Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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July 4, 2016 Juno Mission arrives at Jupiter

August 12 - August 13, 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower

September 8, 2016 OSIRIS-REx Scheduled to Launch to Asteroid Bennu

August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse visible across the US


Texas A&M workshop: Global Warming and Climate Change
This workshop is at Texas A&M on July 21: Climate keeps changing in response to ongoing greenhouse gas emissions, and climate science media coverage continues to increase as more and more people learn about the risks a warming climate poses to society. Teachers need to be well-informed to explain the science and address myths and misconceptions.

Free Education Webinars From NASA Educator Professional Development
The NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative is presenting a series of free webinars open to all educators. Join NASA education specialists to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides and resources that bring NASA into your classroom. Registration is required to participate.

Summer Houston Chemistry Workshop
In this 4-day workshop, July 18-21, teachers participate in a broad spectrum of instructional exercises, become part of a panel discussion and tour various chemical plants and industrial waste disposal sites on facility field trips. Teachers completing all days of the workshop receive a $300 stipend.


International Observe the Moon Night October 8 2016
International Observe the Moon Night is an annual worldwide public event that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of our Moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration. Everyone on Earth is invited to join the celebration by hosting or attending an InOMN event and uniting on one day each year to look at and learn about the Moon together.

LPI SkyFest Event for Juno Mission
The next SkyFest family event at the Lunar and Planetary Institute will be August 6 from 1-3pm. Activities will relate to the Juno mission's arrival at Jupiter!

Presentations at Houston Museum of Natural Science
As part of the Houston Museum of Natura Science Distinguished Lecture Series, on May 24 at 6:30 pm, LPI Senior Staff Scientist Dr. David Kring will present "Lunar Exploration, a Captivating Science" at 6:30 pm, and on June 30 Dr. Kring will present "Threat of Impact: Update" at 6:30 pm.


Future Engineers 'Think Outside the Box' Challenge
NASA and the American Society for Mechanical Engineers Foundation are challenging students to think outside the box with 3-D printing -- literally. If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to design a useful object that assembles, telescopes, hinges, accordions, grows, or expands to become larger than the printing bounds of the Advanced Manufacturing Facility 3-D printer in space (14cm length by 10cm width by 10cm height). Entries must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2016.

One Shared Place' Contest: Educator-Student Videos
AGI is pleased to invite teams of educators and students to enter its new "One Shared Place" contest. Each team will submit a 30- to 90-second original video informing viewers about an outdoor place that is special in terms of geoheritage (natural features, settings, and resources formed over vast periods) and geoscience (the study of Earth systems).


Captain Planet Foundation Grants
Captain Planet Foundation Grants are available to US-based schools and organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $3 million. The grants promote and support educational programs that enable youth to understand and appreciate their environment through learning experiences that engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve schools and communities. Deadline: September 30.

NSTA Accepting Entries for Shell Science Lab Challenge
The annual Shell Science Lab Challenge Competition recognizes outstanding middle and high school programs for their exemplary approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources, and raise awareness and exposure of the outstanding work being done in the science education field. Applications accepted beginning June 1 2016.


PLAN!T NOW - Severe Weather Preparedness Adventure
PLAN!T NOW's Young Meteorologist Program takes students on a severe weather preparedness adventure where they encounter lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and winter storms - all while learning about severe weather science and safety. Young Meteorologists are shown opportunities to put their knowledge to work in hands-on activities and community service projects. Players who complete the game earn a Young Meteorologist Certificate.

Lab Out Loud: Exploding Supernovae and Robotic Telescopes
Andy Howell, a scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT) and Adjunct Faculty in physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, talks about studying supernovae, his work with robotic telescopes, and how science really happens.

Cretaceous Impact Resources
Online activities for grades 5-12: *Impact Craters and the KT Boundary *Changes Over Time - Microfossils in Blake’s Nose *Cretaceous Impact Kit (can be used for grades 5-8, 9-12, and informal education) *Blast from the Past poster

DLESE Teaching Boxes
DLESE Teaching Boxes are free, online classroom-ready instructional units created by a collaboration between teachers, scientists, and designers - focusing on gathering and analyzing scientific evidence. Teaching Boxes contain materials that model scientific inquiry, allowing teachers to build classroom experiences around data collection and analysis from multiple lines of evidence, and engaging students in the process of science.

Middle School Earth and Space Science Resources
Check out the resources LPI's STEP program has assembled for activities and presentations for over a dozen middle school Earth and space science topics.

LPI Educational Activities Directory
LPI has a sortable directory of Earth and Space Science activities, materials, powerpoints, and more. Topics include plate tectonics, lunar phases, seasons, solar system, and more. Search by topic, audience, grade level, engagement style, and according to alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Activities for Juno Mission's Arrival this Summer
The Juno mission is arriving at Jupiter on July 4 this year, and a variety of simple hands-on activities are ready for you to use! Check out Explore: Jupiter's Family Secrets, with activities exploring the scale of the solar system, weather on Jupiter and Earth, magnetic fields, planet density, and make scales to weigh yourself on other planets.


Why the Earth's Atmosphere is Oxygenated
A new model suggests that the rise of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere was an inevitable consequence of the formation of continents in the presence of life and plate tectonics, explaining how atmospheric oxygen was added to Earth's atmosphere at two key times: one about 2 billion years ago and another about 600 million years ago.

Europa's Ocean May Have Earthlike Chemical Balance
A new study indicates that the ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa could have the necessary balance of chemical energy for life, even if the moon lacks volcanic hydrothermal activity. The balance of hydrogen and oxygen is a key indicator of the energy available for life. The study found that the amounts would be comparable in scale; on both worlds, oxygen production is about 10 times higher than hydrogen production.

Hubble Finds Clues to Forming Supermassive Black Holes
Astrophysicists have found the best evidence yet for the seeds that ultimately grow into these cosmic giants. For years astronomers have debated how the earliest generation of supermassive black holes formed so quickly after the Big Bang. New observations of massive black hole "seeds" suggest that they may form when a massive cloud of gas collapsed, jump-starting the formation of the supermassive black hole.

Tsunamis on Ancient Mars?
Scientists suggest that some of the deposits of rocks and sediments at the edges of basins were left by tsunamis on an ancient Mars ocean.

Impacts May Have Made Ancient Mars Habitable
New research suggests that when Mars was bombarded with comets and asteroids 4 billion years ago, the heat from the largest impacts may have produced martian hot springs, allowing life to flourish.

NASA’s Spitzer Maps Climate Patterns on a Super-Earth
Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have led to the first temperature map of a super-Earth planet -- a rocky planet nearly two times as big as ours. The map reveals extreme temperature swings from one side of the planet to the other, and hints that a possible reason for this is the presence of lava flows.