July 2002


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Welcome to Science Class, NSTA's monthly electronic newsletter for science educators. Every month, Science Class features a curriculum topic that is supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources: news stories, Internet "SciLinks," NSTA journal articles (sorted by grade level), books, and more. In addition, every issue includes a column on professional development, as well as NSTA news highlights. We hope you enjoy this new service from NSTA. Make sure to let us know via our Feedback link how you like the newsletter—and how we can make it better.


Space Exploration

Space exploration has the greatest impact when its findings can be shared with the general public, increasing society's appreciation not only for the practical benefits of space research but also our unique place in this marvelously vast universe. Because of the need for this vital communication, space exploration and education have always been inextricably linked.

Building on that tradition, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe announced last April that teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, who once trained with Christa McAuliffe, will be assigned to a space flight in 2004. "The time has come for NASA to complete the mission—to send an educator to space to inspire and teach our young people," O'Keefe said. (To learn more about Morgan's upcoming flight, read a NASA press release at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-06/NASA.htm.)

Morgan's flight is intended to be the first in a series of missions for a new category of space explorer—the Educator Mission Specialist, who will be responsible for bringing an educator's perspective to space flights. NASA could begin active recruitment of teachers for such missions as early as this year. (For more information on what NASA will be looking for in candidates, read a story by NSTA Reports! at http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/education_story.php?news_story_ID=47043.)

As significant as these upcoming flights will be, they comprise just one part of the broader effort to inspire the next generation of space explorers. Equally important is the work that Earth-bound science teachers do in classrooms across the world. In light of this responsibility, this issue of Science Class has been designed to help you instill in your students a sense of excitement and wonder about the universe—from galaxies billions of light years away to our solar system to the planet we call home.

Space Exploration in the News

Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Service.

If you're a fan of space news, two great sites to bookmark are: 1) SPACE.com (http://space.com), an online space news service; and 2) NASA Spacelink (http://spacelink.nasa.gov), a NASA-sponsored website for educators that provides space-related resources and news (for the latest news briefs, make sure to click on "Hot Topics").

For this issue of Science Class, we've highlighted three recent news articles that examine the ongoing search for extraterrestrial life—both here in our solar system and throughout the universe.

Read the latest news stories:


Space Exploration on the Net

SciLinks is an interactive, Web-based service from NSTA that connects your lesson and/or course materials (books and journal articles) with online content chosen just for your selected topics. Members can search by keyword or phrase and receive a list of teacher-approved Internet resources.

Elementary: What Causes Earth's Seasons? http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=3374191055

Intermediate: How Have People Explored Space? http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=5574191133

High School: Hubble Space Telescope http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=67476335111088

Space Exploration-Related NSTA Journal Articles

The following journal articles are sorted by grade level to provide you with ideas for classroom lessons and activities related to space exploration.

Elementary: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-06/elementary.htm

Intermediate: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-06/intermediate.htm

High School: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-06/high_school.htm

Books on Space Exploration

Check out these titles from NSTA Press: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-06/books.htm

Professional Development

"Being able to hold high expectations for students is a function of one's belief system. It's easy to say you hold high expectations for students; it's not easy to act as if you do. Facing one's own belief system and reshaping it is not an easy task nor can it be done in a risk-bound environment." —Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (2002)

Click here to read more:



NSTA Highlights are provided by the NSTA WebNews Service. For additional NSTA Highlights, as well as the latest science and education news, visit http://www.nsta.org/mainnews. For space exploration news specifically, visit http://www.nsta.org/sciencenews/&category_ID=201

NSTA Seeks Candidates for Field Editors of Elementary and Middle Level Journals


Astronomy With a Stick


Carolyn Randolph Begins Term as 2002–2003 NSTA President


New SciLinks® Feature Makes Web Searches Easy for NSTA Members


NSTA Member Poll

If NSTA were to produce an annual archive of journal articles, which format would you find most useful?
Would not use

How would you like the articles organized in an archive?
By the National Science Education Standards
By subject category
By author
By a general table of contents

Next Month's Theme:

Science and Other Disciplines

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For another dynamic source of classroom science information, subscribe to Science Monthly, an e-mail newsletter produced by the Learning Network, Inc. in partnership with NSTA. To subscribe, visit http://www.teachervision.com/tv/lounge/newsletter/science-signup.html.

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