As you get ready for the new school year, consider adding a little space to your class.
NASA offers educational resources for use with kindergarten through college, as well as resources for the informal education community. Many of NASA’s educational products are quick and easy to find on the NASA website.
Visit the NASA Blast Back to School page to find educational resources and NASA events taking place in your area. From the site, you can find information relating to the following topics:
- NASA Explorer Schools.
- NASA Summer of Innovation.
- Current Opportunities for Students and Educators.
- National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.
- Taking Up Space Blog.
- Go Backstage With NASA Education.
- Homework Topics for Students.
- NASA’s Education Resources,
- Easy Ways to Obtain NASA Educational Materials.
- Find NASA Teaching Materials.
- NASA’s Educator Resource Center Network.
- Central Operation of Resources for Educators.
- Educational Multimedia.
For more information, visit the Blast Back to School page: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/blast-back-to-school-2010.html
Link to the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus home page.
NASA’s 2nd Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge
NASA is inviting students in grades 5-8 to participate in the 2nd Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge. The challenge uses real-world scenarios that meet science and mathematics content standards. Students can participate in a formal, informal or home-school setting.
Teams of up to six students design a water recycling system for the unique environment of the moon. Teams then test their system on a simulated wastewater stream. Proposals and results are due Feb. 28, 2011.
The winning teams will be announced in May 2011. The top three teams will receive awards. The first place team will receive an expense-paid trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the winning team’s visit to Kennedy, students will gain firsthand knowledge about NASA’s missions, receive behind-the-scenes tours of NASA’s launch facilities, and learn about future aerospace and engineering careers.
For more information and contest rules, please visit http://wlmr.nasa.gov/.
Questions about the challenge should be directed to Jay Garland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The show begins at sundown, August 12, when Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon pop out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects will fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope is required to enjoy this naked-eye event.
The planets will hang together in the western sky until 10 pm or so. When they leave, following the sun below the horizon, you should stay, because that is when the Perseid meteor shower begins. From 10 pm until dawn, meteors will flit across the starry sky in a display that’s even more exciting than a planetary get-together.
The Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every 133 years the huge comet swings through the inner solar system and leaves behind a trail of dust and gravel. When Earth passes through the debris, specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. These meteors are called Perseids because they fly out of the constellation Perseus.
For best results, get away from city lights. The darkness of the countryside multiplies the visible meteor rate 3- to 10-fold. A good dark sky will even improve the planetary alignment, allowing faint Mars and Saturn to make their full contribution to the display. Many families plan camping trips to coincide with the Perseids. The Milky Way arching over a mountain campground provides the perfect backdrop for a meteor shower.
Link to the NASA Explorer Schools Virtual Campus home page.
The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge invites high school students to work cooperatively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope.
In Phase 1 of this education initiative, students explore and design solutions to two real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. For this phase, participants work in teams of three-to-five students.
Final RealWorld project solutions from this first phase of the challenge are due on Dec. 15, 2010.
Teams who complete Phase 1 are then paired with participating college engineering students to begin Phase 2, the InWorld phase of the challenge. Working in a virtual world setting, each newly formed InWorld team uses 21st-century tools to refine designs and create 3-D models of the Webb telescope.
The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This choice must then be supported in a 500-word essay. Teaming up is encouraged. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.
The contest is open to all students in the United States from grades 5-12, working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essays will be divided into three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be students’ original work. Each student can submit only one entry.
Deadline for Fall 2010 submissions is noon Pacific time (3 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 27, 2010.
NASA is inviting the public to choose an area in northern Arizona where explorers will conduct part of the annual Desert Research and Technology Studies, known as Desert RATS.
“Desert RATS is an annual test where NASA takes equipment and crews into the field to simulate future planetary exploration missions,” said Joe Kosmo, Desert RATS manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We want the public to be a part of this.”
From July 27 through Aug. 8, 2010, space enthusiasts can vote where to send the Desert RATS team, which includes engineers, scientists and astronauts.