Education: September 2007 Archives

When Students Become Teachers

Student of Challenger Center Founder To Fly Into Space (with photos)

"The Challenger Center's Founding Chairman, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, issued the following statement regarding Richard Garriott's upcoming flight: "We at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education were overjoyed to learn of Richard's future mission into space. This is especially exciting for me given that Richard was among the students I taught at Clear Lake High School in Houston, Texas while his father and my husband Dick Scobee were astronauts."

NASA Means Business

NASA Means Business Student Competition 2008 Program Announcement, Texas Space Grant Consortium

"The NASA Means Business Student Competition program invites undergraduate and graduate students to employ their skills to help NASA articulate the contributions of space exploration to everyday life. This year's challenge is: Help NASA to increase the number of corporate researchers, university researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors who utilize the Nation's investment in spaceflight to grow their investments in knowledge and commerce."

Second Annual AIAA/NASA 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition

"In 2008, NASA will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Sometimes, in order to look forward, we must take a step back to study the past. Because of this, we want to ask - What do you think is NASA's greatest exploration achievement in the past 50 years and why? That's the question this competition asks of students ages 11-18. Sponsored by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and in collaboration with NASA, the second annual 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition challenges students to create unique audio and video podcasts."

Students Chose HiRISE Camera Targets on Mars, University of Arizona

"Last week, third-grade students from Sunridge Elementary School in Phoenix, Ariz., saw their chosen spot on Mars released to the world in a new image from the High Resolution Imaging Experiment camera, known as the HiRISE camera."

High-School Teams Joining Massive Pulsar Search, National Radio Astronomy Observatory

"High school students and teachers will join astronomers on the cutting edge of science under a program to be operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and West Virginia University (WVU), and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program, called the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, will engage West Virginia students and teachers in a massive search for new pulsars using data from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT)."

On 50th Anniversary of Space Age, Students From 9 Countries Will Fly Weightless on Zero G Flight

"On October 6, nine exceptional students from around the world will commemorate the 50th anniversary of space age and experience weightlessness for the first time on a zero-gravity flight from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. This flight will serve to inspire students worldwide to excel in education, demonstrate international cooperation and visibly launch humankind's next 50 years in space. The flight is part of the global celebration of United Nations-declared World Space Week, October 4-10."

OMB Report on NASA Education

OMB NASA Education Program 2007 Assessment (pdf)

Editor's note: This OMB assessment has been widely circulated within NASA. It would seem that NASA fails on program management and on achieving results.

Assessment Rating: Results Not Demonstrated

Assessment Section Scores

Program Purpose & Design - 100%
Strategic Planning - 88%
Program Management - 60%
Program Results/Accountability - 33%

Type - Improvement Plan - Action Taken

Performance - Collecting performance data consistently and annually for all program activities, reporting performance against the program's established metrics and targets, and using results to improve performance. - No action taken

Performance - Conducting independent evaluations to assess the program's effectiveness and efficiency against the program's established metrics and performance goals and applying resources based on the results. - No action taken

Budgetary - Offering opportunities not addressed by other agencies and that are unique in their use of NASA's resources and benefits to NASA's mission and collaborating with other agencies where appropriate. - No action taken

Budgetary - Avoiding duplication with other NASA education programs. - No action taken

Performance - Filling NASA's workforce needs using a stronger effort to consider eligible program participants and facilitate their entry into positions at NASA. - Action taken, but not completed

Performance - Establishing baselines for all performance metrics. - No action taken

Management - Fully execute the new education investment framework, per the framework's implementation plan, to complete the strategic alignment of the Education portfolio that best supports the Agency strategic direction and the Exploration Vision. This action is a continuation of a former follow-on action to develop the investment framework and implementation plan. - Action taken, but not completed

The Space Economy - NASA 50th Anniversary Lecture Series - NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

"We're in a very different world today. The military and political competition has largely receded into the background; today we are primarily engaged in an economic competition. We increasingly live in a global economy where rising wealth and living standards also mean ever- heightened levels of competition from places we never before considered. There are now more software engineers in Bangalore, India than in Silicon Valley. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea generate more than one-quarter as many patents as the U.S. does each year - and their percentage is growing rapidly. The products of this innovation are all around us, in what has become a world marketplace. How many of you have a cellphone, television, or car from a U.S. manufacturer?

I don't think I need to spend more time on these points; they are superbly treated in Tom Friedman's The World is Flat, and in the report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm", by the National Academy of Engineering. But I think the bottom line is that we all want our economy to continue to grow. We want better lives for our children. We want to be able to compete in the world. But economic growth and competitive success result primarily from the introduction of new products and services, or from finding more efficient ways to produce existing ones. Economic growth is driven by technological innovation. Societies that foster it lead the pack, while others lag behind."

Mike Griffin (apparently) Has a problem with teachers in space, earier post

"I just don't get it. Once again Mike Griffin went out of his way to diminish the history - and legacy - behind Barbara Morgan's presence on the STS-118 mission. Moments ago, in a post flight press conference, Griffin sought to reduce the media's emphasis on Barbara Morgan's global notoriety as a teacher and educator by saying "Once upon a time she was a teacher" and "Barbara Morgan is not an Educator-Astronaut".

Editor's note: Mike Griffin talks about this crisis we face - one wherein we will need the smartest, best-equipped workforce we can muster in order to compete in a global economy. So, how do you get that smart workforce? Education. So what does Mike Griffin do as Administrator? He cuts educational programs at NASA across the board. He then takes the global visibility represented by Barbara Morgan's flight - that of a teacher in space - and goes out of his way to diminish its importance.

Today, Griffin said that it is "scary" that we do not have "our own folks" (American citizens) in classrooms where so many non-American students can be found. So what does he do? He cuts education programs. Griffin also talked about inspiring kids to become a "zoologists" - about "bringing plants to another worlds" yet he has obliterated NASA's funding for such things. How can kids be inspired by something NASA no longer does?

This is pure hypocrisy from NASA's leader.

Future Leaders at AIAA

Space 2007 Events Focus on Next-Generation of Aerospace Leaders, AIAA

"Exciting interactive exhibits, including those from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, Raytheon, and The Boeing Company, will engage local students from public and private schools, grade 3 through high school. Education Alley takes place Sept 18-20, 9:30 am until 1:30 pm. Aimed at college students and recent graduates, the Future Space Leaders Networking Event introduces today's leaders to tomorrow's workforce. College students from local area universities, recent college hires and entry-level managers from government, industry and academia, along with SPACE 2007 registrants, will attend the Tuesday, Sept 18 event at 5:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom. Speakers include Roger Krone of Boeing Network & Space Systems, Debra Facktor-Lepore of Air Launch LLC, Mike Mealing of Masten Space, Alan Ladwig of Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc. and Dr. Woodrow Whitlow of NASA Glenn Research Center."

Goddard's New Magazine

NASA GSFC Solicitation: NASA Inspire Magazine: A Mass Media Solution Designed to Reach and Inspire The Next Generation of Space Explorers, NASA GSFC

"This notice is issued by the NASA/GSFC to post an RFI via the internet, soliciting interest from potential parties interested in providing a national children's outreach publication named NASA's INSPIRE magazine. NASA's INSPIRE magazine will be a mass media solution designed to reach and inspire the next generation of explorers. This magazine will reach numerous middle students, their teachers and their families in order to fulfill NASA's future efforts of having the manpower to fulfill our mission to go back to the moon and onto the surface of Mars."


CosmoCam Flight Completed

"CosmoCam recently flew on a NASA strato-balloon. The payload is the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) out of Louisiana State University. The flight was launched from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico).HASP Flight #2 has ended. It will take a few days to get the flight video posted (lots of video!). The live video (and controls) and archived video are online at"

Why Be Accurate?

Students Go for Launch

"A group of high school students from Wendover, Utah, is learning that life presents more opportunities than any of them ever thought possible. The students are members of the NASA Club at Wendover High School, a NASA Explorer Schools team since 2004. The NES project and the NASA Club have opened many doors for Wendover students, including seeing science experiments they designed launch into space on rockets."

Editor's note: Nice article. Alas, NASA has ignored the fact that these students only attended this event due to generosity of NASA Watch readers - most notably the IFPTE. The impression you are left from reading this NASA version of events is that NASA paid for the trip. Oh well. Why be accurate? I think it says a lot about the space community and NASA employees that they chipped in to pay for a trip for a bunch of kids none of them had ever met.

Help These Students See Their Experiment Launched

"Dear NASA Watch, My name is Carolyn Bushman. I teach at Wendover High School, Utah's only NASA Explorer School. ... this year I'm facing a similar dilemma Due to cut backs the sub-sem is no longer happening, but the NES brought my attention to a new opportunity of having an experiment flown out of New Mexico. My students submitted an experiment and got it accepted. ... I petitioned to the district to allow the trip to happen. On Tuesday, I received word that the trip can happen if I raise the money."

Trip Report: Miss Bushman's Class Has A NASA Rocket Adventure in New Mexico

"I just want to thank you for giving us money. Without you this trip wouldn't be possible. I think we will do a fine job telling people about our experiences at the NASA Family night in our school. We just hope we inspire students to stay in school and become something in life. I am going to personally tell people to join the NASA Club so they can one day go on a trip like I did and see how fun it is to go on this adventures that you may only see one for the rest of your life. Thank you so much for what you have done. I hope you enjoy reading my story that I just typed. I hope that students will become more interested in these kinds of trips."

Letter: IFPTE makes Donation To Utah School For Student Trip to White Sands

NASA and Mad Science Partner to Promote Science Education

"NASA and the Mad Science Group of Montreal, Canada, have teamed in an effort to spark the imagination of children, encouraging more youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The two organizations recently signed a Space Act Agreement, officially launching the development of the Academy of Future Space Explorers."

Editor's note: If you have read NASA Watch recently you will note that I have been hammering NASA over its lack of focus on education of the next generation of space explorers. As such, such an announcement is most welcome and further such agreements should be encouraged. That said - and couched in the context that 1.) my SpaceRef business partner is Canadian, 2.) that I support and participate in a research project located in Canada, and 3.) that I fervently believe in taking a global approach to space exploration, I still have to wonder why it is that NASA felt the need to go outside the borders of the United States to utilize a company to accomplish such a task as is outlined in this press release. Why did they do so when so much latent and untapped capability resides here within the U.S? Especially when so many Congressional earmarks often call for the same sort of tasks to be accomplished. Maybe someone will explain this to me.

Reader note: "Here is my response: Mad Science Group is made up of 220 franchisees, most of them (75%) are in United States. We are the ONLY science organization in United States that has daily contact with about 5 million children in venues such as public and private schools, libraries and recreation centers. We are the ONLY science company that make science fun, and that is exactly why NASA has chosen Mad Science. My company, my franchise: Mad Science of Long Island is American, not Canadian. - Claudio Superville, Mad Science of Long Island,"

Editor's note: I stand (partially corrected) on the U.S. Vs Canadian issue. Yet, with regard to Mr. Superville's claim: "We are the ONLY science company that make science fun, and that is exactly why NASA has chosen Mad Science" , this has to be the most absurd, unsubtantiated, and arrogant claim I have heard anyone make this week! I would certainly hope that this company's other franchise holders are a little more humble - and less prone to bragging - especially when the claims cannot be proven (not the best lesson to be teaching).

Hire This Kid

$1256 Microwulf Supercomputer Smaller Than Bread Box, Runs At 26.25 Gigaflops, Oh Gizmo!

"Do you ever suffer from computer-related performance anxiety? If so, youre definitely not alone, and Calvin College student Tim Brom has the cure: a built-from-scratch 26.25 gigaflops supercomputer that runs off one standard wall outlet, will fit on your desk, and cost less than $2500 to build in 2006 (building a copy today would cost only $1256)."

Photo Release -- New Orleans and Mississippi Teachers Get a Lesson in Weightlessness as Part of Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery

Photo Release -- Texas Teachers Get a Lesson in Weightlessness as Part of Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery

Science Teachers Take Flight in Zero-Gravity as Part of Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery

"The Northrop Grumman Foundation kicked off the second year of its Weightless Flights of Discovery Program today, flying 57 teachers in Dallas, with another 58 scheduled to fly in New Orleans on Aug. 30. These are the first of the flights in eight cities planned as part of the company's program to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers -- critical areas where the U.S. has fallen behind globally."



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Education category from September 2007.

Education: August 2007 is the previous archive.

Education: October 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.