LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter
June 20 - June 21, 2013 Summer Solstice
July 5, 2013 Earth at Aphelion (farthest distance from Sun)
August 12, 2013 Perseid Meteor Shower
October 15, 2013 - January 1, 2014 Comet ISON visible to naked eye
NASA Education Activities Under Sequestration
NASA has taken the first steps in addressing the mandatory spending cuts called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law mandates a series of across-the-board spending reductions. As a result, NASA has implemented a number of new cost-saving measures, policies, and reviews. This may affect the status of some NASA-funded educational workshops, events, and material development this year.
Professional Development Opportunity for Science On a Sphere Installations
Join scientists, engineers, and educators from the upcoming Mars mission MAVEN at Kennedy Space Center on November 15-16, 2013 for a professional development training on how you can use "Invisible Mars" (a new Science on a Sphere show) at your venue. Participants may be given a stipend to help pay for their travel, and they and their families will be invited to attend the MAVEN launch, currently scheduled for November 18, 2013. Applications for the professional development training will be accepted through May 31, 2013. Space is limited.
Brookhaven Geology Fieldtrips for Teachers
Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute in Dallas is offering a varity of summer workshops and fieldtrips for teachers.
Galileo Workshop in San Jose
Galileo Looks Beyond to Other Worlds is a hands-on workshop on Earth and Space Science for teachers grades 3-12. It will be held at San Jose State University, July 20-21. A limited number of scholarships are available for California teachers to attend; deadline for application is June 24.
Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! Workshop in Los Angeles
The MAVEN mission will study Mars’ climate and climate history. Join a one-day workshop on Aug. 24 on the MAVEN mission, and an accompanying program for grades 3-5, Red Planet: Read, Write Explore!
CosmoQuest Lunar Surface Geology Workshop for Middle School Educators
Join astronomers and educators from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and CosmoQuestfor this workshop June 17-21. Participants will help astronomers map the Moon’s surface using the MoonMappers citizen science project and data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and receive practical ideas from experienced teachers on how to bring citizen science into the classroom and meet science standards. Free materials, stipend, and CPDUs provided; optional graduate course credit from SIUE is available.
Lunar Workshops for Educators
Grade 6-9 science 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 such as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Workshops are June 24-28 and July 8-12, 2013 at Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, MD. In addition to classroom lessons and talks by NASA scientists, participants will take a tour of NASA Goddard to help them better understand mission operations and see where the LRO spacecraft was built.
Black Holes Presentation in Houston
Inquisitive adults are invited to attend the presentation Black Holes Inside and Out by Dr. Andrew Hamilton of the University of Colorado at Boulder. This free public presentation on June 13 is part of the Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
2013 GLOBE Virtual Student Conference
The GLOBE Virtual Student Convention (May 6-31) is a place for GLOBE students to showcase their research projects for peer and scientific review. The public is invited to visit the website to view the projects and leave comments.
ASP 2013 Annual Meeting: Ensuring STEM Literacy
July 20-24, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific holds its annual conference for astronomy education and EPO professionals. Via workshops, lectures, panels, discussions, and exhibits, more than 300 specialists across the science spectrum collaborate to explore best practices, research findings, trends, and professional development opportunities.
Xprize After Earth Challenge
Students aged 13-17 are invited to work in teams to create a video about either sustainable living, or assessing an alien planet's habitability. Deadline to submit the video is June 7.
Solar Dynamics Observatory Ambassador in the Classroom
Teachers in the DC Metro area and southern Pennsylvania are eligible for a visit from a Solar Dynamics Observatory educator or scientist. Visits are free, include all supplies for the activity, and can be customized for each teacher.
A Day At Goddard: Opportunity for DC Metro Teachers
Teachers in the DC Metro area are invited to bring their students to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for a day spent learning what it is like to work for NASA. Programs are highly customizable, teacher-friendly and are designed for grades 8-12.
Send Your Name & Message to Mars
All adults (on behalf of themselves or their children) are invited to enter their names and to submit a haiku poem for a contest. The names and selected poem will be added to a DVD which will be sent to the Red Planet aboard the MAVEN spacecraft. Deadline: July 1.
NASA Summer of Innovations Mini Program
NASA has opened the application process for the Summer of Innovation Mini-Awards Program! This is a grant program awarding up to $2,500 for local and/or community-based organizations that serve middle-school students and/or teachers, especially those involved with underrepresented and underserved populations, to spur STEM interest in their communities. Applications must be submitted by midnight EDT on June 10, 2013.
Best Buy Children's Foundation Youth Technology Grants
The Best Buy Children's Foundation is accepting applications from local and regional nonprofit organizations working to provide teens with places and opportunities to develop twenty-first century technology skills with the potential to inspire their future education and career choices. Community grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded for program activities such as computer programming, digital imaging, music production, robotics, and gaming and mobile app development. Deadline: July 1.
US Airways Education Foundation Grants for STEM
The US Airways Education Foundation is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations for educational programs that target economically disadvantaged or developmentally disabled children, a with a focus on increasing student interest and academic achievement in STEM. Application deadline: July 1, 2013.
Online Climate and Energy Teaching Resources
The CLEAN program offers a digital collection of teaching materials and supporting materials for teaching about climate and energy. The collection includes 500 annotated online activities, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy for grades 6 - 16, and more.
Develop groundwater awareness with this app from the Groundwater Foundation. Available for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices, the app features questions about conservation, irrigation, the water cycle, watersheds, pollution prevention, and other categories. For use with middle level and older students, the app keeps things lively by using various game-playing formats.
With EarthViewer, a free new interactive app for iPad, users can explore the Earth's history with the touch of a finger by scrolling through 4.5 billion years of geological evolution. The app tracks the planet's continental shifts, compares changes in climate as far back as the planet's origin, and explores the Earth's biodiversity over the last 540 million years. It combines visual analysis with hard data.
SpaceMath@NASA -- New Math Guides
Four new math guides have been released by SpaceMath@NASA: Exploring the Lunar Surface (Grades 3-5), Exploring Planetary Moons (Grades 3-6), Exploring Stars in the Milky Way (Grades 6-8), and Exploring the Milky Way (Grades 6-8).
SpacePlace Mission Chronicles
This blog presents stories, reflections, and mission information from the viewpoint of scientists and engineers working on NASA science.
Terminal Velocity Calculator
This NASA Applet will calculate the terminal velocity for an object on either Earth or Mars.
Astronomy Lectures on YouTube
The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures, featuring noted scientists giving nontechnical illustrated lectures on recent developments in astronomy, are now available on their own YouTube Channel.
Proposed FY14 NASA Budget Could Signify Changes for NASA STEM Education
The Administration’s proposed FY14 budget could signify many changes for NASA's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education efforts. The President’s proposed STEM Consolidation Initiative will consolidate 220 STEM programs that currently exist in 13 government agencies and reorganize the approach of federal agencies to STEM education. In the proposed budget NASA’s overall education budget is reduced by 49 million dollars (33%), and all education efforts are consolidated under NASA’s Office of Education. Science Mission Directorate (SMD) education and outreach funds are eliminated, individual science mission budgets are reduced, reflecting elimination of education and outreach funds, and SMD is directed to no longer fund any education efforts. This would impact the NASA-funded educational workshops, events, and resources created in FY2014.
Hydrogen Peroxide Could Feed Life on Europa
Jupiter's moon Europa has an ocean of water beneath its icy crust; new observations show that it also has hydrogen peroxide across much of the surface of its leading hemisphere. This compound could potentially provide energy for life. The peroxide is created by interactions of Jupiter's magnetic field with Europa's surface ice.
More Evidence that Mars Lost Its Atmosphere
The Curiosity rover has found strong evidence that Mars lost much of its earlier atmsophere to space, by measuring the ratio of the isotopes of argon in the atmosphere. Lacking a strong magnetic field, Mars' atmosphere was susceptible to erosion from the energetic particles in the solar wind.
Rings Raining on Saturn
Astronomers found charged water particles falling from Saturn's rings into Saturn's atmosphere, falling across larger areas of the planet than previously thought. The rain influences the composition and temperature structures of parts of Saturn's upper atmosphere.
New Type of Gamma Ray Burst Observed
Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous and mysterious explosions in the Universe. The blasts emit surges of gamma rays as well as X-rays, and they produce afterglows that can be observed at optical and radio energies. Three unusually long-lasting GRBs have been observed and scientists think it is associated with the death of a blue supergiant star.
Newly Discovered Planets in the Habitable Zone
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water. Scientists do not know whether life could exist on the newfound planets, but their discovery signals we are another step closer to finding a world similar to Earth around a star like our sun.
Antimatter Detection Supports Dark Matter Model
A particle detector onboard the International Space Station has counted more than 400,000 positrons, the antimatter equivalent of electrons. The data support a leading model for mysterious dark matter, which holds that dark matter is made of a particle called the neutralino, and that collisions between neutralinos will produce large numbers of high-energy positrons.