VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter


Current Issue

Past Issues

Subscription Center








VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume IX, Issue 1
Editor Talia Jurgens
January 15, 2009

NASA Sponsored Educator Field Based Workshop July 12-19, 2009
"The Heat from Within - Earthly Insights into Planetary Volcanism"

Educators! Spend the week with planetary scientists investigating different types of volcanos in the Bend and Crater Lake regions of Oregon. Contrast these Earth-based analogs with volcanic features on Mars, the Moon, Venus, and even the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune! From these field experiences and classroom exercises, participants will build an understanding of the planetary processes that produce volcanos, and the patterns of volcanism on planets in our solar system.

The experience will be divided between the field and lab, where participants work with classroom-tested, hands-on inquiry based activities and resources that can be used to enhance Earth and space science teaching in the classroom. Participants receive lesson plans, supporting resources, and presentations. A limited number of grants are available to cover registration.

Join us for hands-on, real-world experience to enhance your teaching about Earth and space science — and to make connections between these exciting fields of research!

For more information visit the above website.

NSTA - March 2009!

NSTA's National Conference on Science Education is an affordable event with a comprehensive program that prepares workshops, seminars, institutes, and presentations for every grade band and discipline. Scheduled for March 19–22 in New Orleans, teachers and administrators can take advantage of leading professional development experts who have planned more than 600 sessions based on your input and suggestions. Here's a sample of what you can expect:

  • Keynote Mark Plotkin: Rain Forests, Medicine Men, and Google Earth: Curing the Incurable and Saving the Amazon in Six Dimensions
  • Featured Presentation by Kenneth Wesson, Delta President: How Children Learn: Brain Research and Inquiry-based Science
  • Climate Change: Classroom Tools to Explore the Past, Present, and Future (Middle-High)
  • Hopping Into Math and Science Integration (Elem-Middle)
  • Students as Citizen-Scientists Shedding Light on Light Pollution (Informal)
  • Science Literacy in the ELL Classroom (High)
  • Blown Away by Weather—build components of a weather station, track hurricanes, and become a meteorologist-in-training (Elem)
  • Bats: Myth vs. Reality—interactive presentation using live bats. Topics include bat anatomy, ecosystem development, field research and technology, and conservation. (Middle)
  • Assessing and Promoting Teachers' Understanding and Skills in Assessment and Instruction for Student Learning (ticketed)
  • Learning to "Converse" with Phenomena of Nature: Developing, Classifying, and Answering Investigative Science Questions in the K–8 Classroom

There will be field trips to choose from Historic Houses: Adventures in Archaeology to New Orleans Glassworks and Printmaking Studio, special day programs like Informal Day, the Exhibition Hall with more than 400 exhibitors, and networking with your peers and colleagues. Find more details at

Name the Mars Rover Contest - You still have time to submit!

NASA is looking for the right stuff, or in this case, the right name for the next Mars rover. NASA, in cooperation with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures' movie WALL-E from Pixar Animation Studios, is conducting a naming contest for its car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover that is scheduled for launch in 2011.

The contest is open to students 5-18 years old who attend a U.S. school and are enrolled in the current academic year. To enter the contest, students will submit essays explaining why their suggested name for the rover should be chosen. Essays must be received by Jan. 25, 2009. In March 2009, the public will have an opportunity to rank nine finalist names via the Internet as additional input for judges to consider during the selection process. NASA will announce the winning rover name in April 2009.

Disney will provide prizes to students submitting winning essays, including a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover is under construction. The grand prize winner will have an opportunity to place a signature on the spacecraft and take part in the history of space exploration.

2009 Thacher Scholars Award for Students in grades 9-12

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is currently accepting entries for the 2009 Thacher Scholars Awards. The awards will be given to students in grades 9-12 who demonstrate the best use of geospatial technologies or data to study Earth. Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems and Global Positioning System. The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data to study a problem related to the Earth's environment.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens currently in grades 9-12. Students in public, private, parochial, Native American reservation and home schools are eligible. Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams.

Cash awards will be given to students who place in the top three. First, second and third place will receive $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively. Teachers or adult “coaches” of winning entrants will receive a $200 gift card.

Entries must be postmarked by April 6, 2009. Entries may also be submitted electronically. visit above website.

Space Day Austin
Registration Opens January 15, 2009

Enjoy Space Day at the Capitol - March 5, 2009. Activities include: Science Demonstrations, Robots, Robots, Robots, Astronauts, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Presentations

Please see above website to register.