Education: June 2013 Archives

Goddard Helps Set 2 Guinness World Records, NASA

"Then on March 10, 2013, 526 space enthusiasts gathered to set the record for "Largest Astronomy Lesson" in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest festival. Looking up through hundreds of colored filters and spectral glasses, participants were instructed on the lawn of the Long Center for the Performing Arts."

Mars'c note: For anyone who might be interested the previous record was 458: "The largest astronomy lesson involved 458 participants (all Mexico) at an event organised by Juarez Competitiva, at the Samalayuca Desert in Chihuahua, Mexico, on 14 October 2011."

ARKYD: A Space Telescope for Everyone, Planetary Resources

Marc's note: After appearing to stall late last week, the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign to raise $1 million for the E/PO ARKYD telescope has achieved its initial goal and was pushed over the top overnight.

Now with 10 days left they will try and reach their stretch goal of $2 million which they'll "invest the additional funds to enhance the ARKYD space telescope technology to enable it to search for alien planets!"

Planetary Resources Needs YOUR Help to Hunt for Alien Planets, Planetary Resources

"Alien planets are out there and Planetary Resources needs your help to find them! That's right, the same high-powered telescope technology being used by Planetary Resources to identify near-Earth asteroids can also be used to hunt for what scientists call extrasolar planets or "exoplanets" - which are very much alien worlds. For the first-time ever, this capability will be placed directly into the hands of students, researchers and citizen scientists."

Marc's note: For the last few days the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign appears to have stalled.With 19 days to go they're $145K short of their goal. And with Kickstarter, it's all or nothing. You reach your goal, you get the funds, you don't, you get nothing. Now to encourage that next wave of donors Planetary Resources has sent out an email blast saying if we make it to $2 million we'll "enhance" ARKYD to hunt for Exoplanets.

With Kepler costing approximately around $600 million for its lifecyle, the ARKYD is quite a deal though they are clear to say they won't rival Kepler. They plan on adding "exoplanet transit detection capability by enhancing the telescope's stability systems and dedicating time to monitor candidate star systems." Among the many questions is how good a detector could ARKYD be. Also, how does hunting for Exoplanets fit into the companies mission statement? Sure it's E/PO, but is it just a gimmick to get over the initial E/PO funding goal?

CORE is Closing, NASA

Marc's note: A NASA Watch reader sent this in:

"The NASA-sponsored Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE) is closing. CORE has been operated through a cooperative agreement with Lorain County Joint Vocational School in Oberlin, Ohio. The cooperative agreement, which provides funding for CORE, ends on June 30, 2013. Final orders through CORE should be submitted no later than June 9, 2013."

"June 10, 2013 - The CORE website will be taken off-line and replaced with an explanatory redirection page sending visitors to the "Find Teaching Materials" Web page (http://www.nasa.gov/education/materials) from which educators can search for electronic versions of NASA educational materials, including video clips and links to other content-rich NASA websites. We also plan to direct educators to the NASA Field Center Educator Resource Centers (ERCs) to inquire on the availability of educational materials. This explanatory redirection link will only remain active through Sept. 30, 2013. Beginning October 1, visitors will be immediately redirected to the "Find Teaching Materials" Web page.

We recommend that you remove any links to CORE (http://core.nasa.gov) from websites for which you have responsibility."

ASP Statement Regarding the Obama Administration's GFY14 Budget Proposal Relating to NASA SMD EPO Funding, The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

"The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), speaking from the perspective of 124 years of advancing science and science education, expresses its profound concern over the Obama Administration's fiscal year 2014 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education restructuring proposal. This proposal will drastically reduce NASA's education and public outreach (EPO) effort, including the abrupt termination of all mission-based EPO efforts in NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). We believe that this action, in NASA and similarly in other science agencies, will significantly damage STEM education efforts--just the opposite of what the Administration intends."


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