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New in this Issue
- Year of the Solar System – Resources for Ice!
- GLOBE Climate and Land Cover Project (April 1-30)
- NASA Planetary Science Summer School for PhD Students and Recent Graduates (Apply by April 3)
- NASA GLOBE Research Opportunity for Middle and High School Teachers (Apply by April 15)
- Beautiful Earth – Earth Day Events (April 18 & 19)
- Astronomy Night on the National Mall (April 28)
- Climate Science Research for Educators and Students (CSRES): Understanding Sun/Earth/Atmosphere Interactions – Workshop for Secondary School Educators (Apply by May 31)
- Transit of Venus Webcast (June 5)
- NASA’s Multiwavelength Universe Online Professional Development for Educators (June 25-July 13)
- ESIP Teacher Workshop – Grades 6-12 (July 17-18)
- Mars Revealed: Evolving Technology, Advancing Science – A Workshop for High School Teachers (July 19-23)
- The Unknown Moon Institute: A Workshop for High School Teachers (July 25-29)
- Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for High School Teachers (Apply by April 13)
- 2012 Thacher Environmental Research Contest – Grades 9-12 (Due April 16)
- Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops for Higher Education Educators and Students (May 5, May 19-20, June 9-10)
- IGES Earth Day Photo Contest – Grades 5-8 (Entries Due May 11)
- ASP Annual Meeting – Communicating Science: A National Conference on Education and Public Outreach (Aug. 4-8)
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop for Grade 6-12 Educators
- High School Science Teachers Needed for Dawn Curriculum Content Study
- Planet Hunters – Help Find Planets Using Kepler Data
- IceHunters Invites the World to Find New Horizons Future KBO Destinations
- Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education
- Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Ambassador in the Classroom
- A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers – Grades 8-12
- Barringer Grant Applications Being Accepted – Graduate Students (Apply by April 6)
- Volunteer E/PO Coordinator for Earthzine
- Earth Science Education Outreach Coordinator (Hampton, Va.)
- Comet Quest – iPhone/iPad Game from Space Place
- Climate Education in an Age of Media Project Website
Programs & Events
New in this Issue
April’s topic for the Year of the Solar System is “Ice!” Ice is common in our solar system, from deposits at the poles of Mercury and the Moon to ice-covered moons and rings around distant Jupiter and Saturn, and comets made of ice and other materials streaming across the spaces between. And, of course, ice is present on our own planet. To find more events and resources relating to ice, visit http://1.usa.gov/Hckgac.
The Climate and Land Cover Intensive Observing Period is a research effort between GLOBE schools and climate scientists to improve land cover classifications for climate models. Using GLOBE land cover protocols, students take photography and classify representative land cover areas near their schools and upload this data to the GLOBE database. The data can be used by students to compare land cover around the world and will be used by scientists to improve land cover classifications for climate models. For more information on how to participate, please visit http://1.usa.gov/HcWsQN.
(Apply by April 3; 18-22 June and 16-20 July, Pasadena, Calif.)
NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students for its 24th Annual Planetary Science Summer School. During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback. By the end of the session, students will have a clearer understanding of the life cycle of a space mission; relationships between mission design, cost, and schedule; and the tradeoffs necessary to stay within cost and schedule while preserving the quality of science. Partial financial support is available to a limited number of individuals. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/y8TPOl.
(Apply by April 15; July 9-20, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.)
NASA is looking for middle and high school teachers to join a research team that will spend the summer collaborating with NASA scientists on an authentic research project. Selected teachers will receive training focused on atmospheric science and become GLOBE certified. Teachers will continue their research throughout 2012 with virtual Research Team meetings and earn a stipend for participation. Teachers may also submit proposals for travel funding to present their research at related conferences. Additional information including application requirements can be found at http://bit.ly/vnQZlp.
Multimedia Performance and Science Dialogue on NASA’s Digital Learning Network (April 18; 1:00-2:00pm EST): Join Director and musician Kenji Williams as he takes an Internet audience on a tour of the Earth from space with the BELLA GAIA multimedia show, and facilitates a discussion with NASA Earth scientist Thorsten Markus and Native American science educator Jim Rock. The program will emphasize Earth’s water in all its forms, from Western scientific and multicultural points of view. The event will take place with a real-time Internet link-up, allowing students and teachers to interact live with the program. The program will also be webcast and broadcast on NASA TV.
Student Program at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center (April 19; 10:00am-1:00pm EST): This program will combine a live multi-media show of Earth systems viewed from space, discussions with scientists, and hands-on workshops. As in the DLN event, the focus will be on Earth’s water in all its forms, from Western scientific and multicultural points of view. Students and teachers will participate in hands-on workshops based on grade level. This is a closed student event, however, there are limited spaces available. For more information on participating, please contact Valerie Casasanto.
(April 28; 7:00pm – 11:00 pm, National Mall, 15th Street and Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C.)
The third annual Astronomy Night on the National Mall is approaching, sponsored by Hofstra University and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. This event will feature telescopic viewing, exhibits, hands-on activities, a multimedia presentation, and a chance to interact with professional astronomers. Representatives from many astronomical institutions will be on hand, including those from the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Chandra X-ray Center, and NASA. In the event of rain or clouds, the event will be held on April 29.
Climate Science Research for Educators and Students (CSRES): Understanding Sun/Earth/Atmosphere Interactions – Workshop for Secondary School Educators (Apply by May 31)
(Apply by May 31; June 28-30, Queens College, New York City, N.Y.)
Secondary school educators interested in enhancing their effectiveness in teaching about climate and climate change are invited to participate in this workshop, funded through NASA’s Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) program. This workshop, conducted by the Institute for Earth Science Research and Education, in partnership with Queens College, has the goal of developing a comprehensive approach to developing teachers’ and students’ understanding of sun/Earth/atmosphere interactions through hands-on student activities and research that combine NASA climate data with innovative and inexpensive instruments for ground-based measurements. The program also hopes to start building an infrastructure that enables secondary school students to undertake independent climate science research projects that will be competitive in high-level local, regional, and national science competitions.
Some travel support may be available for participants from outside the New York City metropolitan area. Fore more information and to apply, please visit http://bit.ly/tpNh4R.
On June 5th, 2012, the Transit of Venus will be seen for the last time in our lifetime. This rare event will not be visible again until 2117. The Sun-Earth Day and NASA EDGE Teams will bring this transit to the world from the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. During a live webcast, the transit will be shown in high definition video through H-alpha, Calcium-K, and White Light telescopes. The transit is 6.5 hours long, and coverage will consist of video of the transit, interviews with scientists and Native Hawaiians, and question and answer sessions. Videos will also be shown that highlight transit science and history, as well as the history and culture of Hawaii. Resources and additional information can be found at http://1.usa.gov/H1raix. For additional information, contact Elaine Lewis.
(June 25-July 13)
Explore NASA resources in a combination of online synchronous and asynchronous formats to understand how astronomers use their knowledge of light to investigate the universe. Participants will have the opportunity to obtain academic credit through Sonoma State University (1 credit for EDUC 490 or 1.5 Continuing Education Credits). For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/GTMM1t.
(July 17-18; Madison, Wisc.)
The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) invites teachers to attend a 1.5 day workshop on Earth science education, with an integral strand dedicated to climate change education. Participants will be able to choose from several breakout sessions demonstrating ways that Earth science tools and data can be used in science classrooms. Educators for grades 6-12 are eligible to receive a $200 time and travel stipend. After the workshop, teachers are invited to stay for the ESIP conference plenary and poster reception. To register for the workshop please visit http://bit.ly/HpPqFT. To learn more about the ESIP summer conference, please visit http://bit.ly/H4x4AP.
Mars Revealed: Evolving Technology, Advancing Science – A Workshop for High School Teachers (July 19-23)
(July 19-23; Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas)
High school teachers, both those currently teaching high school and those preparing to teach, are invited to attend this week-long workshop investigating Mars science and exploration. Topics include a comparison of Earth and Mars geologic features, Mars’ volcanic and aqueous mineralogy, spectroscopy, Mars exploration, and the relationship between science and technology. Workshop registration is free, and participants will receive a $700 stipend upon completion of the workshop. For more information and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/H9Albf.
(July 25-29; Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas)
High school science teachers, both those currently teaching high school and those preparing to teach, are invited to this free 35-hour, 5-day institute investigating the Moon. Topics will include the lunar polar environment and the search for water on the Moon, exploration of the Moon, spectrometry, the Moon’s formation and geologic evolution, and more! For more information or to apply, please visit http://bit.ly/H9zxTI.
(Apply by April 13; July 23-28, San Francisco, Calif.)
ASSET, a science and curriculum institute for high school science teachers, offers an interactive and content-rich program, with presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from the SETI Institute, NASA, and California Academy of Sciences. Participants will receive the Voyages Through Time curriculum (http://bit.ly/Au9o7Z). All expenses are covered through grant funds. Two person teams or single person applications will be accepted. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/y2Ttf5.
(Due April 16)
From the movement of Hurricane Irene up the east coast of the United States to images of ice receding in polar regions, scientists and decision-makers rely upon satellites and other observing instruments to understand the extent and impact of environmental changes. The 2012 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, held by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, provides students grades 9-12 the opportunity to conduct innovative research on our changing planet. Students must demonstrate the best uses of the latest geospatial tools and data.
The best projects will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams of up to four students may submit entries. Winners will also be featured in an Encyclopedia of the Earth article. In addition to the student prizes, teachers, or adult “coaches” of the winning students will receive a $200 Amazon gift card. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/ADW0wp.
Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops for Higher Education Educators and Students (May 5, May 19-20, June 9-10)
The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops for Higher Education announces a series of educator workshops for astronomy educators. The goal of these workshops is to familiarize participants with research-validated active engagement teaching strategies and assessment materials, as well as how to implement them in their college courses. Participants will learn how to create productive learning environments, beginning with a brief review of research on the nature of teaching and learning. Participants will spend most of the workshop in the roles of student, instructor, and critical friend to practice implementing new strategies learned. Advanced levels are available for those who have participated in previous CAE workshops. To learn more and to register, visit http://bit.ly/rLp5cu.
- May 5 – Oceanside, Calif. – Regional Teaching Exchange on Implementing Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy
- May 19-20 – Holly Springs, Miss. – Improving the General Education College-Level Introductory Astronomy and Space Science Courses Through Active Engagement: A Tier I (Introductory) Workshop
- June 2 - Seattle, Wash. – CAE Greater Northwest Regional Teaching Exchange on Introductory Astronomy and Space Science Courses
- June 9-10 - Anchorage, Alaska – Improving the College Introductory Courses Through Active Engagement: A Tier I (Introductory) Workshop (Fee)
- June 10 - Anchorage, Alaska – NASA CAE Tier II (Advanced) Special Topics Workshop: Using Technology in the Classroom (Fee)
(Entries due May 11)
Our planet is changing quickly – and what better way to capture those seasonal changes than with a photograph. Spring is a dynamic season: gray and brown landscapes give way to green trees and colorful flowers, birds migrate to summer homes, and weather patterns change. During the week of Earth Day (April 22), middle school students across the country can be part of a unique photography and short essay contest, documenting changes in their local environment. The top three winners will receive $150, $100, and $75 Visa gift cards. For more information and complete rules, visit http://bit.ly/yV35bh.
ASP Annual Meeting – Communicating Science: A National Conference on Education and Public Outreach (Aug. 4-8)
(Aug. 4-8; Doubletree by Hilton, Tucson, Ariz.)
The 124th annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific welcomes education and public outreach perspectives from astronomy, space, Earth and biological sciences, journalism, film, and social media, with a particular focus on effective communication of science and scientific ideas. There will be professional development sessions, hands-on workshops, special interest group meetings, talks, panels, poster papers, tours and lots of time for networking. Special hotel rates have been arranged for participants. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/vSpJa6.
Science teachers are invited to attend a free workshop focused on lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions. Participants will learn about recent discoveries, reinforce their understanding of lunar science concepts, gain tools to address common student misconceptions about the Moon, interact with lunar scientists and engineers, and learn how to bring LRO data to their students using activities aligned with National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks. Where possible, workshops will include either a tour of a science facility or field trip that will help participants better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. The workshops will be held on the following dates:
- June 4-8 – Durango Discovery Museum; Durango, Colo.
- June 18-22 – Morehead State University; Morehead, Ky.
- June 25-28 – Lunar and Planetary Institute; Houston, Texas
- July 9-13 – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, Md.
- July 30-Aug. 3 – Museum of the North – University of Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska
For more information and to register, please visit http://bit.ly/xFXw59.
Are you interested in an opportunity for your class to learn more about NASA space science? Dawn Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) has developed a module of activities unpacking the concepts underlying how Dawn’s instruments gather and analyze data: Interactions of Energy and Matter: Dawn Instrumentation. Ideal for high school physics, chemistry, and integrated science classes, the materials are being piloted during the spring and fall of 2012. To preview the module, please visit http://bit.ly/z4AYkh. To view the pilot study web page, visit http://bit.ly/Hfd5cA. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Sharon Unkart.
Planet Hunters is a citizen science project where site visitors can help to sieve through data taken by the NASA Kepler space mission. These data consist of brightness measurements, or “light curves,” taken every thirty minutes for more than 150,000 stars. Users search for possible transit events – a brief dip in brightness that occurs when a planet passes in front of a star – with the goal of discovering a planet. The project’s first paper, Fischer, et al. 2011, ‘Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data‘ was published in September, and two more papers have recently been submitted: Schwamb, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: Assessing the Kepler Inventory of Short Period Planets‘ and Lintott, et al. 2012, ‘Planet Hunters: New planet candidates from the first year of analysis.‘ So far, over 10 million light curves have been classified by more than 100,000 users. To join the hunt, visit http://bit.ly/xh9kit.
The world is invited to help discover a potential new, icy follow-on destination for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft through the IceHunters website. New Horizons is currently en route to make the first flyby of the Pluto system, and is then capable of making additional exploration of bodies still farther out in the Sun’s Kuiper Belt. Through this citizen science project, the public can help scientists search through specially-obtained deep telescopic images for currently unknown objects in the Kuiper Belt. Along the way, they will also discover variable stars and asteroids. For more information, visit http://www.icehunters.org/ or visit the project blog at http://blogs.zooniverse.org/icehunters.
Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education is a project to establish professional learning communities (PLCs) of high school teachers aimed at implementing effective teaching of climate change in existing courses. PLCs are identifying the best resources to use, comparing course outlines, and are hearing/seeing webinars by climate scientists, both live and as archived presentations. PLCs are having real-time telemeetings, as well as asynchronous communication through shared websites, wikis, and other techniques to achieve the most effective ways to communicate without petroleum-fueled travel. If you are interested in joining a Lifeline PLC, or forming a PLC (becoming a PLC Leader) please visit: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/gss/lifelines/.
Let NASA take over your classroom for the day! Teachers in the DC Metro area and southern Pennsylvania are eligible for a visit from an SDO educator or scientist. Your students will learn about solar clocks, Earth’s place in the solar system, electricity and magnetism, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the Doppler effect. Visits are free, include all supplies for the activity, and can be customized for each teacher. Register at http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/educators/ambassador.php.
Teachers in the DC Metro area are invited to bring their students to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for a day spent learning what it is like to work for NASA. Field trips include a meet-and-greet at the visitors center featuring a scientist and engineer, a demonstration of the Science on a Sphere program, a tour of the satellite testing facility, and an inquiry-based science lab activity. Programs are highly customizable, teacher-friendly and are designed for grades 8-12. Contact Aleya Van Doren with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly, so register today!
(Apply by April 6)
The Barringer Crater Company has established a special fund to support field work by eligible students interested in studying the impact cratering process. This program provides three to five competitive grants each year in the range of $2,500-$5,000 for the support of field research at known or suspected impact sites worldwide. Grant funds may be used to assist with travel and subsistence costs, as well as laboratory and computer analysis of research samples and findings. Masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students enrolled in formal university programs are eligible. For additional details, please visit http://bit.ly/AzKoVC.
Earthzine, an IEEE publication covering Earth observation, is seeking a volunteer education and public outreach (E/PO) coordinator. Earthzine’s recent activities include an essay contest and virtual poster session, featuring students from NASA’s DEVELOP national program. Responsibilities include representing Earthzine across the E/PO community, coordinating contributions, and associated E/PO activities. Earthzine seeks an E/PO specialist with an interest in Earth science and the international Earth observation community. The right candidate should be ambitious, someone who loves to write, and a good communicator. This is a great opportunity to make contacts and gain experience. Send a letter of interest with qualifications to Paul Racette, Editor-in-Chief. To learn more about Earthzine, visit http://bit.ly/GSaIPf.
Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI) is seeking an experienced middle school science educator to support Earth science education outreach programs in the Science Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The candidate will work with staff members to update, revise, and adapt Earth science lesson plans that leverage NASA’s unique capabilities to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The candidate will help assess needs and develop new education resources based on NASA science content. The candidate will work in a small inter-disciplinary project team environment. The candidate may participate in the development of teacher’s workshop materials, and may participate in other education-related activities as requested.
Required Qualifications include:
- Must be a state-certified (any state) Earth/Physical Science middle school science teacher (grades 6-9)
- Bachelor’s degree with 10 years teaching experience; or Master’s degree with 5 years teaching experience.
- Must have outstanding communication skills, including the ability to create and edit publication-quality documents.
- Demonstrated experience in science curriculum development.
To view full solicitation and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/H6ANex.
Learn about comets and the Rosetta mission while playing the immersive action game “Comet Quest.” The player controls the spacecraft: first, drop the comet lander carefully onto the nucleus; observe and record gas jets, craters, cracks, and other happenings; dodge and dart around ice chunks flying off the nucleus; and, in your spare time, communicate with the lander and with Earth. This free game is available at the Apple app store: http://bit.ly/H519Qd.
The newly launched Climate Education in an Age of Media (CAM) Project website contains information about how media production be students is being brought into climate change education in ways that are engaging, empowering, and can be readily adopted in a wide range of instructional environments. Student media-making can be used to overcome many of the challenges that climate change education presents, and is an excellent way to bring active, social, and effective learning to one of the most important and most complex problems facing human society. There are many ways to partner with the CAM Project – to learn more, visit http://bit.ly/Hd2Rwb.
April 1-30 – GLOBE Climate and Land Cover Project http://1.usa.gov/HcWsQN
April 1 – Stars on Sundays http://bit.ly/yI1uip
April 3 – Applications Due – NASA Planetary Science Summer School for PhD Students and Recent Graduates http://bit.ly/y8TPOl
April 6 – Applications Due – Barringer Grant http://bit.ly/AzKoVC
April 11-20 – GLOBE at Night – http://www.globeatnight.org/
April 13 – Applications Due – Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for High School Teachers http://bit.ly/y2Ttf5
April 15 – Applications Due – NASA GLOBE Research Opportunity for Middle and High School Teachers http://bit.ly/vnQZlp
April 18 – Beautiful Earth Multimedia Performance and Science Dialogue on NASA’s Digital Learning Network http://beautifulearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/
April 19 – Beautiful Earth Student Program at NASA Goddard Visitor Center http://beautifulearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/
May 5 – Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop http://bit.ly/rLp5cu
May 6 – Stars on Sundays http://bit.ly/yI1uip
May 31 – Applications Due – Climate Science Research for Educators and Students (CSRES) Workshop http://bit.ly/tpNh4R
June 4-8 – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop – Durango, Colo. http://bit.ly/xFXw59
June 5 – Transit of Venus Webcast http://1.usa.gov/H1raix
June 9-10 – Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop http://bit.ly/rLp5cu
June 18-22 – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop – Morehead, Ky. http://bit.ly/xFXw59
June 25-29 – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop – Houston, Texas http://bit.ly/xFXw59
June 25-July 13 – NASA’s Multiwavelength Universe Online Professional Development for Educators http://bit.ly/GTMM1t
July 9-13 – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop – Greenbelt, Md. http://bit.ly/xFXw59
July 17-18 – ESIP Teacher Workshop http://bit.ly/HpPqFT
July 19-23 – Mars Revealed: Evolving Technology, Advancing Science Workshop for High School Teachers http://bit.ly/H9Albf
July 25-29 – The Unknown Moon Institute Workshop for High School Teachers http://bit.ly/H9zxTI
July 30-Aug. 3 – Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Workshop – Fairbanks, Alaska http://bit.ly/xFXw59
Aug. 4-8 – ASP Annual Meeting http://bit.ly/vSpJa6
NASA Science Mission Directorate: Stephanie Stockman and Jim Lochner
Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES.
Contributions From: David Brooks, ISERE; Heather Brubach, Adler Planetarium; Valerie Casasanto, UMBC/NASA JPL; Lin Chambers, NASA LaRC; Jan Heiderer, GLOBE; Jeff Kart, Earthzine; Nancy Leon, NASA JPL; Elaine Lewis, NASA GSFC; Donald Lubowich, Hofstra University; Margaret Mooney, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Shannon Roach, University of Arizona; Juliette Rooney-Varga, University of Massachusetts – Lowell; Christine Shupla, LPI; Andy Shaner, LPI; Trisha Steltzner, NASA JPL; Jessica Taylor, NASA LaRC; and Shannon Unkart, McREL.
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