Volume: 02, Issue: 15 09/22/2004 
Last year's winning Space Explorers, Inc. Mission Patch Contest submission from Woodruff Middle School in Seabrook, New Jersey.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
Genesis Scientists Bouncing Back From Crash
Rings and Moons and New Objects… Oh My!
X PRIZE Teams to Compete for $10 Million Prize
Expand Your Educational Horizons
 

Opportunities Abound for Classroom Activities

Teachers have numerous opportunities to change the way their students study science. Take a look at the following activities and see how you can bring science into the classroom for your students.

Fly High for Weightless Science

NASA is looking for a few adventurous students willing to test their science experiments while floating aboard the agency's famous "Weightless Wonder" aircraft. The Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, annually gives undergraduate student teams the opportunity to research, design, fabricate, fly, and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment. The student teams follow much the same path as scientists who develop experiments that fly in space.

The teams test their designs during a roller coaster-like ride that produces brief periods of microgravity, similar to what astronauts experience during spaceflight. A NASA C-9 aircraft, the military version of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 jet airliner, flies a series of carefully choreographed maneuvers to achieve the weightless effect. The "hill climbs and freefalls" create weightlessness for 25 seconds. Students will experience how the human body reacts during the 30-freefall periods during each flight.

Student teams have until Oct. 20, 2004, to send their proposals to NASA for evaluation on technical merit, safety, and an outreach plan. Selections will be announced Dec. 6, 2004, with flights beginning in the spring of 2005. Each team will have the opportunity to choose a journalist to fly with them and document their experience. For information about the Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program on the Web, visit http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov .

Chat Live with a Planetary Geologist

Space Explorers, Inc. is sponsoring a live online chat with planetary geologist Dr. R. Aileen Yingst on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004. The chat, which focuses on Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter’s moons, will take place from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Central Time.

Dr. Yingst served on the Galileo mission to Jupiter and its moons and worked closely with the Clementine lunar reconnaissance team. She spent two years with the Mars Atmospheric and Geologic Imaging Team at the University of Arizona, working as a geologist on the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Polar Lander missions. Dr. Yingst now serves as Director of the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, where she continues her research in the surface composition of Mars and the interior workings of the Moon.

If you would like to participate in the chat, you may log in and submit questions throughout the chat period. If your class does not meet during the chat time, you may submit questions prior to the event. Visit http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/mercurious/index.asp?room=yingst2004 to log in as a Space Explorers subscriber or guest. Once logged in, you may submit your question(s) prior to or during the designated chat time.

Create a Mission Patch

For each space flight that occurs, astronaut crews design unique, personalized mission patches to represent their mission. Patches include elements that describe the mission's purpose, as well as the name of the space vehicle and the mission number. Each patch is unique in its shape and colors. Space Explorers, Inc. is inviting students to design their own mission patches for their Mission Patch Contest.

Students should imagine being part of a future NASA mission. What will your mission accomplish? Will you run any experiments? If so, what type? Successful patches should contain a picture that shows the purpose of the mission and the space launch vehicle; a one- to two- sentence mission objective summary; a mission number; and the first names of your crew (please do not include last names).

Contest Rules:
1. All entries must be postmarked by Friday, Dec. 17, 2004. (Please include a note if you would like us to send back your original entries.)
2. Students may work on patches in groups or individually.
3. Please keep the size of your mission patch to one side of an 8.5" X 11" piece of paper.
4. Include teacher's name, school name and address, student's name(s), and grade level on the back of each the entry. If an electronic entry is submitted, include this information in the e-mail.

Entries will be judged by Space Explorers staff. Submissions will be judged according to three age categories: Kindergarten-3rd grade, 4th - 6th grade, and 7th grade - High School. Mission patches will earn points for creativity, design, and following project guidelines. Bonus points will be awarded for e-mailed submissions.

Submit entries via e-mail to chrissy@space-explorers.com or mail entries to Space Explores, Inc., c/o Chrissy Paape, 1825 Nimitz Dr., De Pere, WI 54115. Visit http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/communications/weekly/patch2.html for more information.

    
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