Education: January 2010 Archives

NASA Images iPhone App

"Check out the free NASA Images iPhone App, a window to the content available on nasaimages.org. With the app you can access the entire NASA Images library from your iPhone along with the metadata for each image, video, and animation."

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Challenger Center Remembers the Challenger Flight 51-L Crew - Invites its Alumni and Friends to Share Their Stories

"January 28, 2010 - Twenty-four years ago today the space shuttle Challenger and its crew of seven men and women launched into a clear blue sky at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their mission, designated 51-L, was cut short that day, but their legacy of exploration and discovery lives on at nearly 50 Challenger Learning Centers worldwide. A special podcast has been created to honor the Challenger crew as well as the Apollo 1 and Columbia astronauts. All will be honored this Friday during NASA's Day of Remembrance."

The Big 'Y', Miles O'Brien

"I was fast asleep when the Challenger exploded. It was almost high noon - but I had turned in only about three hours before. I had spent the night in a citrus grove in Polk County, Florida. I was a general assignment reporter for a TV station in Tampa, and we were up all night providing viewers constant updates on the record freeze. The fate of the citrus crop is very big news in that part of the world. ... When the call came from the assignment desk, I was in a deep sleep, so it took me some time to comprehend what I had just been told: "You are not going to believe this, but the shuttle has blown up."

Keith Cowing's Devon Island Journal - 18 July 2007: Ancient Memorials for Modern Space Explorers

"Building memorials to lost comrades is as old as humanity. Humans have been looking at special places and building evocative monuments - often of great complexity and utility back to the era of Stonehenge - and perhaps earlier. So there was something primal - transcendent - about building these ancient structures to honor people whose job entailed trips above the sky."

Columbia: Thinking Back - Looking Ahead, New Moon Rising

"Several hundred invited guests gathered at the Embassy of Israel on that cold, wet night to remember Ilan Ramon. Daniel Ayalon, Israel's Ambassador to the United States began the event by recalling his pride at the launch of the mission. He talked of Ilan as the son of a holocaust survivor, a veteran of many dangerous missions in the defense of the Israeli nation, and the country's first astronaut. His story, he said, epitomized the story of Israel and the Jewish people. The entire country had been waiting for Columbia to return, and Ayalon said, the pain of its loss would always be with them."

NASA IndustryEducation Forum, online at Paragon Space Development Corp.

"On December 3, 2009, the NASA Office of Education hosted the NASA IndustryEducation Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The purpose of the NASA Industry Education Forum was to obtain ideas on how NASA and industry can make a demonstrable impact on student achievements in STEM and their desire to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Aerospace companies who had demonstrated success in STEM workforce development were invited. Participants presented innovative ideas to increase our collective impact on the future aerospace workforce. The forum accomplished its intent: provide a mechanism to start a dialog, identify areas for collaboration and explore next steps. ... A full report as well as well as a strategy for moving forward will be provided to participants and others upon request. ... Pictures of the opening general session can be found at the following website: "

Keith's 28 Dec note: This event was not publicly announced in advance and attendance was by invitation only. Nothing has been posted on NASA's Education website or anywhere else at NASA.gov as to what was presented, discussed, or decided at this meeting. Only this summary posted on the website of one of the participating companies has emerged. Why should anyone need to "request" this information? Shouldn't it just be posted as a normal way of doing business? Not exactly "open" or "transparent"...

Keith's 30 Dec update: I sent an email to NASA's AA for Education, Joyce Winterton asking "Why are events like this not publicly announced? Why isn't the outcome of this event posted on NASA.gov?". She replied today "Thank you for your interest in the discussions NASA recently held with industry representatives who are working in the area of STEM education. The outcome of the discussions will be on the NASA education section of the website early in January." I still do not understand why NASA does not tell the public what it is doing or why it takes a month to post such things on a website.

Keith's 14 Jan update: It is now mid-January. Still nothing posted.

Keith's 23 Jan update: It has been a month and a half since the event. Still nothing posted. Strange given the White House's interest in education these days.

Keith's note: James Cameron's "Avatar" has continued to break box office records, has won the Golden Globe Awards for "best picture" and "best director", and is now headed for the Oscars. There is clearly something that the public enjoys about "Avatar". At a time when NASA needs to re-exert its relevance to decision makers and the public, you'd think that there would be some effort to tap this interest in a movie about the wonders of extrasolar planets, astrobiology, and what may lay out there as we explore space - rendered in unparalleled detail and believability. So, how did NASA capitalize on this phenomenon? Answer: It didn't.

All I could find online at NASA.gov is this short summary of an article that was written by someone at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and this link to an interview with someone from MIT that aired on CNN. That's it.

Keith's update: This appeared at NASA.gov late in the day on Monday.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Meets Award-Winning Director James Cameron

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, right, and award-winning writer-director James Cameron, meet at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010. Cameron, who is a former member of the NASA Advisory Council, has had a life-long interest in space and science. The two talked about public outreach and education among other subjects."

James Cameron On Past And Future Plans To Shoot In Outer Space, MTV

"I had been working closely with NASA and we were going to do a... joint mission. I was going to go up and work on the International Space Station with our 3-D cameras," Cameron explained. Unfortunately, the timing did not work out. On multiple levels. "I was pushing for something in the 30 day range and they were pushing for something in the 10 to 15 day range. We got partway down the road on that and, it was interesting, we were testing our 3-D cameras at the Titanic wreck site and September 11 happened. I wasn't prepared at that exact moment in my life, with a family, to go live in Russia for 12 months, which is what it was going to take to do all the training. so I held off," he explained, adding "just before we were about to ramp up on it again, then [Space Shuttle] Columbia went down."

More below

NASA Supports the President's Educate to Innovate Campaign with Summer of Innovation to Bring Students the Universe, NASA (With video of President Obama's speech)

"NASA has launched an initiative to use its out-of-this-world missions and technology programs to boost summer learning, particularly for underrepresented students across the nation. NASA's Summer of Innovation supports President Obama's Educate to Innovate campaign for excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education."

NASA Notice of Intent to Release Cooperative Agreement Notice Entitled "Summer of Innovation Pilot", NASA

Obama's day: Education, intelligence, security, The Oval, USA Today

"Today, President Obama's only public appearance will be early afternoon remarks honoring educators who received awards for math and science teaching."

$250 million initiative for science, math teachers planned, Washington Post

"Other elements of the initiative include a $13.5 million expansion of a university-based program called UTeach that aims to deliver 7,000 expert teachers by 2018; a commitment from public universities to prepare 10,000 math and science teachers a year, up from 7,500 annually; and efforts by NASA and PBS to promote effective math and science teaching."

Keith's 5 Jan Update: According to non-NASA sources there will be some sort of announcement by the President tomorrow regarding education. It is expected that the "Summer of Innovation", among a number of other education-oriented projects, will be announced as part of this event.

Once again, this project offers NASA an opportunity to reach a much broader audience than would normally be the case - with the full support of the White House. It would seem that this White House sees that there is more to NASA's value than just launching rockets.

Keith's 30 Dec note: President Obama will soon unveil a large, interesting educational event targeted for the summer of 2010. Titled "Summer of Innovation" this project is aimed at reaching 1 million students and working to raise their STEM skills through a variety of activities. The lead person at NASA on this effort is White House Fellow Nicole Campbell.

The cost of this project is still uncertain - numbers as high as $200 million were discussed internally at one point. Much of the work would apparently be channeled through/paid for by Americorps. The latest version of this project would entail NASA taking much of the lead along with the Department of Education. Each NASA center would be asked to dedicate one person to this activity. The most recent version of the plan would limit this activity to only 5 states. As to how the 5 states will be selected - that remains uncertain.

These uncertainties aside, it will be interesting to see how prominence for NASA in such a high visibilty event will affect the public's preception of NASA's value to the public. One would hope and expect that it would be overwhelmingly positive. Stay tuned.

Remarks for AIAA/WIA Luncheon with NASA Administrator Bolden December 9, 2009

"NASA is fortunate to have an outstanding White House Fellow assigned to our agency this year, Ms. Nicole Campbell. Nicole is spearheading some new exciting endeavors designed to enhance our current education outreach activities and focus our resources in order to get the maximum benefit for each dollar we spend. One such program is what we are calling the "Summer of Innovation." We are still in the planning stages so I won't go into a lot of detail here today, but you will be hearing more about this toward the end of the year."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Education category from January 2010.

Education: December 2009 is the previous archive.

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