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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 15
Editor Talia Jurgens
Date 9-10-04

Columbia Specialty License Plate

The Texas Department of Transportation and the Aviation and Space Foundation of Texas are offering a Columbia Remembered speciality license plate. Out of the $30 application fee $22 will be used to provide Columbia Crew memorial scholarships and to further aviation and space activities in Texas. To apply for this specialty plate submit an Application for A Specialty License Plate. For more information about specialty license plates and see a picture of it, visit the above web site.

NASA Student Aviation Competition

Will personal air vehicles and unmanned, autonomous exploration air vehicles become commonplace in 2035? Students today can weigh in on the question by participating in a NASA student competition. NASA Langley Research Center's Aeronautics Directorate announces two student competitions for the 2004-2005 academic year. The high school competition challenges students to characterize societal impacts resulting from widespread use of Personal Air Vehicles beyond the year 2030. Public school, private school, or home-schooled students in the US and its territories are encouraged to enter. All awards are subject to the availability of funds, but may include student internships with NASA mentors, small education grants, guided visits to a NASA facility, or invited participation in a national aviation event.

Download Free NASA Videos

TeacherLINK out of Utah State University is offering free downloads of NASA educational videos. The files are in a compressed video format and users will need to download a free VideoLAN Client Player (VLC player) to view the materials. The player works with most operating systems (OSX, Windows, Linux) and a link to the VLC web site is provided. For information, go to

IDEA Grants Available

The Initiative to Develop Education through Astronomy and Space Science (IDEAS) Grant Program is designed to provide start-up funding to explore innovative, creative ways to integrate astronomy and space science into U.S. education and public outreach venues through partnerships between the astronomers/space scientists and education professionals.

A key component of IDEAS is an active partnership between an astronomer/space scientist and an education professional. The later must be a professional educator with five or more consecutive years experience in the K-14 or informal science education community and be currently employed by a U.S. institution/organization with a formal education or informal science program. Grants provide up to $20,000 for programs to be completed in one year and from $20,001 to $50,000 for programs requesting up to two years to complete. The deadline for applications is October 22, 2004. For more information, go to

2nd Annual Teach Program

Best Buy and the Best Buy Children's Foundation are seeking applications from teachers for the second annual "teach" program. The program is designed to reward schools for successfully integrating interactive technology into classrooms. The teach program will provide a $2,500 Best Buy Gift Card to schools in recognition of programs or projects that creatively integrate interactive technology into the curriculum. This year $3 million will be awarded nationwide to 1,200 non-profit schools located within 25 miles of a Best Buy store. Eligible teachers who have been teaching at the school for at least one full academic year are eligible to apply. For more information and an application, see the above web site and click the Community Relations link at the bottom of the page. Deadline is October 1, 2004.

Make Your Own Mars Rover

Make Your Own Rover hits several subjects, including Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Technology, Computer Science, and Geography It is aimed toward Elementary and Middle School Students. Look at the above web site for list of materials, instructions and 11 different activities.

Free Robot Catalog for Educators

SFRSA member & Past President's Roger Gilbertson runs "The Robot Store", whose catalog & web site offer a comprehensive collection of robot kits from beginner through advanced. You can request a free catalog on-line. The site contains a chart titled "Choosing Robots for Your Experimenters" that organizes systems by skill areas (hardware, electronics, logic) & levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). An example of an "all-beginner-at-all-skill-levels" kit is the "Wall Hugging Mouse". This "mouse" is a popular "maze runner" robot, and is a good starting point that lets you "test the waters" and stimulate your interest by building a maze-running robot. Request a free catalog at the above web site.

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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