Monthly Archives: April 2010


The DPS Education Subcommittee announces the 3rd release of “Discoveries in Planetary Science” Classroom Powerpoints, covering five new topics:

– Venus’ Active Volcanism
– Martian Glaciers
– Titan Lakes
– Explaining Iapetus
– Waterworld at 40 Lightyears?

These are succinct summaries of discoveries too recent to appear in “Intro Astronomy” college textbooks; each set consists of just three slides to be shown: the discovery itself, a basic explanation based on good planetary science, and the “big picture” context. Another page for further information is provided as well. Powerpoints and PDF’s can be downloaded from

NASA Space Science Student Ambassadors Program – Deadline May 7, 2010

NASA Space Science Student Ambassadors Program

NASA is seeking to engage university students, both undergraduate and graduate students, to conduct activities that are designed to encourage undergraduate and graduate students to participate in NASA’s Space Science educational activities and to help generate excitement about NASA scientific discoveries in space science including: astrophysics, planetary science, and heliophysics .

Students are encouraged to engage new audiences, partners, and members of undeserved and/or underrepresented populations, including audiences with special needs. The philosophy underlying the intent of the program is as follows:

  • Opportunities for youth and adults to make their own observations of the universe: These are intended to encompass a wide range of efforts, including naked-eye observations, in-person and on-line telescopic observations, and activities utilizing NASA data or facilities. The intent is to instill a personal sense of wonder and discovery, convey observation and exploration as an ongoing human endeavor, and/or connect ground-based and space-based astronomy for the public, as appropriate.
  • Increasing awareness of space science: This includes strengthening scientific literacy in key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics central to the sub-disciplines of astrophysics, planetary science, and heliophysics, with attention to findings from educational research concerning misconceptions and their impact on learning. The intent is to convey the human and multidisciplinary aspects of science, connecting history, culture, and science and highlighting the relationship between technology and discovery.

This program is an extension of the NASA International Year of Astronomy Student Ambassador Program. NASA’s International Year of Astronomy website provides access to educational resources and serves as a guidance to the sort of activities students can get involved in. Applicants should also review NASA’s Space Science Strategy prior to completing an application.


  • Up to 50 students will be selected for a one-year award.
  • A stipend of $2,000 will be provided for conducting the recipient’s proposed activities.
  • A reimbursement of up to $600 will be provided for materials, supplies, and travel expenses for the execution of their activities.

Requirements for NASA Space Science Student Ambassadors

  • Must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old as of January 1, 2010, and in an institution of higher learning that is a member of the state Space Grant Consortium
  • Full time student- graduate or undergraduate
  • Participate in activities that align with the NASA Space Science goals “to offer an engaging astronomy experience to every person in the country, nurture existing partnerships, and build new connections to sustain public interested in space science” to help generate excitement
  • Meet with the Space Grant Director or their designee to discuss your activities and the progress thereof.
  • Complete a final report on the activities that you conducted.
  • Student Ambassadors will be strongly encouraged to attend a mid-year Workshop organized by NASA, where they will be required to present their work either in the form of a poster or orally. NASA will provide a limited travel budget to defray some of the travel cost.

Application Process

  • Review NASA’s Space Science Strategy
  • Develop a plan by which you will spread the excitement of NASA’s Space Science discoveries within your local community and beyond. This plan may concentrate on one of the three space science disciplines (astrophysics , planetary science and heliophysics ) or be cross borders.
  • Complete an online application by May 7, 2010
  • Secure an on-line letter of recommendation by May 10, 2010 from someone that can attest to your character and your ability to carry out your proposed activities.
  • Awards will be announced in mid May

Evaluation Criteria

  • The extent that the proposed activities are clearly aligned with and support the NASA Space Science goals. (35%)
  • The extent that the student has the skills and capability to carry out the proposed effort (35%)
  • Impact of activity on large and/or diverse audiences (10%)
  • Academic achievement (20%)

To apply for this opportunity, please go to the program website at

NASA BEST Activities Available for Download

(From our friends at the Washington Space Grant)

Draft versions of the new NASA Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) curriculum guides are now available. The guides designed with engineering clubs in mind contain 12 activities, each of approximately one-hour duration. The materials, designed for the K-8 grade range, are meant to be low-cost and easy to find.

To download copies of the guides, go to

Astronomical Society of the Pacific Presents Space and Earth Science Education and Outreach Workshops and Symposia

Register now for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s 2010 annual meeting, which will focus on space and Earth science education and outreach. The meeting brings together two hands-on, ASP-sponsored symposia. In addition, there will be a weekend workshop on teaching astronomy for teachers in grades 3-12 and those who work with them. All events will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.

Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach: Aug. 1-4, 2010

The Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach Symposium is designed for education and public outreach professionals. Much of the symposium will be in the format of hands-on sessions. Poster papers, panels, special interest group meetings and ten-minute oral reports will also be part of the program.

Cosmos in the Classroom: A Hands-on Symposium on Teaching Introductory Astronomy: Aug. 1-4, 2010

The Cosmos in the Classroom: A Hands-on Symposium on Teaching Introductory Astronomy is designed for high school teachers, college educators and graduate students. Much of the symposium will consist of small group sessions. Poster papers, panels, special interest group meetings and a share-a-thon will also be part of the program.

In the Footsteps of Galileo: A Hands-on Workshop on Astronomy for Teachers in Grades 3-12 (And Those Who Work with Them): July 31-Aug. 1, 2010

Participants will learn how to do age-appropriate, inquiry-based activities in astronomy and physical science. No background in astronomy is required. Participants will receive a GalileoScope (a small telescope especially developed for easy student viewing), hands-on activities, background information and resource guides that can be put to immediate use in the classroom. Workshop attendees also will receive a certificate showing that they’ve completed the required 15 hours of training to become Galileo Teacher Ambassadors. This certification gives access to the national Galileo Teachers Web site and resources.

On-site registration is available for all events, but those who register in advance get a reduced rate.
For more information about the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and this year’s events, visit

Online Professional Development Workshop: Enrichment Problems in Space and Earth Science XX

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.

Topic: Enrichment Problems in Space and Earth Science XX

In the twentieth 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. The goal of these problems is to teach students about space weather by using mathematics. Each problem begins with real world questions, missions and situations, and applies the necessary mathematics for a solution. Participants may ask questions and work along in this fully interactive Webinar environment.

Date: Friday, April 30, 2010
Time: 3:00 p.m., EDT (Greenwich Mean Time -04:00, New York)

You will need a computer, a good internet connection and a telephone to participate.

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!

If this meeting is full, you will receive an e-mail that reads:
“Your registration for this meeting is denied.”
In that case, we ask you to please join us in the next workshop!
If you do miss this event, we will send you the link to a video archive of the workshop so you will still be able to benefit from the exercises.

Please join the meeting 10-15 minutes before start to make sure your computer is prepared to run the Webex software. You may also pre-install the Webex plug-in following the instructions at the bottom of this e-mail.

Where to register for this meeting
1. Go to
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.
For assistance
1. Go to
2. Click “Assistance”.
3. Click “Support”.

For more information, contact John Ensworth by e-mail at or by telephone at 703-312-0563.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, do not join the session. This video and earlier product videos will be available via a Web-based archive tool will soon be located at:


To check the setup of your computer and pre-install the plug-in software, use the following links:


WebEx will automatically setup Meeting Manager for Windows the first time you join a meeting. To save time, you can setup prior to the meeting by clicking this link:

The host requests that you check for compatibility of rich media players for Universal Communications Format (UCF) before you join the session. UCF allows you to view multimedia during the session. To check now, click the following link:

Meeting Manager for Microsoft® Windows® – MSI Installer

  • Meeting Center automatically downloads, installs and configures Meeting Manager for Windows the first time you start or join a meeting. However, you may choose to download and run the Meeting Manager Installer before starting or joining a meeting. You must have administrator privileges on your computer to use this installer.
  • Download Meeting Manager Installer for Internet Explorer
  • Download Meeting Manager Installer for Mozilla Firefox/Netscape Navigator

Meeting Manager for Mac® OS X (PowerPC)

  • Meeting Manager for Mac OS X (PowerPC) is set up automatically the first time you start or join a meeting. The Installer for Mac OS X (PowerPC) can be used to manually install or uninstall Meeting Manager for Mac OS X (PowerPC).
  • Download Meeting Manager Installer for Mac OS X (PowerPC)

NSTA New Science Teacher Academy – Application Deadline May 30, 2010

If you’re a second or third year, secondary science teacher, don’t miss the deadline, May 30, to apply to the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, co-founded by the Amgen Foundation. If selected, this Academy supports Fellows through mentoring and other professional development resources during their initial, challenging years. Striving for quality science teaching, enhanced teacher confidence, classroom excellence and solid content knowledge, the Academy provides the following additional benefits.

  • Full membership to the National Science Teachers Association
  • Access to the web-based Learning Center’s tools and professional development activities and resources including web seminars led by national experts
  • Use of vetted science websites, state and national standards sites, other professional organizations, safety tips, and more
  • E-mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade band
  • Facilitated online curriculum devoted to science content and applicable classroom pedagogy
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists for exchange of information, ideas, and resources
  • Participation in specialized conference pathway sessions, and a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute.
  • Paid accommodations, airfare, meals, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must reside in the United States
  • Applicants must be entering their second or third year of teaching
  • Applicants must be working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in middle or high school science

Download and complete an application  at the following URL:
May 30, 2010 is the deadline for receipt of all applications.

Lunar Institute for Educators LRO Workshop for Middle and High School Educators – July 2010

NASA invites educators of grades 6-12 to attend the Lunar Institute for Educators workshop focusing on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. This workshop will take place July 12-16, 2010, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The workshop will focus on lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the moon has changed since the time of the Apollo missions. Information sent back by LRO and the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions has revised the basic understandings of our closest celestial neighbor. What was once thought of as a definitively dry world is now understood to have water — and not only at its poles! Workshop participants will learn more about this and other discoveries, explore real LRO data, participate in a number of lunar science activities, and learn how to incorporate these data and activities into the classroom.

For more information and to register for this workshop, visit
Please direct questions about this opportunity to Andrea Jones at

2009-2010 NASA Education Resource Showcase Series

NASA’s Digital Learning Network presents a series of webcasts to assist educators in staying current on NASA education resources and related products.

During each event, product producers, authors and experts will demonstrate their materials designed to optimize awareness and understanding of science concepts. Instructional objectives, accessing the materials and primary contacts for the materials will also be discussed. During the webcasts, participants will be able to submit questions to the presenter that will be addressed during the presentation.

In the coming months, the following topics will be covered:

— MoonWorld: April 28, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EDT
— On the Moon: May 26, 2010, 4-5 p.m. EDT

For more information about these webcasts, visit

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