July 22, 2013
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
-- ROBOTICS COMPETITION OPEN (8-12)
-- ZERO ROBOTICS OPEN (9-12)
-- EXPLORATION DESIGN CHALLENGE (K-12)
-- CITIZEN SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES
Registration is now open for the third annual ISEC Space Elevator Youth Robotics Competition. The challenge will take place on August 24 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Middle and high school students are challenged to design, build and program an autonomous robot capable of climbing a 22-foot tether, performing a specified task and then returning to base. The event is part of the 2013 ISEC Space Elevator Conference, a 3-day technical conference focusing on the futuristic space transportation system.
The deadline to register is August 10. For complete rules and entry information, visit
The Space Elevator Conference's annual Family Science Fest also includes other robot-related activities for all ages that do not require pre-registrationZERO ROBOTICS OPEN (9-12)
Applications for the Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2013 are now open. The competition offers high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space.
Teams write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists are selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station!
For more information, see
The NASA Exploration Design Challenge invites students around the world to think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles of deep space long-duration exploration -- the dangers associated with space radiation.
Through a series of STEM engagement activities, K-8 students will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding and recommend materials that best block radiation and protect astronauts. Teams participate in two divisions: K-4 and grades 5-8.
Students in grades 9-12 will apply what they learn to design shielding to protect a sensor on the Orion crew module from space radiation. After a review of their design solutions, five finalist teams will be selected and matched with a NASA mentor to test their designs in a virtual simulator. The winning team will build a prototype radiation shield that will be analyzed and submitted to Lockheed Martin for flight certification on the inaugural flight of the Orion Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1. All five U.S. finalist teams will be invited to attend the EFT-1 launch, currently scheduled for November 2014.
The names of all participants (K-12) will fly aboard the spacecraft as honorary virtual crewmembers for Orion’s first flight. The registration deadline is March 14, 2014.
For more information, go to
Zooniverse features a number of real-world space science projects that need the public's keen observational skills to find information.
Current citizen science projects include classifying galaxy images taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, finding planets using information from Kepler and exploring weather on Mars.
To learn about these and more citizen science projects, visit
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