February 13, 2009
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
-- HUBBLE NEXT DISCOVERY (5-12)
-- SEP APPLICATIONS OPEN (9-12)
-- GREEN COMET APPROACHES EARTH
-- SCIENCE LECTURE SERIES
-- EARTH SCIENCE ONLINE (3-8)
-- NO BOUNDARIES COMPETITION (7-12)
In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), the public will have an opportunity to vote for the next object the Hubble Space Telescope will observe. The deadline to voted is March 1.
At the same time, educators and students can participate in a related classroom activity called the "Hubble Collage Activity." Class collages and the accompanying compositions may be submitted into a drawing for a special Hubble Education Package, which includes a school visit from a Hubble guest speaker, framed Hubble image with dedication plaque and an astronomy exhibit entitled "Visions of the Universe" that the school may host for one month.
For more information, go to
Applications from secondary school science teachers in Washington are now being taken for Science Education Partnership (SEP), a professional development program sponsored by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The year-long program includes a 13-day summer session in which teachers work closely with each other, SEP staff, lead teachers and mentor scientists to gain skills and expertise in molecular biology, genetics, and biotechnology. Participants also develop curriculum for their classrooms and get ongoing access to SEP's kit loan program during the school year.
The application deadline is March 2. For an application and more information, go to
Comet Lulin, a green comet of rare beauty, is approaching Earth and may become visible to the naked eye later this month. The comet its closest approach on Feb. 24.
Current estimates peg the maximum brightness at 4th or 5th magnitude, which means dark country skies would be required to see it. No one can say for sure, however, because this appears to be Lulin's first visit to the inner solar system and its first exposure to intense sunlight. For more information, go to
This winter Town Hall in Seattle is offering a series of science lectures.
Featured will be NOVA host Neil deGrasse Tyson's lighthearted take on the Pluto controversy (Feb. 23), UW meteorologist Cliff Mass on the secrets of Northwest weather prediction (Feb. 25), and MacArthur Award winner Dave Montgomery on how soils and rivers have shaped civilizations, past and present (March 2).
For a complete calendar and description of events, go to
NASA Langley Research Center - in co-operation with NOAA and the Virginia Department of Education Region 2 Math/Science Coalition - is offering a series of five professional development webcasts for elementary and middle school teachers.
Each of the monthly webcasts will address a different Earth system science topic such as water cycles, solar radiation and tides. The webcasts may be accessed on the NASA Digital Learning Network. For more information, go to
No Boundaries, a collaboration between NASA and USA TODAY Education, is designed to encourage students to work toward careers in science, technology, engineering or math that are vital to the growth and economic security of the country.
Student groups of up to four members research one of the STEM fields then use graphic organizers and links on the No Boundaries site to research one NASA career in their assigned field. Next, individual groups develop and present a project (podcast, website, newspaper, song, artwork, etc.) that markets their career to teens.
After presenting their work to peers, the groups are encouraged to enter their project in the No Boundaries National Competition. The first place winners will receive $2,000; the winning coach/teacher will receive $500. The competition deadline is May 15. 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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