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6 Incredible ‘Supermoon’ Facts to Tell Your Students

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“The biggest and brightest ‘Supermoon’ in almost 69 years can be seen tonight—certainly a first for both you and your students! Here are some NASA-inspired facts you can tell your students who are interested in the phenomenon—and who won’t see another like it until 2034.”(more)

Obama Hosts Astronomy Night at the White House, Video

infoZine – Matias J. Ocner

“Giant telescopes, science projects and astronauts created an outdoor astronomy lab on a chilly Monday night at the White House for students, parents and teachers. It was the second Astronomy Night, when President Barack Obama told 300 guests that science, technology, engineering and math education in schools are important for the country’s future…“We need to inspire more young people to ask about the stars and begin that lifetime quest to become the next great scientist, or inventor, or engineer, or astronaut,” said Obama, who plans to have Americans visit Mars in the 2030s.”(more)

How to teach … Mars

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“Mars has been the subject of human fascination for a long time, and we’re closer now than ever to sending humans to explore its surface. With the revelations that there could be flowing water (and possibly life) on it – and the release of Matt Damon’s new film, The Martian – now is a great time to engage your students in the red planet. Here are some out-of-this-world lesson ideas to help you.”(more)

Tonight is the moon-viewing event of the year. When to head outside, and what to look for.

The PRI – Elizabeth Shockman

““This is going to blow people’s minds,” promises Dean Regas, an astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory and co-host of the PBS program, Star Gazers. This evening, there will be four major moon events to watch in the night sky. There will be a total lunar eclipse, the closest full moon of the year, the harvest moon and the completion of the tetrad, the fourth in a series of four lunar eclipses back to back. It’s an astronomical event that’s relatively rare. A total lunar eclipse coinciding with a ‘supermoon’ hasn’t happened for 33 years, and won’t be repeated again for another 18 years. As part of the eclipse, the moon will also turn a reddish-orange color — a phenomenon some like to call a “blood moon.” “It actually turns this eerie orange-ish reddish color,” Regas says. “What you’re seeing is the sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere and almost shining all of the sunsets and sunrises of Earth onto the moon itself. It’s a beautiful sight.” Regas recommends heading outside to watch the moon tonight. The eclipse should be visible from anywhere in the United States. It begins at 9:07 p.m. ET, and will be in total eclipse from 10:11 to 11:23 at night.”(more)

NSF Fellow Pairs Art, Astronomy to Hook Girls on Science

Education Week – Sarah D. Sparks

“Aomawa Shields spends her life searching for overlooked potential—both in habitable planets throughout the universe and in young girls interested in studying them. Shields’ nonprofit, Rising Stargirls, works to get girls, particularly those from poor and minority backgrounds, interested in astronomy careers. She argues that efforts to interest students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics should incorporate more art, drama, and other “soft” subjects…In workshops such as a recent one at Irving STEAM Magnet Middle School in Los Angeles, Shields starts by asking students to draw what they think a scientist looks like, then leads a discussion about the different ways to conduct science and to be a scientist…They also work through exercises in which they must come up with a theory about a concept and use evidence to convince another student who disagrees. “It’s all about claiming your own views and also being open to other people’s ideas,” she said—building assertiveness that female scientists sometimes have difficulty expressing.”(more)