December 1, 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
-- NAME THE NEW MARS ROVER (K-12)
-- CONQUISTADORS OF THE SKY
-- IMAGINE TOMORROW (9-12)
-- NASA'S GREAT MOONBUGGY (9-12+)
-- ASTRONOMICAL YOUTH CAMP (10-12
-- INFRARED ASTRONOMY LECTURE
Help NASA find the right name for its car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover, scheduled for launch in 2009.
The naming contest is open to U.S. students ages 5-18 who are enrolled in the current academic year. Essays should explain why NASA should chose the suggested name.
Essays must be received by January 25, 2009. Prizes include a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the rover is under construction, and an opportunity to place a signature on the spacecraft.
For complete instructions, visit
On Dec. 6, the Museum of Flight will host a lecture and book signing with aviation historian Dan Hagedorn on his new book, Conquistadors of the Sky, a "primer on Latin Americans' contribution to aviation history."
Aviation developed so quickly in Latin America that by the 1930s air travel was more common there than in the United States. Conquistadors of the Sky celebrates the aviation achievements of twenty-one Latin American nations over the last 100 years.
The lecture will take place at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater. The program is free with museum admission. For more information, go to
As the world moves toward alternate energy sources, people will have to make fundamental changes in the way they operate.
Imagine Tomorrow, a high school energy competition, offers teams of Washington high school students a chance to present their ideas for this transition to a panel of experts and compete for cash prizes up to a grand prize of $5,000 per team member.
The registration deadline is March 31, 2009. Only the first 150 teams to register will compete. There is a limit of eight teams per school. For more information, go to
Registration is open for NASA's 16th annual Great Moonbuggy Race, taking place April 3-4, 2009. Each year, NASA challenges high schools and colleges across the country and the world to design and build lightweight, human-powered moonbuggies.
Innovative students put their own spin on the historic lunar rovers that carried Americans across the surface of the moon during the Apollo era. Builders with "the right stuff" then converge at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., to test their engineering savvy - and their endurance.
Participating institutions may register up to two moonbuggies and teams each year. Registration for the 2009 race closes Feb. 1. For complete rules, moonbuggy design parameters and registration, visit
International Astronomical Youth Camps (IAYC) offer summer camps aimed at promoting knowledge on astronomy and related sciences.
The 2009 camp will take place Aug. 2-22 in southern Poland and is open to students ages 16-24. Topics range from ancient astronomy, introduction to astronomy and physics and practical observation groups to computer simulations, CCD photometry and data reduction. For more information, go to
On December 3, astronomer Michelle Thaller of the Spitzer Science Center at CalTech will speak on "Infrared Astronomy: Things That Go Bump in the Night." The free talk takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Galaxy Theater Uptown, 4709 Point Fosdick Dr. 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 talk is sponsored by Key Peninsula Middle School and Galaxy Theaters. 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
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