VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter


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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume VI, Issue 8
Editor Talia Jurgens
September 8, 2006

ASA's 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition

It's an exciting time for educators and students. Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will return to the moon. This time, we're planning to stay, building outposts and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. Today's students will be tomorrow's explorers. How will space exploration benefit their lives in the future?

That's the question this competition asks of students ages 11-18. The first NASA 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition challenges students to create unique audio and video podcasts. The topic? How will space exploration benefit your life in the future?

Running from September 1 through October 10, 2006, this competition is open to United States citizens ages 11-18. Students are grouped into two age divisions: 11-14 and 15-18. Each division will have two separate categories: audio podcast and video podcast. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each category and age group. An additional "People's Choice Award" will honor one podcast for each age division.

Students may choose to create several podcasts, but only one entry may be submitted for each person.

Do You Have Rocket "Engine"-Nuity?

Ignition sequence started... Prepare for launch! Space Center Houston is offering an exciting professional development opportunity geared for you to use the excitement of space to inspire your students. Learn about rocketry and future space exploration from NASA experts and Space Center Houston's Professional Development Team. Ignite the spirit with hands-on, minds-on activities ready to implement into the classroom, inspire your students and help you meet your TEKS. Cost is only $75 per person and includes dinner, breakfast, and snacks. For more information please visit above URL.

NASA Kid's Club

There's something new at the NASA Kids' Club. The NASA Kids' Club Picture Show is an interactive photo gallery with images of what's happening behind the scenes at NASA. View pictures of NASA spacecraft, discoveries in our universe, places on Earth and interesting people doing interesting things. Visit often as new pictures are added to the show.

The NASA Kids' Club is a games-based Web site that stimulates children's interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by incorporating five skill levels, national education standards, and NASA content. Visit NASA Kids' Club at the above Internet location.

Help NASA Count the Stars

Teachers looking for NASA materials to use in their classrooms this fall will want to download the new flier, Four Easy Ways to Obtain NASA Educational Materials. The two-page flier lists the types of educational materials available electronically from the NASA Web site and from alternate sources.

NASA offers a wealth of classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other resources are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed on the agency Web site by type, grade level and subject. The informational flier is available at above website.

Space Shuttle Endeavour Liftoff Off Into Space Lithograph

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are collaborating on a new education activity that helps students become astronomers. The Star Count Project will investigate the visual quality of the night sky and help assess the extent of atmospheric light pollution.

There are many factors that affect how many stars can be seen at night. NASA and the CSA are inviting U.S. and Canadian students to participate in an effort to study these factors. The project was suggested and is being supported by CSA astronaut Steve MacLean. He is a member of the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the next mission, designated STS-115.

MacLean will perform the Star Count experiment during the mission. While in space he will upload star observation information into a database via the Star Count Web site. As part of the project, students will learn how to estimate the number of stars observed based on random samples of sections of the sky. Students will add to the database by entering their location, number of stars observed and information about their viewing conditions. The students will be able to compare their observations with MacLean's and other observers.

Star Count is a project of the NASA Student Observation Network. The network is a collection of online inquiry-based activities that challenge students to find answers to research questions by making their own observations and interpreting them with NASA data. To participate in the Star Count Project, students should visit above website.

NASA STS-115 page for educators

Visit NASA.gov to keep your students informed about the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station. A page for educators is available with information about the space shuttle, the astronauts, educational resources, multimedia, interactive features, NASA Kids' Club, articles and news updates.