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New in this Issue
- Year of the Solar System – Resources for Windy Worlds
- NASA Coverage Events for Juno Launch (Aug. 3-5)
- NASA Earth Ambassador Program Training: Opportunity for Informal Educators (Apply by Aug. 17)
- 2011 Association of Science-Technology Centers Annual Conference (Oct. 15-18)
- The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 22-23)
- NESTA Workshops at Fall 2011 NSTA Area Conferences (Oct. 28, Nov. 11, and Dec. 9)
- Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Aug. 2-Oct. 28)
- Dawn Mission’s Vesta Fiesta (Aug. 5-7)
- MS PHD’s Professional Development Program for Graduate Students (Apply by Aug. 31)
- 2012 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program – Middle and High School Teachers (Apply by Sept. 23)
- Summer Solar Science Middle School Teachers Institute – Summer 2012 Participants
- ScienceCasts – New Online Video Series from NASA
- 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
- Science Communications Manager, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
- Outreach Specialist, NASA AURA Mission
- The Inverse Square Law of Light – Grades 6-8
- Project SPECTRA! – Grades 6-12
- MY NASA DATA Lesson 64: Evidence of Change Near the Arctic Circle – Grades 8-12
- Earth Calling… – Grades 6-8
Programs & Events
New in this Issue
The YSS topic for August is Windy Worlds. Many of the planets in our solar system have significant atmospheres, but none are breathable to us except our own Earth’s. These windy worlds do have some commonalities with our home planet. Like Earth, they have jet streams that can direct the flow of clouds and circulate the atmosphere. The weather systems on other planets can help us to better understand our own world. For resources relating to this month’s topic, visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/display.cfm?Year=2011&Month=8&Tab=Educational%20Resources.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT, and the launch period extends through Aug. 26. The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter in 2016, on a mission to investigate the gas giant’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno’s color camera will provide close-up images of Jupiter, including the first detailed views of the planets’ poles.
- Wednesday, Aug. 3 – NASA will hold a prelaunch news conference at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 1 p.m. EDT. NASA Television’s Media and Education Channels will carry the conference live. http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
- Thursday, Aug. 4 – A prelaunch webcast will be streamed at noon EDT. http://www.nasa.gov/juno
- Friday, Aug. 5 – Live coverage on both NASA TV and the web will begin at 9 a.m. EDT. The coverage will feature live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. The NASA News Twitter feed will also be updated throughout the launch. http://www.twitter.com/nasa. A news conference will be held approximately 2.5 hours after the launch, and will be streamed live with a chat available at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2.
For more information on the Juno mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/juno.
(Applications due by August 17)
Informal educators are invited to apply to the Earth Ambassador Program, part of NASA Climate Day. The program will hold a two-day training workshop at Goddard Space Flight Center, Oct. 13-15, focusing on global climate change and participating in the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center’s Wildlife Festival. During the training, participants will interact with Earth scientists who are looking at the effect of climate change with respect to their research area, learn effective ways of communicating global climate change with the general public, and become familiar with the online resources available to host their own event at their local institution. Transportation, lodging and meal per diem will be covered. More information and an application are available at: http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/NCD_Ambassador_Application.html.
(Oct. 15-18; Maryland Science Center and Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.)
Visit the NASA Science Education and Public Outreach Forums exhibit hall booth #649 at the 2011 annual ASTC conference, where you can obtain education materials, learn about NASA Science Mission Directorate-funded education programs, and participate in in-booth activities and demonstrations. NASA HQ is also hosting a booth, along with an Astronomy and Aerospace Showcase. Early registration specials end Aug. 26. For more information, visit http://conference.astc.org/.
The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 22-23)
(Oct. 22-23; Mesa Community College, Mesa, Ariz.)
Since 2004, the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) has lead professional development workshops funded by JPL’s NASA Exoplanet Exploration Public Engagement Program (ExEP). Workshops have been attended by over 2000 current and future instructors of college-level astronomy and space science. CAE invites you to participate in one of their many workshops offered throughout the year, and to learn how to kick off teaching your class with Exoplanet curriculum! You can learn more about the next workshop here: http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=91.
NESTA will be offering workshops at all three NSTA Area Conferences this fall. In addition to their traditional Share-a-Thon and Rock and Mineral Raffle, they will also be offering workshops on Earth Systems science, climate change, and geology leveraging the new program, Windows to the Universe (http://www.windows2universe.org/). This popular educational resource contains over 9,000 pages of content spanning Earth and space science at elementary – high school levels, as well as over a hundred tested classroom activities ready for immediate use.
All of the events provide a full day of Earth science professional development, and are free with registration at the NSTA conference. Workshops will be held at the following :
- October 28; Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Conn.
- November 11; Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.
- December 9; Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Wa.
For more information, and to submit to present in the Share-a-Thons, visit https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf.
Join us at this event which brings astronomy to the public, with free star-gazing at music concerts and festivals. Dr. Donald Lubowich, Coordinator of the Astronomy Outreach Program at Hofstra University, will give concert goers a glimpse of the heavens. This NASA-sponsored program will include optical and radio telescope observations of the Sun prior to the concerts, and the Moon, planets, multi-colored double stars, star clusters, and nebulae at intermission and after the concerts – combined with videos, posters, hands-on activities, and the sounds of the Sun. Events in August will take place on the 2nd, 5th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 19th. For a full schedule, visit http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html.
After nearly four years and 1.6 billion miles, Dawn is catching up to the object of its first destination in the main asteroid belt: Vesta. Soon we will explore this exciting new world up close. It’s Vesta Fiesta time! Taking advantage of three nights where Vesta is near full and visible for night sky viewing with a telescope, Dawn is inspiring fiestas across the nation. Learn about the Vesta flagship fiesta in Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 6th, featuring activities, scientists, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Find out where other Vesta Fiestas are being held on our interactive map and join a party near you, or host your own Vesta Fiesta. For more information, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/vesta_fiesta.asp.
(Applications due Aug. 31)
The application process is beginning for the Cohort VIII (2011-2013) of the Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science (MS PHD) Professional Development Program. The program provides professional development experiences that facilitate the advancement of minorities committed to achieving outstanding Earth system science related careers. Activities include presentation skills development, mentor partnerships with scientists, and a variety of networking experiences. Those selected for the program will also participate in two professional society meetings and a capstone event touring federal agencies in Washington, D.C. To learn more and apply, visit http://www.msphds.org/.
2012 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program – Middle and High School Teachers (Apply by Sept. 23)
(Applications due by September 23)
NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in astronomical research. The program partners small groups of educators with a mentor professional astronomer for a research project using real astronomical data. Each team then presents both the research and the educational results of their experience in the program at an American Astronomical Society meeting. The program runs from January to January. Most of the participating educators teach grades 8-13, and informal educators have also participated. Participants should have a basic understanding of astronomy. To apply for the program, visit http://nitarp.ipac.caltech.edu/.
(Summer 2012; New Haven, Conn.)
Open to all middle school teachers, this institute is particularly targeted to the 5th grade curriculum standards and is focused on light, the positions of the Earth and moon relative to the Sun, and how advances in technology allow us to acquire new information about the world. Teachers will learn how to use NASA data in their classrooms, gain practical experience with telescopes, and preview cool planetarium shows about the Sun and sunlight. The Institute is jointly organized by the Yale Peabody Museum and Yale Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium. Teachers will be eligible for free field trips to both venues with their classes, as well as ongoing academic support from Museum and Planetarium staff. Requests to participate in the 2012 program are now being accepted; please email email@example.com to be put on the list. For more information, visit http://archive.peabody.yale.edu/education/fellows_nasa.html.
(Thursdays at 4 p.m. ET)
NASA’s new video series offers the public a fast and fun way to learn about scientific discoveries and facts about Earth, the solar system and beyond. Called ScienceCasts, the videos are created by astrophysicists and a team of agency narrators and videographers. The videos are posted online every Thursday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m.
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 explorations 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/2011/06/15/hello-world/.
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 visitor’s 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 designed for grades 8-12. Contact Aleya Van Doren (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly, so register today!
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is searching for a Science Communications Manager for their Arlington, Va. office. The Science Communications Manager will support IGES projects, including those with federal agencies such as NASA, NOAA and NSF. Primary responsibilities include developing articles and publications on Earth science, environmental information, and space science for student, educator, public and policymaker audiences; developing and implementing strategic communications and media outreach efforts across multiple platforms, including web, print and social media; supporting IGES public awareness and outreach efforts, including media outreach and writing, and placement of op-eds; and developing science and educational resources and materials as required.
Qualified candidates will have a degree in science, science education or communications (Master’s preferred); strong writing, editorial and presentation skills; and education expertise and/or teaching experience with under-served audiences, or related experience to support education outreach/communication efforts. Knowledge of NASA education, Earth and space science, and working with or as media is highly desirable. To view the full solicitation, visit http://bit.ly/qnMcZM.
The outreach specialist will lead the Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) effort for NASA’s AURA mission by keeping the public informed of scientific findings from the mission, emphasizing collaborative measurement results, and providing the formal and informal education communities with access to scientific data, associated visualizations and science stories related to Aura’s scientific questions.
Qualified candidates will have a Master’s degree from an accredited university, with a mix of education, education curriculum and physical science or mathematics coursework; five years of experience coordinating and contributing material for education outreach programs for NASA or a similar science organization; excellent scientific writing and editing skills; and an interest in science and capability to communicate scientific achievements to the public. Experience working as an E/PO coordinator on NASA exploration or science directorate missions and experience in curriculum development, grant writing, evaluation, instruction and supervision is highly desirable. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.sigmaspace.com/index.php/careers/current-openings.
We all know that a light, such as a candle or a streetlight, looks dimmer the farther away from it we get. This classroom activity gives an easy way for students to measure the relationship between distance and brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine the distances to stars and far away galaxies.
Project SPECTRA! is a science and engineering program focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. Project SPECTRA! emphasizes hands-on activities, like building a spectrograph, as well as the use of real data to solve scientific questions. Lessons are available for middle school students, which can be easily adapted for use with high school or elementary students as well. Each lesson has a front page listing national standards in science and mathematics, prior knowledge required, materials, and time needed to complete the lesson.
The most hard-hit area where global climate change is apparent is within the Arctic Circle. In this lesson, students use the Live Access Server to explore data from the Arctic, develop relationships between parameters and make conclusions based on the collected evidence. Detailed procedures and materials, vocabulary linked to an online glossary, and teacher notes are provided.
This hands-on activity explores spacecraft radion communication concepts, including the speed of light and the time delay for signals sent to and from spacecraft. Through this activity, students will be able to calculate the amount of time it takes for a radio signal to travel to a spacecraft using the speed of light; demonstrate the delay in radio communication signals to and from a spacecraft; devise unique solutions to the radio-signal delay problem; and compare their velocity to that of the spacecraft and the speed of light.
Aug. 1-5 – NASA Planetary Science Summer School for Grads/Post-Docs http://pscischool.jpl.nasa.gov
Aug. 1-5 – Lunar Workshop for Middle and High School Educators; Tempe, Ariz. http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html
Aug. 2 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Lenox, Mass.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug. 4 – Abstracts Due – AGU Fall Meeting http://www.agu.org/meetings/
Aug. 5 – Juno Launch http://www.nasa.gov/juno
Aug. 5 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Highland Park, Il.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug. 5-7 – Dawn Mission’s Vesta Fiesta http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/vesta_fiesta.asp
Aug. 8-11 – Climate Modeling and Data Tools Workshop http://www.dickinson.edu/academics/distinctive-opportunities/sustainability-education/content/Climate-Education/
Aug. 9-11 – Weather and Climate Education Workshop at AAAS Project 2061 http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/98GZKG2
Aug. 13 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Huntington, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug. 14 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Bethel, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug. 17 – Applications Due – NASA Earth Ambassador Program Training http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/NCD_Ambassador_Application.html
Aug. 17 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Levittown, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug. 19 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Wantagh, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Aug 31 – Applications Due – MS PHD’s Professional Development Program for Graduate Students http://www.msphds.org/
Sept. 23 – Applications Due – 2012 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program http://nitarp.ipac.caltech.edu/
Sept. 24 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Syosset, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Sept. 25-29 – Sky Rangers Outdoor Astronomy Interpretation Workshop http://www.afguonline.org/mod/resource/view.php?id=1857
Oct. 9-15 – Earth Science Week 2011: Our Ever-Changing Earth http://www.earthsciweek.org
Oct. 15 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Oct. 15-18 – 2011 Association of Science-Technology Centers Annual Conference http://conference.astc.org/
Oct. 22-23 – The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=91
Oct. 27-30 – 2011 SACNAS National Conference https://sacnas.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=11
Oct. 28 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, Hartford, Conn. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
Oct. 28 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Albertson, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Nov. 11 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, New Orleans, La. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
Dec. 9 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, Seattle, Wa. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
NASA Science Mission Directorate: Jim Lochner, Stephanie Stockman and Ming-Ying Wei
Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES.
Contributions From: Gina Brissenden, CAE-University of Arizona; Roberta Johnson Killeen, NESTA; Michelle Nichols, Adler Planetarium; Luisa Rebull, Spitzer Science Center; Lois Riccardi, Institute for Broadening Participation; Shannon Roach, CAE-University of Arizona; Kevin Ward, Sigma Space; and Heather Weir, SSAI.
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