Author Topic: NASA Provides Opportunities for Students to Soar to New Heights  (Read 2180 times)

Offline Magic Wand

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NASA Provides Opportunities for Students to Soar to New Heights

PRESS Release
Date Released: Saturday, August 14, 2010
Source: Glenn Research Center

CLEVELAND -- Students in grades K-12 in the Indianapolis area will soon be able to explore the world of math and science using the latest computer technology.

NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, in partnership with Martin University in Indianapolis, dedicated a new Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) at the university today. The program features an Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL): a state-of-the-art, electronically enhanced computerized classroom.

Among the dignitaries present at the dedication were Dr. Algeania Freeman, president, Martin University; Dr. Stacy Hughes, state deputy superintendent, Indiana Department of Education; The Honorable Tanya Walton-Pratt, federal judge; and Dr. Michael Twyman, grants manager, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Representing NASA was Darlene Walker, NASA SEMAA project manager
at Glenn. Also present were Gail Dolman-Smith, president and CEO of Paragon Tec, Inc., and the director of the National SEMAA Office, Jomill Wiley.

Astronaut Leland Melvin presented "My Life Story" during the dedication ceremony. Melvin is a veteran of two space shuttle flights to the International Space Station and has logged over 565 hours in space. Melvin is currently on assignment at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., in support of the Summer of Innovation Program. In doing so, he has traveled across the country, engaging thousands of students and teachers in the excitement of space exploration and inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

The young people who participate in this program will be the engineers, researchers and computer experts of tomorrow," said Mike Foreman, chief of External Programs at Glenn, which manages the program. "The goal of this program is to inspire them to excel in the areas of math, science and technology, so they may reach their full potential."

SEMAA is an innovative, national project designed to increase participation and retention of underrepresented youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL) puts cutting-edge technology at the fingertips of NASA SEMAA middle and high school students. Each of the ten computerized research stations provides students with real world challenges relative to both aeronautics and microgravity scenarios. The AEL at Martin University is part of a nationwide network of similar programs cosponsored by NASA that were built and equipped with a combination of local and NASA funds. Each AEL is valued at $220,000.

SEMAA was a vision of former Congressman Louis Stokes of Cleveland, designed to foster understanding and enthusiasm for math and science in school-age children. Established as a joint venture between NASA's Glenn Research Center and Cuyahoga Community College, the project has grown from a single site to a national organization that is supported by an established network of partners and dedicated to improving the academic success of children nationwide.

The NASA SEMAA project is managed by the Educational Programs Office at Glenn, with contractor support provided by Paragon TEC, Inc. that manages the National SEMAA Office. Since its inception in 1993, SEMAA has reached more than 630,000 students, parents/caregivers, and educators. SEMAA sites are located in 18 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Together with more than 150 STEM partners, the program continues its work to engage, educate and inspire the next generation of explorers.

For additional information about SEMAA and the AEL, visit:

For further information on Glenn Research Center, visit:

For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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Offline Magic Wand

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Re: NASA Provides Opportunities for Students to Soar to New Heights
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 06:06:31 pm »
NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute 2010 Academic Year Kick-off  (Higher Education)
Undergraduate students and faculty are encouraged to register for the NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute 2010 Academic Year Kick-off. The event is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2010, with a welcome message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and live Q&A, followed by a live presentation at 3 p.m. EDT explaining the NASA University Student Launch Initiative. MICI is a virtual training ground where minority undergraduate students learn how to compete in NASA technical challenges.

NASA Education Stakeholders' Summit
(Higher Education)
NASA's Offices of Education, Human Capital and Management, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and Communications invite the higher education community to attend the Education Stakeholder's Summit. This event will showcase NASA's new One Stop Shopping Initiative for Internships, Fellowships and Scholarship Opportunities. A special workshop with important information for NASA Principal Investigators will also take place. The summit will take place Sept. 13-15, 2010, at the Marriott Westfield Conference Center in Chantilly, Va. Registration is required.

Hitch a Ride on the Glory Satellite (All Grade Levels)
Do you want to hitch a ride on NASA's next climate monitoring satellite? Join the Glory mission, which will launch no earlier than Oct. 1, 2010, by surfing over to the Send Your Name Around the Earth Web page. Names will be recorded on a microchip built into the satellite, and you will get a printable certificate from NASA acknowledging your participation. There are already 226,323 names on the chip, but there's still plenty of room. You may not submit your name more than once.

Celebrate World Space Week 2010 (All Grade Levels)
The Space Age began on Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of Sputnik 1. To commemorate this event, World Space Week will be celebrated on Oct. 4-10, 2010. During World Space Week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities in the classroom. Educational materials can be found on the World Space Week website, and teachers can enter their classroom's events into the global calendar.

2011 NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program (Higher Education)
NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program is accepting proposals from undergraduate students. This program gives aspiring explorers a chance to propose, design and fabricate a reduced-gravity experiment. Selected teams will test and evaluate their experiment aboard NASA's reduced-gravity airplane. All applicants must be full-time undergraduate students, U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old. Proposals are due Oct. 27, 2010. Selected teams will fly in the summer of 2011.

RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge (Grades 9-12 and Higher Education)
The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge invites high school students to work cooperatively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems. Participants explore and design solutions to two problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. Project solutions for Phase 1 of the challenge are due Dec. 15, 2010. Teams who complete the first phase are then paired with participating college engineering students to begin Phase 2, the InWorld phase of the challenge.

2010-11 Green Aviation Student Competition
(Higher Education)
NASA invites students to propose ideas and designs for future aircraft that use less fuel, produce fewer harmful emissions and make less noise. Undergraduate- and graduate-level individuals or teams are asked to submit a well-documented paper and a short video. Top-scoring video entries may be aired on NASA Web sites, and students may win a trip to an aviation event. Top students may also earn a paid internship at a NASA center. Entries must be submitted by March 15, 2011, or May 2, 2011.

Fly Your Face in Space (All Grade Levels)
NASA wants to launch a picture of you on one of the remaining space shuttle missions. After registering at the Face in Space Web site, you’ll be able to upload an image that will be put on a disc and flown aboard a shuttle on a future mission. After launch, participants will be able to print a commemorative certificate signed by the mission commander. From the Face in Space site you can also check on mission status, find NASA educational resources, and follow the crew on Twitter or Facebook.

Hubble 3D Movie Blasts into IMAX® and IMAX® 3D Theatres (All Grade Levels)
Treat your students to the ultimate field trip! Through the power of IMAX® 3-D, journey through distant galaxies to explore the mysteries of our celestial surroundings, accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult tasks in NASA history, and experience never-before-seen 3-D flights through Hubble imagery. Classroom activities inspired by the film are available for downloading. Exclusive IMAX engagements began on March 19, 2010.

Send Your Name to Mars (All Grade Levels)
NASA invites you to submit your name to be included on a microchip that will be sent to Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, scheduled to launch in 2011. The Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or still is, an environment able to support microbial life. Participants can print a certificate of participation and view a map showing where other contributors are from.

"From Earth to the Universe" Exhibit (All Grade Levels)
From Earth to the Universe" is a collection of astronomical images that showcase the most dramatic views of the universe. The images represent the incredible variety of astronomical objects that are known to exist -- planets, comets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and the clusters in which they congregate -- and are being exhibited in over 250 locations throughout the world in 2009 and 2010. Over 60 countries are scheduled to host a FETTU exhibit.

Teacher and Student Opportunity: Ames Education Associates Project (Higher Education)
The Ames Education Associates Program is a unique experiential learning program that provides students or faculty members at U.S. colleges or universities, postdoctoral fellows and active K-12 teachers the opportunity to "experience NASA." Educational Associates will participate in and contribute to a project at a NASA facility for a minimum of two months, and a maximum of 12. The program operates year round and positions may start and end at any time.

Research Scholarship: NASA Astrobiology Institute (Higher Education)
The NASA Astrobiology Institute Research Scholarship Project offers research-related travel support that enables graduate or postdoctoral students to circulate among two or more NAI teams or participating institutions of the NAI. Requests are accepted on a continuous basis

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." --Aristotle, Greek philosopher

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Offline Battle

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Re: NASA Provides Opportunities for Students to Soar to New Heights
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 08:48:53 am »
Monday, 24th February 2o2o
Katherine Johnson, ‘hidden figure’ at NASA during 1960s space race, passes at 101
by Harrison Smith

When Katherine Johnson began working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1953, she was classified as “subprofessional,” not far outranking a secretary or janitor.

Hers was a labor not of scheduling or cleaning but rather of mathematics:

using a slide rule or mechanical calculator in complex calculations to check the work of her superiors — engineers who, unlike her, were white and male.

Her title, poached by the technology that would soon make the services of many of her colleagues obsolete, was “computer.”

Mrs. Johnson, who passed away February 24th at 101, went on to develop equations that helped the NACA and its successor, NASA, send astronauts into orbit and, later, to the moon.

In 26 signed reports for the space agency, and in many more papers that bore others’ signatures on her work, she codified mathematical principles that remain at the core of manned space travel.

She was not the first black woman to work as a NASA mathematician, nor the first to write a research report for the agency, but Mrs. Johnson was eventually recognized as a pathbreaker for women and African Americans in the newly created field of spaceflight.

Like most backstage members of the space program, Mrs. Johnson was overshadowed in the popular imagination by the life-risking astronauts whose flights she calculated, and to a lesser extent by the department heads under whom she served.

She did not command mainstream attention until President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the country’s highest civilian honor — in 2015.

The next year, her research was celebrated in the best-selling book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly and the Oscar-nominated film adaptation starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

Mrs. Johnson was “critical to the success of the early U.S. space programs,” Bill Barry, NASA’s chief historian, said in a 2017 interview for this obituary.

“She had a singular intellect, curiosity and skill set in mathematics that allowed her to make many contributions, each of which might be considered worthy of a single lifetime.”

A math prodigy from West Virginia who said she “counted everything” as a child — “the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed” — Mrs. Johnson worked as a schoolteacher before becoming a computer at the NACA’s flight research division, based at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The agency was established in 1915 and began hiring white women to work as computers 20 years later.

Black computers, assigned mainly to segregated facilities, were first hired during the labor shortage of World War II.

Mrs. Johnson was one of about 100 computers, roughly one-third of whom were black, when she joined the NACA.

The movie “Hidden Figures” took occasional liberties with fact to emphasize the indignities of segregation.

Mrs. Johnson, played by Henson, is forced to run half a mile to reach the “colored” bathroom.

In reality, Mrs. Johnson said, she used the bathroom closest to her desk.

“I did not feel much discrimination, but then that’s me,” she recalled in a 1992 NASA oral history.

When she detected hints of racism, such as when a white colleague stood up to leave as soon as she sat down, she said, she tried not to respond.

“I don’t wear my feelings on my shoulder. So I got along fine.”

Mrs. Johnson, who had a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, spent her early career studying data from plane crashes to help devise air safety standards, at a time when the agency’s central concern was aviation.

Then, in October 1957, the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik thrust the space race into full tilt.

Mrs. Johnson and dozens of colleagues wrote a 600-page technical report titled “Notes on Space Technology” outlining the mathematical underpinnings of spaceflight, from rocket propulsion to orbital mechanics and heat protection.

One of rocket science’s most vexing challenges, they soon realized, was calculating flight trajectories to ensure that astronauts returned safely to Earth, splashing down in the ocean reasonably close to a Navy vessel waiting to pluck them from the water.

For astronauts such as Alan B. Shepard Jr., who became the first American in space when Freedom 7 launched on May 5th, 1961, the math was relatively straightforward.

Shepard’s craft rose and fell, like a champagne cork, without entering orbit.

Calculating the trajectory for an orbital flight, such as the one to be undertaken by Marine pilot John Glenn in 1962, was “orders of magnitude more complicated,” Shetterly, the “Hidden Figures” author, said in 2017.

“I said, ‘Let me do it,’ ” Mrs. Johnson recalled in a 2008 NASA interview.

“You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I’ll do it backwards and tell you when to take off.”

Mrs. Johnson’s findings, outlined in a 1960 paper she wrote with engineer Ted Skopinski, enabled engineers to determine exactly when to launch a spacecraft and when to begin its re-entry.

The paper, “Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position,” marked the first time a woman wrote a technical report in NASA’s elite flight research division.

“You could work your teeth out, but you didn’t get your name on the report,” she said in the 1992 oral history, crediting her breakthrough to what she described as an assertive personality.

When a superior said that she could not accompany male colleagues to a briefing related to her work, Mrs. Johnson asked, “Is there a law that says I can’t go?”

Her boss relented.

Mrs. Johnson’s handwritten calculations were said to have been more trusted than those performed by microprocessors.

A short time before Glenn launched into space, he asked engineers to “get the girl to check the numbers.”

“All the women were called ‘the girls,’ ” said Barry, “and everyone knew exactly which girl he was talking about.”

Mrs. Johnson, who was then 43, spent a day and a half checking the trajectory calculations made by the IBM computer before giving the go-ahead to Glenn, who became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth.

In a subsequent report, Mrs. Johnson took her calculations one step further, working with several colleagues to determine how a spacecraft could move in and out of a planetary body’s orbit.

Her formulas were crucial to the success of the Apollo lunar program and are still in use today, Barry said.

“If we go back to the moon, or to Mars, we’ll be using her math.”

Katherine Coleman was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, then a town of about 800, on Aug. 26, 1918. Her mother was a former teacher.

She credited her proclivity for mathematics to her father, a farmer who had worked in the lumber industry and could quickly calculate the number of boards a tree could produce.

By 10, Katherine had finished all the coursework offered at her town’s two-room schoolhouse.

Joined by her mother and her three older siblings, she moved to Institute, a suburb of the state capital, to attend the laboratory school of West Virginia State College while her father remained at home to support the family.

Mrs. Johnson went on to study at West Virginia State, a historically black college, with plans to major in French and English and become a teacher.

A mathematics professor — W.W. Schiefflin Claytor, widely reported to be the third African American to receive a doctorate in math — persuaded her to change fields.

Mrs. Johnson later recalled his saying:

“You’d make a good research mathematician, and I’m going to see that you’re prepared.”

She had never heard of the position before.

“I said, ‘Where will I get a job?’ And he said, ‘That will be your problem.’ ”

After graduating in 1937, at 18, she taught at a segregated elementary school in Marion, Virginia, a town near the North Carolina border.

Three years later, she was one of three black students selected to integrate West Virginia University’s graduate programs.

She dropped out of her master’s in mathematics program after one semester to start a family with her husband, James Goble, a chemistry teacher.

She later returned to teaching, in West Virginia, before a brother-in-law suggested she apply for a computer position at Langley.

Goble died of cancer in 1956.

Mrs. Johnson married James Johnson, an Army artillery officer, three years later.

Her passing was announced by NASA and additional details were not immediately available.

Mrs. Johnson was invited to move to Houston in the mid-1960s to help establish what is now the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, but she declined the offer to maintain her family’s ties to the Hampton community, Shetterly said.

At Langley, where she retired in 1986, she performed calculations that determined the precise moment at which the Apollo lunar lander could leave the moon’s surface to return to the command module, which remained in orbit high above.

She also contributed to NASA’s space shuttle and Earth satellite programs.

After the release of “Hidden Figures,” Mrs. Johnson played down the importance of her role in the early years of the space program.

“There’s nothing to it — I was just doing my job,” she told The Washington Post in 2017.

“They needed information, and I had it, and it didn’t matter that I found it,” she added.

“At the time, it was just a question and an answer.”

Offline Battle

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Re: NASA Provides Opportunities for Students to Soar to New Heights
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2020, 09:36:05 am »