Category Archives: Education

Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest Winners

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The Cassini Scientist for a Day 2014 essay contest winners have been announced. Participants examined three possible observations taken by Cassini and were tasked to choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. Their choice had to be supported in  a 500-word essay. Winning essays have been posted online. Find out what these students think about the future of the exploration of Saturn.

Meteor Crater Field Camp

Applications are being accepted now through July 11 for the Field Training and Research Program at Meteor Crater camp, a week long field class and research project based at Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona (also know as Meteor Crater). The goal of the field camp will be to introduce students to impact cratering processes and provide an opportunity to assist with a research project at the crater. The online application and details about the program, including eligibility requirements, can be found on the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) webpage.

Two New Educator Resource Guides

One of the key goals of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is to make its discoveries and missions accessible to a wide range of educators, students, and the public. To that purpose, SMD has created a series of topical Forums for education and public outreach. The Forums formed a joint working group on Higher Education, which has been looking at how SMD can produce materials that are directly useful for instructors of introductory college science courses (such as Astronomy 101) and how SMD can better engage undergraduate students from groups that are generally underserved in the sciences, including minorities and women.

The working group commissioned two annotated resource guides from veteran astronomy and space-science educator Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College) that would address these two issues. They are Unheard Voices, Part 1: The Astronomy of Many Cultures and Unheard Voices, Part 2: Women in Astronomy. These two guides include material that can be used by instructors to make their lectures and class activities more inclusive, as well as readings and videos that students can use for projects and papers. The materials are mostly non-technical, so they can be used by a wide range of non-science students taking general education courses in the sciences, including those in public community and state colleges, where many future K-12 teachers begin their education.

Exploring Space Through Math

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Mathematics is an essential component of contemporary science and engineering. Exploring Space Through Math will help students in grades 7-12 develop a deeper understanding of key mathematical concepts, and learn how to apply those concepts in the context of space exploration. This project can be a valuable supplemental component to a mathematics curriculum as it exposes students to the limitless options in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields. Find out about it online at NASA’s Exploring Space Through Math webpage.

SkyFest

Join us for SkyFest on Saturday, May 10. There will be night sky viewing, weather permitting, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in partnership with the JSC Astronomical Society. View Jupiter and Mars through telescopes and learn about the solar system through hands-on activities. This free public event will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 pm.

SkyFest in May

Join us for the next SkyFest event on Saturday, May 10. There will be night sky viewing at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in partnership with the JSC Astronomical Society. View Jupiter and Mars through telescopes and learn about the solar system through hands-on activities. This free public event will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 pm.

IGES Earth Day Photo & Essay Contest

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The 2014 Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Earth Day Photo & Essay Contest encourages students to discover the world and its ongoing changes through the lens of a camera, taking note of the shifting landscape around them. Students in grades 5 – 8 are invited to take a photograph of something that is changing in their local natural environment and write a short essay about the photograph. The photo can be taken anytime April 14 and 25. Entries and entry forms must be received by email or postmarked by May 16, 2014.