Educator Features

Sun-Earth Day 2003 - "Live from the Aurora"

Aurora Image
Aurora Image

Students and educators are invited to participate in several exciting opportunities leading to Sun-Earth Day on March 18. There are opportunities for museums, planetariums and science centers to participate in a live web cast on February 22-23 and again on March 1-2. These events will offer the audience a chance to see a sounding rocket launch and view an auroral event. Museums participating in 'Sleep over' events will be supported with activities, scientist interviews and astronaut reactions to the light shows provided by our Sun. On March 18, Passport to Knowledge will bring a live Webcast called, "Live From the Aurora", to classrooms and NASA centers through NASA TV and local PBS stations.  Students will be able to visit with scientists and other students to learn more about the aurora and local cultures in Alaska. In April, a new NASA Connect program, "Dancing in the Night Sky" will be featured. Scientist researchers working with the IMAGE and POLAR spacecrafts will join the program in Norway to share their growing knowledge about the Aurora.

This year Sun-Earth Day will introduce the Student Observation Network - a new way for students to work with real NASA data. S.O.N  was developed to provide educators with unique teaching tools that are compelling and help interest students in pursuing careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.  Students will have the opportunity to conduct investigations, use NASA data, make predictions and collaborate with other students across the nation. They will also have the ability to collect and analyze data from several sources including on-line observatory telescopes and satellite imagery.

An Educator's Resource Packet is also available. This packet includes specific materials related to learning more about the aurora and a new teacher's guide complete with activities supporting involvement in the Student Observation Network. The Educator's Resource Packet can be ordered through NASA CORE or by registering on the Sun-Earth Day website ( through the Student Observation Network.