Education: August 2006 Archives

A Bright Ray of Hope

Editor's note: I have spent the last few days as a participant in the NASA Next Generation Exploration Conference at NASA ARC - a fascinating assembly of young space professionals and students from around the U.S. - and the world. This has been a refreshing break from the cynicism I usually encounter as I "watch" NASA. These folks see their future in space - and they are determined to make it happen. A moment ago I made an offer to all participants to post anything they might wish to send me about this conference - and what they'd like to see come from it.

Send your comments to nasawatch@reston.com

Attendees only, please - and let me know if I can use your name and affiliation.

Your comments thus far:

NASA, Zoo Set Ribbon Cutting For Prairie Chicken Facility, NASA JSC

Editor's note: At the same time NASA is cutting science clearly relevant to the agency's Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and its administrator seeks to diminish the importance of funding education programs clearly relevant to NASA and the VSE, JSC seeks to promote this silly local project as being "part of JSC's educational outreach program, which fosters the next generation of explorers by encouraging young people to study scientific and technical subjects. The facility gives area students an opportunity to see first-hand the importance of habitat conservation and protection."

How about picking - and then funding - a topic with some actual connection to NASA's exploration program - and promoting that? You really have to wonder if anyone on the 9th floor at NASA HQ is paying any attention whatsoever to the public impressions NASA is sending out when inane and trivial press releases such as this are sent out.

Students advised to seek experience in the private aeronautics sector, Salt Lake Tribune

"It simply is not among the top priorities I have at NASA to fund student experiments," Griffin said during a question-and-answer session."

Mars Society conference report: Griffin and Elon not ready for K2 summit push, MountEverest.net

"How do we motivate students to study astrobiology if this science is not favored in the budget?" asked a teacher. "If they want to work for government money, they must look at what the government wants - not what they think it should want. If they want to work with something the government doesn't want, they'll have to find other money to fund it," Griffin stated."

Editor's note: O.K. If I am to take Dr. Griffin at his word, then funding a NASA chicken ranch in cooperation with a local zoo is more important than funding actual space life science and astrobiology research - because that is what the government is asking him to fund.

NASA's vision needs some corrective eyeglasses.

Reader note: "The only good thing about the NASA Chicken Ranch at JSC is that they can have a free barbeque when the project is terminated due to further budget cuts."

Students advised to seek experience in the private aeronautics sector, Salt Lake Tribune

"It simply is not among the top priorities I have at NASA to fund student experiments," Griffin said during a question-and-answer session. "It is nice when we can afford to do student experiments in the context of a university, but right now, as strapped for cash as we are, I'm simply not sure that is a luxury we can afford." ... "Griffin responded that it is not NASA's job to broker deals to put student projects into space. "NASA is not the galactic overlord of space, nor should it be," Griffin said."

NASA chief justifies cuts during session at USU, Deseret Morning News

"Mike Griffin, NASA's administrator, was feisty in defending the space agency's deep cuts in science projects during a question-and-answer session Monday at the Utah State University Small Satellite Conference." .... "I respectfully disagree with you that you have to wait until you're an employee of an aerospace company to start getting enthusiastic about space, to start learning the discipline that will make a good employee," [Gil] Moore said. "The generation that you need to be targeting . . . is the educational level of the university student."

NASA Sets Sights on the Next Generation of Explorers

"For a copy of the NASA Education Strategic Coordination Framework and information about agency education programs, visit: http://education.nasa.gov/about/strategy/index.html"

Editor's note: This document was clearly written by NASA personnel. You'd think that such a document - one that might be read by professional educators and people outside of NASA (the purpose of the press release, I assume) - would at least have gone through a screening by a professional editor first - both for grammar - and accuracy.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Education category from August 2006.

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