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New in this Issue
- Year of the Solar System – Resources for Evolving Worlds
- NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars (Dec. 6, 13, 20)
- 2012 Lunar Extreme Program and Workshop for Bay Area High School Teachers and Students (Apply by Dec. 12)
- Using Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope in the Classroom – Texas High School and Community College Educators (Apply by Dec. 20)
- AMS DataStreme Earth’s Climate Systems Professional Development Course for K-12 Educators (Jan.-April 2012)
- Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops for Higher Education Educators and Students (Jan. 7, 8, 20)
- FameLab Astrobiology – Science Communication Competition for Grad Students/Early Career Astrobiologists (Jan. 13)
- 2012 NASA Student Airborne Research Program – Undergrad and Early Graduate Students (Apply by Feb. 10)
- AMS Climate Diversity Project Course Professional Development for Undergraduate Faculty (Apply by March 15)
- ASP Annual Meeting – Communicating Science: A National Conference on Education and Public Outreach (Aug. 4-8)
- “Climate Science Research for Educators and Students” Professional Development Workshops for High School Science Teachers (Summer 2012)
- Exploration Station (Dec. 4)
- ASP Nominations for 2012 Awards for Excellence in Astronomy Education (Due Dec. 15)
- Earthzine Annual Essay and Blogging Contest on Sustainability – Undergraduate/Graduate Students (Due Dec. 22)
- 2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE) – College Educators (Jan. 3-4)
- Polar Science Weekend at Pacific Science Center (March 1-4)
- 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
- NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program – Graduate Students
- Applications Being Accepted for Einstein Fellowship Program – K-12 STEM Educators (Due Jan. 5)
- New On Space Place Web Site: Meteor Shower!
Programs & Events
New in this Issue
December’s topic for the Year of the Solar System is “Evolving Worlds.” Like people, planets grow old. Over billions of years, they change. Planets can lose their atmospheres and oceans. They may gather craters. And as they age, planets cool and shrink, becoming more dense as they move into their senior years. To find events and resources related to this month’s topic, please visit http://1.usa.gov/sSxBiM.
NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program promotes student-led research investigations in the classroom using NASA data and resources. It also provides opportunities to connect with NASA or university scientists. Throughout the year, the program is offering a number of free online teacher trainings, as well as classroom connection opportunities that will teachers and students with scientists. Below are the events being offered in December:
- Dec, 6, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12: This session will focus on important aspects to assist students with the creation of an experiment design, as well as provide tips to help students collect and compile data for a student-led investigation. These steps are included as steps 4 and 5 of the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. To register, visit http://1.usa.gov/t7EOm8.
- Dec. 13, 6:30-7:45pm ET - Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12: This session will focus on important aspects to assist students conducting a student-led investigation focused on utilizing data, drawing conclusions, and sharing research. These steps are included as steps 6-9 of the modeled process of science in the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook. To register, visit http://1.usa.gov/u3Gh81.
- Dec. 20, 6:00-6:30pm ET - Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12: This follow-up session will focus on important aspects to assist students conducting a student-led investigation. This brief overview of the process of science will help students conduct research with a focus on utilizing data, drawing conclusions and sharing research. To register, visit http://1.usa.gov/uUSWjW.
2012 Lunar Extreme Program and Workshop for Bay Area High School Teachers and Students (Apply by Dec. 12)
(Apply by Dec. 12; Jan.-June 2012)
DREAM – Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon – is one of several teams comprising the NASA Lunar Science Institute. The purpose of DREAM is to investigate the response of the lunar environment to the harsh and ever-changing conditions in space, including extreme events such as solar storms and impacts. DREAM is looking for two teams of high school teachers and students (4-6 students per teacher) in the Bay Area of California who would like to participate in the Lunar Extreme Program for Jan.-June 2012, culminating in participation at a Lunar Extreme Workshop with DREAM scientists on June 18-22, 2012, at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The target audience for this program are students who have already been exposed to physics, Earth science, chemistry, or computer modeling, and the teachers of these subjects. Teachers will be provided with small stipends for their participation. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by Dec. 16. To learn more and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/ulOB9J.
Using Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope in the Classroom – Texas High School and Community College Educators (Apply by Dec. 20)
(Apply by Dec. 20; Jan. 8, Austin, Texas, 12-2pm)
The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) education and public outreach team, located at the Space Telescope Science Institute, will be offering a space science workshop to Texas high school and community college science educators. This workshop features Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope, which allows for STEM-based subjects to be taught using astronomical data from Earth’s most powerful telescopes.
To register for the workshop, visit http://bit.ly/tcfHca. On the form, be sure to check the workshop name, listed as “Science Tools for Data-Intensive Astronomy.” A $35 registration fee is required, which will be reimbursed upon completion of the workshop. Please mail the registration form and send an email with your name, grade levels taught, School, State and Contact Number to Dan McCallister, STSCI.
AMS DataStreme Earth’s Climate Systems Professional Development Course for K-12 Educators (Jan.-April 2012)
The American Meteorological Society (AMS), with support from NASA and in partnership with the State University of New York’s College at Brockport, is developing a national cadre of K-12 teachers highly trained in climate science, and familiar with climate modeling. Teachers are trained through DataStreme Earth’s Climate System (ECS), a semester-long, graduate level, pre-college teacher professional development course. DataStreme ECS uses NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) data and visualizations, and introduced the Educational Global Climate Modeling (EdGCM) developed by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, to explore the fundamentals of climate change. Teachers completing the course construct and execute a Plan of Action to advance public climate science literacy and affect curriculum change within their local schools and districts.
DataStreme ECS is administered through 21 course Local Implementation Teams (LITs) across the country. The course is free to all participants, and the teachers are awarded three graduate credits upon successful completion of the course. For more information, including a listing of course offerings by state, and an application form, visit http://bit.ly/vvSBkG.
Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshops for Higher Education Educators and Students (Jan. 7, 8, 20)
The Center for Astronomy 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 role 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.
- Jan. 7-8 – Austin, Texas – Improving the College Introductory Courses Through Active Engagement: A Tier I (introductory) Workshop ($45 registration fee)
- Jan. 8 – Austin, Texas – NASA CAE Tier II (Advanced) Special Topics Workshop: Using Technology in the Classroom ($35 registration fee)
- Jan. 20 – Ann Arbor, Mich. – Special Topics Workshop on Implementing Lecture – Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy (no registration fee)
To learn more and to register, please visit http://bit.ly/rLp5cu.
FameLab Astrobiology – Science Communication Competition for Grad Students/Early Career Astrobiologists (Jan. 13)
FameLab Astrobiology is a science communication competition focused on graduate students and post docs doing research in astrobiology. Via four preliminary and one final competition, early career astrobiologists will compete to convey their own research or related science concepts. Each contestant has the spotlight for only three minutes – slides and charts are not allowed. A panel of experts in both science and science communication will judge the events. Events will take place on the following dates:
- Jan. 13 – Houston, Texas – Lunar and Planetary Institute
- Feb. 10 – Denver, Co. – Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- March 9 – Washington, D.C. – NASA HQ/National Geographic Society
- Jan.-March – Online via YouTube
- FINAL: April 12-16 – Atlanta, Ga. – Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon)
Each preliminary event will feature science communication training and enrichment activities, providing exposure to alternative careers. There will be a two-day master class for finalists, prior to the final event in April. The winner will go on to compete in the International FameLab Final in the UK in June 2012. To find more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/sIz7Py. Questions may be directed to Daniella Scalice, NASA Astrobiology Institute.
2012 NASA Student Airborne Research Program – Undergrad and Early Graduate Students (Apply by Feb. 10)
(Apply by Feb. 10; Apply by Jan. 20 for Early Acceptance; Internship June 17-Aug. 10)
The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated junior and senior undergraduate and early graduate students to apply for participation in the NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP 2012). The summer internship program provides student with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign. Students will work in four multi-disciplinary teams to study surface, atmospheric, and oceanographic processes. Participants will fly onboard the NASA P-3B aircraft, where they will assist in the operation of instruments to sample and measure atmospheric gases, and to image land and water surface in multiple spectral bands. The flights will take place at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, in Palmdale, Calif. Post-flight data analysis and interpretation will take place at the University of California, Irvine.
Applicants must have a strong background in any of the physical, chemical, or biological sciences, or engineering, and an interest in applying their background to the study of the Earth system. For more information and to download the program application, please visit http://bit.ly/tpVjqE.
AMS Climate Diversity Project Course Professional Development for Undergraduate Faculty (Apply by March 15)
(Apply by March 15; May 20-25, Washington, D.C.; Jan. 5-8, 2013, Austin, Texas)
The American Meteorological Society invites minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to offer an introductory-level climate science course, AMS Climate Studies. This course explores the scientific principals governing Earth’s climate system, climate variability and change, and introduces societal and sustainability challenges. The lesson format allows students to explore real-world climate data and become informed citizens.
Professional development training is offered with no cost to designated climate course instructors through a NSF Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences grant. Workshops will cover climate science training, course implementation strategies, and issues related to enhancing diversity in the geosciences. Workshops will be held in conjunction with the AMS’s Annual Meeting. For more information and to apply, please visit http://bit.ly/um0PcK.
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.
“Climate Science Research for Educators and Students” Professional Development Workshops for High School Science Teachers (Summer 2012)
The Institute for Earth Science Research and Education, in collaboration with Queens College/City University of New York, is now seeking participants for summer professional development workshops in the second year of its “Climate Science Research for Educators and Students” project. This project is funded under NASA’s Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) initiative, and focuses on improving the understanding of sun-Earth-atmosphere interactions by helping educators and students develop high-quality, climate-related, science fair projects. The program focuses on using inexpensive instrumentation for monitoring solar radiation and the atmosphere, including instruments that educators and students can build themselves. All high school teachers are encouraged to apply, and travel funding is the responsibility of the participant. To apply, please contact David Brooks (610) 584-5619. For more information on the program, visit http://bit.ly/tpNh4R.
(Dec. 4, 1-5pm PT; Moscone Center, San Francisco, Calif.)
Exploration Station, an annual four-hour science open house for families and teachers, is a free event open to the general public in association with AGU. The event will feature several NASA missions and programs, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, CloudSat, Sun Earth Day, Chandra and IRIS. Attendees will have a chance to meet scientists, do hands-on astronomy activities, and take home related resources collected during their visit to continue their excitement after the event. This event will follow the AGU public talk by astronaut and geoscientist Andrew Feustel.
Don’t miss Cindi, the space android girl, who explains NASA’s CINDI mission in her two comic books, “Cindi in Space” and “Cindi in the Electric Atmosphere.” She will be talking to students and teachers, as well as autographing free copies of her comic books. Cindi will be at the Exploration Station, as well as the NASA booth in the AGU exhibition hall on Dec. 6, from 1:30-3:30pm PT.
More information on the Exploration Station can be found at http://bit.ly/sNVls3.
(Deadline for nominations Dec. 15)
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is now accepting nominations for the Society’s 2012 awards honoring accomplishments in astronomy education and public outreach. Recipients receive a cash award and engraved plaque, as well as travel and lodging to accept the award at the Society’s 2012 meeting:
- The Richard Emmons Award celebrates a lifetime of outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.
- The Klumpke-Roberts Award recognizes those who have made major contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.
- The Thomas J. Brennan Award is given for excellence in the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in North America.
- The Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award honors outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomer to K-12 students and the public
You do not have to be an ASP member to make or second a nomination. Submission guidelines and lists of past recipients can be found at http://bit.ly/sDQYWJ.
Earthzine Annual Essay and Blogging Contest on Sustainability – Undergraduate/Graduate Students (Due Dec. 22)
(Entries Due Dec. 22)
Earthzine invites undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to submit an essay for its 2011 Third Annual College and University Student Essay and Blogging Contest. This year’s theme is “How Can Earth Observation Help Us to Build a More Sustainable World?” Students are invited to submit original essays that describe, reflect upon, or envision roles for Earth observation in improving its website. The authors of each essay will be invited to lead a blog about their essay, and to participate in blogs of competing essays. Winners will be determined based on the overall quality of the essay and blog. Winners will share $1,200 in prizes, with $500 for the first prize. For full rules and to submit an essay, visit http://bit.ly/sinKGB.
2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE) – College Educators (Jan. 3-4)
(Jan. 3-4; Clearwater Beach, Fla.)
Applications are now being accepted for the 2011-2012 FINESSE. This two-day workshop will assist university and community college science and education faculty in preparing future teachers in science. The 2012 institute will incorporate the theme of Our Solar System in a New Light, in conjunction with the Year of the Solar System. FINESSE workshops are free, and participants receive a $300 stipend and lunch. During the workshop, NASA Earth and space scientists and educators share inquiry activities, data and resources. Registration will remain open while space is still available. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/vIr5Y5.
(March 1-4; Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Wash.)
The 7th annual Polar Science Weekend (PSW) brings students, teachers and families face-to-face with active scientists who work in some of the most remote and challenging places on Earth, to learn first-hand about Arctic and Antarctic research in a fun and informal setting. PSW consists of many hands-on activities, live demonstrations, and exhibits about current polar research, presented by the researchers themselves. PSW highlights NASA-funded work in the polar regions, and is supported by a grant from NASA E/PO for Earth and Space Science. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/sEWWWw.
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/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 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly, so register today!
(Deadline for new applicants – Feb. 1; For renewal applicants – March 15)
NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2012-2013 academic year. The purpose of the NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space science, or related disciplines.
The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF 12 solicitation index page at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ – click on “Solicitations,” then select “Open Solicitation.” Select “NESSF 12″ announcement. Please also refer to “Proposal Submission Instructions” and “Frequently Asked Questions,” listed under “Other Documents” on the NESSF 12 solicitation index page.
Please note – the advisor has an active role in the submission of the fellowship proposal, and all proposals must be submitted in electronic format only through the NASA NSPIRES system. To use the system, the advisor, the student, and the university must all register. Extended instructions on how to submit an electronic proposal package are posted on the NESSF 12 solicitation index page listed above. You can register in NSPIRES at http://nspires.nasaprs.com.
(Applications due Jan. 5)
Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship program. The goal of the Einstein Fellowship program is to provide an opportunity for teachers to inform national policy and improve communication between the K-12 STEM education community and national leaders. If selected, Einstein Fellows spend a school year in Washington, D.C., sharing their expertise as a fellow in one of several government agency offices, such as the Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation, NOAA, or in the office of a member of Congress.
Selection is based on exemplary experience in K-12 STEM teaching; demonstrated leadership in the community; an understanding of national, state, and local education policy; and communication and interpersonal skills. During the Fellowship, each Einstein Fellow receives a monthly stipend of $6,000, plus a $1,000 cost of living allowance. In addition, there is a moving/relocation allowance, as well as a professional travel allowance. To learn more about the program and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/vrTT3G.
Have you ever wondered how astronomers can predict when there is going to be an abundance of shooting stars in the night sky? Showers of meteors, the scientific name for “shooting stars,” occur predictably several times a year, usually peaking within the same two- or three-day period. So what causes them? Why do they seem to come from the same part of the sky? Visit http://1.usa.gov/sATgX8 and get ready to enjoy the next show!
Dec. 4 – Exploration Station http://bit.ly/sNVls3
Dec. 5-9 – AGU Fall Meeting 2011 http://sites.agu.org/fallmeeting/
Dec. 5-9 – The First Kepler Science Conference http://bit.ly/spOyV4
Dec. 6 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinar http://1.usa.gov/t7EOm8
Dec. 9 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, Seattle, Wa. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
Dec. 12 – Applications Due – 2012 Lunar Extreme Program and Workshop for Bay Area High School Teachers and Students http://bit.ly/ulOB9J
Dec. 13 - NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinar http://1.usa.gov/u3Gh81
Dec. 15 – Nominations Due – ASP Awards for Excellence in Astronomy Education http://www.astrosociety.org/membership/awards/awards.html
Dec. 20 – Applications Due – Using Microsoft’s Worldwide Telescope in the Classroom Workshop http://bit.ly/tcfHca
Dec. 20 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinar http://1.usa.gov/uUSWjW
Dec. 22 – Entries Due – Earthzine Annual Essay and Blogging Contest on Sustainability http://www.earthzine.org/2011/09/22/earthzine-to-hold-third-annual-essay-and-blogging-contest-on-sustainability
Jan. 3-4 – 2012 Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE) http://bit.ly/vIr5Y5
Jan. 7-8 – Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Austin, Texas http://bit.ly/rLp5cu
Jan. 13 – FameLab Competition Begins http://bit.ly/sIz7Py
Jan. 20 – Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Ann Arbor, Mich. http://bit.ly/rLp5cu
Feb. 10 – Applications Due – 2012 NASA Student Airborne Research Program http://bit.ly/tpVjqE
March 1-4 – Polar Science Weekend at Pacific Science Center http://bit.ly/sEWWWw
March 15 – Applications Due – AMS Climate Diversity Project Course Professional Development for Undergraduate Faculty http://bit.ly/um0PcK
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: Lora Bleacher, NASA GSFC; David Brooks, Institute for Earth Science Research and Education; Andrew Fraknoi, ASP; Marc Hairston, University of Texas at Dallas; Dan McCallister, STSCI; Maureen Moses, American Meteorological Society; Shannon Roach, Center for Astronomy Education; Daniella Scalice, NASA Astrobiology Institute; Emily Schaller, National Suborbital Education and Research Center; and Page Valderrama Graff, NASA Johnson Space Center.
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