March 25, 2014
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 OBSERVATORY TALKS (K-12)
-- SCIENTIST FOR A DAY (5-12)
-- FIELD TESTERS NEEDED (4-12)
-- ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH CONTEST (9-12)
-- CODEATHON ONLINE & IN SEATTLE
On April 2, the public observing and open house season at UW's Theodor Jacobsen Observatory in Seattle kicks off with two hands-on programs geared to families.
At 7 p.m., Dr. Ana Larson will lead Toys in Space, a special program geared to children ages 5-12 that compares how toys work on Earth versus how they work in space. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The second program at 8 p.m. will look at modeling the expansion of the universe.
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. Seattle Astronomical Society members will be on hand to answer questions.
To learn more and make reservations, visit
The Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest challenges students in grades 5-12 to become NASA scientists studying Saturn.
Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This year's targets are Saturn's F Ring, Saturn's largest moon Titan and Saturn itself.
Students then write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists. For complete guidelines, visit
AAAS Project 2061 is developing assessment items to measure late elementary, middle, and high school students’ understanding of ideas about energy. Teachers of grades 4-12 are being recruited to field test the multiple-choice tests with their students in April, May, or June 2014.
Participating teachers will each receive a $25 gift card from Amazon.com. The deadline for registration is April 9, 2014.
For more information, go to
The 2014 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, gives high school students the opportunity to show off their science and technology skills by submitting research projects focused on the use of remote sensing and analysis tools.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens and may enter as individuals or teams. Students in public, private, parochial, Native American reservation and home schools are eligible. The grand prize winner will have their work featured in a geospatial publication. Cash awards will be given to students in the top three places.
Entries must be submitted by May 5, 2014, For more information, go to
On April 12-13, NASA and space agencies worldwide will hold the third annual International Space Apps Challenge. This event will bring tech-savvy citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, and students together to help solve challenges relevant to both space exploration and social needs.
This year, more than 40 new challenges will represent NASA mission priorities and be organized in five themes: Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics and Asteroids. Participants will develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions.
For complete rules and information on participating as either a virtual participant or at the Seattle event, visit
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