. Zodiacal lights chased the sunset.
Of special interest were the five planets that you could see without a telescopeMercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, whose movements were thought to control the affairs of men. In spite of all that watching, they missed a sixth planet you can see without a telescope, a planet named George.
To learn more about Georgea planet four times wider than Earth, with more than 30 moons, a dozen or so thin rings and another better-known identitygo to
NASA's new Kids' Club Web site features animated, colorful, entertaining and educational activities for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Interactive games on the site teach children about exploring space, building and launching rockets, keeping airplanes on schedule and how a comet travels through the solar system.
The site serves a dual purpose. Children can play games at home for entertainment, and educators can use it as a fun way to reach students in the classroom, the library, during after-school programs or anywhere children and computers are together. The site is located at
Widespread perception holds that the problem of global warming is intractable, but Princeton University Professor and ecologist Stephen W. Pacala says we already possess cost-effective technology to limit the fossil fuel emissions over the next half century. He will give a free public lecture, Solving the Carbon and Climate Problem with Technology Available Today, on April 24 at 7 p.m. in Kane Hall, Room 120, on the UW campus in Seattle.
The lecture will address the following questions: How serious is the problem of greenhouse warming and what is a safe level for greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere? How much must emissions be reduced to achieve a safe stabilization target and how confidently can we compute the required cuts? How can we best achieve the required cuts through the year 2050? For more information, visit
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) now hosts a portal to NASA-sponsored earth science materials, including movies, lesson plans and discussion forums. The site also includes information and activities for post-secondary and informal education, with links to both educator and student pages. To explore the site, 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.