VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter
Editor: Talia Jurgens
Volume: 2, Issue: 44
Date: 03/15/2002

Table of Contents

Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)

Researchers here at the Center for Space Research in Austin, Texas will be closer to answering questions about global warming, global climate change and El Nino after extraordinarily precise information is gathered by two NASA satellites to be launched March 17 from Russia under the direction of aerospace engineers from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Byron Tapley, director of the Center and a worldwide expert on precision orbit determination, will become the first non-NASA employee to direct a NASA mission when the project takes flight. The launch of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) will begin the journey for twin satellites to make at least a 100-fold improvement in current measurements of the Earth's gravity field. This highly detailed map of Earth's gravitational field will relate minute fluctuations of gravity to the planet's physical features, such as ice caps, continental water storage, or environmental events such as storms. A new map of Earth's gravity, which changes in time as well as by location, will be generated for every month during the mission's expected five-year lifetime. The Texas Space Grant Consortium and its educational partners have developed an extensive amount of materials that can be utilized in the kindergarten though 12th grade classroom. Most of these materials are downloadable in Acrobat PDF format from this site. These materials include classroom developed and tested activities that are aligned to the national education standards and may other materials.

Consider Every Option! Training in Electrical and Computer Engineering (CEO!)

Know a sophomore or junior female high school student interested in computers, CD's, cell phones, or anything else dealing with computers or electronics? Think she ever wonders how her hair dryer, computer, CD player, or TV actually works? Wonder if she wants to have some fun learning what it's like to be an engineer Then, CEO! is for her! CEO! is designed to expose high school sophomore and junior girls to the exciting field of electrical and computer engineering through hands-on activities and real-life engineering examples. These two engineering fields help to play an important role in our everyday lives. However, out of all engineering fields, women are the most under-represented in electrical and computer engineering! This is, most definitely, something that you can help to change. Your student can come join us and meet electrical and computer engineers and learn, through hands-on experiences, what it means to be an engineer within these fields. They will also learn about the electrical and computer engineering program of study offered by the College of Engineering at UT. Girls represent more than half the future workforce, but when it comes to engineering, few get enough guidance and encouragement to consider a career in this critical field. Aiming to challenge that stubborn reality, the Women in Engineering Program (WEP) at UT-Austin is hosting Consider Every Option! (CEO!).

On-line Earth System Science Courses for Educators

Arlington, Virginia-based Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) announces the selection of eight organizations that will receive funding to offer online Earth system science courses for educators, rounding out a network of twenty universities and science organizations that comprise the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA). The Institute -- working in partnership with the Center for Educational Technologies (CET), Wheeling, West Virginia through funding from NASA's Earth Science Enterprise -- has created ESSEA to facilitate the delivery of online, professional development, graduate courses for K-12 teachers by universities, colleges, and science education organizations. CET at Wheeling Jesuit University designed the state-of-the-art online courses. The eight organizations selected will have teams participate in extensive training, conduct two sessions of the courses each year, and provide evaluation of the effectiveness of the online courses. For more info visit the above web site.

Space Center Houston Teacher Camp In - April 26, 2002

Spend an exiting, fun filled night at Space Center Houston's Life In Space Camp-In. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the human body in space and discover just how difficult it is to live and work in the space environment. Participate in hands-on sessions and attend the special suit presentation. Visit the Johnson Space Center Educator Resource Center at Space Center Houston and take back lots of materials to the classroom.

Apply for Project Astro

Project ASTRO/Seattle pairs teachers for grades 3-12 with amateur and professional astronomers, as well as earth scientists, to build partnerships and improve science education in schools. Each scientist visits his/her class at least five times during the school year and develops an ongoing relationship with the students. They also assist the teachers and/or lead science activities such as question-and-answer sessions, evening star parties for students and their families, or large class projects like building a telescope or a school sundial. Project ASTRO also hosts educational events throughout the school year. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2002. For more information, visit the above URL.

Earth at Night viewed by the International Space Station

The International Space Station crew has produced a panoramic view of our world at night with the concentration of lights clearly indicating the populated areas. Viewers can scroll East-West and North-South. The photo was taken from the Boeing and L-3 built International Space Station last November on a perfect night with no obscuring atmospheric conditions. Moving east to Europe, there is a high population concentration along the Mediterranean Coast. It's also easy to spot London, Paris, Stockholm and Vienna. Compare the Nile River to the rest of the African continent. After the Nile, the lights don't come on again until Johannesburg. Look at the Australian Outback and the Trans-Siberian Rail Route. Moving east, the most striking observation is the difference between North and South Korea. Note the density of Japan. To view this amazing photo, Visit the above URL.

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

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Last Modified: Wed Mar 20, 2002