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New in this Issue
- Year of the Solar System – Resources for Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
- NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars (Nov. 1, 8, 15, 29)
- Earth and Space Exploration Day at ASU (Nov. 5)
- Free Public Lecture: Why Telescopes Are Amazing (Register by Nov. 7)
- The First Kepler Science Conference (Register by Nov. 11)
- NASA’s SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program – Middle and High School Educators (Apply by Nov. 15)
- Science Teachers Association of Texas Annual Conference for the Advancement of Science (Nov. 17-19)
- Free Online Astronomy Workshop for Park and Nature Center Interpreters (Apply by Nov. 30)
- Workshop: Understanding K-12 Science Learning Goals (Nov. 30-Dec. 2)
- Exploration Station (Dec. 4)
- 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)
- 2011 IGES Art Contest – Wonders of Weather: What Do You See? Grades 2-4 (Due Nov. 7)
- NESTA Workshops at Fall 2011 NSTA Area Conferences (Nov. 11 and Dec. 9)
- Teacher Workshop in Earth Science in Houston – High School Educators (Nov. 30-Dec. 1)
- 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)
- 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
- Applications Being Accepted for Einstein Fellowship Program – K-12 STEM Educators (Due Jan. 5)
- GLOBE Scientists’ Blog
- Transit Tracks – Classroom Activity Grades 8-12
- Leaps and Flutters – Game Ages 7-9
- Picture Post – Citizen Science Program
Programs & Events
New in this Issue
November’s topic for the Year of the Solar System is “Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields.” The vast sea of space in our solar system is filled with powerful radiation and bombarded with high-speed atomic particles. In addition, the Sun generates a continuous stream of particles that we call the “solar wind.” These things are dangerous to life on Earth’s surface, but Earth’s planetary shield – the Earth’s magnetic field working together with our atmosphere – protects us. To find events and resources related to this month’s topic, visit http://1.usa.gov/rv5DBm.
NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program promotes student-led research investigation in the classroom using NASA data and resources. It also provides opportunities to connect with NASA or university scientists. Throughout the semester, the program is offering a number of free online teacher trainings, as well as classroom connection opportunities that will connect teachers and students with scientists. Upcoming events include:
- Nov. 1, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 – Introduces and trains participants on the use of the Blue Marble Matches activity, which will help bring comparative planetology to the classroom. http://1.usa.gov/rYaYnN
- Nov. 8, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 – Introduces and trains participants on strategies to use to transform students into researchers in the classroom. http://1.usa.gov/vpaKXD
- Nov. 15, 1:30-2:45pm ET – Classrooms Connection Webinar: Mars Rovers and Langers: Past, Present and Future – Connects students with a scientist from the NASA Johnson Space Center, who will discuss missions to the surface of Mars and the upcoming MSL lander mission. http://1.usa.gov/uvDoQx
- Nov. 29, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 – Introduces and trains participants on the use of the Expedition Earth and Beyond Student Scientist Guidebook, allowing students to model the process of science as they conduct a research investigation. http://1.usa.gov/thYDfy
To check out other events being offered throughout the semester, please visit http://1.usa.gov/uuve22.
(Nov. 5, 9am-3pm MT; Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.)
The public is invited to spend a day exploring Earth and space with ASU scientists. Earth and Space Exploration Day provides a variety of science-related interactive activities for anyone interested in exploring Earth and space alongside real scientists. Hands-on activities, interactive demonstrations, lab tours, and lectures will take place throughout the day, with a special unveiling to take place at 11am MT. Visitors will also be able to explore the latest NASA planetary images and tour Mars using the GeoWall 3-D projector. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/rp5SFN.
(Register by Nov. 7; Lecture Nov. 10, 7pm ET; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visitors Center, Greenbelt, Md.)
Please join us for the second installment of the Gerald Soffen Public Lecture Series at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitors Center. Dr. Jane Rigby, Deputy Operations Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, will speak about “Why Space Telescopes Are Amazing.” Registration is free, but space is limited. All ages are welcome, and there will be hands-on activities for everyone after the lecture. To register, visit http://1.usa.gov/ttGZxs.
(Register by Nov. 11; Dec. 5-9; NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, Calif.)
The First Kepler Science Conference will highlight the full range of scientific results that have emerged from more than two years of Kepler observations, as well as what to expect from continued observations. The meeting will consist of 9-10 half-day sessions, each dedicated to a different topic. The conference is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/spOyV4.
NASA’s SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Program – Middle and High School Educators (Apply by Nov. 15)
(Apply by Nov. 15; Flights From Mid-2012 Through Mid-2013)
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is now accepting applications for its Cycle 1 Airborne Astronomy Ambassador (AAA) Program. Participants will fly on overnight missions, at altitudes of up to 45,000 feet, in conditions similar to that of a regular commercial flight, in order to capture data utilizing the 2.5 meter-diameter telescope on board. Participants will work side-by-side with NASA scientists as part of the mission, and will receive support materials to take back to the classroom. Two-member educator teams must include at least one grade 6-12 science teacher, and the second team member may be a math, science or technology teacher at elementary or secondary level, or an informal educator. For details on how to apply, visit http://bit.ly/rMn2uo.
(Nov. 17-19; Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas)
This year’s conference theme is “The Art of Science,” and will feature 3- and 6- hour short courses, workshops, field trips, special events and engaging speakers. NASA sessions includes the following:
- Science is Cool with NASA’s “Space School Musical” (short course)
- Unlocking the Mysteries: NASA Delivers Solar System Science to Your Classroom (short course)
- NASA’s Wise Mission Presents: More Than a Pretty Picture – Using Astronomical Data in the Classroom (workshop/jam session)
- NASA DIY: Podcasting in Your Classroom (workshop/jam session)
- NASA: Physics Assessment and Data Collection with Technology (workshop/jam session)
- NASA’s WISE Mission Presents: Size and Scale of the Universe (workshop/jam session)
- Size and Scale of the Universe (workshop/jam session)
- Answering the Big Bang Challenge (workshop/jam session)
- Space Weather in the Physics and Space Science Classroom (workshop/jam session)
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Global (workshop/jam session)
- Climate Change for Younger Students (workshop/jam session)
For more information, visit http://bit.ly/svlSyK.
(Apply by Nov. 30; Workshop Jan. 23-March 16)
Join the upcoming Sky Rangers online workshop, designed to enable park and nature center interpreters to share the night sky as an important natural resource. This free online workshop from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific provides materials and training for interpreters and outdoor educators who want to learn how to tell the story of the sky and bring the excitement of astronomy to their audiences. To learn more and to apply, please visit http://bit.ly/ugFr2K .
(Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Washington, D.C.)
Participants will work with a variety of tools – from strand maps in the Atlas of Science Literacy to state standards and the new conceptual framework for science education recently released by the National Research Council – to explore the knowledge and skills students are expected to have at each grade level and to try out new strategies for aligning classroom instruction, curriculum materials, and assessment with science learning goals. The workshop is suited for K-12 science and mathematics educators, administrators and curriculum specialists; informal science educators; teacher education faculty; education researchers; and curriculum and assessment developers. Workshop participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from AAAS Project 2061. For teams, the registration fee is $400/person. Individuals may register for $450. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/ucCu7W.
(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. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/sNVls3.
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 student, 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.
(Entries Due Nov. 7)
When you go outside, what makes you wonder? Is it the colors and shapes of clouds? The burst of thunder during a rainy afternoon? Or a thick white blanket made of slowly falling snowflakes? Weather, the state of the atmosphere at a particular time and place, is constantly changing. So look around and ask yourself, what makes you wonder about weather?
This year’s contest invites young scientists and artists to explore weather in the world around them. Students grades 2-4 may submit one 2-D entry that does not exceed 16″x20″. The work should be creative, bold and colorful. Please provide a title on the entry form that describes the artwork. Winners will have their artwork featured on the IGES web site, and will receive a Visa gift card (1st place – $100, 2nd place – $75, 3rd place – $50). To find out more, see complete rules and download an entry form, visit http://bit.ly/t88e4i.
NESTA will offer workshops at all NSTA Area Conferences this fall. In addition to the traditional Share-a-Thon and Rock and Mineral Raffle, there will also be workshops on Earth systems science, climate change, and geology, all leveraging the Windows to the Universe program (http://www.windows2universe.org/). 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:
- 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 http://bit.ly/tYPien.
(Nov. 30-Dec. 1; Houston, Texas)
Teachers are invited to register for the upcoming Lunar and Planetary Institute workshop, “Rock On! Plate Tectonics, Earth’s Interior, Volcanism, and Igneous Rocks.” This workshop is for high school Earth systems science teachers, and will be held at the Harris County Department of Education. A $30 registration fee includes extensive presentation and reference materials, hands-on lesson plans for the classroom, refreshments and lunch. To learn more and to register, visit http://bit.ly/s5Qe4D.
(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 Awards 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.
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 (email@example.com) with your desired date and class information to reserve your spot. Slots fill up quickly, so register today!
(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.
Read the Scientists’ Blog to keep informed of timely topics in Earth Systems Science. Updated weekly, the blog is an online journal where the GLOBE scientists post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about a variety of science topics. The blog provides students the opportunity to share comments and discuss topics with each other. Comments are moderated, so no anonymous comments are allowed. Currently, Jessica Mackaro is reporting on the recently released 2010 NOAA State of the Climate report. http://bit.ly/ttj2ns
Using a model of a planet transiting a star, students learn what a transit is, under what conditions a transit may be seen, and what effects a planet’s size and distance from its star have on transit behavior. Students will interpret graphs, derived from actual Kepler mission transit data, of brightness vs. time to deduce characteristics of a star-planet system. Two methods for data interpretation are offered in the lesson, and are adaptable for middle and high school students. http://bit.ly/stR2rk
This is a “Chutes and Ladders” type game. As players land on squares, depending on the described action, they either “leap” frog ahead if they help the environment, or butterfly “flutter” back if they do not. There is a short explanation as part of the game as to why we should care about frogs and butterflies, as well as some facts about the activities on the game board and why they are good or not good for the environment. To play, visit http://1.usa.gov/sR91E5.
The Picture Post Network offers the means for people to help study and analyze their own findings using Digital Earth Watch software. Digital photographs taken from the same location and positioned in the same direction and orientation allow individuals, schools, communities and scientists to monitor a variety of environmental parameters. Picture Post participants study change over time in their local area, view NASA satellite imagery taken on the same day as their pictures, and contribute towards improving their own communities. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/uwYriz.
Nov. 1 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar http://1.usa.gov/rYaYnN
Nov. 5 – Earth and Space Exploration Day at ASU http://bit.ly/rp5SFN
Nov. 7 – Entries Due – IGES Art Contest – Wonders of Weather: What Do You See? http://www.strategies.org/artcontest
Nov. 8 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar http://1.usa.gov/vpaKXD
Nov. 10 – Public Lecture: Why Telescopes Are Amazing http://1.usa.gov/ttGZxs
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
Nov. 15 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Classrooms Connection Webinar http://1.usa.gov/uvDoQx
Nov. 17-19 – Science Teachers Association of Texas Annual Conference for the Advancement of Science http://bit.ly/svlSyK
Nov. 29 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar http://1.usa.gov/thYDfy
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – LPI Plate Tectonics Workshop for 9-12th Grade Teachers http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/documents/fall2011workshopflyer.pdf
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 – Workshop: Understanding K-12 Science Learning Goals http://bit.ly/ucCu7W
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. 9 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, Seattle, Wa. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
Dec. 15 – Nominations Due – ASP Awards for Excellence in Astronomy Education http://www.astrosociety.org/membership/awards/awards.html
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
March 1-4 – Polar Science Weekend at Pacific Science Center http://bit.ly/sEWWWw
NASA Science Mission Directorate: Stephanie Stockman and Jim Lochner
Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES.
Contributions From: Shari Asplund, NASA JPL; Lora Bleacher, NASA GSFC; Barbara Goldstein, AAAS Project 2061; Alan Gould, NASA Kepler Mission; Paige Graff, NASA JSC; Pamela Harman, SETI Institute; Anna Hurst Schmitt, Astronomical Society of the Pacific; Harry Stern, University of Washington APL; and Martha Wawro, NASA GSFC.
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