December 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
-- WATER STILL ON MARS?
-- MUSEUM OFFERS SCIENCE BULLETINS
-- NASA ERC OPEN DURING HOLIDAYS (K-12)
-- JOIN THE ZULA PATROL (K-2)
-- FEDERATION OF THE BLIND LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (9-12+)
-- WIN A SATELLITE TRACKING RADIO (9-12+)
Bright new deposits seen in NASA photographs of two gullies on Mars suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years.
"These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program.
For more information, including links to the first images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, go to
The American Museum of Natural History's online program, Science Bulletins, offers a window into the excitement of scientific discovery in the fields of astrophysics, Earth science, and biodiversity through documentary features about scientists in the field, cutting-edge data visualizations of Earth and the cosmos, and snapshot images of the natural world.
In addition to the current stories, Science Bulletins also provides an archive of past stories and resource links for educators interested in using them in the classroom. To view the bulletins, go to
Need classroom materials on astronomy, Earth science, aeronautics or space studies? Consider a visit to the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center (ERC) during the holidays. The ERC -- located in the Space Grant office, 141 Johnson Hall, on the University of Washington campus -- is open 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., during the week of Dec. 18 and by appointment the week of Dec. 25.
The ERC offers curriculum packs, posters, lithographs, bookmarks, brochures, cds and videos on many NASA topics. Most materials are free (there is a nominal charge for copying videos, $5, and cds, $3). Books and some kits of hands-on materials can be checked out for a month. DVDs must be ordered through NASA CORE.
Educators who can't visit in person may contact the ERC by e-mail to order materials delivered by U.S. Postal Service. Please include your address, the grade level(s) that you teach and specific information about the topics that you are covering in class. NASA materials received by the ERC change frequently and no comprehensive catalog is available. However, a listing of the available videos available can be found at
For more information, including directions and information on parking, contact
The Zula Patrol, an animated PBS series, uses brightly colored aliens to teach students about science and astronomy with humor and without violence. The series, developed with the help of science teachers, astronauts, astronomers, and child development specialists, aligns with National Science Education Standards, and promotes literacy and language-building skills.
The Zula Patrol Web site includes activity guides for educators, a reading incentive project and more. For additional information, go to
Next summer, 200 blind and low vision high school students will travel to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for the National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam, a four-day academy intended to engage and inspire the participants to consider science careers falsely believed to be impossible for blind people to enter.
Students will will be mentored by blind role models during activities meant to stretch the imagination, build confidence, and increase science literacy. They will also attend various social events as well as workshops on topics such as leadership, career preparation, and advocacy.
The deadline to apply to participate as a student or mentor is April 1, 2007. The workshop takes place July 30-August 4, 2007. A strong interest in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) is not required to participate, enjoy and benefit from the academy. For more information, visit
On Dec. 11, GeneSat-1 will launch from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on its mission to conduct a cellular biology technology demonstration. Operating at 437.075 MHz FM, its beacon will send an AX.25 packet every 5 seconds containing data about the spacecraft systems operation.
To support amateur radio and space technology outreach to secondary and higher education student groups, the GeneSat mission team is sponsoring a satellite tracking contest. A grand prize of a radio station set up for satellite tracking will be awarded to the winner's choice of high school or college. For more information, 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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