July 8, 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
-- BILINGUAL ASTRONAUT TWITTER
-- SUMMER ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY (K-12+)
-- DATASTREME METEOROLOGY COURSE (K-12)
-- NATIONAL STAR PARTY 8/1
-- NASA SEA LEVEL VIEWER
-- LUNAR PLANT GROWTH (K-12)
NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, who is set to fly aboard space shuttle Discovery in August, is providing insights about his training on Twitter in both English and Spanish. This is the agency's first bilingual Twitter.
Hernandez considers Stockton, Calif., his hometown. He grew up in a migrant farming family, travelling each year between Mexico and California. He did not learn English until the age of 12. Hernandez can be followed at
Want to snap and colorize your own images of stars and galaxies the same way that professional astronomers do?
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), NASA, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) have created public online access to the CfA's MicroObservatory robotic telescopes this summer so you can do just that.
Participating museums, nature centers, libraries, and other informal education organizations will run public workshops that result in exhibitions of original visitor-created astrophotography displays. These images and displays will be featured not only at the participating institutions, but also on ASTC, IYA, and NASA websites.
For more information on how to participate and on a special online workshop for informal educators, go to
DataStreme -- the graduate level meteorology course for K-12 educators -- is again being offered, beginning September 7. The 12-week course is part of the Cooperative Program for Earth System Education (AMS/NOAA CPESE) funded by the American Meteorological Society with in-kind support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Three meetings are scheduled at the National Weather Office in Seattle, and participants will work closely with mentors throughout the course. For more information, see
To register, contact Dave Weller at
A national star party will be held on Aug. 1 in recognition of the anticipated impact of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) with the moon.
The mission of LCROSS is to determine the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the moon's South Pole. For more information, go to
Heat from the oceans is a driving force of climate, and the best place to watch ocean heat circulate is from space. Now Internet users can access these data by using the Sea Level Viewer, an interactive visualization tool developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The NASA Sea Level Viewer provides users with an up-to-date look at recent ocean topography data, allowing them to explore a global view or watch videos explaining the impact of sea surface height on Earth's climate. To see the viewer, go to
Plant growth will be an important part of space exploration in the future as NASA plans for long-duration missions to the moon. Through the NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber, students in grades K-12 design, build and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers -- while engaging in research- and standards-based learning experiences.
Teacher guides are available for specific grade levels. For more information on the challenge, visit
The Seeds in Space activity kit includes one envelope of space seeds and one envelope of Earth seeds, plus support materials. The kit offered for the cost of shipping alone ($6.50). To order, 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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