Education: June 2010 Archives

NASA Ames Research Center Helps Underserved School Receive Used Computers

"Times are tough, but none more so than for schools and their students. To promote equal opportunity for all children, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., recently helped Park Avenue Elementary School in the Yuba City Unified District, receive 24 used computers and servers for data storage. It was a perfect match. NASA had surplus computers and equipment that it wanted to give away, and Park Avenue Elementary School needed more computers for its 563 student population, which is 86 percent Hispanic."

Editor's note: Dennis Wingo and Ken Zin are part of the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) team. LOIRP make frequent use of old NASA computers and surplus hardware. It is through this experience that Dennis and Ken became familiar with all of the potentially useful equipment sitting around waiting for someone to think of something to use it for. They found a use for it.

Keith's note: It has been a week. Where is the NASA Wallops press release about the launch? Was the rocket recovered? Did students get their payloads back? What was the reaction of students to having this unique experience? There is nothing on the Wallops website except an old notice that is several weeks old. NASA Wallops PAO simply does not care. Nor does NASA's Education Office - since there is still no mention whatsoever on their website. What a great way to kick of the "Summer of Innovation": ignoring a NASA mission that actually put student experiments into space.

- NASA Continues To Ignore RockOn! Launch, earlier post
- Yet Another Stealth Launch at Wallops, earlier post

Keith's note: It has been 24 hours and virtually nothing has been released by NASA about the RockOn! rocket launch yesterday that carried a number of student experiments. When you go to the Wallops website it now says "A Terrier-Orion Sounding Rocket was successfully launched on 6/24/10. Stay tuned for information on the next launch from Wallops!". There is no (apparent) link to photos, press releases, videos, or any other information associated with the launch.

The last post on the Wallops Twitter (which is going into hibernation again) at 7:25 am EDT yesterday says "We will post a launch pic later this morning. Thanks for that suggestion." The Wallops YouTube page has one video - but it was posted a year ago. The Wallops Facebook page has a video but you have to go through the process of being approved as a Facebook friend before you can see it. Nothing is apparently posted on the Wallops website.

According to project documentation, the following universities had payloads on this mission: Temple University, University of West Virginia, University of Louisiana University of Minnesota, University of Wyoming, University of Puerto Rico, University of Colorado at Boulder, Virginia Tech, University of Northern Colorado, and Colorado State University. Yet there is no evidence that NASA Wallops PAO or the NASA Education Office have lifted a finger to make public notice of this mission.

Given all of the other Summer of Innovation events that NASA is promoting it is rather baffling that NASA's Education office continues to ignore this mission - one where students focused their ideas and imagination on something that actually went into space. I know that they are now aware of this mission. As such this continued omission of mention of the event is no longer an oversight. It is now deliberate.

- Yet Another Stealth Launch at Wallops (Update), earlier post
- Wallops Flight Facility, NASA's hidden launch shop, CNet

Keith's 24 Jun 8:30 am EDT note: The launch occured as planned this morning. Yet the Wallops website still refers to it as "upcoming". I complained to Keith Koehler (again) at Wallops PAO. He sent this reply "We put out a launch advisory (see attached) on June 18. However, because of the visibility of the rocket in the local area, it was only issued to the local media. We put these out about 7 days before a launch and also post one when the launch is completed or delayed. In the future, I'll make sure you get these." Gee, by Wallops PAO logic, KSC should only send shuttle media advisories to the media in Florida and Georgia. With regard to press releases, according to this page, the last press release that Wallops issued was in 2009.

My response: "Did it ever occur to you that the families of the students across the U.S. might want to watch the webcast? I am within driving distance of the launch, did it ever occur to you that other DC/Baltimore area media might be interested? Every time you forget to tell people I complain.Every time you respond you say that you will send me the advisories - and you don't. This is just incompetence, Keith. Really. Incompetence."

I followed up with "It has been an hour since launch. Where's the press release? Don't you have these prepared in advance? You have a Twitter feed - doesn't anyone there know how to post pictures from cellphones via Twitpic? Flickr?"

Keith's 24 Jun 10:50 am EDT note: Three hours since launch and no photo or press release at the Wallops home page - but there is a NASA photo on the Wallops Facebook page (below)


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

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