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VOYAGE to Spread Space Excitement Educator Newsletter

Volume 10, Issue 3
November 2010

Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers (CAST) November 11-13, 2010

As a reminder, the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers (CAST) annual meeting will be held in Houston, TX November 11-13, 2010. Texas Space Grant will be there promoting the LiftOff Summer Institute. Please come see us in Booth 345.

**If you are attending CAST and are a LiftOff Summer Institute Alumni: We still need volunteers to help with the booth or our short course Door to the Universe. Please contact Margaret Baguio (Baguio@tsgc.utexas.edu) or Teresa Warnke (Warnke@csr.utexas.edu) to let us know your availability**

National Geographic Education Update

Every geographer's favorite time of the year is fast approaching: Geography Awareness Week! This November 14-20, dive into the fascinating geography of freshwater, Earth's most precious natural resource. We're excited to bring you classroom and community resources to help celebrate through the GeographyAwarenessWeek.org website

Wildest Weather in the Solar System
Weather on Earth can be dramatic. Weather in space is even wilder! Excite your students about the wildest weather in the solar system, which will soon be featured in a National Geographic giant-screen film, by entering the Space Probe Challenge. National Geographic Education has just released teaching resources, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEMA) activities and interactive whiteboard lessons, which will prepare students to design a winning space probe. Follow the six easy steps on the contest checklist to enter. Winning schools will receive a visit from a NASA astronaut and a National Geographic filmmaker, and more. Take advantage of a great opportunity to motivate your students to learn about space! Lesson plans can be found here:

  • Wildest Weather in the Solar System Activities (Grades 2-5)
  • Wildest Weather in the Solar System Activities (Grades 6-8)
  • Space Probe Design Challenge

Geography Education Matters (GEM) Video Contest
Create a video, three minutes in length or shorter, that best explains why geography education matters. Who can enter? Anyone of any age, but the video must be submitted by a person 18 years of age or older. When are entries due? November 30, 2010. What do you win? $500 will be awarded to each of the top five videos.

Final Deadline for NG Bee
Go to nationalgeographic.com/geobee and find out how schools can register to hold a geography contest and excite their students to learn about their world. The final deadline for principals to register their schools for the National Geographic Bee is December 10registration must be in our hands by that day.

New ELL Teaching Website
Ngelps.com is an online professional development tool for high school teachers published by National Geographic School Publishing. The National Geographic English Language Proficiency Strategies website provides strategies for teaching English learners in eleven content classrooms including U.S. History, Geography, Economics, Physics, and eight additional subjects. Teachers select from 1300+ English language proficiency models and sample lesson plans. Other features include a database of cognates and a listing of academic vocabulary. Visit ngelps.com.

Great Migrations Education Initiative
National Geographic Channel is proud to present Great Migrations, a seven-part global programming event that takes viewers around the world on the journeys that millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species. To support the series, National Geographic has developed an online curriculum. Go to GreatMigrationsEducation.com to learn more.

Procter & Gamble Find Your Footprint Contest
Calling all K6 classroom teachers: There's still time to enter the Find Your Footprint contest! Come up with a simple idea for how your school could save water, reduce waste, or save energy, and enter for a chance to win a grand prize of five Promethean technology-enabled learning environments, plus $1,000 of National Geographic products and 30 subscriptions to National Geographic Kids. Learn more about your environmental footprint and how you can make a difference at the P&G Future Friendly Find Your Footprint contest website.

NG Kids My Shot
Budding young photographers are invited to join the new National Geographic Kids moderated photo-sharing community, NG Kids My Shot. It's a place for kids to share a love of photography and inspire others to care about the planet.

2011 Thacher Environment Research Contest for Grades 9-12
Entries Due: April 11, 2011

** Be part of a new generation of problem solvers that will meet the challenges posed by a changing planet **
From the massive Gulf oil spill to the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, satellites and other observing instruments have proved crucial this year in monitoring the many environmental changes -- both natural and human-induced -- occurring on global, regional and local scales. The 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data, which in recent years have become increasingly accessible to the public.

The best projects will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members. Winners also will be featured in an Encyclopedia of Earth article. In addition to the student prizes, teachers of the first-, second- and third-place students or teams will receive a $200 amazon.com gift card. If participation is part of an after-school club or other activity independent of school, the student or team can identify an adult "coach" who would be eligible for this award (e.g., a parent, club leader, etc.).

Entries must be received by April 11, 2011, and will be judged by IGES staff. For more information on the 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, including a list of resources for geospatial data, please visit www.strategies.org/ThacherContest

NASA Opportunities for the Education Community

Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge Webcast
Audience: 5-8 Educators
Event Date: Nov. 10, 2010

A closed-loop recycling system is an important component to exploring space. Join host Kathy Kaiser-Holscott from the Central Operation of Resources for Educators and presenter Jay Garland from NASAs Kennedy Space Center for an hour-long, free webcast on Nov. 10, 2010, at 4 p.m. EST. This webcast will focus on the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge for students in grades 5-8. Learn how to help NASA prepare for future exploration by designing a simulated system to reuse water in space.

For more information and to view the webcast, visit http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/national/dln/index.html.

If you have any questions about the webcast, please mail them to Renee Elias at nasa_renee@lcjvs.net.

Online Professional Development Workshop: Enrichment Problems in Space and Earth Science XXIII
Audience: 5-12 Educators
Event Date: Nov. 12, 2010
Time : 3:00 p.m., EST (Greenwich Mean Time -05:00, New York)

John Ensworth at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and the NASA Science Mission Directorate invite you to attend an upcoming online professional development workshop.

In the 23rd bi-monthly installment of these mission- and inquiry-oriented mathematics problems, Dr. Sten Odenwald will supply background for and lead participants through problems from his "Problems in Space and Earth Science" series. Participants may ask questions and work along in this fully interactive Webinar environment. To register: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov Participants must first register for this meeting. There is no cost for this event. Note: Only the first 150 registrants will be accepted. Register ASAP! Where to register for this meeting:

  1. Go to https://nasa.webex.com/nasa/j.php?ED=137526257&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D
  2. Register for the meeting

Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions for joining the meeting.

Closed Captioning is available during the Webinar. A link to this will be provided closer to meeting time.

2011 Real World Design Challenge
Audience: 9-12 Educators and Students
Registration Deadline: Nov. 19, 2010
Solutions must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2011

The Real World Design Challenge is an annual competition that provides students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a team environment. Student teams are asked to address a challenge that confronts our nation's leading industries. Students use professional engineering software to develop solutions and generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. The RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.

For more information about the challenge, visit http://www.realworlddesignchallenge.org/index.php.

Questions about the Real World Design Challenge should be directed to rwdc_support@ptc.com.

National Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge
Audience: 5-8 Students
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2011

Students in grades 5-8 throughout the United States are invited to participate in Spaced Out Sports, a national design challenge that applies Newtons Laws of Motion by designing a game for the International Space Station astronauts to play in space. The goal is for students to learn the science behind the game on Earth and in microgravity.

For more information and to register for the challenge, visit: http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/spacedoutsports.

If you have questions about Spaced Out Sports, please e-mail inquiries to SSC-SpacedOutSports@mail.nasa.gov.

NASAs DEVELOP Program -- 2011 Spring and Summer Sessions
Audience: 9-12 and Higher Education Students
Spring Session Deadline: Nov. 15, 2010
Summer Session Deadline: Feb. 28, 2011

The DEVELOP Program is a NASA Science Mission Directorate Applied Sciences-sponsored internship that fosters the training and development of students in the atmospheric and Earth sciences. The DEVELOP Program extends the application of NASA Earth science research and technology to meet societal needs. Applications for the spring 2011 session are due Nov. 15, 2010. Summer 2011 applications are due Feb 28, 2011.

For more information about this unique internship opportunity, please visit the DEVELOP website at http://develop.larc.nasa.gov. Questions about the DEVELOP program should be directed by e-mail to NASA-DL-DEVELOP@mail.nasa.gov or by telephone to 757-864-3761.

2011 CanSat Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

This annual competition is open to university and college students from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Teams of three to 10 students must design and build a space-type system called a CanSat. Each CanSat is the size of a soda can and must be built according to the specifications released by the competition organizing committee.

All teams entering the CanSat competition are required to have a faculty adviser. The faculty adviser will oversee and be responsible for the conduct of the team at all times during the competition. The advisor is strongly encouraged to accompany the team to the competition.

Applications are due Nov. 30, 2010.

For more information about the competition and to download the application, visit http://www.cansatcompetition.com/. Questions about this competition should be directed to questions@juno.nrl.navy.mil.

2011 Team America Rocketry Challenge
Audience: 5-8 and 9-12 Students
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2011

Registration is open for the Team America Rocketry Challenge 2011, a national model rocket competition for U.S. students in grades 7-12. Thousands of students compete each year, making TARC the worlds largest model rocket contest.

Teams of three to 10 students are challenged to design, build and fly a model rocket that will climb to 750 feet with a raw egg payload and stay aloft for 40 to 45 seconds. The payload must then return to earth unbroken. Cash prizes are awarded to the top finishers. NASA invites top teams to participate in their Student Launch Initiative, an advanced rocketry program.

Participation is limited to the first 750 teams who register by Nov. 30, 2010. For more information, visit http://www.rocketcontest.org/. Questions about this contest should be sent to rocketcontest@aia-aerospace.org.

ESMD Space Grant Project 2011 Systems Engineering Paper Competition
Audience: Higher Education Students
Deadline: March 7, 2011

NASAs Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is inviting teams of undergraduate and graduate students throughout the U.S. to participate in the fifth annual ESMD Space Grant Systems Engineering Paper Competition. Papers should relate to one of the following areas: Ground Operations, Lunar and Planetary Surface Systems, Propulsion, and Spacecraft.

The deadline to register for the competition is March 7, 2011. Papers are due on March 21, 2011. The winning teams will be announced in April. For more information about this competition, visit http://education.ksc.nasa.gov/esmdspacegrant/SystemsEngineering.htm.

Questions about the ESMD Systems Engineering Paper Competition should be directed to Diane Ingraham at zola.d.ingraham@nasa.gov.

Blast Off With the New Rocketry Page for Educators and Students

NASA Education is launching a new website to get students and educators off the launch pad and on their way to becoming rocket scientists. Visit the new site to investigate and learn about rockets. Watch and download video and multimedia features about rocketry. Visit the new website at www.nasa.gov/education/rocketry.

NASA Announces "The Year of the Solar System"

Planetary exploration is shifting into high gear with an unprecedented tripling of flybys, orbital insertions and launches to destinations around the solar system. To mark an unprecedented flurry of exploration which is about to begin, NASA announced today that the coming year will be "The Year of the Solar System" (YSS). "During YSS, we'll see triple the [usual] number of launches, flybys and orbital insertions," says Jim Green, Director of Planetary Science at NASA headquarters. "There hasn't been anything quite like it in the history of the Space Age. Naturally, it's a Martian year. These events will unfold over the next 23 months, the length of a year on the Red Planet" explains Green. "History will remember the period Oct. 2010 through Aug. 2012 as a golden age of planetary exploration." Read the full story at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/07oct_yss/

Sun-Earth Day 2011

As many of you already know, Sun-Earth Day is much more than a one day event. It's actually a combination of events and programs that occur throughout the year ending with a grand Sun-Earth Day celebration on or near the Spring Equinox in March. This year's Sun-Earth Day program is taking full advantage of social media. You can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter and join us on the Sun-Earth Day YouTube Channel. We are very interested in hearing your questions and comments. If you have something to say, just join us on the Facebook fan page or send an email to sunearthday@gmail.com . If selected we'll share it on one of our upcoming podcasts!

For all other details about the Sun-Earth Day program including information about our past SED themes be sure to visit our website at sunearthday.nasa.gov. While there, don't forget to register in order to receive Sun-Earth Day updates! (Meet the entire team at: http://sunearthday.gsfc.nasa.gov/2011/about/team.php)

Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) February 3-5 2011

Space Center Houston is hosting its 17th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) February 3-5, 2011. SEEC provides teachers with exciting project-based tips to engage K-12 learners in space science. While, teachers will participate in a wide array of science experiments and activities, many sessions are geared toward other disciplines, such as Language Arts, Math and History.

Presenters still needed! Are you interested in presenting your insight and classroom activities at SEEC? Download and fill out the Presenter Application Form below to join the ranks of interdisciplinary educators enriching their lessons with Space Exploration. CLICK HERE to download the Presenter Application:

To receive future emails about the Space Exploration Educators Conference, and Space Center Houston please CLICK HERE For more information please email SEEC@spacecenter.org, call (281) 244-2149 or visit the website at: www.spacecenter.org/TeachersSEEC.html

Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL): Team Grants available Start a School Robotics Team!

The Technology & Education Executive Council (TEEC) at Skillpoint Alliance is pleased to offer a grant opportunity to new Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) teams in Central Texas for the 2010-11 Season!

Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) is a non-competitive FIRST program geared toward 6 to 9-year-olds and captures young children's inherent curiosity to spark an initial interest in science and technology. Please visit the Central Texas FLL website to download the complete application!

Questions? Contact Rachel Wilkinson -Central Texas FIRST LEGO League Coordinator rwilkinson@skillpointalliance.org

The LiftOff Summer Institute is now on Facebook!

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for the latest updates & information regarding the LiftOff Summer Institute. Work is already underway to ensure that LiftOff 2011 is the best LiftOff yet! LiftOff Summer Institute

Are you a LiftOff Summer Institute Alumni? We encourage you to visit our Alumni page so you can connect with past LiftOff participants and get information regarding upcoming educational resources! LiftOff Summer Institute Alumni