June 6, 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
-- LEARN TO USE SDSS DATA (9-12+)
-- STORM WARNINGS ON JUPITER
-- SCIENCE IN NATIVE AMERICAN STORIES (K-8)
-- 3D ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TESTERS (5-6)
-- VIKING ON MARS ANNIVERSARY
-- OUR SOLAR SYSTEM SET AVAILABLE (K-12)
-- E-LETTER BEGINS SUMMER SCHEDULE
At a special Friday workshop, June 30, high school teachers, community college instructors and others will have a chance to go through two exercises designed for use with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) astronomical database.
For more than five years, SDSS has been imaging in five different colors all of the sky visible from a 2.5-m telescope located in New Mexico. The telescope has also taken hundreds of thousands of spectra of stars, nebulae and galaxies. "Sloan Digital Sky Survey: A Resource for High School Classrooms" will present classroom exercises on spectra of stars and expansion of the universe that use actual SDSS survey data.
The workshop takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on the UW campus. Five clock hours will be available for $15. For more information, go to
The two biggest storms in the solar system are about to go bump in the night, in plain view of backyard telescopes.
The Great Red Spot -- twice as wide as Earth itself, with winds blowing 350 mph has been spinning around Jupiter for hundreds of years. On July 4, its outer rings will brush close to Oval BA (also known as "Red Jr.") a youngster of a storm only six years old. No one knows how the storms will react. Amateur astronomers are already monitoring the event.
For the full story, visit
"SkyTellers: The Myths, the Magic, and the Mysteries of the Universe" explores astronomy and space science concepts through Native American legends. Designed for use in classrooms, youth groups and home school settings, it presents 10 traditional Native American stories complemented by explanations of the phenomena presented as currently understood by scientists.
The SkyTellers package includes a DVD and resource guide with activities, games, suggested books, videos and other materials. Topics include the seasons, day and night, moon phases, galaxies and more. For additional information, go to
Beta-schools are sought to test Project 3D-VIEW [Virtual Interactive Environmental Worlds] a new NASA-funded, curriculum program that engages students with simple-to-use, immersive 3D technologies teaching standards-based concepts and practice inquiry in lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and, then, Earth systems.
Being a beta-school includes online professional development, comprehensive curriculum-materials, formal literacy and mathematics components, assessments and rubrics. For more information, visit
On June 22, NASA Langley will air a special Web cast conference to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Viking spacecraft landing on Mars. The online conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. Topics will cover Mars exploration past, present and future. For a full list of speakers, go to
The 2005 lithograph set, "Our Solar System," is now available online. The set includes pictures and illustrations of the planets, the sun, asteroids, comets, meteors and meteorites, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, and moons of the solar system. General information, significant dates, interesting facts and brief descriptions of the images are included.
The lithographs may be downloaded as a set or individually by subject in either a low- or high-resolution format. For copies, go to
This month, the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium Newsletter for Teachers begins its summer schedule. There will be a single newsletter in June and July. We will resume our regular twice-monthly schedule in August. For the latest Washington Space Grant news, please visit our Web site at
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.