December 18, 2012
WSGC Newsletter for Educators
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
-- TRACKING A SOLAR STORM (5-8)
-- 'HONORING NEIL' CONTEST
-- SILICON VALLEY ASTRONOMY PODCASTS
-- TWO NEW NASA EPDN COURSES (K-12)
Join the Tracking a Solar Storm Challenge and guide students as they learn about the Sun’s anatomy, the space weather it generates, and why studying the Sun is important.
The challenge is designed around NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission, slated to launch in 2013. The IRIS spacecraft will study the dynamics of the Sun’s atmosphere using an ultraviolet telescope and spectrograph.
An educators’ guide is provided outlining basic lesson plans and supplementary learning projects available to help lead students in studying the Sun’s weather, tracking a solar storm, and predicting its effect on Earth. For more information, go to
MyMoon, a project of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, is soliciting tributes to Neil Armstrong. All forms of tributes will be accepted (artwork, poetry, music, video, service projects, etc.). Entrants are strongly encouraged to follow the suggestion of his family’s statement by finding ways to honor his example of service, accomplishment, and modesty.
The top five will be chosen by the MyMoon team, then presented for voting on the MyMoon polls, where the winner will be decided. The winner will receive a copy of Back to the Moon by Homer Hickam. For more information, go to
Podcasts of Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures series have been updated to include a non-technical talk on "Finding the Next Earth: Results from the Kepler Mission" by mission scientist Natalie Batalha of the NASA Ames Research Center.
Earlier lectures archived there include Michael Brown of Caltech on Pluto, David Morrison of NASA's Lunar Science Institute & SETI Institute on "Doomsday 2012," and Alex Filippenko of UC Berkeley on black holes. To listen to the podcasts, visit
Applications are now open for two free courses through the NASA Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN).
The first one, offered January 16-February 26, uses LEGO Mindstorm robots to foster student engagement and conceptual understanding of mathematics, science and engineering. The second one, offered March 13-April 16, helps teachers develop their skills in designing and using project-based inquiry learning, or PBIL, to enhance conceptual understanding, critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving in standards-based classrooms.
For more information, go to
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