Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

August 1, 2007

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

-- EDUCATOR ASTRONAUT TO FLY
-- TWO SPACE WORKSHOPS OFFERED (K-12)
-- VISIT THE GALAXY ZOO (8-12)
-- EARTH SCIENCE WEEK KITS
-- TEAM AMERICA ROCKETRY CHALLENGE (7-12)
-- TOUR THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
-- SPACE THRILLS POSTER AVAILABLE (K-4)

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EDUCATOR ASTRONAUT TO FLY

On Aug. 7, Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission will take off, delivering the International Space Station's third starboard truss segment. Also aboard will be educator astronaut and veteran classroom teacher Barbara Morgan. As part of the mission, NASA Education will be offering a variety of educational resources including downlinks and activities. For more information, go to http://www.nasa.gov/sts118

TWO SPACE WORKSHOPS OFFERED (K-12)

This August the Museum of Flight is offering two space-related workshops for teachers. In "Space: Exploring the New Frontier," geared to K-12 teachers, participants will learn the history of space exploration, tour the museum's new space exhibit and take part in an interactive videoconference with NASA instructors to learn about specific classroom activities related to Space Shuttle mission STS-118, featuring educator astronaut Barbara Morgan. "Human Biology: Adaptations To The Environment Of Space Flight," geared to grades 5-12, looks at spaceflight-induced changes to the human nervous system, including illusions, effects on spatial orientation, visual-motor performance, sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. Participants will come away with training and hands-on activities to bring the concepts to the classroom. "Space" takes place Aug. 8 from 1:30-5:30 p.m.; "Human Biology" takes place Aug. 25 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. There is no charge for museum members; $25 for all others. To register, please call 206-764-1384. For more information, contact Melanie Kwong at 206-768-7216 or e-mail mkwong@museumofflight.org

VISIT THE GALAXY ZOO (8-12)

Astronomers are inviting members of the public to help them make major new discoveries by taking part in a census of one million galaxies. Galaxy Zoo visitors will see stunning galaxy images, most of which have never been viewed by human eyes before. By sorting these images into "spiral galaxies" (like our own Milky Way) or "elliptical galaxies", visitors will help astronomers to understand the structure of the universe. "It's not just for fun," said Kevin Schawinski of the astrophysics department at Oxford University where the data will be analysed. "The human brain is actually better than a computer at pattern recognition tasks like this. Whether you spend five minutes, fifteen minutes or five hours using the site your contribution will be invaluable." Visitors will be able to print out posters of the galaxies they have explored and even compete to see who's the best virtual astronomer. Images for the project are taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which is using a 142-megapixel digital camera to create the largest digital map of the universe. To visit the site, go to http://www.galaxyzoo.org

EARTH SCIENCE WEEK KITS

Toolkits for the 2007 Earth Science Week (Oct. 14-20) can now be pre-ordered. The theme this year is the pulse of the earth and focuses on geoscience research, such as that associated with the International Polar Year (IPY) and the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE). The toolkits include educational resources from AGI, NASA, NOAA, USGS, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and other organizations. To order toolkits, as well as learn about the latest plans for Earth Science Week, go to http://www.earthsciweek.org/

TEAM AMERICA ROCKETRY CHALLENGE (7-12)

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), in partnership with NASA and others, are sponsoring the 6th Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge, the world's largest model rocket contest. This year's challenge is to design, build, and fly a one-stage model rocket carrying two raw eggs to an altitude of 750 feet, keep it aloft for 45 seconds and return it safely to the ground with the 2 raw eggs unbroken. Team members must be students who are currently enrolled in grades 7 through 12 at a U.S. school or nonprofit youth organization. Registration opens online on Sept. 5, 2007. For more information and an application, visit http://www.rocketcontest.org

TOUR THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

The International Space Station is now accessible in cyberspace through NASA's Interactive Space Station Reference Guide, which features an in-depth look inside and outside of the orbiting laboratory. The guide provides an up-to-date interactive overview of the station's complex configuration, design and component systems. It includes a video introduction and narration by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, who lived aboard the station for six months as an Expedition 9 science officer and flight engineer. To visit the station, go to http://www.nasa.gov/station

SPACE THRILLS POSTER AVAILABLE (K-4)

As part of the Discovery Program's 15th anniversary celebration, educators can receive a free Space Thrills poster. This new poster for K-4 students uses reading and writing activities to teach students about the solar system. Students will "Meet Our Solar System" and ponder "Solar System Mysteries." Teacher tips and resources, as well as student activities are included. To order a free poster, scroll to the bottom of the Discovery home page at http://discovery.nasa.gov/

FEEDBACK

Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at isvete@u.washington.edu

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