August 2, 2011
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
-- ROBOQUEST FAMILY DAY
-- WINDY WORLDS (K-12)
-- EARTH AMBASSADORS WANTED (Informal Ed)
-- ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY (7-12)
-- EARTH SCIENCE ART CONTEST (K-5)
On August 13, the Space Elevator Conference will host RoboQuest, a free, family-focused event from 1-5 p.m. at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond.
There will be a Lego building zone for children and Pacific Science Center will offer exhibits on engineering, space exploration and nanotechnology. The Museum of Flight will offer the "Robot Garage" where visitors can explore the basic engineering skills to build a successful extraterrestrial rover. Local robotics club will also be displaying their creations.
The Space Elevator Conference is a three-day technical conference focusing on a futuristic space transportation system aimed at accessing space less expensively than is possible with chemical rocket technology. For more information, go to
Windy Worlds is the Year of the Solar System topic for August. Students have a variety of misconceptions about atmospheres. Many do not realize that many other planets have atmospheres, and that not all atmospheres are breathable.
Year of the Solar System is a NASA education program that runs from October 2010 until August 2012, a Martian year that encapsulates almost two Earth years. Each month focuses on a single topic with background information, lesson plans and education resources, activities for informal education groups and a calendar of related events.
For more information, visit
Informal educators are invited to apply to the Earth Ambassador Program to help educate and raise awareness of climate change through NASA Climate Day events, hosted by local schools and communities in 2012 and 2013.
Those selected will take part in a two-day training workshop at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Oct. 13-15, focusing on global climate change and participating in the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center's Wildlife Festival.
During training, participants will interact with Earth scientists who are looking at the effect of climate change with respect to their research area, learn effective ways of communicating global climate change with the general public, and become familiar with the online resources available to host their own event at their local institution.
Transportation, lodging and meal per diem will be covered. More information and an application are available at
NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, partners small groups of educators with a professional astronomer-mentor for a research project using real astronomical data. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers.
NITARP runs January through January. Applications are due September 23. For more information, visit
Students may want to start work now on their entries for the Earth Science Week 2011 visual arts competition. This year's theme is picturing our ever-changing planet.
Earth changes all the time. Some of the changes, like earthquakes and storms, happen very quickly. Other changes, such as rocks wearing away to make soil, happen very slowly.
The winner will receive $300 and a copy of the American Geological Institute's Faces of Earth DVD. All submissions must be postmarked no later than October 14, 2011. For complete instructions, go to
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