Nicole Bishop, an undergraduate chemistry major at University of Northern Iowa who has had personal research supported by an Iowa Space Grant Consortium Research Fellowship, was recently featured in a news story on the UNI STEM web site. It details her research work with the NASA Cassini mission, which collected data about the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.
Two new and impactful opportunities await Iowa K-12 educators in the 2019 Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) Partner Schools program. Applications for the program are now being accepted through 3 p.m. December 3, 2018.
The ISGC-sponsored Partner School Program supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school partnerships to help schools connect to learning opportunities that advance the mission of NASA to increase awareness of STEM careers.
Beginning in 2019 ISGC partner school teachers (educator teams and STEM educators) will be able to take part in NASA’s Space Exploration Educator’s Conference (SEEC) at Space Center Houston and the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX; and the Spaceflight Operations Workshop with the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State
University in August, which is coordinated by distinguished faculty fellow and former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson. The goal of participation in the programs is to allow educators to bring the experiences back to their classrooms to benefit their students as well as their colleagues. ISGC partners agree to conduct professional development (ISGC Academy) within their districts, regions, or at professional conferences to expand the ISGC investment and reach.
The SEEC will be held February 7-9, 2019. It invites participants to “experience three days of complete immersion into the out-of-this-world adventure of space exploration!” Sessions hosted by scientists, engineers, astronauts and other officials cover endeavors such as the International Space Station, exploration of Mars and more. ISGC will cover selected costs for participants in the SEEC.
The Spaceflight Operations Workshop, tentatively scheduled for August 2-12, 2019, engages educators and engineering students in a team environment to learn how to think and function like astronauts. It immerses participants in a series of experiences and classroom activities that represent a microcosm of NASA astronaut training to develop the skill of “thinking operationally.”
A detailed 2019 Partner Schools Application Packet, with more information about the two new opportunities and application forms, is available on the ISGC web site.
Department of Aerospace Engineering lecturer and director of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium Tomas Gonzalez-Torres will be a featured presenter when The Story Collider comes to Iowa State University.
With a goal of presenting the human side of science, The Story Collider is a nonprofit organization dedicated to telling true, personal stories about science through a series of live shows and podcasts involving various individuals from many backgrounds, including scientists and education professionals.
Gonzalez-Torres will relate a story under the theme of “Fields of Opportunities,” the name of the show at Iowa State. He will join three other individuals who are part of the university Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. at the Maintenance Shop, Memorial Union, as they tell stories of seeking, finding and losing new opportunities in science.
Gonzalez-Torres, a native of Puerto Rico who grew up in Iowa, received a B.S. in aerospace engineering from Iowa State in 1998 and went on to a distinguished career with NASA. He served as Flight Director for four years, earning the prestigious NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for his exceptional performance as head of an International Space Station Expedition. He worked missions involving the assembly of the International Space Station and repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope, where he was the lead spacewalk officer. He led four space station expedition space walks. He left NASA in 2016 to move back to Iowa and be closer to his family.
He was named the director of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium at Iowa State University in 2018.
NASA is continuing a student engineering opportunity at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL).
Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams, or Micro-g NExT, challenges students to design and build prototypes of spacewalk tools and then travel to Houston to test their prototypes in the simulated microgravity environment of NASA’s 6.2 million gallon indoor pool – the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), where astronauts train for spacewalks.
Through this activity, the NBL is open to students for hands-on engineering design. Advisors and mentors are encouraged to have students apply for Micro-g NExT. The proposal deadline is November 1, 2018.
For tips on how to submit a successful proposal, join the Micro-g NExT Coordinator for an online information session. Information sessions are available at https://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov during these upcoming times:
- September 20, 2018, 6p.m. Central Time
- October 1, 2018 at 6p.m. Central Time
NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) has released a call for proposals for its 2019 competition.
The RASC-AL Competition is a collegiate-level engineering design challenge that allows students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. It is one of NASA’s long-running and most robust student competitions.
Four different themes are available for submissions. Interested students and their advisors should submit an online notice of intent by October 15, 2018, and proposals and videos by January 17, 2019. Details are available here.
Be an insider when the “UNI-NASA Connection” comes to the University of Northern Iowa September 24. The event will showcase Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) and NASA opportunities for educators and researchers, especially those involved with STEM-related curriculum.
The event will be held in the Maucker Union Elm Room, 3:30-4:30 p.m. It will feature new Iowa Space Grant Consortium director Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, former NASA Mission Control Flight Director and now lecturer in Iowa State University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering; and Nina Jocic, an Iowa Space Grant Consortium undergraduate research fellow from UNI.
No R.S.V.P required. See an event flyer here.