PHYSICS EDUCATION NEWS (PEN) February 1994, No. 1 An electronic newsletter of the AIP Educ

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PHYSICS EDUCATION NEWS (PEN) February 1994, No. 1 An electronic newsletter of the AIP Education Division PILOT PROGRAM DESIGNED TO ENHANCE ASTRONOMY EDUCATION In an effort to enhance the teaching of science in grades 4-9, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has started an educational pilot program called Project Astro. The program, supported by the National Science Foundation, will encourage and train amateur and professional astronomers to form partnerships with teachers in their local schools. As part of the project, the Society is developing up-to-date resource materials and activities that can be used by both teachers and visiting astronomers. These materials can be duplicated for non-commercial purposes, and will be included in the final version of the Project Resource Notebook, to be published toward the end of 1994. Comments and suggestions on the resource materials are welcome. (For more information, contact Andrew Fraknoi, Project Astro Director, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 390 Ashton Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112; telephone: 415-337-1100; fax: 415-337-5205; email: FRAKNOI%AVAX.DNET@MONAD.FHDA.EDU) NEW REPORT EXAMINES BARRIERS FOR WOMEN SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS Women comprise only about 12 percent of the employed scientific and engineering labor force in U.S. industry. A new report by the National Research Council's Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP) examines the factors contributing to this low number, and presents examples of how six companies have worked to recruit and retain greater numbers of women scientists and engineers. The report, "Women Scientists and Engineers Employed in Industry: Why So Few?" is based on a conference organized by OSEP's Committee on Women in Science and Engineering. (For ordering information, contact the National Academy Press, Office of News and Public Information, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20418; telephone: 800-624-6242) FREE RESOURCE CATALOG AVAILABLE FROM PBS VIDEO PBS Video, which distributes videotapes of programs aired on the Public Broadcasting Service, has released the latest edition of its PBS Video Resource Catalog. The free 248-page guide lists more than 1,200 programs, many of which deal with space and science related topics, that are available to educational institutions and libraries. (For a free copy, contact PBS Video, 1320 Braddock Pl., Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 800-424-7963; fax: 703-739-5269) 1994 SPACE SETTLEMENT DESIGN COMPETITION ANNOUNCED Engineers from the aerospace and computer industries have assembled requirements for the 1994 Space Settlement Design Competition, sponsored by the Spaceweek International Association in Houston, TX. Teams of 10 to 20 high school students are invited to prepare 50-page proposals describing a settlement where 15,000 people could live in Earth's orbit. Participating teams will consider basic facility design, construction techniques, allocation of interior space, human factors, computer and robotics requirements, orbital mechanics, and methods to provide simulated gravity. Materials provided include a description of current technological and space infrastructure in the simulated year of the competition, 2014, and a bibliography of reference materials. Four finalist teams will be invited to Washington, DC, to compete in a similar industry simulation game during Spaceweek, July 16-20, 1994. (For more information or registration materials, contact Spaceweek International Association, 1110 NASA Road One, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77058; telephone: 800-20-SPACE) NAS PROJECT TO CONNECT TEACHERS AND SCIENTISTS The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has initiated a new program to help K-12 teachers in certain cities improve science education in their classrooms and throughout their districts. Project RISE (Regional Initiatives in Science Education) will bring local scientists and teachers together to discuss the quality of science instruction and resources in public schools, ways to implement national reform efforts, professional development opportunities, and strategies for becoming effective advocates for science education within their districts and communities. The project will foster a national network of scientists and educators, and a newsletter and possibly an electronic network are in the works. (For more information, contact Donna M. Gerardi, Program Director, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418; telephone: 202- 334-2483) *********************** PEN is being published on a trial basis through December 31, 1994. Please tell us your opinion of PEN. American Institute of Physics Education Division Contact: Mr. Tracy Schwab 301-209-3100, ext. 6450 To subscribe to PEN: Send your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address to the AIP contact listed above.


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