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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume VII, Issue 9
Editor Talia Jurgens
December 2007

14th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference - January 31-February 2, 2008

What is the Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC)?
Three exciting days of complete submersion into the world of space exploration. You can attend cross-curriculum sessions hosted by actual scientists, engineers, educators and astronauts, while earning 24 professional development hours.

What will I do?
Collect lots of exciting materials to inspire your students and enhance your classroom. Meet and talk with the astronauts, scientists, and engineers who are making space exploration a reality. Engage in hands-on and interactive activities that fellow educators have used to bring space to life for their students. Thursday evening, mingle with the NASA experts and meet fellow educators during a reception. Relax and enjoy a party on Friday night where you will be served a banquet dinner and drinks. Then party the night away with the sounds of "Max-Q", the astronaut band.

For More information - Visit above links.

**Great Worldwide Star Count

Kids and adults are invited to count the stars in the evening sky from *Oct. 1-15, 2007*, and report their results online. The event, sponsored by Windows to the Universe, is designed to raise awareness about light pollution and encourage learning in astronomy. All the information needed to participate will be available on the Web. At the conclusion of the event, the submitted data will be analyzed and a map will be generated highlighting the results.

Winter 2008 Climate Discovery Online Courses for Educators

The Winter 2008 Climate Discovery Online Courses for Educators are now open for registration!

NCAR is again offering secondary science teachers a professional development opportunity that will enhance their qualifications, competency, and self-confidence in integrating Earth system science, climate, and global change into science classrooms. Climate Discovery is a series of three six-week, online courses for middle and high school science teachers. Each course combines geoscience content, current climate research, easy to implement hands-on activities, and group discussion.

CD 101 Introduction to Earth's Climate (January 11 - February 22, 2008), the first course in the series, is designed to guide participants through the basics of climate science, integrating content, classroom activities, and community-building discussions to help middle and high school educators understand the answers to common questions about climate.

CD 102 Earth System Science: A Climate Change Perspective (January 18 - February 29, 2008) explores Earth as a system from the perspective of climate and global change, describing the interactions between the various parts of the Earth system, including human activities, and how they all affect our climate.

CD 103 Understanding Climate Change Today (April 4 - May 16, 2008) presents some of the current and predicted impacts of global warming on our planet and human societies. This course explores how climate models are developed and used to understand likely scenarios of future climate and how current scientific research is improving the quality of climate predictions.

The tuition is $200 per course. Teacher recertification credits are available for an additional fee.. Space is limited - please check our web site (http://ecourses.ncar.ucar.edu) for registration information and application deadlines.

LiftOff 2008: Space Travel: It's Out of this World!

Liftoff 2008 Applications now open! Space offers a stunning and original collection of exclusive space-related journeys in which Earth is just the starting point. LiftOff 2008 is a seamless journey through the past, into the present, and touching on the future of NASA's space exploration program. While the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy, pre-dates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large liquid-fueled rocket engines during the early 20th century that allowed space exploration to become a practical possibility.Using our knowledge from past space travel combined with our desire to explore we are igniting the flame for future space exploration.

As NASA celebrates its 50th anniversary we are moving forward with a new focus for the manned space program: to go out beyond Earth orbit for purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery. The International Space Station is a stepping stone on this journey, rather than the end of the line. If humans are going to Mars and beyond, we have to learn what methods will allow us to get there safely, how to live on other planetary surfaces, and how to use what we find there?

The countdown begins, the fuel ignites and with a thunderous roar we will contrast our galactic future with our Earthly past at LiftOff 2008: Space Travel: It's Out of this World!

Sponsored by the Texas Space Grant Consortium and held at Johnson Space Center, LiftOff 2007 features:

  • Presentations by NASA scientists and engineers
  • Tours of NASA and Space Center Houston
  • Hands-on, inquiry based classroom activities
  • Free curricula and space science materials aligned to educational standards
  • Teacher Feature (sharing of ideas and activities)
  • Opportunity to interact with researchers dedicated to space missions

IGES 12th Annual Art Contest for Children in Grades 2-4

What do you see when you picture the ocean? Waves crashing onto a sandy beach? Dolphins leaping out of and into the water? A sailboat or large ship floating in the distance?

These are probably the kinds of images that come to mind. Yet, there's more to the ocean than what's going on at the surface. There's a whole world of water, plants and animals below.

An art contest for grades 2-4 challenges students to explore the ocean by reading stories and books, searching Web sites and watching movies, and then draw a picture showing what they learned.

This is the 12th annual art contest held by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Arlington, Va. The contest supports national science education standards for grades K-4.

The winning artist will receive a $250 savings bond, and his or her artwork will be printed as the 2007 IGES holiday card. Second- and third-place winners receive a $100 and $50 savings bond, respectively. Artwork will be judged by a panel including artists, scientists and IGES staff members. Everyone who sends in an entry will receive a certificate of participation.

Entries are due Oct. 26, 2007.

New for this year's contest: Lockheed Martin Corporation is generously funding the development and printing of a 2008 calendar featuring the top 12 entries in the 2007 IGES art contest. The students whose artwork is featured in this calendar will each receive copies of the calendar; their teachers will also receive calendars.

NSTA's 56th National Conference on Science Education
March 27 - 30, 2008

Treat yourself to an educational escape in Boston at NSTA's 56th National Conference on Science Education, “Science: Bridge to the Future.” Register by February 8, 2008 at the most affordable rates!

Join us in Boston for NSTA's 56th National Conference on Science Education. Attendees can now register for the conference and make their housing reservations. Additional conference information will be updated as it becomes available.

Listen to keynote speaker Barbara Morgan's (invited) fascinating history as an elementary school teacher and astronaut logging more than 305 hours in space.

Take advantage of ready-to-use lesson plans developed by experts and handed out to attendees at Integrating Mathematics and Science Using Robotics, Connecting STEM with Community and Classroom, and Encouraging Technology and Hands-On Science, to name just a few workshops planned. Enter to win the Ultimate Science Classroom (one for each grade band) provided and equipped for 30 students by top exhibitors.

Don't miss your chance to improve upon your professional development skills through entertaining workshops, events and networking. Consider an ice cream social to meet your peers, a field trip to historic Boston's Northeastern University's Marine Science Center, or taking one of 11 in depth “Institutes” that are focused and content-driven (The Outdoor Classroom: A Natural Path to Science and Literacy is an example).

Listen to a presentation, So What Does Darwin Have to Do with Evolution Anyway? to better teach your students evolutionary concepts held today.

Lunar Nautics: Designing a Mission to Live and Work on the Moon Educator Guide -- Grades 6-8

This unit features 40 activities that challenge students to assume the roles of workers at Lunar Nautics Space Systems, Inc., a fictional aerospace company specializing in mission management, lunar habitat and exploration design, and scientific research.

The guide includes information to teach the basics on Newton's Laws of Motion, rocket design, microgravity, and the moon. Students design, test and analyze a model lunar lander, a robot, and a soda bottle rocket. They also build edible models, a solar oven to cook hot dogs, and a microgravity sled while underwater.

Educators can use this guide in a variety of formats such as week- long day camps, after-school programs, a classroom unit or as supporting curriculum.

Extra-Credit Problems in Space Science -- Grades 7-9

These activities comprise a series of 20 practical math applications in space science. Students looking for additional challenges in math and physical science are encouraged to use these as potential extra credit problems. The problems are authentic glimpses of modern engineering issues that arise in designing satellites to work in space. Each word problem has background information providing insight into the basic phenomena of the sun-Earth system, specifically space weather. The one-page assignments are accompanied by one-page teachers guides with answer keys.

Additional Video Learning Clips Added

More than 50 educational video clips have been added to the Videos section of the NASA Educational Materials site.

Educational video clips are short segments about aeronautics, Earth science, space science, space exploration and other NASA-related topics. Designed for students in grades K-12, these short videos are ideal for supplementing teaching ideas in the classroom.

Use the Find Teaching Materials tool at the link below to select Video Learning Clips and the appropriate grade level.