May 8, 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
-- WEBCASTS: DISCOVER NASA & YOU (4-12)
-- A PLANETARIUM FOR YOUR COMPUTER
-- FREE SCIENCE FILM SCREENINGS (K-12)
-- SEND YOUR NAME TO THE MOON (K-12)
-- INQUIRY-BASED METEOROLOGY (5-9)
-- USGS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS (K-6)
As part of NASA's 50th anniversary celebration, the Digital Learning Network (DLN) is launching a special series of five live webcasts highlighting the contributions of each NASA Center to different fields of discovery and exploration. A look at past, present and future goals of the space program will offer students a unique connection to the future of space exploration.
The series begins May 13 and will look at topics such as space history, astronomy and aeronautics. For information on how to participate, go to
Stellarium is a free desktop planetarium for Linux/Unix, Windows and MacOSX. The open source program shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what is seen with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope, and can be easily be used by beginners.
The latest version contains a default catalogue of over 600,000 stars and extra catalogues with more than 210 million stars. Visualizations include equatorial and azimuthal grids, shooting stars and eclipse simulation. To download Stellarium, go to
The Seattle International Film Festival is offering two free screenings of science-related films for students and teachers. "Fields of Fuel," a documentary on alternative energy appropriate for grades 6-12, will be shown May 21. "Terra," an animated environmental film appropriate for grades K-12, will screen May 23.
Both films will be shown at 10 a.m. at SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. Tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved in advance. Free bus service may be available for schools in need.
SIFF is also offering a free workshop (with clock hours available) for middle and high school teachers interested integrating media literacy and digital storytelling into their classrooms. For a complete teacher's guide containing workshop information, EALRs for specific films, information on classroom visits by filmmakers and student ticket rates, go to the Futurewave section of the SIFF Web site at
or contact Dustin Kaspar, educational programs coordinator, at
NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.
Those who submit their names will immediately receive a certificate and have their name entered into the project's database. The database will be placed on a microchip that will be integrated onto the spacecraft. The deadline for submitting names is June 27, 2008. To participate, go to
"Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning" is written as a supplement to existing Earth and space science curricula for grades 5-9 and informal education. The guide may be used in both formal and informal educational settings as well as at home. To download a copy of the guide, visit
The U.S. Geological Survey hosts a page of educational resources and links geared to educators in grades K-6. The resources can be used directly in the classroom or incorporated into preparation for classroom lessons or demonstration activities. They can also be used as resources for teacher education and curriculum development.
Resources include lesson plans, games, research, maps, satellite imagery and more. For more information, 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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