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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume VI, Issue 10
Editor Talia Jurgens
December 1, 2006

Liftoff 2007 - Robotics and Space Exploration
July 16-20, 2007

Applications are now online for the Liftoff 2007 Summer Teacher Workshop. The theme is Robotics and Space Exploration. Robots can literally go where no person has gone before - to other planets where environments are not suitable for humans until we have studied them in much greater detail or as a smart machine that can perform very complicated tasks millions of miles from home. The robots and spacecraft utilized by NASA are the eyes and ears to distant planets. What are the practical advantages and challenges of remote-controlled robots over human space exploration? What advances have been made in robotic technology and where will these advances lead us in the future? The space robot revolution owes much of its success to advances in computer technology, allowing the development of more powerful and autonomous machines in smaller packages. How will this impact the future of space exploration? In the future, robots may accompany planet-hopping astronauts serving as their assistance for base construction and other tasks or the robots may be sent as a precursor to set up habitation and science bases before humans arrive. Learn how robots and space go together at LiftOff 2007: Robotics and Space Exploration! Visit the above website for information and application.

13th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference
February 8-10, 2007

This conference is 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, and more!

Space Center Houston is proud to continue offering the educational opportunity of a lifetime! Three days of complete submersion into the out-of-this world adventure of space exploration! Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists and engineers working on these exciting endeavors including the International Space Station, Mars exploration, and the planets beyond. Hear from the astronauts leading the charge in exploration! Come learn about the bold 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! Not to mention the wonderful networking with fellow educators, the multitude of cross curriculum ideas and activities you will take back to the classroom, and 24 hours of Continuing Professional Education credit.

For more information please contact katieb@spacecenter.org or visit the above website.

Educator Workshops by Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Team
January 12, 2007


Exploring Mars is exciting and in the news. Currently multiple science missions are exploring the Red Planet. This one-day workshop uses up-to-date mission information and images to teach Earth and space science. Through a balance of content and activities, we will investigate the formation of the Red Planet and how it has changed through time, how volcanism, tectonic, impacts, and erosion have affected Mars, and the evidence of water – past and present. Participants will receive presentation materials, activity packets, posters, and fact sheets. Fee $75, Audience: Upper Elementary and Middle School Science Teachers . Visit above website for information and registration.

Summer 2007 Workshops at McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory offers a unique setting for teacher workshops: the Observatory and Visitors Center in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. Not only will you do inquiry-based activities aligned with science and mathematics TEKS and TAKS, you will practice your new astronomy skills under the Observatory‚s dark skies, weather permitting, and partner with trained and nationally recognized astronomy educators. Teachers must provide their own transportation to the Observatory. The deadline for applications for federally funded programs is February 1, 2007. Applications received after this date will be considered on a space-available basis. For more information and to apply for one of the workshops, go to above web site.

On-Line Earth Science Course for Teachers

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is offering a 3-credit graduate-level class for the 2007 spring semester called "Laboratory Earth: Concepts and Applications." This eight-week online course is intended to provide K-8 teachers with a broader knowledge of Earth science as well as build community among educators. The course will focus on learning about Earth systems, the interaction of energy and matter in the Earth system, the relationship between Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, and Earth's climate. The course will also include practical classroom applications for all of these skills. Full tuition scholarships are available to the first 20 students who register for the class. Half tuition scholarships will be awarded to the next 10 students who register. Students may register now through Jan. 7.

2007 Thacher Scholars Award

A National Competition for Grades 9-12, IGES, (suggested by Theresa Schwerin, IGES), Entries must be postmarked April 2, 2007. The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is seeking the best U.S. student projects using satellite remote sensing of Earth. Satellite remote sensing has numerous uses –ranging from science research to practical solutions for improving everyday life on Earth. Cash awards will be given to winning entries: 1st place: $2,000, 2nd place: $1,000, and 3rd place: $500. Prizes will also be given to teachers/coaches of winning students.