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New in this Issue
- Year of the Solar Sytem – Resources for Moons and Rings: Our Favorite Things
- NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond Webinars (Oct. 4, 18, 21, 25)
- International Observe the Moon Night (Oct. 8)
- Earth Science Week Web Event With NASA’s Chief Scientist (Oct. 12)
- Fall Online Courses for Educators from the American Museum of Natural History (Deadline Oct. 10)
- Premiere of “The Wanderers” – A Tour of the Solar System (Oct. 11)
- Teacher Workshops in Earth and Space Science in Houston – Middle and High School Educators (Oct. 12, Oct. 20, Nov. 30)
- 2011 IGES Art Contest – Wonders of Weather: What Do You See? Grades 2-4 (Due Nov. 7)
- 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)
- NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) Great Lakes Regional Teaching Exchange – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 8)
- Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Oct. 15 & 28)
- 2011 Associations of Science-Technology Centers Annual Conference (Oct. 15-18)
- The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 22-23)
- Fall 2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest – Grades 5-12 (Entries Due Oct. 26)
- NESTA Workshop at Fall 2011 NSTA Area Conferences (Oct. 28, Nov. 11, and Dec. 9)
- Research Study Opportunity for High-School Educators with PBS
- IceHunters Invites the World to Find New Horizons Future KBO Destinations
- Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education
- Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Ambassador in the Classroom
- A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers – Grades 8-12
- Science Scriptwriter/Senior Education Specialist
- Satellite Insight – Game for iPhone
- Kepler Planet Candidate Data Explorer
- Changes to SpaceMath@NASA Website
Programs & Events
New in this Issue
October’s topic for the Year of the Solar System is “Moons and Rings: Our Favorite Things.” Objects that attract the most attention in the night sky include our brilliant Moon, and Saturn with its delicate rings. Our attraction to these objects has led many to study them in greater detail, and discover the beauty in scientific exploration. To find events and resources related to this month’s topic, visit http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/display.cfm?Year=2011&Month=10.
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 you and your students with scientists. Below are the events being offered in October:
- Oct. 4, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar – Introduces teachers to the opportunities available through the EEAB program http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10042011.cfm
- Oct. 18, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 – Introduces and trains participants on the use of the Spheres of Earth activity http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10182011.cfm
- Oct. 21, 12:30-1:45pm ET – Classroom Connection Webinar – Connects students with a scientist from the NASA Johnson Space Center http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_cc10212011.cfm
- Oct. 25, 6:30-7:45pm ET – Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 – Introduces and trains participants on the use of the Blue Marble activity http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10252011.cfm
To check out other events being offered throughout the semester, please visit http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/eventcalendar.cfm.
International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is a large, annual public outreach event that celebrates the excitement of lunar science and exploration, and encourages people all over the world to stop what they’re doing and look up at the Moon – together. Last year there were over 500 registered InOMN events in over 50 countries, and we’re hoping to increase that number in 2011.
The theme for InOMN 2011 is: “What does the Moon mean to you?” It is a theme that focuses on cultural connections to the Moon, and connecting art with science. To take advantage of this, we are encouraging partnerships between science museums and centers, planetariums, astronomy clubs, and others with a science focus to partner with cultural or art centers to bring the excitement of lunar science and exploration to diverse audiences by hosting an InOMN event together. A list of registered events, as well as information, activity ideas, advertising materials, and more can be found here: http://observethemoonnight.org/.
(Oct. 12, 1-2pm ET)
Earth Science Week 2011 encourages people everywhere to explore the natural world and learn about the geosciences. “Our Ever-Changing Earth,” the theme of ESW 2011, engages your people and the public in learning about the natural processes that shape our planet over time. In honor of Earth Science Week 2011, NASA will host a web event with Dr. Waleed Abdalati, NASA’s Chief Scientist. Dr. Abdalati – an Earth scientist – will share his stories and perspectives on our ever-changing Earth. Participants will be able to email questions during the webcast, and will be able to interact with the guests live on NASA’s Digital Learning Network’s DLiNfo Channel at http://dln.nasa.gov/dln.
NASA has created an Earth Science Week Website (http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2011) which contains many resources, interviews, articles and information on Earth Science Week events, to help bring Earth science into the classroom. NASA has also contributed many resources to an educator kit designed to help teachers engage students in Earth science before, during and after this special week. For more information on Earth Science Week and ordering an educator kit, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org.
(Register by Oct. 10; Oct. 24-Dec. 4)
Seminars on Science connects classroom teachers with scientists engaged in current, real-world research. Each course is authored by leading scientists in their fields and is then co-taught by an experienced researcher affiliated with AMNH. Courses include Earth: Inside and Out; Climate change; and The Ocean System. All courses run for six weeks. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use. For more information and to register, visit http://www.amnh.org/learn/.
(Oct. 11, 7-9pm ET; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD)
The ancient Greeks called the planets “the wanders,” mysterious stars that moved among the fixed constellations of background stars. Venturing from close proximity to the Sun, out to the farthest comets, the unique character of the planets and our solar system is now revealed in “The Wanderers,” the newest Science on a Sphere visualization. You are invited to witness the world premier of “The Wanderers” in the Science on a Sphere Theater at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center. There will be a brief introduction by the NASA scientists who collaborated on the production of the movie, and a Q&A session following it. Space is limited, so please register in advance at the following link http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/events/wanderers.html. For more information about the visualization and our solar system, visit http://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/690/solarsystemtour.html.
Teacher Workshops in Earth and Space Science in Houston – Middle and High School Educators (Oct. 12, Oct. 20, Nov. 30)
Teachers are invited to register for Lunar and Planetary Institute workshops at the Harris County Department of Education this fall. The workshops being offered include:
- Oct. 12 – Stars and Galaxies – for 8-12th grade astronomy teachers
- Oct. 20 – Cracking Up: Plate Tectonics and the Structure of the Earth – for 6-8th grade teachers
- Nov. 30-Dec. 1 – Rock On! Plate Tectonics, Earth’s Interior, Volcanism, and Igneous Rocks – for 9-12th grade Earth systems science teachers
Each workshop requires a $30 registration fee, which will include extensive presentation materials, reference materials, hands-on lesson plans for the classroom, refreshments and lunch. To learn more and to register, visit http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/documents/fall2011workshopflyer.pdf.
(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 (do not use the contest title Wonders of Weather: What Do You See?). 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://www.strategies.org/artcontest.
(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://www.astrosociety.org/membership/awards/awards.html.
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 sustainability around the globe. After an initial judges’ review, Earthzine will post candidate essays on 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://www.earthzine.org/2011/09/22/earthzine-to-hold-third-annual-essay-and-blogging-contest-on-sustainability/.
NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) Great Lakes Regional Teaching Exchange – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 8)
(Oct. 8; University of Michigan, Dearborn, Mich.)
CAE Regional Teaching Exchanges are designed to foster a sense of community amongst geographically linked current and future Astro 101 college instructors. The program features regional experts from the broader CAE community who will provide the opportunity for participants to meet other instructors in their area, expand their instructional repertoire, and share their expertise. Instructors, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students are all welcome to join the Exchange! For more information, visit http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=93.
Join us at this event which brings astronomy to the public, with free star-gazing at music concert and festivals. Dr. Donald Lubowich, Coordinator of the Astronomy Outreach Program at Hofstra University, will give concert goers a glimpse of the heavens. This NASA-sponsored program will include optical and radio telescope observations of the Sun prior to the concerts, and the Moon, planets, multi-colored double stars, star clusters, and nebulae at intermission and after the concerts – combined with videos, posters, hands-on activities, and the sounds of the Sun. Upcoming events include:
- Oct. 15 – 27th Anniversary Oyster Festival, Oyster Bay, N.Y.
- Oct. 28 – Spooky Walk, Albertson, N.Y.
For more information, visit http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html.
(Oct. 15-18; Maryland Science Center and Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.)
Visit the NASA Science Education and Public Outreach Forums exhibit hall booth #649 at the 2011 annual ASTC conference, where you can obtain education materials, learn about NASA Science Mission Directorate-funded education programs, and participate in in-booth activities and demonstrations. NASA HQ is also hosting a booth, along with an Astronomy and Aerospace Showcase. For more information, visit http://conference.astc.org/.
The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop – Postsecondary Educators (Oct. 22-23)
(Oct. 22-23; Mesa Community College, Mesa, Ariz.)
Since 2004, the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) has lead professional development workshops funded by JPL’s NASA Exoplanet Exploration Public Engagement Program (ExEP). Workshops have been attended by over 2,000 current and future instructors of college-level astronomy and space science. CAE invites you to participate in one of their many workshops offered throughout the year, and to learn how to kick off teaching your class with Exoplanet curriculum! You can learn more about the next workshop here: http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=91.
(Deadline Oct. 26, Noon PT)
The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This choice must be supported in a 500-word essay. Winners and their classmates will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.
The contest is open to all U.S. students grades 5-12, working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essays will be divided into three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8, and 9-12. All submissions must be the students’ original work. Each student may submit only one entry, and all entrants will receive a certificate of participation. For more information, visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/.
NESTA will be offering workshops at all three NSTA Area Conferences this fall. In addition to their traditional Share-a-Thon and Rock and Mineral Raffle, they will also be offering workshops on Earth Systems science, climate change, and geology leveraging the new program, Windows to the Universe (http://www.windows2universe.org/). This popular educational resource contains over 9,000 pages of content spanning Earth and space science at elementary – high school levels, as well as over a hundred tested classroom activities ready for immediate use.
All of the events provide a full day of Earth science professional development, and are free with registration at the NSTA conference. Workshops will be held at the following:
- October 28; Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, Conn.
- November 11; Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.
- December 9; Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Wa.
For more information, and to submit to present in the Share-a-Thons, visit https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf.
You are invited to participate in an opportunity to help evaluate the effectiveness of a new online graduate course, STEM417: Global Climate Change Education for High School, by serving as a Control Teacher. As an incentive, participants will receive a $50 stipend for completing the evaluation instruments and for completing a PBS TeacherLine online course in science, math, or technology for high school this fall. The course enrollment fee will be covered by the study. Control teachers may NOT enroll in the STEM417: Global Climate Change Education for High School course. A NASA grant awarded to PBS TeacherLine funds the research study and the development of the GCC Course. If you are interested in participating as a control teacher, please visit http://www.pbs.org/pd/crepstudy.
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!
The NASA HITSS program requires a Science Scriptwriter with experience in national education standards in support of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to research and develop content for animations, websites and print materials. The Science Scriptwriter will develop scripts for animations that emphasize NASA science and contain notes for visual representation of science concepts. Duties also include developing supplemental web and print content, and ensuring content relates to national education standards.
The successful candidate will have five years of science writing experience, experience with NASA educational products and review, the ability to communicate complex science concepts, and the ability to generate ideas for visualizing concepts. Writing samples are required. To view the full solicitation and apply, visit https://www.indyneinc.com/employment/Employment/tabid/54/PageID/1/PositionID/660/btnClick/btnDetail/Default.aspx.
“Satellite Insight” for iPhone and other iOS devices is now available on iTunes. This free game consists of colored blocks that represent different types of data gathered by GOES-R’s science instruments. The data blocks fall into columns on a grid. Players must bundle like data types together and store them safely before the data grid overflows. This is the first iPhone app from NOAA in partnership with NASA. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/satellite-insight/id463588902?mt=8
The Kepler Planet Candidate Data Explorer gives you access to the latest set of Kepler planet candidates. The Kepler spacecraft has the most exquisitely sensitive light sensor (photometer) ever launched into space, monitoring over 150,000 stars simultaneously, to detect drops in starlight caused by transiting planets. The Explorer has two tools, Table and Plot, which allow the user to explore Kepler data in various ways. For more information, visit http://22.214.171.124/kepler.
There have been some changes to the SpaceMath@NASA website that will hopefully make the site more useful to its users. The site now has a public side and a side for registered users. When you register as an educator by selecting, ‘Click Here to Register’, you will be asked to submit a brief registration form. Within a few days, you will be sent information on accessing the protected portion of the site. The protected portion will contain all of the contents of the original website, including books and many new problems with answer keys provided.
The change to the website is meant to allow educators to access the full content of the site, without allowing students to gain access to the answer keys via a Google search. By registering, you will also be subscribed to the new SpaceMath@NASA listserv for educators. Periodic site updates will be sent out informing users of new content. To register now, visit http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov.
Oct. 4 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10042011.cfm
Oct. 8 – NASA Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) Great Lakes Regional Teaching Exchange http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=93
Oct. 8 – International Observe the Moon Night http://observethemoonnight.org/
Oct. 9-15 – Earth Science Week 2011: Our Ever-Changing Earth http://www.earthsciweek.org
Oct. 10 – Deadline to apply for AMNH fall online courses http://www.amnh.org/learn/
Oct. 12 – LPI Workshop for 8-12th Grade Astronomy Teachers http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/documents/fall2011workshopflyer.pdf
Oct. 14 – Earth Science Week 2011 Contest Submissions Due http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/
Oct. 15 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Oct. 15-18 – 2011 Association of Science-Technology Centers Annual Conference http://conference.astc.org/
Oct. 18 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10182011.cfm
Oct. 20 – LPI Plate Tectonics Workshop for 6-8th Grade Teachers http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/documents/fall2011workshopflyer.pdf
Oct. 21 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Classroom Connection Webinar http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_cc10212011.cfm
Oct. 22-23 – The Center for Astronomy Education Teaching Excellence Workshop http://astronomy101.jpl.nasa.gov/workshopdetails/index.cfm?workshopID=91
Oct. 25 – NASA Expedition Earth and Beyond Teacher Training Webinar, Grades 4-12 http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/ares/eeab/event_10252011.cfm
Oct. 26 – Entries Due – Fall 2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/
Oct. 27-30 – 2011 SACNAS National Conference https://sacnas.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=11
Oct. 28 – NESTA Workshop at NSTA Conference, Hartford, Conn. https://www.nestanet.org/cms/sites/default/files/documents/NESTA_Workshops_Fall_2011_NSTA.pdf
Oct. 28 – Music and Astronomy Under the Stars (Albertson, N.Y.) http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/Colleges/HCLAS/PHYSIC/physic_underthestars.html
Nov. 7 – Entries Due – IGES Art Contest – Wonders of Weather: What Do You See? http://www.strategies.org/artcontest
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. 30-Dec. 1 – LPI Plate Tectonics Workshop for 9-12th Grade Teachers http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/workshops/documents/fall2011workshopflyer.pdf
Dec. 5-9 – AGU Fall Meeting 2011 http://sites.agu.org/fallmeeting/
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
NASA Science Mission Directorate: Jim Lochner and Stephanie Stockman
Editor: Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
Writer: Morgan Woroner, IGES.
Contributions From: Lora Bleacher, NASA GSFC; Andrew Fraknoi, ASP; Gamble Gilbertson, Indyne; Alan Gould, NASA Kepler; Paige Graff, NASA JSC; Andrea Jones, LPI; Jeff Kart, Earthzine; Nancy Leon, NASA JPL; Donald Lubowich, Hofstra University; Sten Odenwald, NASA GSFC; Alanna Shevak, PBS; and Christine Shupla, LPI
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