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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume VIII, Issue 4
Editor Talia Jurgens
March 28, 2008

Liftoff 2008 - Space Travel: It's Out of This World

Deadline is coming up - Applications must be received by April 4, 2008 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!

Space Center Lecture Series

Space Center Lecture Series aims to bring the wonder and excitement of space science and exploration to the public in the form of monthly lectures from renowned scientists, engineers, physicians, and astronauts.

From plasma rockets of the future, to scientific expeditions to the South Pole, to heroic repair missions of the international Space Station, to past and future missions to the lunar surface. Join us at Space Center Houston's IMAX theater for an hour of science, exploration, and excitement.

Some of our future speakers will include:

    Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz
    Dr. Mike Griffin
    Brewster Shaw
    John Young

Please check the website soon, a date for April speaker will be set shortly.

Trash to Treasure Competition

The DESIGN SQUAD Trash to Treasure Competition will challenge kids of all ages to take everyday discarded or recycled materials and re-engineer them into functional, usable new items or products. The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize provided by the Intel Foundation. The contest will officially launch on April 1, 2008 and run through June 30th. Go to above website for details.

The Penn State Science Workshops for Educators

The Penn State Science Workshops for Educators offer innovative ways to teach science in the classroom, information on the latest science research, content-rich subject material and standards-based activities. Educators of grades 6-12 from across the country are encouraged to apply. Attendees will work side by side with Penn State faculty; many of whom are involved with NASA sponsored research.

Grants provide all participants with a private room in the newly built Brill Hall, reimbursements for travel costs up to $100, breakfast in the dining commons, and an allotment for lunches and dinners. Tuition subsidies are available for all of the workshops on a competitive basis. Tuition subsidies will be awarded on March 21, 2008; however, depending upon funding availability, additional tuition subsidies may be provided after March 21, 2008.

The 2008 Workshops include:

  • Exploring Renewable Energy Technologies and the Materials That Make It Happen (NEW).
  • Earth's History: Interaction Between Life and the Environment (NEW).
  • Extreme Particle Astrophysics.
  • Evolution -- How important is it to a good science education?
  • Telescopes: The Tools of Astronomical Inquiry (NEW).
  • Black Holes: Gravity's Fatal Attraction (NEW).

The tuition subsidies are need-based and assessed on a first-come, first-served basis. Notification of tuition subsidies will be sent on March 21, 2008; however, applications may be submitted until May 31, 2008. Depending upon funding availability, additional tuition subsidies may be awarded after March 21, 2008.

Educator Conference: Ocean Surface Topography Mission / Jason-2 Satellite Launch

The Endeavour Center, NASA Educator Resource Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, located in central California, will host an educator conference on June 14-15, 2008. This conference will coincide with the launch of the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite launch on June 15, 2008.

The satellite will provide global ocean surface topography, circulation and tide models. This information is critical in the study of global weather because ocean temperatures and circulation drive many Earth weather cycles.

Registration and application information will be e-mailed to interested K-12 teachers. Teachers wishing to be added to the e-mail list should contact Moksha Badarayan, Endeavour Center, Director at director@endeavours.org.

Moon Math! -- The Newest Addition to NASA Quest

Moon Math! is a set of two mathematics units designed for students in grades 6-9. The units are centered on the theme of lunar habitat design. Each unit is supported by paper-and-pencil activities, as well as an interactive software application.

All lesson plans and software applications for these units are free.

IGES Announces Earth Day Photo Contest for Middle School Students

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is sponsoring an Earth Day photo contest for middle school students. Interested students are asked to photograph something that is changing in their local environment. They are to take the photo between Tuesday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 29. The change could be occurring in the student's backyard, outside the student's school, in a local park or even off in the distance. Participants must research and write an explanation of the change documented in the photograph.

The contest is open to all U.S. students in grades 5-8. Entries must be received by e-mail or postmarked by May 9, 2008.

For more information about the contest and how teachers can use it in the classroom, visit above website.

Career Exploration Program is recruiting rising high school seniors fofall

The Career Exploration Program (CEP) is recruiting for the 2008-09 program year, which starts in September. Students work at JSC part-time during their senior year in high school and the summer following graduation. Participants learn valuable technical and office skills while being exposed to positive role models and work ethics.

Applications have been distributed to all qualified local high school Career and Technology Education (CATE) teachers. Interested students who will be seniors this fall should apply through their high school Business Cooperative Education Program advisor within the next week.

Eligible candidates must be United States citizens, enrolled in a high school Cooperative Education program, passing all classes with a B average, be at least 16 years old, reside within commuting distance of JSC, possess basic computer and typing skills, and available to work 20 hours per week at JSC. For more information, visit the Web site above and click on Career Exploration Program.