From: Jan Wee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Reminders, Mars Night ideas, news, etc.
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 16:00:20 -0600
Dear discuss-lfm members, Several points to share... 1) This is a reminder to those of you participating in the second Challenge Question! Please be sure to mail your responses by midnight on Halloween, October 31st. We want to be sure to include all participants answers and recognize classes and individuals who are active CQ Super Sleuths! CHALLENGE QUESTION #2: UNIMPRESSIVE CANYON Here is this week's Challenge Question: The Valles Marineris is much larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Yet, if you stood at the rim of the Valles Marineris, it probably wouldn't seem as impressive to the eye. Why? You are invited to send original student answers to us. We will list the names of these folks online and token prizes will be given out to a small number of the students with the best answers. Send your answers to Jan Wee at email@example.com Be sure to subject head your message: CHALLENGE QUESTION #2 2) For those of you who participated in the Live From the Hubble Space Telescope project (Nov.'95-April, '96), this NASA Press Release may be of interest, especially if you have a place for Neptune in your heart! HUBBLE MAKES MOVIE OF NEPTUNE'S ROTATION AND WEATHER NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has been used to assemble a time-lapse color movie showing a full 16-hour rotation of the distant planet, Neptune. The movie, made from a series of Hubble observations over nine consecutive orbits, allows astronomers to track cloud motion on the planet. The clear images show Neptune's powerful equatorial jet stream, immense storms, and dark spot in Neptune's northern hemisphere, first identified last year by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team using Hubble. The movie was made by a team of scientists led by Lawrence Sromovsky of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center and were presented at the annual meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, in Tuscon AZ. The team combined observations from Hubble and NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to observe the distant planet in a variety of wavelengths, each providing a different set of information about Neptune's clouds, their structure, and how they circulate. Scientists can make more precise calculations of Neptune's wind speeds and directions, yielding refined information about the planet's dynamic weather system. In addition to the movie, a still image is available to news media representatives by calling the Headquarters Imaging Branch on 202/358-1900. Photo numbers are: Color: 96-HC-692 B&W: 96-H-692 Image files in GIF and JPEG format and captions may be accessed on Internet via anonymous ftp from ftp.stsci.edu in /pubinfo. GIF JPEG PRC96-33 Neptune gif/nept96.gif jpeg/nept96.jpg Higher resolution digital versions (300 dpi JPEG) of the release photograph are available in /pubinfo/hrtemp: 96-33.jpg (color) and 96-33bw.jpg (black/white). GIF and JPEG images, captions and press release text are available via the World Wide Web at: http://www.stsci.edu/pubinfo/PR/96/33.html and via links in: http://www.stsci.edu/pubinfo/Latest.html or http://www.stsci.edu/pubinfo/Pictures.html. 3) MARS NIGHT... Pat Haddon's ideas regarding Mars Night reminded me that we have a Press Release Kit available to help those of you planning unique celebrations like Marg Freeman's. Don't forget to visit our web site and make use of this helpful resource: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/teachers/presskit.html More IDEAS to CONSIDER for MARS NIGHT..... You might also consider getting your local amateur astronomy group involved in the fun. You could have special "guests" bring a telescopes, image samples (if their into photography), and Mars-related resources to share. They might be willing to set up their telescopes and have families take turns for a close-up view of whatever can be seen that evening! Nothing like a *telescopic family adventure*! According to my sources, Mars will be not be visible until quite late at night (11:30pm or later), but Jupiter (S-SW) and Saturn (E-SE) will be visible about 7PM at night. Kids love riddles, tongue twisters, and jokes -- how about some of their high level creativity being devoted to having some fun with Mars-related concepts woven into these enjoyable creations! You might even put on a "talent show" that showcases some of the creativity just waiting to be tapped. MJ Savaiano, one of our PTK Advocates from Minnesota created a Cosmic Opera focusing on the future exploration of Mars. Check with MJ at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Or perhaps, MJ will share this fun project on line with all of us. You could have students do create their own set of Kid-Created Challenge Questions -- I wouldn't want to have parents be placed in an awkward position, so how about parent-student teams doing a "BEE" like competition round! Something like the National Geography Bee, only more out-of-this-world, so to speak! Make it fun, not threatening! Students and parents might enjoy composing Mars-related questions together as a team and submitting them to our *Mars Team Answers Your Question* componet of our LFM project. Questions should be sent to: email@example.com For more information about this service: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/ask/question.html Parents will likely enjoy having some of their own Mars questions answered and will be impressed with how your school is integrating science, technology, and writing skills. (It takes some thought to develop probing questions!) You might have an e-mail station set up and all ready for the submitting of questions! Students love to show off their Net-skills so be sure to have some student assistants/guides to share our Live From Mars web site. How about some Mars-treats to round out the night -- crater cookies, meteorite munchies, rift valley torte, outflow punch (RED of course) and ice cap critters--animal crackers dipped in white frosting. Well, if I think of any more Mars Night nuggets, I will post them later. I am sure others in this forum have some more great ideas. 4) By now most of you have had time to think about the Planet Explorer Toolkit activity. It would be interesting to begin a discussion of this activity (as well as any of the Opening Activities found in the LFM guide) and have some feedback from this forum. The floor is yours to contribute, ask questions, toss ideas around! Is the activity one that you find engaging? Has anyone begun the PET Activity in class yet? Share your experiences so far. Do you have concerns over any particular aspect of the activity? How will you prepare for having your students engaged in the debate forum scheduled for January? Any thoughts about the guidelines that have been established? Have a good week as you face the sugar highs that often follow Halloween! Maybe that extra energy can be directed towards turning your classroom into Mars Central! Has anyone converted their room into a Martian landscape yet? If so, it would be great to see some digital images find their way to our web site (via myself or Marc Siegel). This is an open invitation to send those images (GIF or JPEG) along with a journal describing the "action", name of the school, teacher, details as needed. We would love to see our KidsCorner as a sharing center for your students. Jan Wee, Co-Moderator Discuss-lfm Jan Wee, Education Outreach Coordinator Passport to Knowledge http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/interactive Voice: 608-786-2767 (8am-4pm Central time) Fax: 608-786-1819 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org