Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Expanding Frontiers Spring 2000

Expanding Frontiers is a publication of Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium. To join our mailing list, please send us an e-mail with your request.

Table of Contents:

Helping winning teams reach their goals

robotics team

Robotics winners Prof. Phillip Dunston, Daniel Villa, Jake Parks (red shirt) Rylan Bryant, Lincoln Ghioni, Matthew Dockrey and Sean Caughlan (kneeling)

Space Grant support has allowed UW students to display their talents in programs around the country.

In February, a team of student designers and engineers steered their way to second place in the American Society of Civil Engineers' annual space and robotics conference in Albuquerque, N.M. The biannual competition, co-sponsored by NASA and Sandia National Laboratories, challenges students who are not majoring in space-related disciplines to solve technical problems in space.

"This year1s scenario was substantially more difficult than previous competition scenarios," says Prof. Phillip Dunston, who has taken winning teams to the competition three times. "The number and types of specified tasks demanded very versatile systems."

In another area, students Heidi Kappes and Ben Armentrout presented the results of their interdisciplinary team's research into closed ecological systems in May at a HEDS-UP forum at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. Eight students, working with Dr. Frieda B. Taub of the School of Fisheries, met the challenge of building a closed system to support an invertebrate population for one month or more. NASA hopes such experiments will provide techniques that can be used to support human space exploration.

Lastly, junior Natacha Chough heads down to Ames Research Center in California this June to participate in the NASA Astrobiology Academy. Her DNA work seeks to find clues on how plants function today versus the past, as well as ideas on whether similar processes are possible elsewhere in the universe. Chough, whose goal is aerospace medicine, says she's wanted to be an astronaut since "my Mom sat me down in front of the TV and made me watch 3-2-1- Contact."

LiftOff winner

Port Orchard teacher Anna Paoletti has been selected to participate in LiftOff 2000: Return to Mars. The Texas program brings teachers together with the engineers and scientists at the forefront of Mars research. Judging was based on leadership ability, teaching experience, and plans to share the program's resources.

Scholarships given to promising high school grads and fellows


Eileen Perry


Joanna Valencia

Space Grant offered University of Washington scholarships to 32 students from around the state. Meet three of the outstanding young people who will be joining the Space Grant community this year.

Joanna Valencia, a National Honor Society member, combined math and science studies at Wapato High School in Wapato with her activities as a nursing home volunteer and after-school tutor. In addition, she was recognized by the Battelle Corporation for her work in their student research apprenticeship program. Joanna plans to study materials sciences and engineering.

Peter Norgaard, a Garfield High School graduate, combines a passion for debate with an interest in space. An Eagle Scout and founder of Garfield's Scandinavian Culture Club, he hosted and co-produced a weekly student television sho. He plans to major in aerospace engineering.

National Merit Semi-finalist Eileen Peery of Mark Morris High School in Longview envisions a career in computer science with additional studies in electrical engineering. She has already participated in a summer apprenticeship at Hewlett Packard. She was also a member of the All-State band.

UW Space Grant Scholars enjoy informal, quarterly gatherings, guidance from a faculty mentor and a chance to reside on the Space Grant dormitory floor. They also have a chance to participate in cutting edge research as an undergraduate, often before they begin their freshman year.

The scholarships range in size from $750 for books to $4,500 for full tuition or housing. All Space Grant scholarships are renewable for up to four years.

The academic departments, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Mary Gates, Donnergaard Family, and Sigurd Olsen endowment funds provided matching funds.

Space Grant also awarded three $5,000 and five $1,500 scholarships to students at Seattle Central Community College. Scholarships will also be awarded at Washington State University and Northwest Indian College.

Student satellites receive grant

This spring, the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium awarded a $13,000 grant to the Dawgstar nanosatellite project. The project is part of a national program to launch a student-built satellite network into space.

Headed by Prof. Mark Campbell of the UW Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Dawgstar brings together an interdisciplinary team of 19 graduate and undergraduate students. UW is one of 10 universities building nanosatellites for launch on a Space Shuttle mission in 2002.

The UW students - working with teams from Utah State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute -- are designing and developing a system of three 10-kg spacecraft. Collaborating with NASA Goddard, the group will demonstrate satellite cross-links, exchanging relative global positioning satellite information and possibly attitude information.

The Space Grant monies will allow the Dawgstar team to add a graduate mentor who will guide five new undergraduate team members. For more information, visit the ION-F Web site at http://www.nanosat.usu.edu/overview/ion-f.html.


ERC to stay open through summer

teacher workshop

Ed Sobey, author of Fantastic Flying Fun with Science: 69 Projects You Can Fly, Spin, Launch and Ride, kicked off the ERC's first Saturday workshop by explaining the basics of flying toys to a group of 25 teachers

The NASA Regional Educator Resource Center, located in the Space Grant offices in Johnson Hall on the University of Washington campus, will remain open through the summer.

The expanded center drew about 30 teachers to its first Saturday workshop in January. The center offers a wide selection of resource material on space flight, astronomy, aeronautics and earth science.

Materials include curricula, videos, slides, compact disks and books. ERC Coordinator Alex Koerger can help teachers select the most appropriate materials for their topics. The electronic newsletter for teachers will be sent out once a month during the summer. Events and workshops will also be posted on the Space Grant Web site.

New tools to explore
Earth from Space

The "Exploring Earth From Space" Lithograph Set includes instructional materials and photographs taken from the Space Shuttle showing Earth features such as mountains, agriculture, clouds, and urban development.

The accompanying instructional materials contain suggestions for using the photographs in studying land changes over time, weather patterns, mathematics and even culture.

Among the image packages are forest fires in Sumatra, eruption of the Klyuchevskaya volcano, deforestation in Rondonia Brazil, cloud patterns and space cameras.To obtain the set, go to http://spacelink.nasa.gov/products/Exploring.Earth.From.Space/

Summer workshop offered for teachers

Join scientists and educators in an eight-day exploration of the planetary sciences through a study of Washington geology and the latest information about Mars. Workshop sessions targets the relevant Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements and the National Science Education standards.

Mars Geology: A Summer Workshop for Teachers is co-sponsored by Space Grant and the Lunar and Planetary Institute. The program includes a three-day field trip to central Washington to examine landscape features analogous to those formed early in the history of Mars followed by work with experts such as LPI's Dr. Allen Trieman and Dr. Donald Brownlee, UW astronomer and the principal investigator for the NASA Stardust Mission.

Registration is $75 and includes materials, field trip expenses, final banquet and lodging. For more information, visit http://www.waspacegrant.org/lpi.html

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