Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

September 14, 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

-- IMAGINE THE FUTURE OF AVIATION (9-12+)
-- TO THE MOON: AN ONLINE EDUCATION
-- PLANTS IN SPACE (K-12)
-- EXPLORING SPACE CHALLENGES (3-12)
-- THE GREAT WORLDWIDE STAR COUNT (K-12)

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IMAGINE THE FUTURE OF AVIATION (9-12+)

High school students are invited to submit an essay to the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's 2007-2008 competition describing how a new generation of aircraft could revolutionize the movement of goods and passengers in the 21st century in the same way the introduction of the DC-3 of changed transportation in the 1940s. The 12-page essays should address environmental impacts, including reduced noise and emissions, improved operating costs, the use of alternative fuels, passenger and cargo loads, and use of existing general aviation runways. Winning papers may receive trips to a NASA-based experience or a cash award, depending on available funds. Notices of intent to participate are due December 15; final essays due on or before March 15, 2008. For more information, go to http://aero.larc.nasa.gov/competitions.htm

TO THE MOON: AN ONLINE EDUCATION

Kaguya, Chang'e and Chandrayaan are not familiar names, yet they herald a new era of lunar exploration. These are spacecraft being sent to orbit the moon by Japan, China and India, starting in September 2007. They will be joined in 2008 by America's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. These four ships are the largest armada to the moon in the nearly 50 years. To the Moon is a new graduate level online course to provide educators and other public outreach professionals information about the moon, these new missions and ways to use them in science education. The course will be team-taught under the direction of Charles Wood, a lunar scientist, education expert, and the executive director of the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future, housed at the Center for Educational Technologies (CET) at Wheeling Jesuit University. For more information, go to http://moon-edu.wikispaces.com/

PLANTS IN SPACE (K-12)

Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future. NASA scientists anticipate that astronauts may be able to grow plants on the moon, and the plants could be used to supplement meals. Through the NASA Engineering Design Challenge, K-12 students will design, build, and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers. They will also receive cinnamon basils seeds flown on STS-118 and test lunar growth chambers by growing and comparing both space-flown and Earth-based control seeds To register and receive more information, go to http://www.nasa.gov/education/plantchallenge

EXPLORING SPACE CHALLENGES (3-12)

NASA Exploring Space Challenges encourage students to be creative, apply design skills, conduct scientific research and utilize technology. Participants can choose from several different missions including collecting moon data, designing moon habitats, and investigating hurricanes. For more information, visit http://esc.nasa.gov/

THE GREAT WORLDWIDE STAR COUNT (K-12)



From Oct. 1-15, students, families, and citizen scientists around the world are invited to count the stars in the evening sky and report their results online. This inaugural Windows After Dark event (part of the Windows to the Universe project) is designed to raise awareness about light pollution and encourage learning in astronomy. At the end of the event, the submitted data will be analyzed and a map will be generated highlighting the results. Mark your calendars and plan on joining thousands of other students, families, and citizen scientists counting stars this October! For more information, go to http://www.starcount.org

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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