November 7, 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
-- SPIRIT OF INNOVATION (9-12)
-- NASA ART & DESIGN CONTEST (9-12+)
-- NAME THAT HABITAT (6-10)
-- EXPLORATION THROUGH NAVIGATION (5-8)
-- REAL WORLD DESIGN CHALLENGE (9-12)
Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship by challenging high school students to design products using science and technology. Teams compete for over $120,000 of prize money and a chance to connect with leading scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.
This year, a series of live chat sessions with the foundation's experts will be available to all registered teams beginning in November. This will allow students to ask questions on a wide range of science, engineering, and business topics to help gain information to develop their products.
All team submission documents must be uploaded before midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 9, 2009. For complete information, go to
The NASA Art & Design Contest is open to high school and college students from all areas of study, including the arts,industrial design, architecture, computer design, and the fine arts. The theme is "Life and Work on the Moon," and entries will be accepted in three categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital.
Cash prizes, certificates of achievement, and exhibit opportunities are planned. The entry deadline is March 15, 2009. For more information, visit
NASA is looking to develop habitation modules for use on the Moon and Mars that are light - yet strong - and easy to set up. An inflatable habitat is being tested in Antarctica but one important thing is missing: a name.
Students are being challenged to "Name the Hab." Names should reflect the potential uses of inflatable habitats on Earth and other worlds. The name can be an acronym for a longer title, or a name that has some functional, historic, or other compelling significance.
The deadline is Nov. 20. For more information, visit
"LCross: Exploration through Navigation," the NASA Quest challenge for fall, has students chart a course from the Big Island of Hawai'i to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) by using ocean navigation skills that were used in early Polynesian exploration. In the second part of the challenge, students will chart a course from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral to one of the lunar poles using navigation skills appropriate for space.
Background materials are available to help prepare for the challenge. An educator's guide aligned to national education standards is available for those who register. Student projects are due Nov. 24. For more information about the challenge and to register online, visit
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC), a new annual competition that provides high school students with the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a collaborative environment.
Student teams will be challenged to redesign an existing aircraft to improve its fuel efficiency without drastically reducing its performance capabilities. Students will use professional engineering software to develop their solutions.
Teams must register by November 15 and will have until February 2 to submit their design solutions at the state level challenge. Each state will select its top team to represent the state at the RWDC national competition to be held March 2009 in Washington, DC. 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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