August 5, 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
-- VISIT WITH AN ASTRONAUT
-- JOURNEY THROUGH NASA'S FIRST 50 YEARS
-- WOMEN'S ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE (5-8)
-- BE A NASA CLOUD OBSERVER (3-12)
-- LIQUID LAKE ON SATURN MOON
-- BUILD CALCULATOR-CONTROLLED ROBOTS (6-9)
-- LOOKING FOR NASA IMAGES?
On Sept. 17, astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world will fan out to visit schools and community centers throughout Washington. The goodwill visits are part of the Association of Space Explorers XXI Planetary Congress being held that week in Seattle.
Request letters are now being accepted to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For more information on how to request a visit from an astronaut or cosmonaut, please call the Museum of Flight at 206-768-7116 or e-mail
July 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the space act that created NASA. To commemorate NASA's beginning, the agency has released an immersive multimedia experience that takes visitors on an interactive tour of its first five decades of exploration.
Combining current and historic video with state-of-the-art computer animation, the virtual exhibit takes a World's Fair approach to NASA history and includes 3D interior views of John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft, the 1959 press conference introducing the Mercury astronauts, a tour of the International Space Station, and video presentations about NASA's aeronautics programs.
To begin the tour of NASA's first 50 years, visit
The Women's Adventures in Science (WAS) project is designed to support kids, especially girls, in their scientific explorations so they learn the fundamental skills of scientific investigation and feel empowered to tackle such adventures.
The site includes a parent-teacher guide that suggests ways to use the the content as a teaching tool in the classroom and offers ideas for extending the content with additional questions and activities. These suggestions can easily be modified for home use as well. For more information, go to
NASA's Student Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project welcomes observations from any interested observers, especially from places where official weather observations are rare.
Many materials including posters and flyers are available in Spanish and and other languages. For more information, visit
At least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan contains liquid hydrocarbons, and NASA scientists have positively identified the presence of ethane. This makes Titan the only body in our solar system (other than Earth) known to have liquid on its surface.
Last December, the visual and mapping instrument aboard Cassini observed a lake, Ontario Lacus, during a close flyby. The lake, located in Titan's south polar region, is roughly 7,800 square miles in area, slightly larger than North America's Lake Ontario. For more information, go to
The educator guide for Calculator-Controlled Robots provides information for students to create programs in TI-BASIC and run Norland Research calculator robots over the course of one semester.
Missions are built sequentially on the knowledge of previous activities. The first missions have step-by-step programming instructions that gradually lead students to create their own programs in later missions. Students use and apply math and science concepts to direct their robots through a variety of challenges. To download the guide, visit
NASA and Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library, have launched the most comprehensive compilation ever of NASA's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video. The Internet site combines for 21 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource. To search for images, 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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