Brief Summary of Proposed Project:


  Space Weather scientists propose to set up a VLF receiver under the aurora in Alaska, stream the data on the Internet,and develop materials and workshops that challenge teachers

and students to identify and log space induced very low frequency (VLF) radio waves, much like bird watching or a scavenger hunt (the Space Weather Sounds Scavenger Hunt – SWSSH).


Students will learn how to characterize various VLF radio waves by sound and sight and will be encouraged to

understand their cause. A yearly “scavenger hunt” for VLF phenomena will be sponsored, a Scavenger Hunt Activity Guide will be developed,and a Web site will be created.






E/PO Proposal Title:

Scavenger Hunt for VLF Phenomena (SHVP)


The objective of this proposal is to stimulate middle and high school students to become more interested

in learning about science and space.  The approach is to challenge students to seek out naturally occurring very

low frequency (VLF) radio waves, which are likely outside their normal experience but common in our environment.  Many types of VLF radio noise occur naturally and received colorful names when first heard on telegraph wires in the late 1800's.  Much like bird watching or a scavenger hunt, students will seek out

whistlers,chorus, and other types of VLF radio waves.

The occurrence of these radio waves is related to atmospheric and space storms, making it possible to engage students in learning how the Sun,

the Earth's magnetic field, and weather are connected in one system of interacting parts. 


The "hunt" is enabled by VLF radio receivers widely distributed through Project INSPIRE, a non-profit

scientific, educational corporation whose objective is to bring the excitement of observing natural and

manmade radio waves in the audio region to highschool students.

Two INSPIRE VLF audio streams are already available, one at NASA/MSFC broadcasts continuously anda second is often available from the University of Florida Radio Observatory. 

With this effort we will also establish the first full time, Internet streaming INSPIRE VLF receiver under the aurorae in Alaska.The web will be used to collect students observations, serve as a forum for observing tips and experiences, and for communicating with scientists about these wonders of nature.

Materials to educate students and aid teachers and other leaders will be developed as part of this effort.  Presentation of this program will be made at national and regional teacher symposia. Related teacher workshops will be provided through NASA's

Educator Resource Centers.  An educational oversight committee comprised primarily of active

K-12 educators will be established to insure effective implementation of all project tasks.





(NASA requires and expects confidentiality of all evaluation comments on this form. However, the

proposer may be debriefed orally by the appropriate NASA Program Manager regarding consensus evaluations of the proposal.)


E/PO Proposal Evaluation


(ROSS'03 Proposals)

ProposalNumber:  EPO-04-338

PI Name:  Dr. James F. Spann

Version:  Final

Proposal Title:Space Weather Sounds Scavenger Hunt (SWSSH)


Recommend for Funding

Mitzi and Dennis,

Here is the information on the two teachers who have agreed to help with the project (emails in the cc line above):

William Combs

Crawfordsville High School

Crawfordsville, IN


Micahel Brown

Montgomery Central High School

Cunningham, TN


I have cc'd them on this message, so they are aware that the project is ongoing.

Micahel can come to Huntsville.

Good meeting today,


Bill Pine


Hello Michael and William,

Bill Pine supplied your names as potential contact for our Educator Advisory Board.As a member,your

first duty would be to read and comment on our proposal, which I've attached.Our current idea for an additional Board activity, is a workshop in the summer.You would be responsible for editing/writing activities to accompany a

"scavenger hunt" for VLF space sounds. Additionally,you will show how these activities are aligned with national science and math standards. 

And, lucky you, you will spend three days in beautiful Huntsville, Alabama in mid-summer!

Please let me know what you think of

the proposal and if you've any interest in attending the workshop.  We will be meeting again this

Friday at 4 p.m. Central time to discuss this effort further.  We can certainly include you in the meeting via tele-con, if you supply me with a telephone number.

I look forward to "meeting" you on Friday.

Mitzi Adams

Back to The Astronomy Page


Beam Me Back To The Home Page