From eclipses to meteor showers to spacecraft encounters, there is always something happening in our solar system! There are also many annual celebrations of Earth and space. These events present opportunities for educators to share the excitement of space science and exploration with their audiences. A list of events taking place in 2015 is available on the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Explore! Calendar webpage.
The winter solstice is approaching. Find out everything you need to know about the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere from EarthSky.
As a resource for the higher education audience, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific offers a series of slide sets designed to bring recent NASA discoveries to the college-level non-major introductory astronomy classroom. These Astro 101 slide sets compile short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA SMD Astrophysics missions relevant to Astronomy 101 topics, including “Debris Belts Around Vega” and “Black Holes in M38.”
Informal science educators at museums, science centers, planetariums, NASA Visitor Centers, Challenger Learning Centers, observatories, zoos, aquariums, parks, and nature centers who wish to share NASA information with their visitors are invited to join the Museum Alliance. The Museum Alliance is intended to bring current NASA Science and Technology to visitors through professional development of the museums’ staff, advance notice of NASA events, and provision of materials such as visualizations, access to NASA experts, educational materials, etc. It’s a free service that only requires that you be a staff member at one of the above types of institutions, respect all embargoes on pre-released news items, and report on a quarterly basis how the information is used.
Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been in the news a lot lately. How much do you know about comets? NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Science: Comets webpage has lots of resources including a fact sheet, FAQs, mission information, images, and more.
The deadline for submissions to the Humans in Space Art Video Challenge has been extended to Sunday, November 30. Submit a video of any style three minutes or less that explores the question “How will space, science, and technology benefit humanity?”
Need to convey tricky science concepts to others? Try doodling. Simple drawings can be effective at capturing complex ideas and making them more accessible to a broader audience.
The latest entry on the American Geophysical Union’s Plainspoken Scientist blog explains how cartoons can provide visual simplification and enhance science communication.
STEP (Sustainable Trainer Engagement Program) is sponsoring a free Middle School Earth Science Teacher Workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute on Saturday, November 8, from 9 am to 3 pm. This workshop is specifically geared toward select 8th grade science topics including topography, lunar phases, and seasons. Register now–the event is limited to 30 participants.
Calling all educators! Are you looking for ideas to create new and exciting programs for your audiences? The Lunar and Planetary Institute has created a new website called “Look Up!” containing resources, ideas, and tips for educators looking to create programs centered on solar system events. Visit the website for programming ideas and events happening in 2014 (including Comet Siding Spring’s October 19 close encounter with Mars), 2015, and beyond!
This year’s Earth Science Week will be held from October 12-18 and will celebrate the theme “Earth’s Connected Systems.” Since October 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized this national and international event to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. Find out more at the Earth Science Week website.