February 2010 Education Update

February 2010: NASA Earth and Space Science Education E-Newsletter

A monthly broadcast including upcoming educational programs, events, opportunities and the latest resources from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.


UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

(1) Middle School Educators Invited to Test New EarthKAM Web Site (Feb. 2-5)

(2) Cool Astronomy Workshops for Middle and High School Educators (Feb. 6 and Feb. 20)

(3) NASA Sets Final Night Launch of the Space Shuttle (Feb. 7)

(4) The Solar Dynamics Observatory is “Go for Launch!” – Launch Activities (Feb. 9)

(5) Astrobiology Summer Institute for High School Teachers (Apply by Feb. 12; held July 18-24)

(6) TOP STARS Deadline: Educators Invited to Submit Inspiring Examples of Hubble in Education (Entries due Feb. 28)

(7) 2010 Earth and Space Science Series: Free Interactive Webcasts for Teachers and Students (Feb. 26-April 30)

(8) Free Teacher Workshop for Grades 8-12: Telescopes Across the EM Spectrum (March 5, Hawaii)

(9) Astronomy Camp Workshop for Trainers in Girl Scouts of the USA (Mar. 5-7)

(10) GLOBE Announces Global Student Effort to Collect Water and Hydrology Data (March 22-26)

(11) Free Climate Change Web Seminars (March and April, Next March 25)

(12) 2010 Faculty Institute in NASA Earth and Space Science Education (March 25-26)

(13) 2010 NASA/USA TODAY ‘No Boundaries Project’ for 7-12th Grade Students (Deadline April 15)

(14) NASA Sponsors Odyssey of the Mind

(15) Climate Discovery Online Courses for Educators-Accepting Sumer Registrations (Courses run June 18-August 8th)

(16) NASA Supports the President’s Education to Innovate Campaign

*PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST

(17) Family Science Night at NASA Goddard (Feb. 11)

(18) International Space University’s 14th Annual Symposium: The Public Face of Space (Feb. 16-18)

(19) 2009-2010 NASA Education Resource Showcase Series (Feb. 24)

(20) 2010 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12 (Entries due April 5)

(21) GLOBE Partnering with Live Earth Run for Water (April 18)

(22) 2010 Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (Boulder, Colo; July 31-Aug. 4)

(23) Public Library Tour: Visions of the Universe (Through March 2010)

(24) A Day at Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers (Grades 8-12)

(25) Solar Dynamics Observatory Ambassador in the Classroom


FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

(26) NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships (NESSF) Program: 2010/2011 Academic Year (Proposals Due Feb. 1, 2010)

(27) Summer of Innovation Cooperative Agreement Notice (Pre-proposal telecon Feb. 4, Notice of Intent due Feb. 5; Proposals due Feb. 26)


EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

(28) Climate Kids: NASA Gives Elementary School Students Their Own Guide to Climate Change

(29) Interactive Field Trip to the Moon DVD

(30) Galactic Doom? Space Mystery Game

(31) Space Math V: 87 Math Problems for Grades 9-12

(32) Redesigned Kepler Mission Web Site

(33) New What’s Up Podcast: Mars

(34) Earth Observatory Feature Article: Water Watchers

(35) Already a Star, NASA’s Calandrelli Tells Students To Aim High


SCIENCE NEWS

(36) Newborn Black Holes May Add Power to Many Exploding Stars

(37) NASA Cues Up University CubeSats for Glory Launch This Fall

(38) NASA’s Mars Rover Spirit Now a Stationary Research Platform

(39) New NASA Telescope Targets Sun Storms

(40) NASA Research Finds Last Decade Was Warmest on Record

(41) Mars Rover Gives NASA an “Opportunity” to View Interior of Mars

(42) Giant Ribbon at the Edge of the Solar System: Mystery Solved?

(43) The James Webb Telescope: an Alien Planet Safari?

(44) Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object

(45) NASA’s Sophia Telescope Passes Key Test

(46) Why Won’t the Supernova Explode?

(47) Infrared All-Sky Surveying Telescope Sends Back First Images From Space

(48) Pulsing Pulsars Serve as “Galactic GPS” in Search for Gravitational Waves

(49) Kepler Discovers Five Exoplanets

(50) Spirit Faces Uncertain Future as New Year Dawns


UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS

NEW IN THIS ISSUE

(1) MIDDLE SCHOOL EDUCATORS INVITED TO TEST NEW EARTHKAM WEB SITE (FEB. 2-5)

EarthKAM has just launched a new beta version of its Web site. Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station Winter 2010 Mission from Feb. 2-5, 2010, and be beta testers of the new site and software. This exciting opportunity allows students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera aboard the International Space Station.

ISS EarthKAM is a NASA-sponsored project that provides stunning, high-quality photographs of Earth taken from the space shuttle and the space station. Since 1996, ISS EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the World Wide Web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and, currently, on the International Space Station.

For more information about the project and to register for the upcoming mission, visit the ISS EarthKAM home page www.EarthKAM.ucsd.edu. If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, please e-mail ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

(2) COOL ASTRONOMY WORKSHOPS FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOL EDUCATORS

(Feb. 6, Berkeley, Calif.; Feb. 20, New York, NY)

In this full-day workshop educators will experience NASA-developed hands-on, inquiry-based lessons and other educational resources about infrared astronomy and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope mission. WISE will map the sky in infrared light, searching for dangerous asteroids in our Solar System, the nearest and coolest stars, the origins of stellar and planetary systems, and the most luminous galaxies in the Universe.

The group will discuss how astronomers use infrared to learn about a variety of phenomena throughout the Cosmos, see hands-on activities designed to complement instruction on the electromagnetic spectrum for middle and high school students, and lessons that make use of real image data from infrared space telescopes and discuss how to involve students in research projects using WISE data.

Participants will take a tour of the Universe, focusing on how objects in space look in infrared light and gain hands-on familiarity with the lessons and content to feel comfortable using them in their own classrooms effectively. Participants will also receive copies of the activities presented as well as other NASA educational materials: CD-ROMs, fliers, bookmarks, lithographs, etc.

Workshop Locations and Dates:

February 6th; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Space Sciences Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Register at: http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/workshops/registration.aspx?eid=22

February 20th; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

Register at: http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/workshops/registration.aspx?eid=23

(3) NASA SETS FINAL SPACE SHUTTLE NIGHT LAUNCH (Feb. 7)

Space shuttle Endeavour is set to begin a 13-day flight to the International Space Station with a Feb. 7 launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is planned for 4:39 a.m. EST, making this the final scheduled space shuttle night launch. Endeavour’s flight will begin the final year of space shuttle operations. Five shuttle missions are planned in 2010, with the last flight currently targeted for launch in September. STS-130 will be Endeavour’s 24th mission and the 33rd shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

For more information about STS-130, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle. For up to date launch information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/news.

(4) THE SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY IS “GO FOR LAUNCH!” – LAUNCH ACTIVITIES

SDO is scheduled to launch February 9, 2010, and NASA wants you to be involved! Teachers, museums, libraries and individuals have many ways to participate. You can host your own launch event or even your own tweetup.

Launch events can be anything from arranging a simple launch viewing to organizing an event with a local astronomy group or university science department with presentation, activities and solar viewing telescopes.

Are you interested in hosting your own launch event? NASA has set up a page with step-by-step instructions for you to plan and run your event successfully. Registration to receive goody packages will open in the next few days, and we will be adding presentation and activity ideas to make planning even easier. For more information, please visit http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/launch/hostevents.php.

Through Twitter, the SDO team is making it possible for anyone anywhere to connect, not just those able to be present in person. If you are interested in hosting your own tweetup event, all you need is a big screen, an Internet connection and a browser. The SDO team has set up a page to make it as easy as possible to help you plan and run your event. For more information, please visit http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/sdoisgo/.

Please remember that the launch date is subject to change. This page will be updated as soon as changes are announced. For any questions, please contact Emilie Drobnes at Emilie.Drobnes@nasa.gov.

(5) ASTROBIOLOGY SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS (July 18-24, 2010)

(Application Deadline Feb. 12, 2010)

The Astrobiology Summer Science Experience for Teachers (ASSET) is being held July 18-24 at San Francisco State University. ASSET will feature presentations by leading astrobiology researchers from the SETI Institute, NASA and the California Academy of Sciences. Scientists will share the latest in astrobiology research on the origin of life on Earth, the extreme conditions in which life exists, Mars exploration, the formation of planetary systems around Sun-like stars, and the search for life in the universe. Participants receive the entire Voyages Through Time curriculum (see http://www.voyagesthroughtime.org) and free astrobiology materials. All expenses are covered by grant funds. Applications accepted through February 12, 2010. Details at http://www.seti.org/epo/ASSET.

(6) TOP STARS DEADLINE EXTENDED: EDUCATORS INVITED TO SUBMIT INSPIRING EXAMPLES OF HUBBLE IN EDUCATION (Feb. 28)

2010 is the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope, and to celebrate, the NASA Top Stars contest has extended its next deadline to Feb. 28, 2010.

U.S. formal (K-12, college) and informal educators are invited to submit their best examples of using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope for science, technology, engineering or mathematics education. Those selected as “Top Stars” will receive national recognition and awards.

For more information or to view “Top Stars” from previous rounds visit the ‘Showcase’ on the Top Stars Web site, http://topstars.strategies.org.

(7) 2010 EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE SERIES: FREE INTERACTIVE WEBCASTS FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS (Feb. 26-April 30, 2010)

Join NASA’s Langley Research Center and the National Alliance of Black School Educators for a series of free, interactive programs that allow you and your students to learn more about our home planet and the universe beyond through webcasts.

The Earth System – Feb. 26, 2010, 1 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

The components of the Earth system, the lithosphere (the solid planet), the hydrosphere (the water), the atmosphere (the air) and the biosphere (life), will be discussed. The interactions between the components of the Earth system will be also discussed.

Earth and Mars: A Tale of Two Planets – March 26, 2010, 1 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

What caused the very divergent evolutionary paths of Earth and Mars?

Global Warming: Causes and Consequences – April 30, 2010, 1 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

The causes and consequences of global warming will be discussed.

For more information about this series of webcast events, visit http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/. If you have any questions about this lecture, please contact Dr. Arlene S. Levine at 757-864-3318 or Arlene.S.Levine@nasa.gov.

(8) FREE TEACHER WORKSHOP: TELESCOPES ACROSS THE EM SPECTRUM (GRADES 8-12)

(March 5, 2010; Registrations due Feb. 19, 2010-Hawaii)

This free one-day teacher workshop, “How Telescopes Have Changed Our View of the Universe,” will feature talks and hands-on activities about telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum and what we’ve learned about the universe.  The workshop is for teachers of grades 8-12, and will be held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday, March 5, 2010.

Topics include 400 years of the telescope, the extreme universe as seen by NASA’s Fermi gamma ray telescope, how our knowledge about the universe has changed over the past 100 years, what are dark matter and dark energy, and more!

Scientists and education professionals from NASA and the Subaru Telescope will present the workshop. There will be an opportunity for a follow-up visit to the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea. See https://www.confcon.com/head_2010/workshop.php for registration information (due by Feb 19, 2010.)

(9) ASTRONOMY CAMP WORKSHOP FOR TRAINERS IN THE GIRL SCOUTS OF THE USA

(March 5-7, 2010; Tucson, Arizona)

The Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) science team offers its biannual weekend workshop in astronomy for Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) leaders. Participants will learn about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NIRCam, basic astronomy, and the scientific topics of “cosmology” and “extrasolar planetary systems” in ways they can convey to their troops to expand interest and skills in science, arithmetic, engineering, and technology. Hands-on activities address the nature of scientific investigation, light and spectra (visible and infrared), the night sky, lookback time, scale modeling, how to use small telescopes, galaxies, the expanding universe, our solar system and more.

The workshop will be held from March 5 at 2 p.m. through 11 p.m. on March 7 at the Hacienda Center of Tucson’s Sahuaro Council. The early evening of March 7 will be spent observing the sky from a high altitude (8,200 feet) observatory with the 61-inch “Kuiper” telescope.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Don McCarthy (dmccarthy@as.arizona.edu). The NIRCam team maintains an E/PO Web site at http://zeus.as.arizona.edu/~dmccarthy/GSUSA/index.htm.

(10) GLOBE ANNOUNCES GLOBAL STUDENT EFFORT TO COLLECT WATER/HYDROLOGY DATA

The GLOBE Program has announced a global student effort to collect water quality and hydrology data from around the world during the week of March 22-26, as part of World Water Day (March 22). Teachers and students are encouraged to use this data as a foundation for research and inquiry about the state of the world’s water. The results of these GLOBE efforts will be showcased at Live Earth events around the world in April 2010 (See ‘GLOBE Partners with Live Earth’ under ‘Previously Broadcast’).

To learn more about World Water day, visit: http://www.globe.gov/content/event/WWD10.

For more information on GLOBE and Live Earth, visit: http://www.globe.gov/content/event/LIVE_EARTH.

(11) FREE CLIMATE CHANGE WEB SEMINARS (MARCH AND APRIL)

Join Windows to the Universe educators this spring for free 90-minute live seminars highlighting science content and classroom activities on topics related to climate change. Offered through NSTA, these seminars are a part of the NASA-funded Global Climate Change Educator Professional Development Network. Upcoming seminars (all Web seminars are at 5:30 p.m. EST):

March 25-An Introduction to Earth’s Climate

March 31-Clues to Climates of the Past

April 6-Global Climate Change and the Earth System

April 14-Effects of Climate Change: Ocean and Ice

April 22-Effects of Climate Change to Life on Earth

April 28-Predicting Future Climate and Considering Solutions

For more information, Web seminar registration (coming soon!) and other climate change education resources associated with the project, visit:
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

(12) 2010 FACULTY INSTITUTE IN NASA EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE EDUCATION

(March 25-26, 2010, Baltimore, Md.)

This free two-day workshop assists university and community college faculty in preparing future teachers in science education. NASA Earth and space scientists and educators share authentic inquiry activities, data and resources related to key topics from national science standards. The workshop will take place March 25-26, 2010, in Baltimore, Md. Participants receive a stipend and develop implementation plans. For more information: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/facultyInstitutes/

(13) 2010 NASA/USA TODAY ‘NO BOUNDARIES PROJECT’ FOR 7-12TH GRADE STUDENTS

(Contest deadline April 15, 2010)

This free project is designed to help 7th-12th grade students explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The project is team-centered, cross-curricular, aligned to national standards and structured to require minimal teacher preparation. This project will introduce students to the limitless opportunities at NASA and encourage them to work toward STEM careers through stimulating project-based learning and team competition. First-place winners will receive a VIP experience at a NASA center and a $1,000 cash award. Second and third place will receive $500 and $250 respectively.

For more information on the competition including entry details, visit: http://www.usatoday.com/educate/NASA/Contest.html#over

(14) NASA SPONSORS ODYSSEY OF THE MIND

For the 10th time, NASA’s Earth Observing System Project Science Office is sponsoring an Odyssey of the Mind Long Term Problem – Nature Trail’R. This problem requires teams to design, build and drive a human-powered vehicle and camper that will go on a camping trip. When the vehicle arrives at the Campground, the camper will be disconnected and the vehicle will travel on a team-created Nature Trail. On the Nature Trail, the vehicle will overcome an obstacle, clean up the environment, encounter wildlife, and undergo a repair. The performance will include a character that is in or near the camper that explains the experience as part of its role.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.  For more information, including team registration and practice problems, visit: http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

(15) ONLINE CLIMATE COURSES FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATORS-ACCEPTING SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

(Courses run June 18-August 8, 2010)

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) offers a series of six- and seven-week courses for middle and high school teachers that combine geoscience content, information about current climate research, easy-to-implement hands-on activities, and group discussion. The courses run concurrently from June 18 through Aug. 8, 2010. There is a $225 fee per course. Courses include: CD 501: Introduction to Earth’s Climate; CD 502: Earth System Science: A Climate Change Perspective; and CD 503: Understanding Climate Change Today. For more specific course information, a course schedule and registration information, visit: http:/ecourses.ncar.ucar.edu or contact Kirsten Meymaris at kirstenm@ucar.edu.

(16) NASA SUPPORTS THE PRESIDENT’S EDUCATION TO INNOVATE CAMPAIGN

NASA has launched an initiative to use its out-of-this-world missions and technology programs to boost summer learning, particularly for underrepresented students across the nation. NASA’s Summer of Innovation supports President Obama’s Educate to Innovate campaign for excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.

The Summer of Innovation program will work with thousands of middle school teachers and students during multi-week programs in the summer of 2010 to engage students in stimulating math- and science-based education programs. NASA’s goal is to increase the number of future scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, with an emphasis on broadening participation of low-income, minority students. Through competitive cooperative agreements to states, and partnerships with companies and nonprofits, NASA will use its substantial STEM assets — including the agency’s scientists and engineers — to create multi-week summer learning programs.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-008_Summer_of_Innovation.html

(See listing under Funding Opportunities.)

*PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST

(17) FAMILY SCIENCE NIGHT AT NASA GODDARD (Feb. 11)

This monthly two-hour program is open to the Washington DC metro area middle school students and their families to discover the wide variety of science and engineering being performed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. As a family you will work with NASA volunteers to explore various themes through two hours of hands-on activities and even take home resources to perform your own experiments at home. Registration is required. The Goddard Visitor Center, the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Astrophysics Science Division support this event.  For more information, visit: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/families/fsn.php.

Upcoming Family Science Nights include:

– February 11: Exploring the Moon (Moon exploration)

– March 11:  Batteries not included (Solar cars)

– April 8: Now you see it… Now you don’t! (Eclipses)

– May 13: Searching for Other Worlds (Exoplanets)

– TBD in June: Family Science Night Overnight.

(18) INTERNATIONAL SPACE UNIVERSITY’S 14th ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM: ‘THE PUBLIC FACE OF SPACEʻ (FEB. 16-18)

The International Space University’s (ISU) three-day symposium serves as an interdisciplinary, international forum to help both the users and the providers of space-related systems to move forward from the discussion of problems to the formulation of innovative solutions. The symposium program will include considerations of public awareness and expectations, as well as workforce development and capacity building, all with the goal of producing recommendations for ways forward towards a sustainable space program. For more information, visit the ISU Web site: http://www.isunet.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&Itemid=146.

(19) 2009-2010 NASA EDUCATION RESOURCE SHOWCASE SERIES (Feb. 24)

NASA’s Digital Learning Network presents a series of videoconferences to assist educators in staying current on NASA education resources and related products. During each event, product producers, authors and experts will demonstrate their materials designed to increase awareness and understanding of NASA science content. Instructional objectives, accessing the materials and primary contacts for the materials will also be discussed. During the videoconferences, participants will be able to submit questions to the presenter that will be addressed during the presentation. In the coming months, the following topics will be covered:

– NASA Fit Explorers Feb. 24, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EST

– NASA eProfessional Development Network — Robotics Course: March 31, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EDT

– MoonWorld: April 28, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EDT

– On the Moon: May 26, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EDT

For more information about these videoconferences and to sign up online, visit http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast/. Questions about these events should be directed to Caryn Long at caryn.long@nasa.gov.

(20) 2010 THACHER ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH CONTEST FOR GRADES 9-12 is an activity of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies that awards cash prizes to secondary school students (grades 9-12) whose projects demonstrate the best use of satellites and other geospatial technologies or data to study Earth. Three cash awards will be given: 1st place — $2,000; 2nd place — $1,000; and 3rd place — $500. Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members. In addition to prizes for the winning students, the teacher/coach of the winning students or teams will receive a $200 amazon.com gift card. Entries must be postmarked April 5, 2010.  For more information, please visit http://www.strategies.org/ThacherContest.

(21) GLOBE PARTNERS WITH LIVE EARTH in support of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water, a worldwide series of events to occur on April 18, 2010 dedicated to finding solutions for the global water crisis. GLOBE is contributing to the educational component of these events. Live Earth Run for Water will feature 6 km runs (the average distance that women and children in Africa, Asia and Latin America must walk every day to obtain drinking water), concerts, and education villages to raise awareness and support to help solve the water crisis.  For more information, see: http://liveearth.org/en/ or http://www.globe.gov/.

(22) 2010 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE PACIFIC

(Boulder, Colo.; July 31-August 4, 2010)

“Cosmos in the Classroom 2010: A Hands-on Symposium on Teaching Introductory Astronomy” & “Making Connections In Education and Public Outreach” – Save the date and plan to put funding in your 2010 budget for a double hands-on meeting for everyone involved in astronomy and space science education. More information about specific meeting programs and formats and ways to propose sessions and papers will be available in late 2009. Both dormitory and hotel housing have been arranged, so that the meeting is accessible for a variety of budgets. Read about the 2009 annual meeting or learn more about ASP at: http://www.astrosociety.org/events/meeting.html.

(23) PUBLIC LIBRARY TOUR: VISIONS OF THE UNIVERSE – Through March 2010, 40 public libraries are hosting “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition to mark the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.  For more information: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/visions/ or http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/ppo/programming/visions/visionsuniverse.cfm.

(24) A DAY AT GODDARD: OPPORTUNITY FOR DC METRO TEACHERS (Grades 8-12) – 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 with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot at aleya.vandoren@nasa.gov. Slots fill up quickly so register today!

(25) SOLAR DYNAMICS OBSERVATORY AMBASSADOR IN THE CLASSROOM

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

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

(26) NASA EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE FELLOWSHIPS (NESSF) PROGRAM: 2010/2011 ACADEMIC YEAR

(Proposals Due February 1, 2010)

This call for graduate fellowship proposals, entitled NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program – 2010/2011 Academic Year, solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Masters or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, at respective institutions. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s scientific goals outlined above. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities with the advisor serving as the principal investigator. The financial support for the NESSF Program comes from SMD’s four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.

For more information and to read the full solicitation, the NASA NSPIRES Web site: http://tinyurl.com/ycj9lfk.

(27) SUMMER OF INNOVATION COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT NOTICE

(Pre-proposal telecon Feb. 4, Notice of Intent due Feb. 5; Proposals due Feb. 26)

In January 2010, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden responded to a national need for improvements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by announcing a new NASA program to improve the STEM skills and abilities of American students, the Summer of Innovation. NASA will pilot this program by partnering with state consortia of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.

Summer of Innovation is an intensive STEM teaching and learning program conducted during the summer 2010. It is targeted at the middle school level and will include follow-on activities during the following school year, supported by a STEM learning community. The objectives of the Summer of Innovation will be accomplished by the strategic infusion of NASA content and products into evidence-based summer learning programs at the state level. NASA will use the Summer of Innovation as a catalyst to expand, align, and strengthen existing state-based STEM learning networks. The Summer of Innovation will encourage state STEM education stakeholders to build connections between schools and partners.

For more information and to read the full solicitation, visit the NASA NSPIRES Web site: http://tinyurl.com/ydbvypf.

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EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

(28) CLIMATE KIDS: NASA GIVES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS THEIR OWN GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

A blinking red-eyed tree frog and flitting butterfly greet visitors to the new NASA Climate Kids Web site. Targeting grades 4 – 6, this kid-friendly guide de-mystifies one of the most important science issues of our time. The site answers the “big questions” about global climate change using simple illustrations, humor, interactivity, and age-appropriate language. For example, one interactive feature, the Climate Time Machine, reveals how global changes have affected or will affect our planet over time. “Climate Tales” has animal cartoon characters coping- more or less good-humouredly-with the effects humans are having on their habitats. A collection of Earth science-related games offers such experiences as “Wild Weather Adventure” and “Missions to Planet Earth.” A Green Careers section profiles real people doing jobs that help slow climate change. Visit Climate Kids at http://climate.nasa.gov/kids

(29) INTERACTIVE FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON DVD

Field Trip to the Moon is a virtual journey created using NASA engineering models and scientific data. Like NASA’s astronauts, viewers will come face-to-face with the challenges and excitement of traveling through space to land on the Moon. Along the way, they’ll discover some of the differences between the Earth and the moon and what makes our planet unique and habitable. The program is aimed to grades 5-8 and informal education audiences.

The program is offered at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium as a full-dome experience with a live presenter during the school year for school groups and visitors to take a virtual field trip to the moon. This special edition DVD introduces NASA’s LRO/LCROSS mission and captures the experience in a 20:42 feature video.

The DVD costs $12.00 and may be ordered on the NASA Core Central Operation of Resources for Educators Web site at http://corecatalog.nasa.gov/item.cfm?num=010.5-03D. For additional cost, Field Trip to the Moon Toolboxes are available in the following themes: Geology, Medical, Habitat and Engineering, Ecosystem, and Navigation.

The DVD includes support media, including segments on the LRO/LCROSS mission, the moon’s formation, Apollo landing sites, future lunar landing animation, and moon trivia questions. An educator guide, informal educator guide, live presenter script, and other downloads are available at http://www.amnh.org/education/ftm.

(30) GALACTIC DOOM? SPACE MYSTERY GAME

Galactic Doom is the fifth in a series of Space Mysteries: interactive Web games that teach physical and space science. In this game, participants learn about the different types of galaxies (spiral, elliptical and irregular) by viewing them in different wavelength bands (infrared, visible, x-ray). They then learn about active galaxies vs. quiescent galaxies by examining visible light spectra together with the multi-wavelength images. The final challenge is to observe a model of our own galaxy to determine if it is active or not. Alkina, the space creature who travels the universe in the Epo’s Chronicles series, narrates galactic Doom. For background information, or to start playing, visit: http://mystery.sonoma.edu/GalacticDoom/index.html

(31) SPACE MATH V: 87 MATH PROBLEMS FOR GRADES 9-12

This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science problems distributed to thousands of teachers during the 2008-2009 school year. They are intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum in grades 9 through 12. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. The problems are designed to be ‘one-pagers’ with a teacher’s guide and answer key as a second page. Download the Space Math V book via: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/SMBooks/SMBook5.pdf.

For more weekly classroom activities about astronomy and space visit the NASA Web site, http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov. To suggest math problem or science topic ideas, contact Dr. Sten Odenwald at Sten.F.Odenwald@nasa.gov.

(32) REDESIGNED KEPLER MISSION WEB SITE

The NASA Kepler Web site has a new and improved look. It is full of mission information, news and multimedia, science and education resources. Check out the new design of this one-stop-shop for the latest news and information about the Kepler mission – searching the skies for planets that are the same size as Earth – worlds that could possibly be similar to our own.
http://kepler.nasa.gov/

(33) NEW WHAT’S UP PODCAST: MARS

Mars was at its best for viewing in January when it reached opposition.

Visit the NASA Portal – What’s Up podcast page to listen or subscribe to a RSS feed: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/podcasting/whatsup_index.html

This archive on the Solar System Exploration News page has podcasts from each month in multiple formats, and written transcripts: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/whatsup-view.cfm?WUID=244

A YouTube version is also available on the JPL channel: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=JPLnews#g/u

(34) EARTH OBSERVATORY FEATURE ARTICLE: WATER WATCHERS

In Idaho, NASA’s Landsat satellites are helping officials manage water resources and settle conflicts.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WaterWatchers/

(35) ALREADY A STAR, NASA’S CALANDRELLI TELLS STUDENTS TO AIM HIGH

In 2009 alone, Emily Calandrelli was named to USA Today’s All-USA College Academic First Team, received two prestigious scholarships, and was voted West Virginia University’s Ms. Mountaineer for her exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Read about Calandrelli’s connection to NASA — and why she encourages students to pursue majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — on the NASA portal.

Article for Students 9-12 and up:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/already-a-star.html

Article for Students 5-8
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/already-a-star-58.html

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SCIENCE NEWS

(36) NEWBORN BLACK HOLES MAY ADD POWER TO MANY EXPLODING STARS

Jan. 27 – Astronomers studying two exploding stars, or supernovae, have found evidence the blasts received an extra boost from newborn black holes. The supernovae were found to emit jets of particles traveling at more than half the speed of light.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-025_SWIFT.html

(37) NASA CUES UP UNIVERSITY CUBESATS FOR GLORY LAUNCH THIS FALL

Jan. 26 – NASA will launch small research satellites for several universities as part of the agency’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNA, mission. The satellites are manifested as an auxiliary payload on the Taurus XL launch vehicle for NASA’s Glory mission, planned for liftoff in late November.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-023_CubeSats.html

(38) NASA’S MARS ROVER SPIRIT NOW A STATIONARY RESEARCH PLATFORM

Jan. 26 – After six years of unprecedented exploration of the Red Planet, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit no longer will be a fully mobile robot. NASA has designated the once-roving scientific explorer a stationary science platform after efforts during the past several months to free it from a sand trap have been unsuccessful.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-024_Spirit.html

(39) NEW NASA TELSCOPE TARGETS SUN STORMS

Jan. 25 – On February 9, NASA plans to launch a new spacecraft, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), to take the most detailed observations ever of the sun to understand its complex weather and storms. http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

(40) NASA RESEARCH FINDS LAST DECADE WAS WARMEST ON RECORD

Jan. 21 – A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record.
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010500/a010557/

(41) MARS ROVER GIVES NASA AN “OPPORTUNITY” TO VIEW INTERIOR OF MARS

Jan. 21 – Perched on a rippled Martian plain, a dark rock not much bigger than a basketball was the target of interest for NASA’s Mars exploration rover Opportunity during the past two months. Dubbed “Marquette Island,” the rock is providing a better understanding of the mineral and chemical makeup of the Martian interior.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mer/news/mer20100121.html

(42) GIANT RIBBON AT THE EDGE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM: MYSTERY SOLVED?

Jan. 15 – Last year, when NASA’s IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft discovered a giant ribbon at the edge of the solar system, researchers were mystified. They called it a “shocking result” and puzzled over its origin. Now the mystery may have been solved.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/15jan_ibex2.htm?list1110881

(43) THE JAMES WEBB TELESCOPE: AN ALIEN PLANET SAFARI

Jan. 14 – NASA’s next great observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope, is designed to study stars and galaxies. Astronomers are beginning to realize, however, that Webb will make a great planet hunter too.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/14jan_planetsafari.htm?list1110881

(44) HUBBLE FINDS SMALLEST KUIPER BELT OBJECT

Jan. 13 – NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in visible light in the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris that is encircling the outer rim of the solar system just beyond Neptune. See an artist’s concept of the needle-in-a-haystack object found by Hubble that is only 3,200 feet across and a whopping 4.2 billion miles away here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/hst_img_kuiper-smallest.html

(45) NASA’S SOPHIA TELESCOPE PASSES KEY TEST

Jan. 8 – Most astronomers wouldn’t dream of opening their observatory’s doors in 100 mph winds. Yet NASA’s new SOFIA telescope recently flew in an airplane at 250 mph with doors wide open. The successful test is an important step forward for infrared astronomy.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/08jan_flyingtelescope.htm?list1110881

(46) WHY WON’T THE SUPERNOVA EXPLODE?

Jan. 7 – NASA is building a new space telescope named “NuSTAR” to answer a question that has been vexing astrophysicists for decades: Why won’t the supernova explode?
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/07jan_nustar.htm?list1110881

(47) INFRARED ALL-SKY SURVEYING TELESCOPE SENDS BACK FIRST IMAGES FROM SPACE

Jan. 6 – NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured its first look at the starry sky that it will soon begin surveying in infrared light.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-005_WISE_first_light.html

(48) PULSING PULSARS SERVE AS “GALACTIC GPS” IN SEARCH FOR GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

Jan. 5 – Radio astronomers have uncovered 17 millisecond pulsars in our galaxy by studying unknown high-energy sources detected by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These hard-to-find objects hold the promise of using them as a kind of “galactic GPS” to detect gravitational waves passing near Earth.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jan/HQ_10-003_Fermi.html

(49) KEPLER DISCOVERS FIVE EXOPLANETS

Jan. 4 – NASA’s Kepler space telescope, designed to find Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of sun-like stars, has discovered its first five new exoplanets.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/04jan_fiveplanets.htm

(50) SPIRIT FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE AS NEW YEAR DAWNS

Dec. 31 – NASA’s Mars rover Spirit is about to mark six years of Red Planet exploration. However, the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/31dec_uncertainfuture.htm

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CALENDAR

Feb. 1 – Proposals due for NASA Earth & Space Fellowships 2010/2011, http://tinyurl.com/ycj9lfk.Feb. 2-5 – Middle School Educators Invited to Test New EarthKAM Web Site, www.EarthKAM.ucsd.edu.

Feb. 6 – Cool Astronomy Workshop for Middle & High School Educators, http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/workshops/registration.aspx?eid=22

Feb. 9 – Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch, http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/launch/hostevents.php

Feb. 11 – Family Science Night, Exploring the Moon, http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/families/fsn.php.

Feb. 12 – Application Deadline for Astrobiology Summer Institute for High School Teachers, http://www.seti.org/epo/ASSET

Feb. 16-18 – ISU’s 14th Annual Symposium: The Public Face of Space, http://www.isunet.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&Itemid=146.

Feb. 20 – Cool Astronomy Workshop for Middle & High School Educators, http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/workshops/registration.aspx?eid=23

Feb. 24 – NASA DLN VideoConference, NASA Fit Explorers, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast/.

Feb. 26 – Free Interactive Webcast. The Earth System, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/.

Feb. 28 – Top Stars Round 4 Deadline, http://topstars.strategies.org.

March 5 – Free Teacher Workshop: Telescopes Across the EM Spectrum, https://www.confcon.com/head_2010/workshop.php

March 5-7 – Astronomy Camp Workshop for Trainers of GSUSA, http://zeus.as.arizona.edu/~dmccarthy/GSUSA/index.htm

March 11 – Family Science Night, Batteries Not Included (Solar Cars), http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/families/fsn.php.

March 22 – World Water Day, http://www.globe.gov/content/event/WWD10.

March 22-26 – GLOBE Student Effort to Collet Water/Hydrology Data, http://www.globe.gov/content/event/LIVE_EARTH.

March 25 – Free Climate Web Seminar: An Intro to Earth’s Climate, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

March 25-26 – FINESSE Workshop (Baltimore, MD.), http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/facultyInstitutes/.

March 26 – Free Interactive Webcast. Earth and Mars: A Tale of Two Planets, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/.

March 31 – NASA DLN VideoConference, NASA eProfessional Development Network–Robotics Course, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast/.

March 31 – Free Climate Web Seminar: Clues to Climates of the Past, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

April 5 – Entries due for 2010 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, http://www.strategies.org/ThacherContest.

April 6 – Free Climate Web Seminar: Global Climate Change and the Earth System, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

April 8 – Family Science Night, Now You See It … Now You Don’t (Eclipses), http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/families/fsn.php.

April 14 – Free Climate Web Seminar: Effects of Climate Change-Ocean and Ice, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

April 15 – Deadline for ‘No Boundaries’ Project, http://www.usatoday.com/educate/NASA/Contest.html#over

April 22 – Free Climate Web Seminar: Effects of Climate Change to Life on Earth, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

April 28 – NASA DLN VideoConference, MoonWorld, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast/.

April 28 – Free Climate Web Seminar: Predicting Future Climate and Considering Soluations, http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/teacher_resources/main/gccepdn_main.html

April 30 – Free Interactive Webcast. Global Warming: Causes and Consequences, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/.

May 13 – Family Science Night, Searching for Other Worlds (Exoplanets), http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/epo/families/fsn.php.

May 26 – NASA DLN VideoConference, On the Moon, http://dln.nasa.gov/dln/content/webcast/.

June 18-Aug. 8 – Climate Discovery Online Summer Courses, http:/ecourses.ncar.ucar.edu

July 18-24 – Astrobiology Summer Institute for High School Teachers, http://www.seti.org/epo/ASSET

July 31-Aug. 4 – 2010 Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference, http://www.astrosociety.org/events/meeting.html.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

NASA Science Mission Directorate: Larry Cooper, Stephanie Stockman and Ming-Ying Wei.

Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), theresa_schwerin@strategies.org.
Writer: Catherine Fahey, IGES, catherine_fahey@strategies.org.

Contributions from:

Emilie Drobnes, NASA GSFC; John Farrow, International Space University; Andrew Fraknoi, Foothill College; Steve Graham, NASA Goddard Pamela Harman, SETI Institute; Hashima Hasaan, NASA HQ; Becca Hatheway, UCAR Office of EPO; Karin Huack, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of Berkeley; Jan Heiderer, GLOBE; Sandra Henderson, UCAR; Jane Houston Jones, NASA JPL; Jim Lochner, NASA Goddard; Don McCarthy, University of Arizona; Bryan Mendez, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of Berkeley; Christine Shupla, Lunar & Planetary Institute; Dan Stillman, IGES; Aleya VanDoren, NASA GSFC; and Kevin Ward, NASA’s Earth Observatory.


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