November 2005

Hope November brings you lots of opportunities to engage effectively with your students, and that some of the resources we share with you in this newsletter are useful this month! We've highlighted a number of timely topics and activities on the website, and also include information about the Windows to the Universe Educator community around the world. We also would appreciate your feedback on the survey, linked from Julia's corner, as we try to serve you as effectively as we can with this newsletter.

Roberta's Corner

We're very pleased that 430 educators from around the world have signed up as Windows to the Universe Educators! Thank you so much for your interest, and we hope that we can use this newsletter to facilitate communication and sharing among this growing professional community. To find out more about the Windows to the Universe Educator Community, click here.

Randy's Corner

You've probably heard a Full Moon in the autumn called a "Harvest Moon" or a "Hunter's Moon". You may even realize that farmers can work late, after sunset, by the light of the Full Harvest Moon; hence the name. But did you know the Moon has ten other aliases, one for each month of the year? That the names of the Full Moon come from Native Americans, the Algonquian tribes of eastern and northern North America? Learn more at "Full Moon Names".

The Moon's nicknames supply "teachable moments" related to Earth & Space Science concepts. Some of the specific National Science Education Content Standards you might want to touch upon include:

Grades K-4: Earth and Space Science (Content Standard D)

  • Objects in the sky - The sun, moon, stars, clouds, birds, and airplanes all have properties, locations, and movements that can be observed and described.
  • Changes in earth and sky - Objects in the sky have patterns of movement. The sun, for example, appears to move across the sky in the same way every day, but its path changes slowly over the seasons. The moon moves across the sky on a daily basis much like the sun. The observable shape of the moon changes from day to day in a cycle that lasts about a month.

Grades 5-8: Earth and Space Science (Content Standard D)

Earth in the solar system:

  • The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.
  • Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. Those motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
  • Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the sun and governs the rest of the motion in the solar system.

Jennifer's Corner

Are you looking for a good warm-up activity for your students? Try the Introduction to Ozone Reading Activity. It will help students become familiar with a hot topic in the news -- ozone depletion and atmospheric studies. In this activity, students will see the difference between ozone in the troposphere and how it is different from ozone in the stratosphere. The activity has a printable article, worksheet, and answers for you!

This activity addresses National Content Standard (grades 5-8) F in which all students should develop understanding of populations, resources, and environments. It also addresses National Content Standards (grades 9-12) D&F in which students should develop understanding of Geochemical cycles and an understanding of environmental quality, natural and human-induced hazards, science and technology in local, national, and global challenges.

Lisa's Corner

Global climate change has a great effect on sea level. Several of our classroom activities enhance student understanding of sea level change, past and present. Combine Mapping Ancient Coastlines with Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise to teach that sea level change is no day at the beach (or perhaps it is). These lessons address middle school standards such as properties of Earth materials, structure of the Earth system, and Earth history (Content Standard D) as well as helping to develop map reading skills (National Geography Standard 1). As an extension, have students devise models to test whether melting glaciers or melting icebergs have an effect on sea level (glaciers do and icebergs donít)!

Marina's Corner

There was a partial lunar eclipse last October 17th - all part of a CYCLE!

There are a lot of cycles within the Earth system. You see cycles every day. In fact, each day is a part of the weekly cycle! As the beautiful colors of fall fade away to have the winter season begin, this is a good time to have your students learn more about cycles! Check out our just updated Cycle pages of water, rock, carbon, nitrogen, seasons and solar CYCLES!

Check out these applicable National Content Standards (D 9-12 Geochemical Cycles) and Unifying Concepts (all levels).

Julia's Corner

Educators! Is this newsletter helpful to you? Are there ways that it could be more helpful?

As a member of our teacher community we value your perspective! And we would appreciate your input as we make revisions to the way information is presented in our monthly newsletter to ensure that this resource is useful to you. Please complete the survey to let us know how you would like education standards treated in this newsletter. Your input will help shape the way Windows to the Universe serves the teacher community. Thanks for your participation!

Other Opportunities for Teachers!

The Seventh International Conference on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education (EWOC 2006) will be hosted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and co-sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the European Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, the World Meteorological Organization and other meteorological and oceanographic societies from around the globe. Find out more about this opportunity at the AMS website.

Attention Teachers in California! - The American Geophysical Union (AGU) will hold its annual Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop in conjunction with the fall AGU meeting in San Francisco. The workshop will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 6 and 7, 2005, at the Marriott Hotel, Golden Gate A3 0830hĖ1530h

This workshop offers teachers of pre-college students an opportunity to meet the scientists doing the research that is defining our physical world and its environment in space. This Fall's workshop, Journey to the Center of the Earth, pays tribute to Jules Verne on the centennial anniversary of his death. We will explore the latest scientific knowledge of our Earth's interior composition and structure, its early formation history (including separation of the core), the origin of hot spot volcanism, the fate of subducted slabs, and the origin and behavior of Earth's magnetic field. Educators will explore useful hands-on classroom activities, including scale models of the Earth and tools for illustrating the use of isotopes in studying Earth chemistry. Participating teachers will also have an opportunity to attend technical sessions and exhibits of the AGU meeting. Registration deadline is Wednesday, 23 November 2005, and space is limited to the first 50 participants.

Register Online by 23 November 2005. For more information, or to register by mail or fax, contact AGU Outreach:

AGU, 2000 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Tel: +1-800-966-2481, ext. 515
Fax: +1-202-328-0566

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