September 30, 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
-- UW JACOBSEN OBSERVATORY TALKS
-- WORLD SPACE WEEK (K-12)
-- YEAR OF SOLAR SYSTEM MATH (5-12)
-- EXPLORATION DESIGN CHALLENGE (K-12)
Two public talks are scheduled for the final month of open houses at the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory on the UW Seattle campus. The October 2 talk on the night sky and the constellations of autumn will be offered in both Spanish and English for students and their families.
Reservations are strongly recommended for the talks as the TJO classroom holds only 45 people. All visitors are welcome to come and tour the observatory and view the night sky if clear. The Seattle Astronomical Society members will be on hand to answer questions.
For more information, visit
Celebrate World Space Week, coming up October 4-10. This international event commemorates the beginning of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957.
Teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities and lesson plans. For a teacher's guide, classroom activities and access to a worldwide Mars simulation, go to
The Year of the Solar System Math Guide is a collection of activities based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2004-2013 school years. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 5 through 12.
The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. To download the guide, go to
For more space math problems in English and Spanish, visit
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
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