Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

December 11, 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

-- METEOR SHOWER PEAKS 12/14
-- KINESTHETIC ASTRONOMY (6-12)
-- RISING TIDES JOURNAL (9-12)
-- TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT (K-2)
-- SHUTTLE TO LAUNCH
-- DECEMBER NEWSLETTER ANNOUNCEMENT

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METEOR SHOWER PEAKS 12/14

The best meteor shower of 2007 — the Geminid meteor shower — isn't caused by the usual comet. Instead, Geminids come from an asteroid, a near-Earth object named 3200 Phaethon. The Geminid shower will peak on December 14. NASA astronomer Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center recommends to start watching December 13, around 10 p.m. local time. "At first you might not see very many meteors but be patient," he says. "The show really heats up after midnight and by dawn there could be dozens of bright meteors per hour streaking across the sky." For the whole story, visit http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/03dec_asteroidshower.htm?list820645

KINESTHETIC ASTRONOMY (6-12+)

Kinesthetic astronomy lessons, developed by the Space Science Institute, teach basic astronomical concepts through choreographed bodily movements and positions that provide educational sensory experiences. In the Sky Time lesson, for example, students reconnect with the astronomical meaning of the day, year, and seasons. Lesson plans are fully aligned with national science education standards, both in content and instructional practice. For more information, go to http://www.spacescience.org/education/extra/kinesthetic_astronomy/index.html

RISING TIDES JOURNAL (9-12)

Rising Tides, an oceanographic education journal developed for high school science teachers and students, focuses on coastal oceanography and contains cutting-edge research articles as well as classroom and laboratory activities, scientist interviews, further reading, and links to a plethora of oceanography topics. The advanced section is designed to challenge even the most gifted of high school science students. This journal was developed as part of the CoastalObs Project, a collaboration between NOAA and NASA, and is available online at http://phytoplankton.gsfc.nasa.gov/risingtides/

TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT(K-2)

Need a simple strategy to introduce temperature measurement to younger students? NASA's S'COOL team offers a simple lesson plan that takes only minutes a day and uses string, beads and a large Celsius scale thermometer. For the lesson plan, see http://scool.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/view_lessonplan.cgi?id=47

SHUTTLE TO LAUNCH

Mission STS-122 is scheduled to launch January 2. The Atlantis Space Shuttle will carry Commander Steve Frick and his six crewmates to the International Space Station where they will will install the European Space Agency's new Columbus laboratory. Columbus expands the research facilities of the station for use by scientists around the world. The mission also will include at least three spacewalks, delivery of a new crew member to the station and the return of another astronaut after nearly two months aboard the station. For more details, see http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle To see when the Atlantis Space Shuttle (or the International Space Station) will be visible over your location, go to NASA SkyWatch at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/index.html

DECEMBER NEWSLETTER ANNOUNCEMENT

Due to the holidays, there will be only one electronic newsletter this month. We will return to our twice-monthly publishing schedule in January

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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