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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 13
Editor Talia Jurgens
Date 8-06-04

Education Opportunities for Downlinks with International Space Station

NASA is spreading the unique knowledge generated from its aeronautics and space research through down links in which International Space Station (ISS) crew members communicate live with educators and students. These down links are NASA Spaceflight Education Opportunities (NSEO) and are coordinated through the Teaching From Space (TFS) office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Live in-flight education down links are approximately 20 minutes in length and allow participants to interact with the crew on board an orbiting space vehicle. During an ISS increment, two education down links are scheduled each month. Members of the informal and formal education communities host these down links. Potential hosts are asked to submit a proposal for an in-flight education down link to the TFS Office. The proposal requests information on how the down link and pre- and post- activities will be used to enhance national, local, and state education standards and initiatives. The next proposal deadline is August 16 for down links to be scheduled from November 2004 to April 2005. For more information, contact so@ems.jsc.nasa.gov or download “Live In-Flight Education Downlink: A Planning Guide” at the above website.

NASA Research Announcement
Inspiring the Next Generation of Earth Explorers, Integrated Solutions for K-16 and Informal Education

NASA solicits innovative solutions that systematically increase usability of NASA Earth science knowledge and data resources in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This NRA specifically seeks proposals utilizing digital information infrastructures and extensive education networks to serve broad and diverse audiences. Emphasis is placed on expanding impact, particularly among underrepresented, underserved, and disadvantaged populations. Proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Increasing K-12 Educator Support for Teaching Earth Science and Geography
  • Strengthening Undergraduate Institutional Capacity in Earth System Science and Applications
  • Enriching Public Scientific Literacy about the Earth System and the Environment

The Space Spot

The Space Spot, Pacific Science Center's free traveling astronomy and space exhibit, will be touring shopping malls throughout the state in August and September.

Designed to bring basic astronomy and space science to communities that do not have easy access to a science center, The Space Spot offers a visually-exciting and educational hands-on experience for all ages. The exhibition includes a free take-home activity guide that visitors can use long after the The Space Spot leaves the community. For a schedule of appearances by The Space Spot, visit the above referenced website.

Astronomy & Astrobiology Courses Online (7-12)

Two NASA-funded courses – "The Invisible Universe Online: The Search for Astronomical Origins" and "Astrobiology for Teachers" – headline the fall semester courses from National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) for K-12 science. The NASA courses are available at reduced prices and teachers can earn 3 graduate semester credits. Courses begin from late August to early October and run 7 to 16 weeks.

"The Invisible Universe Online: The Search for Astronomical Origins for Teachers" covers the long chain of events from the birth of the universe in the Big Bang, through the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets by focusing on the scientific questions, technological challenges, and space missions pursing the search for origins in alignment with the goals and emphasis of the National Science Education Standards.

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe, defined as an interdisciplinary science at the intersection of physics, astronomy, biology, geology, and mathematics, to discover where and under what conditions life can arise and exist in the Universe. For registration and more details on NTEN's full list of fall courses, go to above website.

Spinning Brains

Next time you go to a playground, try this: Bring along a ball and a friend, and get on the merry-go-round. Try throwing the ball to your friend across the ride from you, or even just a few feet beside you, and see if they can catch it on the first attempt. One day, astronauts could zip across the solar system in spinning spaceships. How will their brains adapt to life onboard a twirling home where strange "Coriolis forces" rule? The answer might surprise you. Visit above website to see.

Contact Us

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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