August 2010 Science News and Information

August 2010 Science News and Information
Ranger Rick on the Oil Spill (National Wildlife Federation) Grades 5-8
Encyclopedia of Life Resources on Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
(Species, habitats and links)
NOAA Information on Coastal Ecosystems and the Oil Impact
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Grades 7-12
NOAA Fact Sheet: Oil Spills and Coral Reefs
Oil and Sea Turtles: Biology, Planning, and Response
NOAA Fact Sheet: Effects of Oil on Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles
Mexico and the Effects of Oil:
What is the Story on Oil Spills?
NOAA: Understanding Tarballs:
NOAA Fact Sheet: Hurricanes and the Oil Spill
NOAA Fact Sheet: Fish Stocks in the Gulf of Mexico
NOAA Fact Sheet: Fishing Industry in the Gulf of Mexico
Demonstrating Oil Floats and Spreads
LSU’s Earth Scan Laboratory Oil Spill Imaging
NOAA Ocean Explorer PD
Lessons from the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico’s Deep-Sea Ecosystems is an online professional
development offering for teachers. The materials are supported by addresses from scientists, Lesson plans,
and background information on the Deepwater Horizon blowout event and its impacts. Deep-sea oil wells will
be addressed in addition to deep sea ecosystems. Links to NOAA’s other resources will also be available.
The workshop is free for all participants and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One graduate
credit can be earned if the teachers should wish. To register, go to:
Sea Level Rise Information and Presentations
Please check out the website to view videos of all presentations and
obtain data presented at the Sea Level Rise conference held March 1-3, 2010 in Corpus Christi, Texas. This
conference was sponsored by the Harte Research Institute and GOMA.
Ann Wilson, Science Program Coordinator, LDOE
August 2010 Science News and Information
Louisiana Land Loss
An animation of Land Loss for Louisiana 1932 to predictions for 2050 is located at
Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
This video from NOVA provides teacher background and evidence supporting
the biological theory of evolution. Access this 1 hour, 52 minute video at
The site,, is produced by the Federal Citizen Information Center. It offers links to trustworthy,
high quality sites for use in educating elementary and middle school age children. It is a place to explore,
learn, and have fun. Topics include the following:
 Who makes things and how they work,
 World digital library resources,
 Become an analyst,
 Becoming a neighborhood explorer,
 Explore my wonderful world,
 Learn how to escape a fire,
 Discover different energy sources,
 Climate time machine, and
 Earth, space and technology (NASA resources).
In addition, it contains links to sites for videos, parents, and teachers.
Free Biology and Health Science Resources
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health,
has a growing collection of free science education materials. These printed and online resources focus on
medically relevant life sciences and are geared for grades 9-12 (although they are also used in middle
schools and at universities). Sample materials available online at include:
 Findings magazine to introduce students to cutting-edge research and to the lives of scientists.
 Award-winning booklets on topics like cell biology, genetics, chemistry, pharmacology, structural
biology, and computational biology. Some are enhanced with additional online content.
 Interactive games and crossword puzzles that teach science.
 Scientific image galleries containing downloadable photos, illustrations, and films.
 Video and audio interviews with scientists.
 A monthly electronic newsletter that highlights recent scientific advances.
The mission of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is to support research that
increases understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis,
treatment, and prevention. More details are at
The Human Genome Project: 10th Anniversary
The goal of the Human Genome Project was to find the genetic roots of common diseases such as cancer
and Alzheimer's. Learn more about this fascinating research -- why it's so important, and what we can expect
next -- in three Annenberg Media courses. Rediscovering Biology devotes its first unit to today's genomic
research, how it has shifted over the years, new techniques, and ethical issues at Watch as scientists describe what they have
learned and take advantage of the animations, images and interview transcripts on the Web site.
Ozone Trap and Zap Game
Ozone is both good and bad. It’s good when it’s high in the stratosphere, where it protects us from harmful
ultraviolet radiation. But at the top of the troposphere, ozone is a greenhouse gas. Mid-troposphere, ozone
mops up pollutants. At the surface, though, ozone harms plants and causes health problems for animals—
and us. The new “Ozone Trap-n-Zap” game on The Space Place gives you the opportunity to set things right.
Ozone molecules fly in at all levels, and your job is to trap them where they will help and zap them where they
won't. It is fun and fast-moving, and you'll never be blasé about ozone again. Go to
Ann Wilson, Science Program Coordinator, LDOE
August 2010 Science News and Information
Schoolyard Habitats
If you’ve ever thought about building or improving a school garden or creating a wildlife friendly outdoor
classroom, now is the perfect time to start planning. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is offering the
free webinar - "How to Get Started on Creating an Outdoor Classroom” on August 24, 2010 from
2:00-3:30 p.m. CDT.
The webinar will cover the basics of:
1. Planning, installing and maintaining a Schoolyard Habitat (outdoor classroom).
2. How to use your habitat (garden) as a teaching tool for meeting standards of learning.
For Complete Details / Pre-register: or
contact Katheryn Lynn, Jefferson Memorial Forest, (502) 366-5432,
NASA Smart Skies (Distance-Time Graphs)
NASA has released an interactive online tool that enables students to simultaneously visualize and
manipulate three linked representations of a distance-rate-time problem. The side-by-side tool format features
two airplanes (each flying at a constant speed) on merging jet routes, the corresponding distance-vs.-time
graphs, and the corresponding linear equations. To access the new tool, visit
Students can manipulate an airplane’s speed and starting position on its route, rotate or shift the associated
line on the graph, and change the parameters of the associated equation. As students change one
representation, the other representations update accordingly. The free classroom materials include the tool,
student workbooks, assessments, and teacher guides. The new tool is from NASA Smart Skies -- distancerate-time investigations that engage students in the challenges faced by air traffic controllers.
NASA’s Cassini Scientist for a Day Contest
The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn.
Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and choose the one they think will yield
the best scientific results. This choice must then be supported in a 500-word essay. Teaming up is
encouraged. Winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini scientists.
The contest is open to all students in the United States from grades 5-12, working alone or in groups of up to
four students. The essays will be divided into three groups: grades 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. All submissions must be
students' original work. Each student can submit only one entry. Deadline for Fall 2010 submissions is noon
Pacific time (3 p.m. EDT) on Oct. 27, 2010.
For more information, visit If you have questions about this
contest, please e-mail your inquiries to
NASA Engineering Design Challenge (High School)
The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge invites high school students to work
cooperatively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to the James Webb Space
In Phase 1 of this education initiative, students explore and design solutions to two real-world problems
related to the James Webb Space Telescope. For this phase, participants work in teams of three-to-five
students. Final RealWorld project solutions from this first phase of the challenge are due on Dec. 15, 2010.
Teams who complete Phase 1 are then paired with participating college engineering students to begin Phase
2, the InWorld phase of the challenge. Working in a virtual world setting, each newly formed InWorld team
uses 21st-century tools to refine designs and create 3-D models of the Webb telescope.
For more information about the challenge, visit
Questions about this opportunity should be directed to
Ann Wilson, Science Program Coordinator, LDOE
August 2010 Science News and Information
2010 Earth Science Week Contests
The American Geological Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests in
conjunction with Earth Science Week 2010, celebrating the theme of "Exploring Energy,"
October 10-16.
Photography: Students, scientists, and the general public are encouraged to enter this year’s Earth
Science Week photography contest, We Depend on Energy. Entrants should submit images that
capture the way energy is used in their communities. Students in grades K-5 are eligible to enter the
visual arts contest, Energy on Earth. Two-dimensional original pieces of art should depict answers to
questions such as, where does energy come from, or how do people find and study energy resources?
Entries should illustrate, in creative and engaging ways, where energy comes from, and how it is used.
 Essay: The essay contest, How Energy Powers the Planet, is open to students in grades 6-9. Onepage essays should focus on how Earth system processes develop energy resources, how human use
of energy affects the Earth system, and how people can be responsible stewards of Earth’s energy
For more information on these contests including guidelines, deadlines, and how to submit your entry, visit
Louisiana Curriculum Literacy Strategies on Teacher Tube
Several of Louisiana’s content area literacy strategy videos have been posted to the
website. See the URLs below for videos of several of the literacy strategies used in the Louisiana
Comprehensive Curriculum. It is important that all parts of a video be viewed in the indicated numerical order
to obtain a complete understanding of the implementation of a strategy. A link to the Literacy Strategy Videos
and to the Literacy Strategy descriptions is now on the Curriculum Portal on the Resources section. Select
TEACHERS TAB, CURRICULUM PORTAL, and RESOURCES SECTION (lower left ) or go to either or
Operation: Tectonic Fury - JASON's New Geology Curriculum
The JASON Project is pleased to announce the launch of their latest middle-school
science curriculum, Operation: Tectonic Fury. Featuring prominent scientists from
NOAA, The Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge
National Laboratory and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, this exciting unit
takes your students from the top of Mount St. Helens to the depths of a West Virginia
mine in search of answers to Earth's oldest mysteries.
Operation: Tectonic Fury is available free online as either an interactive Web
site, or as free PDF downloads for printing.
To learn more about Operation Fury, go to
Quality Science and Math (QSM) Grants
The QSM website is active for the 2010-11 year. It may be reached either by using the QSM link at or by The deadline for grant submission is Friday,
September 17, 2010.
Ann Wilson, Science Program Coordinator, LDOE
August 2010 Science News and Information
B-WET Program Grant Opportunity
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Region, is seeking proposals under the Gulf of
Mexico B-WET Program. The B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes
locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. Funded projects provide meaningful
watershed educational experiences for students, related professional development for teachers, and help
to support regional education and environmental priorities in the Gulf of Mexico. This program addresses
NOAA's mission goal to ``Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources
Through an Ecosystem Approach to Management.''
Eligible applicants are K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, institutions of higher
education, community-based and nonprofit organizations, state or local government agencies, interstate
agencies, and Indian tribal governments. For the RFP and more information, go to
Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology (for AP Students)
In partnership with the College Board, the Siemens Foundation established the Siemens Competition in Math,
Science & Technology and the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement.
The Siemens Competition seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or
team research projects. It fosters intensive research that improves students’ understanding of the value of
scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines.
Students can compete as an individual or as a member of a team.
 Additionally, students who have earned scores of 5 in AP science and math may be eligible for a
$2,000 to $5,000 scholarship.
 Scholarships in the amount of $2,000 are awarded to students from each of the 50 states who have
earned the greatest number of AP scores of 5 in eight exams.
Students are awarded in the state where their high school is located. Each state potentially has two winners,
one male and one female. Two additional national winners (one male, one female) are awarded a $5,000
college scholarship. The exams are: biology, calculus BC, chemistry, computer science A, environmental
science, physics C: mechanics, physics C: electricity and magnetism, and statistics.
For additional information, go to
Free Textbooks and Guides
Did you know? Courses that include a FREE online textbook and guide as well as our coordinated Web
sites include:
 Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives;
 The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science; and
 Mathematics Illuminated
Ann Wilson, Science Program Coordinator, LDOE