January 4, 2008
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
-- BECOMING THE CATALYST (3-12)
-- 2007 SCIENCE ED ADVOCATE AWARDS
-- ASTEROID TO PASS NEAR MARS
-- NON-TECHNICAL ASTRONOMY PODCASTS
-- CHEMISTRY GRANTS FOR TEACHERS (K-12)
-- ENGINEERGIRL! CONTEST (3-12)
On January 24, educators from the National Institute of Aerospace and NASA will be at the Seattle Museum of Flight to conduct a teacher workshop, "Becoming the Catalyst: Inspiring Students to Become 21st Century Explorers." The workshop — part of the NASA Future Forum events celebrating the agency's 50th anniversary — will introduce teachers to a wide variety of web-based educational resources developed by NASA and its Future Forums partners.
The workshop also will guides teachers through the steps to create their own Space Weather Action Center in their classrooms through which students will monitor the progress of an entire solar storm from the time it erupts from the sun to the time it sweeps past, generating changes in our magnetic field.
For more information, call (206) 768-7216 or visit
Washington Laser is seeking nominations for its Science Education Advocate Awards. The awards will be presented to five individuals, organizations, and/or project teams who have exhibited outstanding advocacy for science education in the state of Washington.
Efforts at all levels of science education - including early learner, K-12, vocational, undergraduate, graduate, adult, and informal/public science education - are eligible for consideration. The deadline is January 18. For more information, go to
Astronomers are monitoring an asteroid estimated to be 164-feet wide that is expected to cross Mars' orbital path later this month. NASA's Near-Earth Object Office indicates the object may pass within 30,000 miles of Mars at about 6 a.m. EST on Jan. 30.
In late December, Don Yeomans, manager of the Near Earth Object Office, described asteroid 2007 WD5 as about halfway between the Earth and Mars and "closing the distance at a speed of about 27,900 miles per hour."
To follow the progress of asteroid 2007 WD5, go to
Audio recordings of 10 public lectures by noted astronomers are now available as free downloads through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP).
Talks include Frank Drake of the SETI Institute, "Estimating the Chances of Life Out There;" Dale Cruikshank of NASA Ames, "The Planet Pluto: Maligned but Not Forgotten;" and Bruce Margon of the University of California, Santa Cruz, "Glimpsing the Edge of the Universe: Results from the Hubble Space Telescope."
To download these hour-long talks, visit
The Puget Sound chapter of the American Chemical Society will award one-year grants of up to $500 to area K-12 teachers.
Awards may be used for supplies and equipment for high school students; to do chemistry demonstrations at elementary and middle schools; for selected chemistry journals and books, including safety and waste disposal texts; for teacher supplies and equipment to develop new chemistry experiments; and for teachers to attend chemistry courses, symposia or institutes.
Teachers are asked to submit a one-page proposal. Preference will be given to teachers who are extending their range of competence. The deadline for proposals is March 14. For more information, please contact Clarita Bhat at
We use energy in almost everything we do, but if we aren't careful there won't be enough. The future of energy is the topic of the 2008 EngineerGirl! essay contest.
Both girls and boys may compete. To enter, individual students write an essay of no more than 750 words describing how they believe engineers will provide energy for the future. The entry deadline is March 1. First-place winners will receive a check for $500. Second-place entries will be awarded $250: third-place, $100.
For complete contest details, 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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