Blog News October 19, 2009

 Posted by DrJeff on October 19th, 2009

 Copyright 2009  |  About this blog


A great deal has been happening at the Blog this past month, so I thought I’d give you an update.


MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury, and Ongoing Updates

through Orbital Insertion in March 2011

We had a great time at Mission Control covering the MESSENGER flyby of Mercury live via Twitter September 29 through October 1. Judging from the tens of thousands of page views that week, lots of folks were going along for the ride. Cool! That’s why we did it!


I recently put up a MESSENGER Updates Post which will be providing ongoing updates through MESSENGER’s orbital insertion at Mercury in March 18, 2011. If you’ve not seen the Post yet, you’ll be surprised at how many updates there are already, and the other cool resources provided there, including a play-by-play of the nail-biting in Mission Control when we lost signal from the spacecraft near close approach, and the Twitter Archives of us Voices of Mission Control which allow you to relive the experience. Note the MESSENGER Updates Post can always be accessed from the TMN QuickLinks Box at upper right. Over the next 18 months, you’re also invited to use the MESSENGER Ideas for Lessons in the Classroom, and Educational Resources Post which addresses the nature of human exploration, the exploration of the Solar System, and the exploration of Mercury, with powerful essays, activities, and lessons.


A Presentation on the Universe For Your School or Community?

This week I was honored to accept an invitation to deliver the Keynote Address at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, October 28-30, 2010. On August 20, 2009, I had the privilege of giving the Keynote to 600 secondary science teachers in the Houston area at the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Professional Development Day. And my staff and I are gearing up to deliver 12 Family Science Night evenings this Winter at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, and at the Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport in Virginia (think Night at the Museum 2—the Movie). Each evening is for 450 students, parents and their teachers from DC-area schools.


We also conduct these powerful family learning programs across the nation. Hey, if you’d like to explore a program for families at your school—or across your entire community; a special program just for teachers and their families; or a professional development program for teachers of science, then contact me HERE. All these programs embrace the same philosophy as this Blog—Inspire … then Educate, and Conceptual Understanding at an Emotional Level. Here’s a list of my personal talks, and comments from attendees. Drs. Timothy Livengood and Harri Vanhala, also researchers at the Center, are available as well.


The Blog on the Universe Legion of Ambassadors

We’ll soon be launching the Blog on the Universe LEGION OF AMBASSADORS program. We’re looking for about 100 Tweeps interested in becoming official Ambassadors, helping us get word out on new Blog posts via their PLNs, and providing me with new direction for the Blog. The Ambassadors will have a formal affiliation with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, which oversees national initiatives like the Voyage National Program, (see Voyage model Solar Systems in different communities at our Facebook page photoalbum), Journey through the Universe, the MESSENGER Educator Fellows Program, Family Science Night at the National Air and Space Museum, and Blog on the Universe. The Center also conducts planetary atmospheres research through a Cooperative Agreement with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


Ambassadors will have an official section here at Blog on the Universe, where they will be listed with their photos and links to their websites, blogs, and social networks. Ambassadors will get an e-template for an official business card, and a press release for local media. (I think there may be a decoder ring involved too.) Are you a Legionnaire?


Quick Links Feature and Teachers Toolbox

The new Teachable Moments in the News (TMN) QuickLinks Box in the upper right corner was launched this month. It is tracking current news stories and events that can be made into teachable moments through the use of this Blog’s existing library of Posts and Resource Pages. The idea is to provide conceptual understanding for current science. You’ll also note that the TMN QuickLinks feature, together with the Teachers Lesson Planner are tools found in the new Teachers Toolbox. These pages are all found in the right column under “Teachers Toolbox”.


UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009

We will soon be putting up a countdown clock for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen December 7-18, 2009. I recently wrote a Post about how critical I feel this meeting is for the future of the planet Earth we know. On that Post I pulled together an overview of all the climate change posts to date here at the Bog. These are PERSPECTIVE-CHANGING POSTS on the fragility of the atmosphere, the impact of technology, the rate of population growth, and humanity’s impact on climate. I’d love to see these Posts put to work in the 2 months leading up to the Copenhagen Summit. Take a look.


BotU Banners. Widgets, and Flyers

I think Blog on the Universe is gaining a following even though it was only launched in May. It’s now showing up in Blogrolls and as links at websites. I’ve had a number of requests for banners, a flyer, a Blog description for incorporation into an emailing—even a request for widgets. They are all now available at the Blog’s Banners, Widgets & Flyers Page.


That’ it for now!




visit Store Galactica, supporting programs of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

2 Responses to “Blog News October 19, 2009”

  1. Sally Jean Jensen Says:
    October 20th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Heh!! A decoder ring? I am in. This program sound terrific. I am talking about the blog in every presentation to schools and workshops. I have a presentation this Friday and a workshop on Sunday. I do not have as many people or students in the audience, but one at a time is all it takes. I am interested.

  2. Cindy Keeling Says:
    October 23rd, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    It sounds great. Just let me know the details.