October 27, 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
-- FREE ASTROBIOLOGY LECTURES
-- COSMIC TIMES: POSTERS, LESSONS AND TEACHER GUIDES (7-12)
-- EXPLORE! ICE WORLDS! - HANDS ON ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES (5-8)
-- SUN-EARTH DAY 2010: MAGNETIC STORMS (K-12)
The Life and the Universe lectures at the University of Washington celebrate the ideas of Galileo and Darwin and take stock of how those ideas fostered the emerging interdisciplinary science of astrobiology, which asks fundamental questions about the phenomenon of life in a cosmic context.
Upcoming lectures will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings through October and November in Kane Hall, Room 120. Speakers will include NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay and Peter D. Ward, paleontologist and author of "Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future."
To reserve a free ticket, go to
Cosmic Times is a series of curriculum support materials that trace the history of our understanding of the universe during the past 100 years. It consists of 6 posters, each resembling the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history, with articles describing the discoveries. The language of the articles mimics that of a newspaper from its respective era.
Each of the Cosmic Times posters is accompanied by a range of classroom lessons for grades 7-12, including at least one multi-disciplinary lesson. Each poster also comes with two newsletters--one with the text from the poster and the other with text at a slightly lower reading level.
Teachers may request a free copy of all materials and may also download electronic copies of materials at
Discover our most precious resource--water--in its frozen form through the new Explore! Ice Worlds! suite of hands-on activities.
Three themes are investigated: All About Ice, Ice in the Solar System, and Ice on Earth. Find these explorations as well as presentations, recommended books, and Internet resources at
The Lunar and Planetary Institute's Explore! program is designed to engage children in space and planetary science in the library and informal learning environments, but is easily adapted to the classroom or other setting.
The activities are easy to do, use readily available materials, and are aligned with national science standards. The Explore! program provides materials on a variety of topics, including lunar exploration, health in space, and Mars geology, all available free for educational use at
Join NASA in celebrating Sun-Earth Day on March 20, 2010. This year, we will take a journey into the heart of the electromagnetic force and demonstrate how magnetism, an everyday force that makes motors work, sticks notes to our refrigerators, and keeps electricity flowing to our houses also plays a key role in understanding the sun and is responsible for the most violent explosions in the solar system - Magnetic Storms!
For lesson plans and "easy to do" activities for students at all levels, go to
Ideas, comments and Web sites of interest to other teachers should be sent to Irene Svete, newsletter editor, at
If you are not a regular subscriber and would like to receive our newsletter, simply go to UW's Mailman and fill in a subscription form. Concerned about spam? Please note Space Grant does not sell its address lists.