Texas Space Grant Consortium Teacher Newsletter
Volume: 2, Issue: 22
Date: 04/11/2001

Table of Contents

Moon Hoax activity

After reviewing the TSGC newsletter that included a segment about the Moon Hoax, we received this great idea from Kathy Herron, who teachers 8th grade Earth Science and Astronomy at Henderson Middle School in Henderson, Texas. The Fox special really got her students stirred up, so she decided to have the astronomy class divide into teams and debate the issue! They went to the computer lab and did the research, compiled their arguments and "put up their dukes". As excitement grew about the project, they booked the auditorium for the debates, procured tables and a lectern, had the debate videotaped, and utilized a student who was also in drama to do the lighting and sound system. The students found out that it was much easier to be a "Hoax Believer" than a "Moon Supporter." To support the hoax theory you don't really need to know real science. After the first round, they switched sides and repeated the project. Great activity, Kathy!

Mars Odyssey Launch!

Stay TunedŠIt is time to turn towards sunny Florida and watch the launch of the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft to the Red Planet on April 7. The spacecraft and rocket are on the pad. The project's web page, including a live video feed from Cape Canaveral, is at the above URL.

How High Is It? Educator Guide and Gamecards

The NASA Educator Guide "How High Is It?" for grades 5-8 is available on NASA Spacelink. The activities in the guide can be used to help students better visualize where satellites, spacecraft, aircraft and other NASA vehicles orbit or operate with respect to the layers of the atmosphere. A set of Satellite Swap Gamecards, which are an accompaniment to the guide, are also available at the same location. "How High Is It?" can be found at the above internet address:

Studying Ocean Color From Space Teacher Guide

Our knowledge of our oceans is limited. Ships, coastlines, and islands provide places from which we can observe, sample, and study small portions of Oceans. But we can only look at a very small part of the global ocean this way. We need a better place from which to study oceans. Space provides this place. Satellites circling the Earth can survey an entire Ocean in less than an hour. These satellites can "look" at clouds to study the weather, or at the sea surface (when it's not cloudy) to measure the sea's surface temperature, wave heights, and direction of waves. Some satellites use radar to "look" through the clouds at the sea surface.

Hubble Space Telescope discovery

A discovery by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope supports the notion that the Universe is filled with a mysterious form of "dark energy" a possibility first proposed, then discarded, by Albert Einstein early

Scientists Share What They've Learned About Life in the Universe

NATO and NASA are joining forces to host an Advanced Study Institute for astrobiology in Crete, Sept 29-Oct 10, 2001. A diverse group of the world's most prominent scientists will share with students what they have learned lately about life in the Universe.

Living with a Star Educator Guide

The new NASA educator guide, "Living with a Star", is available on NASA Spacelink. The guide contains answers to common questions such as what are auroras and how does radiation affect astronauts. There are activities, links to Web sites and a glossary of star-related terms.

Share Your Ideas

Do you have a science or math Web site you've found especially helpful to your students? Send us the URL address and the grade level it best serves. We'll pass it on. Ideas should be sent to space_edu@tsgc.utexas.edu.

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Last Modified: Wed Apr 11, 2001