LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter
March 20, 2014 Spring Equinox (first day of spring)
April 12, 2014 Yuri's Night: The World Space Party
April 13 - April 19, 2014 National Environmental Education Week
April 15, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse
April 22, 2014 Earth Day
May 10, 2014 Astronomy Day
September 22, 2014 MAVEN arrives in orbit around Mars
July 1, 2015 New Horizons mission flies by Pluto
Science Regional Colaborative Workshops in Clear Lake, Texas
The University of Houston-Clear Lake Regional Science Collaborative is offering workshops for teachers, particularly K-8 teachers, on a variety of science topics.
Project ATMOSPHERE for K-12 Educators
This free teacher professional development program (July 13-25; NOAA National Weather Service Training Center, Kansas City, MO) will introduce teachers to the latest technologies and techniques for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather, as well as explore ways these concepts can be implemented in the classrooms. K-12 teachers who cover weather and related concepts are encouraged to apply and will receive three free graduate credits. Attendees will help to promote weather education in their home regions by conducting training sessions in atmospheric science during the following school year. Application deadline: March 28.
Texas Space Grant's LiftOff 2014
Liftoff Summer Institute for Teachers (July 7-11, 2-14) -- Texas Space Grant pays all expenses for any Texas teacher selected to attend (teachers must teach grades 4-12). This summer's theme is "Let's Engineer It!" Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others. Application deadline: April 15, 2014.
Lunar Workshop for Educators in Maryland
Applications are now open for the 2014 Lunar Workskhop for Educators, to be held July 14-18 in Greenbelt, MD. Grade 6-9 science teachers and pre-service teachers are invited to attend a workshop focused on lunar science, exploration, and how our understanding of the Moon is evolving with the new data from current and recent lunar missions.
Houston workshop on Teaching Weather with Children's Literature
These workshops by Harris County Department of Education are for engaging young children in wind, snow, and weather.
NASA Online Seminars on Near-Earth Asteroids
Curious about NASA’s Grand Challenge to discover all asteroids that could threaten human populations and find out how to deal with them? NASA is sponsoring a series of seminars on the properties of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) to provide information of interest to astronomers, students, teachers, and others who are potentially interested in contributing to studies of NEAs. The seminars will be held at 11am (Eastern) on the second and fourth Fridays of each month.
2014 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for High School Students
This annual IGES contest allows students the opportunity to show off their science and technology skills by submitting research projects focused on the use of remote sensing and analysis tools. High school students are asked to identify a U.S. protected area of interest, and design a research project that identifies why the area is unique, why it significantly contributes to our society, how this area has changed over time, and ways remote sensing and geospatial tools can be used to monitor these environmental treasures. Entry deadline: May 5.
New Horizons Message Initiative
The New Horizons Message Initiative hopes to persuade NASA to upload a crowd-sourced message to the spacecraft’s memory, following a successful Pluto encounter. The first 10,000 people to sign the petition will have their names uploaded to New Horizons.
New Citizen Science Project: DiskDetective
This research project, a collaboration between NASA and Zooniverse, is trying to find hundreds of planet-forming disks in the vast database from NASA's WISE mission, which surveyed the whole sky in four infrared bands.
Send Names on an Asteroid Mission and Beyond
NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016. The "Messages to Bennu!" microchip will travel to the asteroid aboard the agency's Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft. Names need to be submitted by Sept. 30.
Nominate a Colleague for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Nominate outstanding elementary, grades K-6 mathematics and science (including computer science) teachers; the deadline is April 1, 2014.
2014 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The 2013-2014 application period for K-6th grade mathematics and science teachers for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program is now open. Educators may still be nominated by themselves or by others until April 1, 2014. The PAEMST awards are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The application deadline for nominated educators is May 1, 2014.
Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Excellence in Science Awards
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is accepting nominations for the 2014 Student awards for high school juniors, and for the 2014 Educator Awards for one K-5th gradeand one 6-12 grade science or math teacher in Harris County. Nomination deadline is April 25, 2014.
Student Teaching Scholarships
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation is accepting applications for Student Teaching scholarships, for student teachers in their final year of teacher education programs at New Mexico State University; the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of Texas at Austin; and West Virginia University. Application deadline: Apr 15.
Teacher Development Grants
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation is accepting applications for Teacher Development grants to provide funding to individuals or small teams of teachers in the formation and implementation of groundbreaking collaborative K-12 classroom instruction. Application deadline: Apr 15.
Toshiba Grants for Grades 6-12
Toshiba America Foundation is currently accepting applications from teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Grade 6-12 applications for $5,000 or less are accepted on a rolling basis, throughout the calendar year. Grants requests of more than $5,000 are reviewed twice a year. Applications for grants of more than $5,00 are due August 1st and February 1st each year.
ING Unsung Heroes Award Grants
ING Unsung Heroes helps teachers turn great ideas into reality for students. Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. The application deadline is April 30, 2014.
Interview with Frank Drake, the Founder of SETI, Now on YouTube
As part of the celebration of the beginning of the 30th year of the SETI Institute, a 2012 interview with the "father of SETI science," astronomer Frank Drake, is now available on YouTube.
SciJinks Weather Website
NOAA and NASA have joined forces to create the ultimate weather web site for middle-school students. SciJinks offers exciting and accessible content, games, and multimedia. There are videos, printable images and posters, and help for teachers. The site also provides content by topic, such as clouds, tides, oceans, atmosphere, seasons, and satellites.
NASA’s web site brings the exciting science of climate change and sustainability to life. Targeting students in the upper-elementary grades, the site features interactive games, hands-on activities, and engaging articles. With a special section for educators, Climate Kids offers much for parents and teachers as well. Learn how global changes affect the planet over time using the interactive Climate Time Machine.
Video Recordings of Cosmic Exploration Speaker Series
The Lunar and Planetary Institute records its quarterly lecture series; recordings are freely available to watch online. Recent topics included "Solar Storm: Space Weather's Impacts on Society and the Economy" and "The 2013 Chelyabinsh Air Burst and the Hazards of Near-Earth Asteroid Impacts." Older videos are available by clicking on the Speaker Series Archive link.
Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary Video
Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this video commemorates the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. This three-minute visualization provides the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.
Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Sun Activity
This activity for grades 5-12 invites students to learn about the similarities and differences between the magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun. Students use a handheld magnetic field detector to observe behaviors of the magnetic fields, especially in sunspot areas.
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) team has developed a wide array of educational products focused on many aspects of precipitation, Earth’s water cycle, NASA mission science and engineering, and much, much more! Resources include activities, lesson plans, videos, posters, and articles, as well as more in-depth information about the GPM mission.
Bigger Planets May Be Better for Life?
Alien planets that are slightly bigger than Earth could be more life-friendly than exoplanets closer to our own size, a new study implies. These so-called "super-Earths" that are about two to three times that of our own planet could be "superhabitable" due to the extended period of plate tectonics and thick atmospheres.
New Crater on Mars
Scientists are using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to observe changes on the Red Planet, such as a retatively new 30-meter-wide crater; the impact and resulting explosion threw debris as far as 15 kilometers in distance. Before and after pictures of this region show the new impact crater formed between July 2010 and May 2012. With data from MRO, scientists estimate Mars receives about 200 impacts per year.
Climate Warming Trend Sustained in 2013
NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures. With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.
Water Detected on Dwarf Planet Ceres
Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest object in the asteroid belt, dwarf planet Ceres. The water vapour appeared periodically, suggesting that plumes shoot up from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. NASA's Dawn mission will take a close look at Ceres in 2015.
5 NASA Earth Science Missions in 2014
For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet. The five launches, including two to the International Space Station, are part of an active year for NASA Earth science researchers, who also will conduct airborne campaigns to the poles and hurricanes, develop advanced sensor technologies, and use satellite data and analytical tools to improve natural hazard and climate change preparedness.
Potential ‘Goldilocks’ Planet Found
A new-found planet is in a "just-right" location around its star where liquid water could possibly exist on the planet’s surface. A team of international astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star in a habitable zone, where it isn’t too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. The team said this discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.
Meteorites Brought Ammonia to Earth?
Researchers have teased ammonia of a carbon-containing meteorite from Antarctica, and propose that meteorites may have delivered that essential ingredient for life to an early Earth.
Modified from http://www.universetoday.com/83608/meteorites-may-have-delivered-first-ammonia-for-life-on-earth/