Expanding NASA Opportunities for Native American and Alaska Native Learners — Ellensburg, June 2018

Whether you are a classroom teacher or work with after-school and out-of-school programs, the Expanding NASA Opportunities for Native American and Alaska Native Learners Summit will help you create and implement new hands-on learning opportunities for students underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The summit will be held in Ellensburg, WA from June 25 – 29, 2018. Lodging and meals will be provided for all participants at no cost. Travel assistance is also available. Please visit our new page to learn more details.

NESSP STEM Educator Summits apply a co-creation model wherein participants first understand education gaps, then develop methods for creating culturally relevant STEM activities infused with NASA science, to engage and successfully prepare underrepresented students through academic excellence for high wage and high demand careers. Summits will also include training for educators to offer week-long, NESSP-funded summer camps in their community.

Preference will be given to educators who commit to facilitating a summer camp in their community, and educators that can demonstrate the ability to recruit a high number of underserved students (i.e. students underrepresented in STEM and students receiving free or reduced-fee lunches) to participate in a summer camp.

Camp facilitators will be provided with camp curriculum, required materials, and access to a network of subject matter experts. Lead camp facilitators will receive a $1,500 stipend to compensate them for their efforts. Camp para-educators will receive a $1,000 stipend. Camp facilitators will commit to securing the location for the summer camp, recruiting students, facilitating the summer camp, and returning all loaned materials and required reporting.

Topics will include training for facilitating student learning activities involving LEGO® Mindstorm Robotics and Rocketry, examples of making cultural connections to the material, and an overview of related NASA Missions.

Expanding NASA Opportunities for Underserved Communities Summit — Seattle, 2018

Whether you are a classroom teacher or work with after-school and out-of-school programs, the Expanding NASA Opportunities for Underserved Communities Summit will help you create and implement new hands-on learning opportunities for students underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The summit will be held in Seattle from July 10 – 14, 2018. Lodging and meals will be provided for all participants at no cost. Travel assistance is also available. Please visit our new page to learn more details.

NESSP STEM Educator Summits apply a co-creation model wherein participants first understand education gaps, then develop methods for creating culturally relevant STEM activities infused with NASA science, to engage and successfully prepare underrepresented students through academic excellence for high wage and high demand careers. Summits will also include training for educators to offer week-long, NESSP-funded summer camps in their community.

Preference will be given to educators who commit to facilitating a summer camp in their community, and educators that can demonstrate the ability to recruit a high number of underserved students (i.e. students underrepresented in STEM and students receiving free or reduced-fee lunches) to participate in a summer camp.

Camp facilitators will be provided with camp curriculum, required materials, and access to a network of subject matter experts. Lead camp facilitators will receive a $1,500 stipend to compensate them for their efforts. Camp para-educators will receive a $1,000 stipend. Camp facilitators will commit to securing the location for the summer camp, recruiting students, facilitating the summer camp, and returning all loaned materials and required reporting.

Topics will include training for facilitating student learning activities involving LEGO® Mindstorm Robotics and Rocketry, examples of making cultural connections to the material, and an overview of related NASA Missions. For a an overview of the summit and NGSS alignments, please see NGSS-STEM Educator Summits. A full agenda will be posted in the near future.

Native American youth launch high-altitude balloons for unique perspective on solar eclipse

By Michelle Ma
UW News

Video by Mary Marshall

While many people across the country donned viewing glasses and prepared to watch Monday’s solar eclipse, a group of 100 teenagers from tribes across the Pacific Northwest launched balloons thousands of feet into the air, gaining a novel perspective of the eclipse — and the chance to send meaningful artifacts to the edge of space during a memorable moment in history.

The high school students released their balloons from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs land in north central Oregon, directly in the path of totality that allows viewers to see the moon completely cover the sun. Close to 400 people, mainly tribal members and students, gathered to watch. The event, organized by University of Washington-based Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium and the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, was the largest effort involving Native American tribes during the eclipse.

Students prepare to launch the balloons. (Mark Stone/University of Washington)

In addition to launching the giant weather balloons, students from each school attached culturally significant items, called payloads, to the balloons and sent them high into the sky. Their artifacts nearly reached space before returning to the ground.

“This is the first time many of the students get to participate in a cutting-edge experiment of this type,” said the consortium’s director, Robert Winglee, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. “Seeing their own payloads at the rim of space is quite exciting. This different perspective will hopefully awaken other ideas for gaining different perspectives on their own lives and their own career paths.”

The total eclipse, as seen from Warm Springs, OR. (Dennis Wise/University of Washington)

Over the past couple of years, consortium staff visited many of the schools participating in the eclipse balloon launch, introducing students to space research and various NASA projects. The goal is to bring STEM-related topics to the students in culturally relevant ways, said outreach specialist Isabel Carrera Zamanillo.

The eclipse project is a tangible way to further involve these students.

“Participation in this eclipse is just a next step for students,” said Carrera Zamanillo, who is also a graduate fellow with the UW’s Center for Environmental Politics. “This is a continuing effort from two years of visiting tribes, and it is a nice event where we can congregate together.”

Each of the 12 student teams created a small payload to attach to the high-altitude balloons. These items are important artifacts to students and included carved wooden instruments, feathers, whistles and a small paddle. Some students also designed electronic sensors that were placed in the balloons and delivered data on temperature, altitude and distance traveled as they soared high into the sky.

The balloons can reach altitudes of 110,000 feet and were fitted with cameras and GPS trackers. The four balloons were released in pairs before the start of the total eclipse, with the hope that the cameras would capture a unique perspective.

Students created payloads, or significant artifacts, to travel up with the balloons. (Mark Stone/University of Washington)

As expected, the balloons popped after two and a half hours of flight, and parachutes helped the artifacts and electronic equipment fall safely to the ground. The items landed about 20 miles from the launch site and teams planned to recover them with the help of GPS. About 35 UW-affiliated volunteers, including undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty, joined consortium staff in Oregon to help with the event.

NASA released several similar weather balloons in conjunction with the solar eclipse — including a launch off the Oregon coast — that intended to provide different views along the path of the eclipse.

The consortium’s leaders hope this experience will encourage students to build payloads that could hitch a ride on current space-flight missions. Blue Origin, for example, has carrying capacity for such artifacts, Winglee said.

“We can encourage the students and say, ‘Look, you’ve done high-altitude balloons, why don’t you go all the way?’ I think this is a steppingstone for students,” he said.


Originally posted at UW News.

Black Pilots of America Legacy Gala

Come dance with us at the BPA Legacy Gala on Saturday, August 19th, 6-11 pm, at the Future of Flight Aviation Center, Paine Field (PAE).

For the first time, the National Meeting of Black Pilots of America is coming to Washington and we are celebrating this historic event with dining and dancing. See the flyer for details, and purchase your admission at www.bpapilots.org/chapter-events.

We have a reach legacy based in the love of aviation. Checkout this video about our matriarch:

At this Legacy Gala, we are going to honor our founder, Les Morris, who has the distinction of being the first black pilot hired by Eastern Airlines and created what is now the BPA Summer Flight Academy 46 years ago.

Purchase your admission online. You can also send a check/money order to:
Red-Tailed Hawks, PO Box 1403, Mukilteo, WA 98275

$50 dollars per person or $100 per couple.

Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club
PO Box 1403
Mukilteo, WA 98275

Red Tailed Hawks Application now open

Students ages 16-19, who would like to learn to fly, may do so by applying to the Red-Tailed Hawks FLY Club, part of the Black Pilots of America, Inc.. Applications are due no later than 22 May 2017 (This due date is updated from that listed on the Brochure and Application). Please see links for more details:

Flier:RTH FLY Brochure 2017.pdf

Application Form:2017 RTH FLY Application.pdf

KING 5 News report about the Red-Tailed Hawks: http://www.king5.com/news/local/club-encourages-young-minorities-to-consider-careers-in-aviation/210108130

MSU Explore: Earth & Space Science Camp

Dates: June 25-30, 2017
Cost: Free
Grades: 6-8 (Fall 2017)
Location: Montana State University, Bozeman

Learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

MSU Explore: Earth & Space Science Camp is a five-day summer camp to encourage Montana middle school students to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math. The camp inspires students to consider science-related careers, encourages them to pursue a college education, and also gives them a taste of college life.

How to Apply
In order to attend MSU Explore: Earth & Space Science Camp, a student must be entering grades 6-8 in the fall of 2017. The student needs to fill out an application and choose two (2) adults to fill out a recommendation form.

Applications will be available in Spring 2017.

For More Information
Please direct questions to Nicole Soll at nicole.soll1@montana.edu or 406-994-6633.

Website: http://eu.montana.edu/explore/

NASA-funded consortium to support science education in Washington, Oregon and Montana

By Michelle Ma
UW News

A new program based at the University of Washington will bring together educational institutions, K-12 teachers and informal education organizations to inspire, teach and recruit the next generation of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The new Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, or NESSP, has begun a $10 million, five-year cooperative agreement with NASA that broadens existing programs and launches new efforts throughout Washington, Oregon and Montana, with a particular focus on underserved and underrepresented communities.

“The goal is to create a virtual NASA hub in the Northwest to provide excellence in the teaching of STEM disciplines, from middle school to high school, and provide a conduit for students from across the region, including from underserved and underrepresented groups, to move into STEM careers,” said principal investigator Robert Winglee, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences.

UW space scientist Robert Winglee and a student prepare to launch a bottle rocket. As part of the new effort, more teachers will be trained to do rocketry demonstrations. (Washington NASA Space Grant)

The program establishes a regional network that will increase collaboration to boost the capacity for STEM education and experiences in the early years.

Examples of the program’s efforts include:

  • Expanding the Washington Aerospace Scholars program — an in-depth space science experience for high school juniors that includes an online UW course and a week at the Museum of Flight — to enroll students from Montana and Oregon.
  • Supporting the Red-Tailed Hawks Flying Club, a Mukilteo-based group that trains black students in aviation, to incorporate NASA curriculum and do outreach to rural areas and tribal nations across the three states.
  • Funding the Pacific Science Center in Seattle to hold one-day and week-long versions of its science camps in other locations in the three states, and expand the reach of its Science-On-Wheels program.
  • Offering in-person teacher training workshops in each state in Earth and space sciences.
  • Providing virtual training opportunities for K-12 teacher development, with options for teachers to share STEM resources and curriculum.
  • Creating more opportunities for high school students to do hands-on summer research projects on college and university campuses.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth in the Northwest region of private-sector aerospace companies,” Winglee said. “Proving a conduit for students to move into those kinds of careers is important.”

He and Carlos Chavez, a UW staff member who is associate director of the Washington Space Grant Consortium, will visit the three states this spring to do rocketry demonstrations in tribal communities and conduct teacher training with NASA curriculum. In April, they will visit the Yakama Nation in Washington and the Crow and Blackfeet nations in Montana. They will also make a similar visit this spring to Oregon.

Participating organizations include the Museum of Flight; Pacific Science Center; the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, an existing UW-based effort to support aerospace and STEM education; the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium; the Montana NASA Space Grant Consortium; Montana State University; Oregon State University; Montana’s Office of Public Instruction; the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman; Portland’s Oregon Museum of Science and Industry; the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership; the UW Pipeline ProjectNorthwest Indian College in Bellingham; First Nations MESA in Toppenish, Washington; Everett Community College; and K-12 school districts including Highline and Coulee Dam, Washington; Salem, Oregon; and Washington state’s Olympic Educational Service District and North Central Educational Service District.

The consortium held its first planning meeting in late January at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. (Washington NASA Space Grant)

The group held its kickoff meeting in January at the Museum of Flight. Erika Harnett, a UW research associate professor in Earth and space sciences, is associate director of Washington Space Grant and co-principal investigator for this cooperative agreement.

The effort is one of 27 awards selected last fall by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to support NASA science education at institutions to encourage STEM careers.

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For more information, contact Robert Winglee at 206-685-8160 or winglee@uw.edu, or Washington Space Grant program manager April Huff at 206-543-0213 or alhuff@uw.edu.


Originally posted at UW News.