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LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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January 20 - January 21, 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse

March 20, 2019 Spring Equinox--first day of Spring

April 4, 2019 Solar Parker Probe close approach to the Sun

July 20, 2019 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

July 1 - August 30, 2020 Mars 2020 scheduled to launch


The Maury Project
This teacher professional development course with a two-week summer residence workshop in Annapolis, MD, focuses on the fundamentals of oceanography. This course focuses on improving teacher effectiveness in generating interest and understanding in science, technology, and mathematics among precollege students. Workshops take place each summer and include lectures, hands on activities, and valuable field experience. Participants receive a $600 stipend, lodging, meals, travel funds, and instructional materials, and must be prepared to pay the Cal U academic support fee (currently $150; see website for details). The next workshop will take place in the time frame of 14 - 26 July 2019. The application deadline is 1 April 2019.

Project Atmosphere Teacher PD
Project Atmosphere is a hybrid teacher professional development course with a one-week summer residence experience and online components.This project is specifically designed for K-12 teachers. The course introduces them to the latest technologies for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather, and classroom applications. Workshops take place annually each summer at the NOAA National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City, MO. Participants receive a $300 stipend, lodging, meals, travel funds, and instructional materials, and must be prepared to pay the Cal U academic support fee (currently $150; see website for details). Three tuition-free graduate credits are earned following successful completion of course requirements including required peer-training sessions. The next workshop will take place from 28 July - 3 August 2019. The application deadline is 1 April 2019.

LIFTOFF 2019: Legacy of Apollo
NASA's Texas Space Grant Consortium offers this annual weeklong professional development STEM training for teachers. Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others. The Legacy of Apollo will take place on June 23-28, 2019. The deadline for receiving applications for the professional development training is April 1, 2019.

McDonald Observatory Summer Teaching Professional Development Workshops
McDonald Observatory is accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Teacher Professional Development Workshops for K-12 educators. McDonald Observatory offers a unique setting for teacher workshops: the Observatory and Visitors Center in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. Apply online today! Deadline for applications is February 28, 2019. Teacher notifications: March 29, 2019

LIGO International Physics and Astronomy Program for Educators
LIGO will offer its International Physics and Astronomy (IPA) Program for Educators from July 14-20, 2019. The IPA program is an exciting one-week intensive program geared towards high school educators from around the world. Based at the LIGO Hanford Observatory near Richland, Washington, the IPA program offers participants opportunities to discuss with and hear from experts in modern physics and astronomy, tour sites of historic and scientific interest, and engage in classroom activities that they can use in their home institutions. Topics of discussion range from nuclear physics to the emerging fields of gravitational wave and multi-messenger astronomy. Applications will close on January 31, 2019.


Space Exploration Educators Conference
The 25th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) will take place February 7-9, 2019 at Space Center Houston. This conference is for grades kindergarten to 12th -- and not just for science teachers! Space Center Houston strives to use space to teach across the curriculum. Attend sessions hosted by the actual scientists and engineers working on exciting endeavors like the International Space Station and explorations of Mars and the planets beyond. Hear from the astronauts leading the charge in exploration! Come learn about the bold vision to send humans back to the Moon and off to Mars! Attend sessions presented by educators and receive ready to implement classroom ideas and experience minds-on, hands-on fun. Network with fellow educators, take back a multitude of cross-curriculum ideas and activities and earn 24 hours of continuing professional education credit.

2019 Space Port Area Conference for Educators
The Space Port Area Conference for Educators (SPACE) takes place July 24-26, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This conference is for K-12 formal and informal educators who are U.S. citizens teaching in the United States. Experience stimulating presentations from astronauts and NASA science and engineering experts; tour Kennedy and surrounding facilities. Get ready-to-go lesson plans and creative ideas to infuse your classroom with STEM and multifaceted, space-related content.

Cosmic Exploration Presentation: Surprises in the Saturn System
On January 24, 2019, inquisitive adults are invited to attend the next free Cosmic Exploration presentation at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. "Surprises in the Saturn System" will be given by Dr. Linda Spilker of NASA JPL. The presentation will be live-streamed and recorded.


NASA GLOBE Observer: Adopt a Pixel Citizen Science Project
The NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Observer team invites educators, students and the public to make a better world land map using the GLOBE Observer app. The new "Land Cover: Adopt a Pixel" module lets citizen scientists photograph with their smartphones the landscape, identify the kinds of land cover they see (trees, grass, etc.) and then match their observations to satellite data. Users can also share their knowledge of the land and how it has changed.

2018-2019 Scientist for a Day Essay Contest
The Scientist for a Day contest challenges students grades 5-12 to become NASA scientists studying moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Participants examine three moons and choose the one they think NASA should return to that would yield the best scientific results. This year's topics are Saturn's moon Enceladus, Saturn's moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa. After researching the three options, students write an essay under 500 words explaining their choice. Entry Deadline: Feb. 8, 2019

Cubes in Space
Cubes in Space is a free STEAM education program for students ages 11-18. The program lets students design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in late June 2019 or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in late August 2019. Registration Deadline: Feb. 8, 2019


AAPG Teacher of the Year
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation will award $6,000 at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio in May 2019 to its Teacher of the Year (TOTY). The award will once again be granted to a K-12 teacher within the United States who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of geoscience education. The application deadline is February 1, 2019.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
The 2018-2019 nomination window for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program is now open. Teachers of grades 7-12 mathematics and science are encouraged to sign up to apply. The PAEMST awards are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The 2018-2019 nomination window will close on March 1, 2019. The application window will be open until May 1, 2019.


STAR Net's "Summer of Space"
In the summer of 2019, 16,000 libraries across the country will celebrate space exploration in their summer reading programs. The slogan "A Universe of Stories" was chosen by library professionals. This site includes a information and links to resources and activities to assist libraries in their planning.

Apollo Anniversary Resources by NISE Network
These NASA and other resources and links have been assembled by the NISE Network for museums and science centers.

LPI Apollo Anniversary Resources
Founded at the height of the Apollo program in 1968, the Lunar and Planetary Institute is proud to share our Apollo and lunar resources with the world as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo and look to the future.

NASA Models, Spacesuit Parts and More Available
NASA invites U.S. educational institutions to request space shuttle thermal protective tiles and blankets, spacesuit parts, various NASA spacecraft and aircraft models, space food packages and many other NASA artifacts for donation. A nominal shipping fee must be paid with a credit card online. Login ID: NASA Password: ARTIFACTS


Chinese Probe Lands on Moon's Far Side
China’s Chang’e 4 probe successfully landed on the far side of the Moon on Thursday, January 3. This is the first mission to land on the far side of the Moon to explore this uncharted area. The landing site is inside the Von Kármán crater, which is located within South Pole-Aitken basin. Chang’e 4 and its rover, named "Yutu-2," carry many scientific instruments selected to characterize the surface and subsurface in Von Kármán crater.

New Horizons at Ultima Thule
On January 1, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountered its second major mission target, a Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Ultima Thule is the furthest known object ever visited in the solar system. Ultima Thule is small, only 30 km long, but it is likely to be representative of other primitive objects in the solar system.

New Mission to Venus
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced plans to launch an approximate 100-kilogram orbiter to Venus in 2023.Twelve instruments are already planned for the orbiter, including cameras and spectrometers. The mission will also include a balloon that would carry instruments to approximately 55 kilometers above Venus’ surface --a region with temperatures and pressures not very different from those at the Earth’s surface.

Hear Mars!
For the first time ever, you can "hear" what Mars sounds like. The newly-landed Mars InSight mission has instruments sensitive enough to record the vibrations from the Martian wind.

News and Events

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