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.

USGS Volcano Resources

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Sunday, May 18, 2014, was the 34th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. Here are a few volcano resources from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that may be of interest:

Hubble by the Numbers

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Beginning its 25th year of service, NASA takes a look at some of the Hubble Space Telescope’s amazing statistics: Hubble has observed 38,000 celestial targets; around 4000 astronomers from all over the world have used the telescope to probe the universe; Hubble currently generates 844 gigabytes of data per month; and Hubble has orbited Earth more than 3 billion miles along a circular low-Earth orbit. For images and more information about Hubble, visit NASA’s Hubble website.

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.