March 11, 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
-- STARDUST: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED (9-12)
-- AFTERSCHOOL UNIVERSE (5-8)
-- NEW DATA ON OLD LIGHT
-- SCIENCE TO GO (4-6)
-- NEW WORLDS LECTURE
Join University of Washington astrobiologist Graciela Matrajt and astronomer Julie Lutz for a workshop on the results of the Stardust Mission which returned a sample of comet dust to the Earth. The workshop will include a visit to the UW Stardust sample analysis laboratory, a talk by Dr. Matrajt on the comet particle analyses and classroom activities demonstrated by Dr. Lutz.
Stardust: Mission Accomplished will take place April 12, 9 a.m.-noon, in Room A216 of the UW Physics and Astronomy Building in Seattle. Clock hours will be available for purchase. To register, send your name, e-mail, phone number and grade levels that you teach to Dr. Lutz at
Afterschool Universe is an out-of-school-time program that explores astronomy concepts through hands-on activities and takes participants on a journey through the Universe beyond the solar system.
The program currently consists of 12 sessions. Each session typically requires 45-60 minutes for implementation. The site includes a comprehensive manual and materials checklist.
To download the manual and learn more, see
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has produced a wealth of precise and accurate cosmological information including:
- New evidence that a sea of cosmic neutrinos permeates the universe
- Clear evidence that the first stars took more than a half-billion years to create a cosmic fog
- Tight new constraints on the burst of expansion in the universe's first trillionth of a second.
Last Friday. NASA released five years of data from the project, which measures a remnant of the early universe - its oldest light. The light patterns across the sky encode a wealth of details about the history, shape, content, and ultimate fate of the universe. For more information, go to
Free To-Go Kits on science topics including rockets and GPS navigation are available for teachers and informal educators of students in grades 4-6.
The kits, distributed by Colorado NASA Space Grant Consortium, contains all the supplies needed to facilitate the activity for up to 30 students, including a CD with file of all handouts and supplementary documentation. The kits are designed to be used multiple times with different groups.
The supply of kits is limited. For complete information, go to
On March 20, astronomer Michelle Thaller of the Spitzer Science Center at CalTech will speak on "New Worlds: The Discoveries of the Spitzer Space Telescope." The talk takes place at 7 p.m. at the Gig Harbor High School auditorium, 5101 Rosedale St. NW in Gig Harbor.
Launched into space in 2003, the Spitzer Space Telescope is the largest infrared telescope ever launched into space, and the final element in NASA's Great Observatories Program. Its highly sensitive instruments give us a unique view of the Universe and allow us to peer into regions of space which are hidden from optical telescopes.
The talks is sponsored by Key Peninsula Middle School, a NASA Explorer School. For more information, call 253-530-4200 or e-mail
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
If you are not a regular subscriber and would like to receive our newsletter, simply go to UW's Mailman and fill in a subscription form. Concerned about spam? Please note Space Grant does not sell its address lists.