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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 2
Editor Talia Jurgens
Date 1-21-05

Satellite Built by UT Austin Students Headed to Space After Winning National Competition

Congratulations to the UT Austin Engineering Team and Dr. Glenn Lightsey!

FASTRAC, which stands for the "Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude and Crosslink" is a nanosatellite pair whose goal is to lead the development of affordable space technology. The objective of the FASTRAC mission is to investigate technologies that enable space research using satellite formations.

FASTRAC provides opportunities to increase public awareness and participation in space flight research, and encourages individuals to pursue careers in science and engineering. FASTRAC is also involved with the Student Engineers Educating Kids (SEEK) program at the UT College of Engineering. SEEK organizes tour groups and mentoring between engineering teams and students from local middle schools. This program is very comprehensive and is a wonderful way to educate children in the sciences. Educators are invited to visit the "For Educators" section of the above web site for lesson plans, class presentation opportunities, and FASTRAC Mission. information.

NSIP deadline has been extended until February 15!

NSIP is a national program of six investigations and design challenges for grades K-12 that link students directly with NASA's exciting missions of exploration and discovery. Bring NASA into your classroom to support inquiry-based units on space, history, math, language arts, engineering, geography, and the sciences. Students design space missions, investigate Earth from space, explore Earth systems in their neighborhood, and learn about the latest developments in aerospace technology. Each student receives recognition from NASA for participation and has the opportunity to win cool prizes including a trip to the U.S. Space Camp or Student Flight Week at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. Regional and National winners will be selected! NSIP challenges and teacher resource guides support national science education standards.

Life at the Limits, Earth, Mars and Beyond

The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites you to join an Earth-bound exploration of astrobiology on July 10-17, 2005! Life at the Limits: Earth, Mars, and Beyond is a NASA-sponsored training workshop for middle-and high-school science teachers (others welcome, including pre-service teachers, informal educators , education specialists, early college instructors, and junior college instructors). At field sites in Nevada and California participants will investigate some extreme geological and chemical conditions in which life on Earth can thrive. This hands-on, real-world experience will enhance classroom teaching about earth and space science, especially about what organisms need to survive and the search for past and present extraterrestrial life. Astrobiologists and Planetary scientists will lead the field and laboratory experiences, helping to connect the field observations with the search for life in our Solar System and beyond through discussions and proven, hands-on, standards-based classroom and laboratory activities that are ready to share with students!

Tsunami Teaching Project; Upcoming Conferences and Workshops for Geoscience Educators

The December 26 tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean is a tragedy that has received worldwide attention. This is an important teachable moment for the geosciences, and the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College would like to know more about how geoscientists and educators everywhere are incorporating the tsunami into their teaching and outreach. Please share what you have done (or plan to do) by completing the on-line form above. The Tsunami Teaching project is being undertaken by Heather Macdonald, Cathy Manduca, David Mogk, and Barb Tewksbury. They will incorporate information submitted via this form into two projects, On the Cutting Edge and Starting Point, that provide on-line resources that will be shared with the community.

New Guide Helps Educators Integrate 21st Century Skills into K-12 Science Education

NSTA and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a public-private organization focusing on skills necessary for student success in the 21st Century, have worked collaboratively to release a Science Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Map. The map demonstrates how educators can develop science lessons that combine 21st century–learning skills, such as information and communication skills, with 21st century tools, such as the Internet and multi–media production tools. It guides K-12 educators through a wide range of learning skill examples, as emphasized in the Partnership‚s report, Learning for the 21st Century, and cites specific student outcomes demonstrating ICT Literacy success for grades 4, 8, and 12. The map is the fourth in a series of ICT Literacy Maps. To view and download a copy of the map, go to above website.

Liftoff 2005 "NASA Spinoffs, Bringing Space Down to Earth"

Some of the most frequently asked questions about the U.S. space program are "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" and "What does the space program do for me?" These legitimate questions will be answered when educators become aware of the vast benefits of the space program that increase the quality of our daily lives. The applications on Earth technology needed for space flight have produced thousands of "spinoffs" that contribute to improving national security, the economy, productivity and lifestyle. We would be hard pressed to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by spinoffs from the space program. So, the next time someone asks "Why do we go in space" and "What does the space program do for me?" You will be able to explain it because of LiftOff 2005: NASA Spinoffs, Bringing Space down to Earth! Application is now on-line.

Over the Top! Zero-Gravity Student Flight

An outstanding hands-on educational experience, where students fly with their research experiments in the same "weightless" conditions experienced by astronauts in Earth orbit. Over the Top is open to qualified high school, undergraduate and graduate student teams - regardless of citizenship or residency. For more information, visit the web site above.

That Is SO Not True!

A creative new campaign to regain and retain the interest of middle and high school students in math, science and technology studies. TISNT employs university students to re-engage middle and high school students in science, math, engineering and technology. For more information, visit the above website.

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