Skip Navigation

Wyoming Space Grant Consortium Newsletter - PaSSWORD

Volume 5, April 30, 1995

(The PaSS Center is Funded by NASA Grant #NGT-40050)


NASA SpaceLink for Educators

The NASA Spacelink is a collection of NASA information and educational materials stored electronically. This resource may be accessed over regular phone lines if you have a computer and a modem. The computer access number is 205-895-0028. When your computer connects with NASA Spacelink, a welcome screen will appear with instructions for logging onto the system. First time users must enter the Username NEWUSER and the Password NEWUSER, after which you will be asked the number of lines your computer will display at one time (usually 24). An introduction to NASA Spacelink will follow and you will be prompted for additional information. NASA Spacelink contains information on topics from current NASA News to Classroom Materials. The list that appears on the main-menu and a description for each selection are listed in the continuing article.

All ten menu options are listed below.

  • Log Off NASA Spacelink
  • NASA Spacelink Overview
  • Current NASA News
  • Aeronautics
  • Space Exploration: Before the Shuttle
  • Space Exploration: The Shuttle and Beyond
  • NASA and its Centers
  • NASA Educational Services
  • Classroom Materials
  • Space Program Spin-offs

Current NASA News is dated information subject to daily change. Topics include listings of NASA educational workshops for teachers, news releases, shuttle status reports, copies of recent speeches by NASA managers, TV schedules, the shuttle manifest, and current shuttle flight activities. The Aeronautics selection provides information on current and past NASA research in aeronautics, including documents on the National Aerospace Plane, aircraft propulsion, wind tunnels, and aircraft design. There are two Space Exploration selections. The first selection furnishes historical information on the U. S. Space Program, including documents on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs, as well as information on planetary probes, satellites, and other unmanned missions of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The second selection includes comprehensive material on the Space Shuttle and shuttle payloads, as well as current information on topics such as Space Station Freedom, astronauts, planetary probes, space observatories, and satellites from the 80s and beyond. NASA and its Centers gives an overview of the responsibilities and resources of all NASA research Centers. NASA Educational Services includes a listing of all the major NASA educational programs. Subjects include the Aerospace Education Services, Urban Community Enrichment, Summer High School Apprenticeship Research, and Space Science Student Involvement projects and programs, as well as Teacher Workshops, Educators' mailing List, Telelecture, Teacher Resource Center, and Science Fair support. Classroom Materials may be accessed for use in the classroom, such as space science lesson plans and activities for all grade levels and many subjects. Astronomy information, film and video lists, computer programs and graphics, career information, and a source list for pictures, posters, and other educational materials may also be found within this selection. Finally, Space Program Spin-offs reports on the many ways in which Space Program research has been adapted to benefit industry and the public.

There are several methods for saving NASA Spacelink information on your own computer. One may either access any communications software and save the information to a disk or print it, or one may perform an XMODEM transfer. To perform the XMODEM transfer, first go to the desired NASA Spacelink document. When asked to choose between View and XMODEM, enter X. NASA Spacelink will tell you the size of the file, and wait for you to activate the XMODEM option in your software. When the transfer is complete, a menu will reappear. The control keys are presented in the table below.

KEY 	        RESPONSE 
C 	        Continuous Scrolling 
S 	        Stop Viewing Document 
Control/S 	Pause 
Control/Q 	Cancel Control/S 
Control/X 	Cancel XMODEM 

Another feature of NASA Spacelink is that it allows you to talk to NASA; questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed. When you log off NASA Spacelink using Option 1 from the Main Menu, you will be asked if you wish to leave a message for NASA. You may enter as many as 15 lines. To end your message, enter a blank line. The NASA Spacelink Administrator reads messages each weekday morning and responds via regular mail or with a note in your NASA Spacelink account. Good luck!

Now That I Have The Internet Connection, What Do I Use It For?

This is a commonly heard refrain. Internet connections are growing at a phenomenal rate, but their productive use is far from optimal. A goal of the PaSS Center is to provide Wyoming Teachers resources to productive use of the Internet. This will be done through our World Wide Web site, This homepage currently serves three purposes. First, it serves as a bulletin board listing all PaSS activities, both education and research oriented. Second, we will provide links to the best NASA and non-NASA teaching resources, including sample lesson plans, satellite imagery, places for teachers and students to ask scientists their questions, and real-time data (such as weather maps). Third, the Wyoming CD ROM resides on our homepage, where we continue to update, correct, and improve it. Finally, we want you to view this as your homepage. The PaSS Center homepage is interactive and gives you the ability to give us comments, so that we may improve it to meet your needs. It also allows you to upload images and text (e.g. lesson plans) to include on the Wyoming Image Database, which will be re-released next year as a CD ROM. Read the announcement of our contest in this newsletter (Contest) for the best images & text submitted to our homepage over the next 6 months.

New Programs to be Implemented for 1996-1999 Grant Period

Several new programs were discussed at the Spring 1995 Advisory Board meeting. The purpose of the newly implemented programs will be to enhance the influence and existing programs of the Wyoming Planetary and Space Science Center. A workshop on the Virtual University is being planned for Fall, 1995. The Virtual University will be coordinated and funded by: University of Wyoming (UW) Natural Science Program, PaSS Center, and possibly the UW Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). Several nationally recognized authorities on distance learning, video instruction, and instruction over the Internet will be consulted and asked to participate. This meeting will be open to any professional educators.

A Mini-Symposium & Trade Fair will be hosted by the PaSS Center in 1996. The goal is to bring together Wyoming students researchers, and industrial representatives, who are interested in the planetary and space sciences. Planned activities include: (a) 15 minute oral presentations; (b) exhibits and poster papers; and (c) organizational meetings among researchers and industrial representatives with similar interests. These activities are being planned in order to foster communication between researchers who have similar interests but may not have previously met, and among UW faculty and industrial representatives who may be interested in exploring the possibilities of joint research and education projects.

A new Distributive Space Sciences Minor is to be developed by the PaSS Center. We will make this an attractive addition to undergraduates by virtue of adding a significant measure of employability to a student's record. The minor will involve 20 credit hours and include courses in GPS, GIS, and remote sensing in order to provide students with tangible skills not otherwise acquired in their majors.

Five Wyoming school districts are participating in the pilot phase of the Earth Systems Science Internet Project. This new project is funded by the PaSS Center at $49,300 and by an Eisenhower grant of $9,500. The primary objective of the project is to form a collaborative partnership between UW scientists, UW science educators and Wyoming K-12 educators in order to tap NASA databases and provide students with authentic learning experiences in Earth Systems Science (ESS).

Cheyenne, Lusk, Casper, Jackson Hole and Green River have identified a pilot team of 3-5 teachers who will begin work on an Earth Systems Science module during the 1996 Spring semester. The teams of teachers will meet with UW science educators and scientists to consider possible ESS topics, to determine the topic for the first 3-6 week module, and to begin initial development of the module. Students who participate in the module will be involved in first hand data collection, the exchange of data and ideas across the internet, interactive searches of global data sets, and collaborative problem solving. Implementation of the first module will occur in the Fall of 1996.

The tested ESS modules will be provided to all interested Wyoming school districts and teachers. Teacher inservice experiences, designed to provide project participants with necessary content background and technological expertise, will be available. For more information, contact Dr. Patricia McClurg, ESS Project Director, at the University of Wyoming.

Five states are cooperatively organizing the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC). The main goal of the UMAC program is to introduce rural America to space technology and NASA programs, to enhance NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) and Mission to Planet Earth. A planning grant of $350,000 has been awarded.

The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series will Include Astronaut Jerry Ross

The PaSS Center will resume the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series this Spring (1995). Professor Lofti Zadeh is scheduled to give a public talk on Fuzzy Logic March 14th. Professor Zadeh is known as the father of fuzzy logic. Astronaut Jerry Ross has tentatively agreed to visit Wyoming April 18th. Jerry Ross was scheduled to fly on the Atlantis in November. More information on both speakers will be available as the dates approach. Listen to STARDATE on Wyoming Public Radio for the final announcements.

WyoPhysNet is On-line

The Physics Department has asked us to advertise WyoPhysNet which is intended as a news group for all instructors and students of Physics and Astronomy in Wyoming. It addresses three aims: 1) to serve as a communications medium for all instructors of Physics and Astronomy including K-12, Community College, and the University; 2) to announce news about events and services; and 3) to answer general physics and astronomy questions (no homework problems please) from students in Wyoming, K through University. To subscribe, send e-mail to:
with SUBSCRIBE WyoPhysNet as the entire message.

After you have subscribed, you can find commands and options by sending the message HELP to the same address. Subscribers can post comments, questions, and answers by sending e-mail to:


Important Announcements


Version 2.0 of the Wyo Images CD-ROM was recently completed and over 800 copies were distributed FREE of charge to Secondary Science and Mathematics Teachers, NASA Space Grant Directors, and various other people who had requested the Wyoming CD ROM. A second mailing of the CD ROMs went out to teachers who had previously attended the Image Workshops. To help you in selecting images, we have printed out the filenames with "human" titles next to the file name. The hard copy will be mailed shortly, or you may find the list on our WWW homepage.

This is the first version in which the PaSS Center has been involved with development and production, and our first response, from secondary teacher Dave Harman, was very favorable. Mr. Herman wrote, "I am so excited! I've only just had time to preview it but it is exactly what the doctor ordered." We now know that we can produce a CD ROM, and the next version will have sharpened images and many more selections.


The PaSS Center is sponsoring a contest for the best Wyoming maps, images of Wyoming, images related to the space sciences, or images of general use to Wyoming teachers. ALL submitted images must be accompanied by a title and descriptive text. Prizes will be in the form of cash, computer equipment or software of your choice. First prize is $300, second prize is $100, and third prize is $50. Images will be judged according to quality first, usefulness second, and quantity third. These images and other quality images that are submitted will be included on the next version of our Wyoming CD ROM. Everyone whose image is included on the next version of our CD ROM will receive a FREE Wyoming CD ROM. The contest will close April 15, 1995. Rules on the submission of images, or contact Teresa Ciardi at (307) 766-2862 or see our WWW homepage.


In our last newsletter, we announced that we have a homepage on the World Wide Web. We are increasing the amount of information on our homepage to create a more useful resource for those who access it. Furthermore, we are in the process of hiring 1-2 commercial art students to enhance the visual presentation of our homepage. Our homepage address is:
The Wyoming CD ROM images are also now on the homepage for those of you who were not on our original mailing list.


Star Date is a daily two-minute radio series about the star, the planets, and the Universe. The program alerts listeners to what is visible in the night sky each day. Star Date is on Wyoming Public Radio twice a day, seven days a week. The times of broadcast are:

M-F   6:33 am & 3:58 pm
Sat   6:58 am & 8:00 pm
Sun   9:00 am & 6:00 pm

Since the PaSS Center is an underwriter for the program, we will announce current upcoming events via Star Date.


Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA contractor Jackson and Tull has developed and funded a series of interactive computer packages to teach elementary school children about space. PCs In Space is currently a series of five software modules:

  1. The Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission (grades 6 to 9)
  2. Exploring the Solar System (grades 3 to 9)
  3. Exploring the Sun (grades 6 to 9)
  4. Exploring the Universe (grades 3 to 9)
  5. Exploring the Earth (grades 3 to 9)

There are separate software packages for IBM Compatible and Apple Macintosh computers. The company's goal is to distribute these modules to elementary schools across the country FREE of charge.
The PaSS Center has approximately 160 sets of software for each type of computer. We will distribute these on a first come first serve basis.
To request your software package:
1) Call (307) 766-2862
2) Request either IBM or Mac. software.
This software is available online here.


The Texas Space Grant Consortium Summer Institute is geared for Middle and Secondary School Teachers. The LiftOff '96 program will occur July 15-19, 1996 at the Center for Advanced Space Studies, adjacent to the NASA Johnson Space Center. LiftOff '96 features: 1) tours of local space facilities and Space Center Houston; 2) discussion groups and hands-on activities; 3) free classroom activities and materials; 4) World-Wide Web and e-mail access; and 5) presentations by astronauts, scientists, and engineers. The PaSS Center will sponsor 2-5 Wyoming Teachers to attend. Eligibility Requirements include:

  • teachers must currently teach 6th-12th grade students in a public school system in Wyoming
  • teachers must have at least two years teaching experience in math or science of the 6th-12th grade level in Wyoming
  • teachers must demonstrate a willingness to participate in follow-up activities For more information and to request an application, contact Teresa Ciardi at the PaSS Center (see front page for address and phone).


Dr. Eugene Shoemaker gave a public lecture on Periodic Comet Shoemaker-Levy IX. The talk was video taped and 5 VHS copies remain. If you would like to have one of these copies, contact us at (307) 766-2862. The remaining copies will be FREE of charge.


The PaSS Center has included two new affiliates: US West and Sheridan College. As affiliates, both will have the opportunity to utilize funds for PaSS Center programs at their location. Furthermore, representatives from both have been added to our advisory board and will be part of the decision making process. We welcome Michael Trujillo from US West and Steve Maier from Sheridan College.


The 1996 Guide for NASA Fellowships in Aeronautics and Space Research is available at the PaSS Center office. General Information and NASA Center Program Participants are included in the guide as well as an application form. Anyone interested in participating in this program should contact our office at (307) 766-2862.


Flyers announcing fellowship opportunities will be distributed to UW Faculty and Administrators soon. Announcements include how to propose and criteria for selection. Proposals for ALL Fellowship Programs will be due on the same date. An informal proposal writing workshop will be scheduled during the second week of classes in January (1996).

The 2nd Meeting between the UW PaSS Center & Industry

The meeting was held in August, 1995, at the Fort Collins Marriott. Three industries were represented, including Echo-Star, Hewlett Packard, and US West. The attendees were PaSS Center Project Coordinator Teresa Ciardi, Echo-Star Representative Brent Gale, Computer Science Associate Professor Rex Gantenbein, PaSS Center Director Paul Johnson, Geology and Geophysics Professor Jim McClurg, Education Professor Pat McClurg, Hewlett Packard Representative John Riggen, and US West Representative Michael Trujillo.

The main topic of discussion was use of the internet and technology. There was agreement among those who attended that internet projects must have a specific focus to be meaningful. John Riggen from Hewlett Packard informed us that the U. S. Space Foundation, located in Colorado Springs, provides a system for downloading a full week of curriculum for a specified topic and grade level.

Regarding technology, the Wyoming Governor's office is particularly interested in the development of telecommunications. Brent Gale from Echo-Star stated that they may soon be able to broadcast video from Laramie to Cheyenne (point-to-point) using fiber optic cables. Furthermore, the Echo-Star system is completely digital. Michael Trujillo informed the group that US West could download from the Echo-Star satellite to a central computer, and distribute information via existing lines (point-to-multipoint). Such integration and use of systems have great potential for distance learning.

A cooperative project was proposed, and a set of workshops was suggested. The representatives US West and Echo-Star were very interested in becoming involved with the PaSS Center. Although the joint project has not yet begun, US West has become an industrial affiliate of the PaSS Center. We hope to bring in Ball Aerospace and Echo-Star as well.

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

December 8, 1995

Advisory Board Meeting

January 1996

An informal proposal writing workshop is planned for the second week of classes

February 21, 1996

Proposals due for ALL Fellowship Programs:

  • Graduate Fellowships
  • Undergrad Fellowships
  • Faculty Fellowships

March 14, 1996

Professor Lofti Zadeh is scheduled to give a public lecture on Fuzzy Logic

April 18, 1996

Astronaut Jerry Ross is tentatively scheduled to give a public talk

This page was last updated Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:14 PM

NASA logo

NASA is an investment in America's future.
As explorers, pioneers, and innovators, we
boldly expand frontiers in air and space to
inspire and serve America and to benefit the
quality of life on Earth.