Monthly Archives: January 2013

LiftOff 2013: Rockets to Robots

The Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) announces its program LiftOff 2013: Rockets to Robots. The TSGC has partnered with the NASA Johnson Space Center Office of Education and the Middle School Aerospace Scholars Project to bring this weeklong professional development workshop to interested and qualified 4th through 12th grade classroom teachers. This program features presentations by NASA scientists and engineers, tours of NASA and Space Center Houston, hands-on classroom activities aligned to educational standards, career exploration, sharing of ideas and activities, and the opportunity to interact with researchers dedicated to space missions.

The program will be held June 24 – 29, 2013, and the application deadline is April 15, 2013.

Upcoming Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series Lectures

The Lunar and Planetary Institutes invites all inquisitive adults to attend the next two Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series lectures:

Dark Energy: A Universe Out of Control, a presentation by Dr. Nicholas Suntzeff on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Suntzeff is an observational astronomer and professor at Texas A&M University.

Galactic Evolution, a presentation by Dr. James Bullock on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Bullock is the director of the Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution and professor at the University of California, Irvine.

These presentations are part of the 2012-2013 Cosmic Explorations Speakers Series. This season’s series, “A User’s Guide to the Universe: You Live Here. Here’s What You Need to Know,” focuses on topics of current research in astronomy including the formation of the universe, dark energy, galactic evolution, and black holes.

Teacher Workshops Offered

Several middle school Earth and Space Science workshops are being offered at the Harris County Department of Education.
Inquiry into Phases and Seasons–January 17, 2013–For 8th grade science teachers.
Use observational data to investigate models of the motions of the Earth and Moon, and explore a variety of hands-on activities to build a deeper understanding of seasons, lunar phases, and the ocean tides. Addresses the new TEKS 8.7 (A,B,C).

Cracking Up: Plate Tectonics and the Structure of the Earth–January 31, 2013–For 6th and 8th grade teachers.
Model the structural layers of the Earth, investigate the data that led to the theory of plate tectonics, and discover the relationship between plate tectonics and earthquakes, volcanos, and mountains, through data analysis and hands-on activities. Addresses TEKS: 6.10 (A, C, D) and 8.9 (A, B).

Characteristics of the Universe–February 20, 2013–For 8th grade science teachers.
Discover how astronomers study the stars, nebulae, and galaxies that make up the Universe! Create classification diagrams, explore the properties of light, and model the scale of our Galaxy through a variety of hands-on activities. Addresses TEKS 8.8 (A,B,C,D,E).

More information is available online, and registrations can be made online.

NASA E-Books

Check out the latest e-books from NASA. New titles include NASA at 50, Earth as Art, Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space, and Dressing for Altitude: U.S. Aviation Pressure Suits–Wiley Post to Space Shuttle. EPUB, MOBI, nad PDF file formats are offered to accomodate several different kinds of reading devices.