VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter
Editor: Talia Jurgens
Volume IV, Issue 11
Date: 7-9-04

Table of Contents

Space Rocks! Free Lecture in Austin

Space Rocks! And an Update on the Cassini Spacecraft Saturn Mission. Join John Curchin, Planetary Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, Colorado on Thursday, July 15, 2004 from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) at TxDOT Headquarters Auditorium in Austin Texas. The auditorium is located at 200 East Riverside Drive on the north side, one block east of South Congress Avenue across the street from Thundercloud Subs. Turn north at the light at Thundercloud's and Building 200 (site of lecture) will be the first building on the right. This is Free to the public. Donations for the Austin ESW career fair for middle school students and the Earth Science book drive will be greatly appreciated. WIN A METEORITE! The audience will have a chance to win a meteorite by entering into a raffle. Tickets are $3.00 at the door and the drawing will be held at the lecture. Visit the above web site for more information.

Texas State Board of Education will vote on rule for science education

Letters needed immediately! Texas has an immediate opportunity to be a leader in the push for greater science literacy in the U.S. and to address concerns over the loss of U.S. dominance in sciences. Your help is needed on this important issue. On July 15-16, 2004, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) will vote on a rule that will require all Texas public school children to take 4 years of science in high school for the Recommended or Distinguished Plan. Note–this really means ALL children because the Minimum Plan is being phased out. This is the second and final reading of this rule, so if it passes it will go into effect. Please contact your SBOE representative and the chair of the SBOE, Geraldine Miller, before July 15th (e-mail addresses and FAX # given at the above web site). Please encourage your colleagues to do so as well and pass this email onto whomever is appropriate--the science community needs to be heard on this important issue; much opposition to this rule passing is expected.

Students Rock Around The World

NASA is asking students from around the world to help them understand MARS by sending in rocks. Using a special tool like one on the Mars Rover, NASA scientists will identify what each rock is made of. Students will then be able to compare their rocks to the ones found on Mars! NASA will even post a picture of each rock on the Web, and students will receive a report on what kind of rock it is along with an official certificate and Mars sticker. The rocks will be kept in a special collection where scientists from around the world can come to study them. For details on how to participate, go to above web site.

Earth Science Week kits for Educators

In support of the ESW theme of "Living on a Restless Earth", the ESW kit contains activities, suitable for elementary through college-age students, for use in the home or classroom plus helpful tips for having a successful Earth Science Week. Educational materials will include posters and fact sheets from AGI, NASA, IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), and DLESE (Digital Library for Earth System Education), and an ESW bookmark with the geologic time scale on the back. The Southern California Earthquake Center will be supplying an informational booklet entitled „Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country.š The U.S. Geological Survey and National Weather Service will also be contributing informative materials for the ESW kits. To request a kit, visit the above web site.

Earth Science Enterprise research

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is announcing opportunities to participate in Earth Science Enterprise research and development activities focused on Earth Science Education. NASA's Earth Science and Education Enterprises are jointly supporting this opportunity. Innovative solutions for systematically increasing the usability of NASA Earth Science knowledge and data resources in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education are requested. Proposals are invited in three key areas: 1) increasing K-12 educator support for teaching Earth science and geography; 2) strengthening undergraduate institutional capacity in Earth system science and applications; and 3) enriching public scientific literacy about the Earth system and environment. Emphasis is placed on expanding program impact, particularly among underrepresented, under served and disadvantaged populations. This NRA specifically seeks proposals utilizing digital information infrastructures and extensive education networks to serve broad and diverse audiences.

11th Annual International Space Exploration Educators Conference

Scheduled for February 3-5, 2005 for Grades K-12 - and not just for science teachers! Space Center Houston strives to use space to teach across the curriculum. The activities presented can be used for science, language arts, mathematics, history, etc.

It may have received a new name this year, but Space Center Houston is proud to continue offering the educational opportunity of a lifetime! Two and a half days of complete submersion into the out-of-this-world adventure of space exploration! Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists working on these exciting endeavors including the International Space Station, Mars exploration, and the planets beyond. Come learn about the Presidents new vision to send humans back to the Moon and off to Mars! Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready to implement classroom ideas and experience minds-on, hands-on fun! in addition to hearing from the experts, mingle with engineers, scientists, and astronauts at a reception and also a banquet hosted during the conference. For only $199 you will receive access to all aspects of the conference, including breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday, the reception on Thursday, the banquet on Friday, and behind the scenes tours of Johnson Space Center. Not to mention the wonderful networking with fellow educators and the multitude of cross curriculum ideas and activities you will take back to the classroom. Also included are the optional pre-conference sessions beginning on Thursday, February 3, 2005.

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: Mon Jan 30, 2006