Education: August 2004 Archives

From the Virtual AGC homepage: "The purpose of this project is to provide an emulation of the Apollo guidance computer, along with some ancillary items needed to make the emulation do something interesting. "Interesting" is, of course, a subjective notion, and there are plenty of additional components one might want to add to the simulation to make it more interesting."

Editor's note: The MIT people behind this project could use some help from anyone who is familiar with Apollo computer systems. Meanwhile you can download what they have been working on.

Earlier entries



15 June 2004: Shooting for the moon or Mars? Think young, OpEd, USA Today

"What more satisfying career can there be for a young engineer than to design and build the ships that will carry humans back to the moon, then on to Mars and beyond? Such prospects would sustain students through the grueling hours of study and tests. The shortage of young engineers and scientists would be transformed in a short time into a surfeit."



10 June 2004: NASA Launches New Teacher Network, NASA JSC

"Educators from 39 states will help NASA continue the unique connection between space exploration and the classroom. The educators are participating in a four-day workshop hosted by NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, June 15-19. Reporters interested in attending the workshop should contact Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters by 3 p.m. EDT, Monday at: 281/483- 5111."

Editor's note: Oh why bother even sending this press release out?

It was 1:30 PM EDT on 10 June when I received this press release. The event starts in less than 4 days and I have to let JSC PAO know by Monday - the day before the event. Given the fact that government offices are closed on Friday that leaves just one working day to respond. If I had wanted to attend this event I would have just 4 days notice and would have to purchase a last minute (higher cost) airline ticket. If I worked for a larger news organization my assignment editor might just say that this would come out of my overall travel budget and cost as much as covering several other events. As such, the only people who are likely to cover this are local Houston media or reporters who were somehow given a heads up through other means.

What a great way to showcase NASA education programs. Again, why even bother to even send this press release out?





16 May 2004: NASA greets UND grads, Grand Forks Herald

"Sean O'Keefe, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, capped his speech with a video clip of two space men greeting UND's 116th graduating class from 250 miles above the earth. "Now if you don't remember anything else about this afternoon, at least you can tell your kids and grandkids that you were part of the first graduating class to ever be addressed by a speaker from outer space," O'Keefe said."

14 May 2004: GRADUATION: UND's lucky 100,000 who will it be?, University of North Dakota

"UND will hold its general commencement at 1:30 p.m. in the Alerus Center. NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe will deliver the keynote address."

14 May 2004: NASA chief speaks in Lewiston, WMTW

"Sean O'Keefe was the keynote speaker at a dinner celebrating the economic growth of Lewiston and Auburn. O'Keefe, whose parents live in Bath, said he loves coming to Maine to be able to look up and see the stars at night."

15 May 2004: NASA head cites dip in tech grads, AP

13 May 2004: Colleges use creativity to land speakers.Inforumnews.com

"Sen. Byron Dorgan, a 1965 graduate of UND, made a personal request for NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe to consider the speaking engagement. It helped that UND is home to the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, Wittmann said. UND offers travel expenses but otherwise doesn't pay for speakers, he said. Nationally known speakers such as O'Keefe can bring not only a strong message to students, but also attention to the campus, Wittmann said. "It's certainly not the primary reason for inviting them, but it certainly is there," he said."

13 May 2004: Rowan graduation features NASA chief, Gloucester County Times

"Sean O'Keefe, who has served as the NASA administrator since December 2001, leads the NASA team and manages its resources as the agency advances exploration and discovery in aeronautics and space technologies."




15 March 2004: War of the Words: Scientist Attacks Alien Claims, space.com

"Astronomer Philip Plait is tired of radio personality Richard Hoagland's claims. He's had enough of Hoagland's assertions that NASA is covering up evidence of extraterrestrial life, that the infamous Face on Mars was built by sentient aliens and, of late, that otherworldly machine parts are embedded in the red planet's dirt."

Editor's note: This space.com article by Robert Roy Britt is an excellent expose of the pseudoscience goofery and quackery which, sadly, is all too common these days on the web. Well worth reading. Phil Plait (featured in the article) has done a wonderful job of debunking some of this nonsense. His Bad Astronomy.com website is well worth a visit as well.




9 April 2004: NASA's a blast at Sheridan, Yale Daily News

"Nothing was typical about Thursday at Sheridan -- least of all the guest list. [astronaut Dan] Barry, the teacher for the day, was accompanied by the director and associate director of a NASA flight center, and the "class" included not only fifth- and sixth-graders but New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and New Haven Superintendant of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo."

8 April 2004: NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 8 Apr 2004

"At 10:40am EDT, the crew conducted an interactive educational PAO exchange with students at Kirby Middle School in San Antonio, TX, as part of the JSC Middle School Aerospace Scholars (MAS) Program, responding to questions collected from students and uplinked beforehand."

9 April 2004: Daily Hip-Hop News: KRS Taps NASA For Hip-Hop Conference

"Nas, Afrika Bambaata and Chuck D are among the speakers at KRS-One's Hip-Hop cultural conference to be held at NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C."



30 March 2004: NASA chief brings a bit of star power to school, Statesman Journal

"When the top NASA administrator visits a school in your small Oregon town (population 5,600), it's a big deal. The mayor and school district superintendent come out. Local residents and students from schools in other nearby towns pay a visit."

30 March 2004: Next stop, Mars, The Oregonian

"Marie Scott, a fifth-grade teacher and the program's team leader at the school, said students are "getting more and more excited" about the Explorer Schools program. "If we don't do something related to space for a few days, they always ask when we're going to be doing 'NASA stuff' again."

30 March 2004: NASA director praises Bush's space directive, The Michigan Daily

"Alfonso Diaz, a director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, gave his program's goal - supported by the Bush administration - high marks in his speech at the University Friday. But University aerospace engineers have expressed mixed feelings about the agency's new focus."




22 March 2004: A Day in the Life of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, SpaceRef

"So much of what a large agency such as NASA does on any given day seems to just happen by itself. As for how the agency itself is actually run - especially on a moment by moment basis - by the person at the top is a mystery to nearly all. I was offered a rather unique opportunity a few days ago - one that allowed me to personally witness a day in the life of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. Actually, the coverage spanned two consecutive days, but as you will see, it might as well have been just one 37 hour day with a short power nap."





15 March 2004: NASA Participates in First White House Science Education Summit

"NASA is participating tomorrow [Tuesday 16 March] in the first White House Science Summit. More than 800 educators, researchers, scientists, and business leaders are expected to attend."




15 March 2004: NASA Administrator and Astronaut to Visit Lorain Middle School to Share New Vision With Students

"During their visit, O'Keefe and Good will talk with students about our destiny as explorers, NASA's stepping-stone approach to exploring Earth, the Moon, Mars and beyond, how space impacts our lives, and how people and machines rely on each other in space."



25 February 2004: Space Foundation Teacher Liaisons Announced

"This select group of educators will receive special training and professional development experiences as part of their commitment in representing the Space Foundation in schools across the country. They will be an active link between the Space Foundation, NASA, and their school/district in advocating and promoting space and science education through standard's based lessons, professional development, and NASA activities."



24 February 2004: Confusing Educational Statistics Circulating Within NASA

Editor's note: According to NASA sources, these two presentations have been circulated within the agency for a couple of days. They are meant to show how successful NASA is in reaching the public. The numbers in the presentations often do not make sense - either representing more people of a certain category than actually exist in the U.S. or preposterous numbers such as 8,536,026,247 GB of website data transfer. That is a vast amount of data - i.e. 8.5 billion gigabytes.



23 February 2004: No space for schools?, The Daily Nonpareil

"I think, when you start doing research (on NASA), I think you discover that NASA is a bit arrogant," said Eric Robinson, a physics teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School. "I think they need to have some sort of way of monitoring or evaluating its returns (on space exploration) and make it available to the public, to let us know more about what they're doing."




21 February 2004: Students Urged to Reach for the Stars - NASA's O'Keefe Hopes to Inspire Careers in Science, Washington Post

"NASA isn't quite recruiting straight from middle school, but the agency is trying to pique youngsters' interest in science in the hope that they will someday join the agency's mission of space exploration."




9 February 2004: Boeing Gives $1 Million to Challenger Center for Teacher Development

"Challenger Center for Space Science Education announced today that The Boeing Company will contribute $1 million to support professional development programs for the nation's math and science teachers."




4 November 2003: NASA Presolicitation Notice: Music Production Services, NASA LaRC

"The contractor shall produce five Enterprise specific theme songs as part of the Earth Crew Webcast Series. Tasks include writing lyrics and music; securing professional talent to perform compositions, and producing Master final recording."

Editor's note: Why not have a contest, offer prizes, and have people submit songs - the same way NASA named the "Spirit" and "Opportunity" Mars rovers. This way you could pick a song that you like - instead of being stuck with whatever the contractor comes up with. If nothing else this would be a great way to enhance public outreach and visibility for the programs.

7 November 2003: Modification to a Previous Presolicitation Notice: Music Production Services, NASA LaRC

"The subject solicitation 1-LAN-36278 for Music Production Services is hereby cancelled in its entirety."




6 October 2003: NASA Advisory Committee; Notice of Establishment Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act: Education Advisory Committee, NASA HQ

"Purpose and Objective: The Committee will advise NASA Administrator on matters related to the Agency's educational program. The Committee will draw on the expertise of its members and other sources to provide its advice and recommendations to the Agency."




25 June 2003: NASA Sends Science and Math Teachers "Back to School", NASA

"The multimedia event kicks off the innovative program to send science and mathematics teachers "back to school" at NASA field centers. NASA experts and resources will be available during the summer to help educators acquire new teaching resources and technology tools to make learning science, mathematics and technology more appealing to students."




29 April 2003: Nurturing an Inner Passion for Outer Space, Washington Post

"To Morgan, what matters are not the delays in her dream of space, but the lessons others can draw from her story: the importance of setting goals and persevering, as well as what she calls a profound need to teach young people about the universe and excite enough of them to make it a career."

29 April 2003: Curiosity and Perseverance Catapult Teen Toward Dream of Becoming an Astronaut, Washington Post

"Growing up on the edge of a forest in Alberta, Canada, gazing at the stars and learning about the Earth from her geologist father, Anne Breaks decided at age 8 to become an astronaut. She has devoted her young life to chasing that goal."



23 April 2003: NASA Encourages Participation in Educator Astronaut Program's Earth Crew, NASA

"Students, educators and families are encouraged to interact withNASA by becoming part of the Educator Astronaut Program's (EAP) Earth Crew. Earth Crew is aninteractive Web-based program that immerses participants in space-related educational activities."


23 April 2003: Transforming Teachers into NASA Astronauts, NASA HQ

"Students and the public are encouraged to help NASA recruit teachers who can create out-of-this-world ways to educate students. NASA's Educator Astronaut Program is looking for individuals with specific experience in K through 12 education to become astronauts. The deadline for students or others to nominate a teacher is April 30, 2003."

23 April 2003: Recruitment and Selection of Astronaut Candidates: Direct final rule, NASA HQ

"NASA proposes to amend the rules to permit some of these recruitment and selection activities to be performed by NASA organizational elements that are not part of JSC. This change is necessary to conduct efficient and effective recruitment of a new component of the Astronaut Program, the Educator Astronauts."



21 April 2003: To Create a Blue Ribbon Panel for Educator Astronaut Positions - Modification to a Previous Presolicitation Notice, NASA HQ

"Q: Would a not-for-profit organization be eligible to compete for this (once the solicitation is released)?

A: Procurement will need to provide the response to this question."

Editor's note: Curiously, this Procurement notice was released by NASA Procurement Office. They state that "Procurement will need to provide the response to this question" and then they (Procurement) don't respond - other than to post the comment that they need to respond. Or perhaps the response wasn't even written by someone in NASA Procurement? Reading the rest of this notice leaves one with more questions than answers. With procurement notices such as this being released it is small wonder that NASA ever gets anything done. Whoever wrote this response seems to be unsure about what they want and can only answer using stock phrases full of buzz words. What they are apparently hoping for is that someone outside of the agency will do NASA's strategic thinking for them and come up with the right idea. You would have thought that such a major agency initiative would have a little more thought put into it well in advance before tossing notices out into the Federal procurement system - especially given the 1,000+ applications NASA has already received.

2 April 2003: Presolicitation Notice: To Create a Blue Ribbon Panel for Educator Astronaut Positions





2 April 2003: Presolicitation Notice: To Create a Blue Ribbon Panel for Educator Astronaut Positions, NASA HQ

"NASA/HQ plans to issue a Request for Quote (RFQ) to create a "Blue Ribbon Panel." NASA's Office of Education has a requirement to form a "Blue Ribbon Panel" for the purpose of developing criteria with which to evaluate job applicants for Educator Astronaut positions to distinguish which are "superior" educators."




27 January 2003: "Fun with Urine" Stirs Students' Imagination, Wallops

"A high school teacher and his students, from the Shoshone- Bannock Indian Reservation in rural Idaho, created one of the more than 80 science experiments aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107). "Fun With Urine" chronicles how the award-winning teacher uses 'gross' and 'goofy' ideas to interest his students in science and the NASA space program."


21 January 2003: Now Online at NASA: Going Where No One Has Gone Before, SpaceRef

"Among the never before seen devices is the camera (often dubbed 'pottycam' or 'toiletcam') positioned within the training version of the toilet which is used to help train astronauts in how to get "perfect alignment" while using the system. "




21 January 2003: NASA Kicks Off New Teacher in Space Program, SpaceRef

NASA announced today that it was once again soliciting teachers to fly in space. In so doing, the words of Christa McAuliffe, who died on her way to teach class in space, were heard once again: "I touch the future: I teach".

Official website




12 December 2002: Barbara Morgan to Be Second Teacher in Space on STS-118, SpaceRef

"Nearly sixteen years after teacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe gave her life in pursuit of her profession, her back-up, "Educator Mission Specialist" Barbara Morgan has been assigned to pick up where Christa left off."




19 June 2002: ISS On-Orbit Status 19 June 2002, NASA HQ

"Peggy Whitson's live interactive TV downlink to the Senate Subcommittee Hearing on NASA's relationship to education was cancelled today since the TDRS satellite for this time slot was required for the late Shuttle landing at Edwards Air Force Base. However, a video message had been downlinked and taped on the
ground on 6/17 for the event."

19 June 2002: Statement of Marci Whittaker before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space


19 June 2002: Statement of Col. James S. Voss, USA (Ret) before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space

19 June 2002: Statement of Peggy L. Steffen before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space

"Science is all about questions. They may result from the simple curiosity of a preschooler or the investigation of fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Teachers of science, like myself, are challenged to lead the Nation's children in discovering answers to questions. NASA has been a partner with me as a science teacher in meeting that challenge during 25 years of learning adventures with teenagers in Iowa. NASA's mission and resources were instrumental in providing opportunities to join explorers as they made new discoveries."

19 June 2002: Statement of Sean O'Keefe before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space

"Every mission we accept requires the sharpest of minds, the strength of purpose and the drive to challenge barriers and frontiers. The minds we seek to develop will do those things and more for NASA, but more importantly, they will do these things for our Nation as well. NASA not only needs a future with more engineers and scientists, but our Nation does as well. Our current and future missions are dependent upon such minds and it is our charge to help our Nation prepare them for the challenges ahead."


18 May 2002: An Hour With Educator-Astronaut Barbara Morgan, SpaceRef

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and Educator- Astronaut Barbara Morgan met with reporters last week at NASA headquarters to discuss NASA's Educator Mission Specialist Program. In announcing last month that she will fly in space, O'Keefe said "the time has come for NASA to complete the [STS-51L] mission -- to send an educator to space to inspire and teach our young people."


2 May 2002: Space Day's Second Annual Student Survey Reveals Kids' Insights about Mars Exploration


2 May 2002: 2002 Cyber Space Day Webcast to Focus on Mars, Space Day

25 April 2002: Discussing Mars and Talking to Astronauts Via a Webcast, NY Times

"It's not every day that students from around the world have a chance to interact with people who have been in space. But students will be able to do just that on May 2, when the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum presents a live two-hour interactive Webcast on the Internet and via a satellite broadcast."


23 April 2002: NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP) (PRESOL)

"NASA/HQ's Office of Human Resources and Education, Code FE announces a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) soliciting proposals to establish a collaboration between NASA and a host organization to further develop and implement the NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP). The NSIP serves as a major national educational program addressing the widespread need of American students for greater scientific, mathematics, technological, engineering, and geography (SMTEG) literacy. "




15 April 2002:
Rohrabacher Applauds O'Keefe's Committment to the Educator in Space Program

"I welcome Sean O'Keefe's commitment to make space relevant to all Americans, especially young Americans who are without a doubt the future explorers, inventors, and entrepreneurs of our nation."



12 April 2002: Administrator Unveils Future Vision and a Renewed Journey of Learning, NASA HQ


12 April 2002: Address by the Honorable Sean O'Keefe NASA Administrator, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs Syracuse University

"Part of my job as Administrator is to remind everyone of what NASA does and what we are capable of doing. It's a responsibility I take very seriously. I believe we are at a crossroad in NASA's history - We have an opportunity here and now to reinvigorate the agenda and renew the entrepreneurial spirit present at NASA's beginning - a continued characteristic of American culture.

Some believe NASA has lost its focus and that the pioneering spirit, the excitement of NASA's mission is gone. But believe me, that spirit is alive and well. We intend to nourish it."

12 April 2002: Statement by Rep. Ralph Hall on the April 12th Speech by NASA Administrator O'Keefe


12 April 2002: STA Endorses NASA Decision to Send Teacher on "Voyage into History", Space Transportation Association

"Barbara Morgan's historic voyage into history may be the latest step in using space to spark fresh interest in science, math, and technology. No one knows where this evolution will lead," [STA President Frank] Sietzen predicted. "The recruitment effort will help galvanize the nation and the worlds interest in space flight, and that cannot help but be yet another positive contribution for the Shuttle program," he added."

12 April 2002: Boehlert Applauds NASA Administrator O'Keefe's Vision for the Future

"I applaud his emphasis on science as the driver of NASA's mission, and his focus on education as a central task. NASA has an unparalleled capacity to inspire our young people. We must take full advantage of this resource, and Sean is leading us down that path."



11 April 2002: NASA to send teacher into space in 2004, CNN

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will announce Friday in a speech on the
future of the agency that Morgan will be assigned as a mission specialist on
a shuttle flight to the international space station in 2004, according to
sources familiar with the space agency."

"Morgan, 50, is married and the mother of two sons. After graduating with honorsfrom Stanford University in 1974, she began her tea ching career at Arlee Elementary School on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana."



10 April 2002: Prepared Comments by Keith Cowing at the Second Astrobiology Science Conference, NASA Ames Research Center

"To be certain, NASA loves to come up with mission statements and visions and has a spotty track record when it comes to their actual implementation. That not withstanding, I don't think I can imagine a more astrobiology-friendly collection of words. As such, Its your own damn fault if you folks can't run with these words and gain some new ground."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Education category from August 2004.

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