NSTA, Phoenix

From: lindgren@tiac.net (Charles F. Lindgren)
Subject: NSTA, Phoenix
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 16:19:46 -0500 (EST)

It's been a week since Phoenix and the NSTA Conference. This week I'm home
and my wife is away visiting "The Kid" for parent's weekend. I'm grounded
because most of the neat stuff happens Sunday night and I could never get
from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and Teach after driving all night. She
left me with a request: "get all of your Convention materials (only she
didn't say 'materials') out of the living room before I get back!" So I
did. As I'm doing that I want to send you a report on the good
materials/sessions I encountered on Mars:

Best Session - "Exploring Crustal Material from a Mystery Planet (Mars)"

There was a great introduction to this. John Gallagher from Port Angeles
Washington was the principle presenter. He mentioned that Ken Edgett, who
was standing at the back of the room,  had just returned from Moscow after
attending a planetary science meeting there. Before he left he managed to
obtain a sample of Martian material that was returned from their probe.
Unfortunately the camera malfunctioned on the probe so we didn't have any
photographs. It was our task to analyze the sample and identify the site
characteristics. THIS WAS GREAT!!! The material package was fantastic.
Virtually ever scientific concept from classification to observation to
inference was brought into this lesson. This lesson was originally created
by "Time, Space & Matter" (TSM) one of the first "letter" Programs of the
'60s. They did it with mineral chips to introduce the concept of
dichotomous classification and mineral physical characteristics - this is
far superior.

You might want to use this in addition to our PTK materials/resources.

The materials are available for $2.65 per packet (one packet per two
stuidents) from Spectrum House U.S.A., Dept. NSTA-9601-AZ, 1501 West 19th
Street, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613. Tel. (319) 266-8377 (for immediate
delivery)  or fax (319)266-6329.

I though I could duplicate this mixture, trust me - you can't!!! Invest $50
it's great! In addition to the materials you supposedly get instructions
for its use.

Best Deal - "Arizona Mars K-12 Educational Program". $5.00. It highlights
the Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer Project.  The line
drawings are worth the $5!!!  This is a spiral bound booklet (145 pages)
highlighting the Surveyor and Pathfinder Mission. It brings everything
together from a host of other sources.  There is also a HUGE teacher
resources section at the back of the booklet which extends for 32 pages!!!
  Order via Ken Edgett, Mars K-12 Education Program, Dept. of Geology, Box
871404, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404
FAX (602)965-1787; e-mail  <edgett@esther.la.asu.edu> te. (602)965-1790

Best Lesson - I'm sure extra terrestrials will become a part of the
discusssions. I went to a Saturday 8:00 AM session (which had quite a
crowd!!) on "Life in the Universe: SETI for Grades 3-9" The workshop had us
design an Extra-terrestrial based on the roll of the die. It was great. I
snail-mailed a copy of the lesson to Jan. It's designed for grades 5-6.
Most of us thought that it was more in tune with 7-8.

Edna DeVore, Science Education Coordinator, SETI Institute, 2035 Landings
Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043. Tel (415)961-6633 FAX (415)961-7099 e-mail
ed_dept@seti.org  www.seti-inst.edu

In the "What do you think I am, made of money?"  catagory

"Craters" NSTA publication PB120X $24.95. Yes I bought this. In addition to
the classic "whatever dropped into the whatever" to show crater and ray
formation, there are a whole series of lessons on craters including a
CD-ROM  (Mac and Windows) showing craters in the solar system. The text
deals with crater formation on many terrestrial objects as well as a
DETAILED discussion of the death of the Dinosaurs and the K-T boundary.  It
looks Great!!!

I also purchased The Astronomy Society of the Pacific's "The Universe at
Your Fingertips" (see page 64 of Live from Mars" teacher's guide) which is
a loose-leaf tome for $29.95.  This REALLY looks great. It was reviewed in
Sky and Telescope during the Hyakutake visitation, and they gave it rave

The other session I attended included pertinent to our program were:

"Venus Topographic Box" which is a slight variation of the Topo assignment
in our guide

"Image Processing in Scientific Research and in the Science Classroom"
which highlighted the NIH program (My favorite!!!!)

"Exploring Planets from your Classroom - Red Rover" A disappointment!!!

If you have any questions, feel free . . .