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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume VIII, Issue 7
Editor Talia Jurgens
June 19, 2008

Test Drive Google Sky

Have you seen this website? If you want to learn how to use it there is a special two-day summer workshop is being offered to formal and informal educators who want to learn how to use Google Sky in their classrooms and/or out-of-school time programs.

The workshop will take place July 21-22 at the University of Washington. The instructors are Tina Ornduff of Google and UW astronomers Andy Connolly, Simon Krughoff and Julie Lutz.

The workshop itself is free; nine clock hours will be available for $15. Participants will learn how to customize Google Sky for different uses including presentations, student assignments and activities.

Workshop content includes an in-depth introduction to what can be done directly with Google Sky (constellations, planets, multi-wavelength astronomy, etc.) and instruction in how to add content appropriate to a particular program and/or childrens' interests. There will be time for participants to practice doing modifications.

To register or obtain more information, contact jlutz@astro.washington.edu.

The Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber project

The Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber project continues as participants are still receiving seeds. After your students complete the project, be sure to visit the challenge Web site and provide information about your seed growth. Certificates of Participation will be available for each student after the challenge feedback form is completed.

What's the Challenge?
The August 2007 flight of space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station also launched a challenge to the engineers of the future. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade were challenged to design and build a model of a lunar plant growth chamber. Packets of cinnamon basil seeds were flown on Endeavour, returned to Earth and distributed to participants who registered for the challenge. Participants also received seeds that were not flown in space. The two sets of seeds were used to evaluate the student-designed plant growth chambers.

Registration is still open to participate in the challenge. For additional information and to sign up to receive space-flown basil seeds, please visit above website.

Space Exploration Educators Conference - Space Center Houston
February 5-7, 2009

Start planning ahead! 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. See above website for more information. Registration will open October 13, 2008.

Best of the Solar System
Grades 5-8

This activity introduces students to planetary research. Using some of the most famous and interesting images of the Solar System, students learn to focus on details by studying and writing descriptions of uncaptioned images.

Visit the above website for lessons.

Interactive NASA Website - K-12

NASA Learning Technologies provides a highly interactive, richly engaging, and scientifically accurate website based on the Middle School National Science Education Standards for Solar System science. Soar freely through the Solar System and interactively learn. Try it out in the link above.