Lunar and Planetary Institute

Education and Public Outreach

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter
October 2004

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Workshops and Courses | Grants and Funding I Events/Opportunities | Resources | Mission News and Science

Workshops and Courses

SCORE will be attending the Science Teachers Association of Texas Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching on 4–6 November. The SCORE booth will offer space science materials and information on opportunities for Texas science teachers. SCORE will host Space Science in the Classroom from 1:00 to 4:00 in Ballroom C of the Convention Center. There will be lots of NASA workshops and short courses during the conference and NASA is showcasing a full-sized model of the Mars Rover!

Visit the SCORE Booth at the New Mexico Science Teachers Association Conference: Making Connections: Higher Expectations for Math, Science and Environmental Education on November 11 and November 12! Join us to learn about the space science resources and the NASA educational forums.

Always popular among the diverse short courses offered at NSTA's conventions are those presented by NASA under the auspices of the NSTA Institute. This fall continues that tradition, with NASA sessions at all three NSTA fall conventions: Indianapolis, Nov. 4–6; Seattle, Nov. 18-20; and Richmond, Dec. 2–4.  Sessions include Extreme Solar System-NASA's Extreme Exploration 2003–2006 and Robotics Core Content Update. For information about all NASA short courses, and many others, go to, click on the convention of interest, and search short courses under the event format heading.

Grants and Funding

Educator Researcher Collaborative Projects - The SCORE program offers grants of up to $1000 to collaborative teams of educators and Office of Space Science researchers in the SCORE six-state region. The grants are intended to help initiate new partnerships between educators and Office of Space Science researchers. Funds can be used to purchase materials and resources to increase student or public understanding of space science content. Deadline: December 15.

Teacher Quality Grants, funded by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), serve to meet the demands for providing “highly qualified” teachers in mathematics and science subject areas through sustained high quality professional development. Although the fundamental goal of these Teacher Quality Grants is to provide content and pedagogical instruction to uncertified, novice, and/or otherwise “under-qualified” science instructors in order to raise them to “highly qualified” status, teachers of all backgrounds, experience, and qualifications can benefit from participation in these professional development sessions and are invited to participate. FUNDING AVAILABLE: At this time we propose funding to be approximately $1300 per participant for the combination of participant stipends and instructional materials. For requirements and details visit

Educator Researcher Workshops - The SCORE program offers grants to assist in the development and implementation of local professional development workshops for educators in the SCORE six-state region. Workshop design is flexible and should meet the needs of the local community. Funding deadline for spring workshops is January 15, 2005.

Toyota TAPESTRY Grant Program - The program awards 50 grants of up to $10,000 each and a minimum of 20 "mini-grants" of $2,500 each to K–12 science teachers. Interested teachers should propose innovative science projects that can be implemented in their school or school district over a one-year period. Toyota TAPESTRY projects demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, possess a visionary quality, and model a novel way of presenting science. The deadline is January 19, 2005. For more information visit

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NASA Explorer Schools '05 Program Registration Open Online

Applications are now being accepted from educators and administrators interested in becoming a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Explorer School. Once accepted into this exciting program, your school or school district will enter into a unique three-year partnership with NASA to bring exciting opportunities to educators, students, and families.

NASA Explorer School educator and administrator teams, working along with NASA personnel and other educational partners, will develop and implement team action plans for staff and students. The action plan will promote and support the use of NASA content and programs that address the teams' local needs in mathematics, science, and technology through authentic experiences. NASA Explorer Schools receive grants up to $17,500 over the three-year partnership.

The NASA Explorer Schools (NES) program is sponsored and implemented by NASA through a cooperative agreement with NSTA. Deadline to apply for this exciting NASA/NSTA opportunity is January 31, 2005. For additional information and/or questions about the program, and to apply, visit

The Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education
(TLRBSE) Program at the National Optical Astronomy
Observatory is Accepting Applications Now!
Application deadline Extended to October 31, 2004

Ever wanted to study the stars and the sun with telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona? Then click here to find out more about an exciting new program designed for middle and high school science teachers. Funded by a National Science Foundation Teacher Enhancement teacher retention and renewal grant, the TLRBSE program will enhance your skill to be a leader and mentor for those science teachers new to the profession. In addition, teacher-participants learn how to acquire astronomy data and how to support their students in conducting authentic astronomy research projects.


The Space Science Education Resource Directory is designed for educators seeking NASA's space science educational resources. It will help you locate Internet-based resources, such as Web pages and Portable Document Format (PDFs). We are continually adding resources as they are reviewed for science content.

NASAexplores Web site: Express Lessons and Online Resources
Each week, we provide two new teacher articles, articles adapted for the three grade levels, and at least two lesson plans/activities per grade level that support each of the articles. The materials on our website reflect national education standards in science, mathematics, technology, and geography.

NASAexplores also sends out an e-mail notice each week with abstracts of that week's articles and brief descriptions of the latest lesson plans and activities available at NASAexplores.

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Mission News and Science

Hot Times for a Cool Moon: Titan's First Close-Up

The closest images ever taken of Saturn's hazy moon Titan were captured by spacecraft Cassini's imaging science subsystem on Oct. 26, 2004. It takes 1 hour and 14 minutes for the images to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and it is possible that 500 images will be sent back from this recent flyby.

The data from this fly-by will prepare earth-based engineers for the December 24th release of the Huygens probe, which is attached to Cassini. The Huygens, built and operated by the European Space Agency, will descend through Titan's opaque atmosphere on January 14, 2005 to collect data and touch down on the surface. Visit the Cassini-Huygens Mission Web page.

Where There's a Will to Vote, There's a Way: Voting in Space
Floating around the Earth 230 miles up, NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao is not too far from the polls to stand up and be counted on Election Day. From the International Space Station, Chiao will cast his vote in the Nov. 2, 2004, national election. A bill was passed in 1997 by Texas legislators to allow astronauts to vote from space via a secure e-mail system. It will be the first vote ever to be cast in a presidential election from space. Chiao is passionate about his civic duty and hopes his ballot sets an example for others.

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Last updated
May 2, 2007