Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Expanding Frontiers Spring/Summer 2003

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Table of Contents:

SG scholars receive 2003 Goldwater awards

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, established in 1986, are intended to help alleviate the nation's critical shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

Scholars are nominated by faculty and selected on the basis of academic merit. This year, 300 scholarships were awarded to undergraduate sophomores and juniors around the country. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

Jared Silvia, a sophomore majoring in chemistry, says his passion is nanotechnology. Last summer, he took part in Space Grant's Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP), working with Professor Kannen Krishnan in Materials Science to find a way to consistently fabricate iron oxide particles in specified shapes and sizes. This spring he received a Space Grant Undergraduate Research Award to work with Professor Michael Heinekey on research into the oxidation of hydrogen through use of a group of enzymes. Jared's goal is to receive a chemistry doctorate and continue research in the area of nanotechnology.

Junior Peter Norgaard is eagerly anticipating his summer as a research intern at NASA Goddard Research Center. He has been assigned to a team working with Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). The NASA internship will build on the skills that he acquired last summer through SURP. Peter says he is intrigued by propulsion systems and continued working on the ZaP Fusion Plasma Project last winter. He will return to the ZaP team after his summer internship.

A major in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, he plans to pursue a doctorate so he can contribute to the fields of fusion power and space propulsion.

We're moving!

This fall marks an exciting new chapter in Washington Space Grant's history. After 15 years in Johnson Hall on the main UW campus, we are moving—along with the other members of the Earth & Space Sciences Department—so our building can undergo a complete renovation.

During the two years it takes to renovate the building, Washington NASA Space Grant will be housed in Condon Hall (the former UW law school) located at 1100 NE Campus Parkway. Our telephone number, mail box number and e-mail address will remain the same. Our hours will also remain the same.

No date has been set for the move, but we anticipate being settled in by the end of November. For the latest news of our move, please visit our announcement page.

Workforce Development funds student opportunities near and far

balloon launch

Students in the Access to Space class prepare to launch their high-altitude balloon on Red Square. Other students staffed a data collection station elsewhere on campus.

Last month, Washington Space Grant's new Workforce Development Program awarded summer research grants to 15 students from five different colleges and universities around the state.

"I was pleased to see that students from our newest members, Whitman and Western, received awards, as well as students at Seattle Central and the University of Puget Sound" said Director Janice DeCosmo. "These are exceptional opportunities for students at our member institutions."

Derek Inaba and Brandon Karlson, both of the University of Washington; Matthew Neel of Whitman College and John Hansen of Seattle Central Community College were selected for internships at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Graylan Vincent, who flew with the University of Washington's microgravity team last year, received funding to participate in the NASA Astrobiology Academy at the Ames Research Center this summer. He will spend 60 percent of his time working with Mars mission data on water and habitability issues. Graylan, a UW senior, is majoring in aerospace engineering and geology.

Undergraduate Research Awards were presented to Anna Burke of the University of Puget Sound; Sarah Myhre of Western Washington University; David Moilanen, Jason Parker, Laurel Rachmeler, Gabriel Rowe, Robert Tucker and Ryan Wistort, all of the University of Washington.

Awards were also given to UW students Peter Norgaard and Jared Silvia, winners of this year's Goldwater Scholarship.

In other Workforce Development news, Access to Space—the new UW course designed to expose non-science majors to space science and electronics—launched its first high-altitude balloon experiment on May 1.

Working in teams of four to five, the students built an electronics package called a CricketSat to collect temperature measurements as it moved up through the atmosphere. The last measurements, taken two and half hours after the launch from the Seattle campus, indicated that the balloon got to approximately 30,000 feet before the signal became too weak. A Burien resident later found the experiment in her backyard and returned it.

The final launch took place in at the Moses Lake airport in Eastern Washington. Access to Space is being funded through the Workforce Development Program.

New SG scholars see NASA careers in their futures


Alexander Mendez


Megan Karalus

Alexander Mendez overcame rural isolation by tackling advanced physics courses online. Megan Karalus has her sights on a degree in aerospace engineering.

These are only two of 19 talented incoming freshmen who will join the ranks of Space Grant scholars at the University of Washington this fall.

This year 240 promising high school students applied for UW Space Grant scholarships. Awards ranged in size from $1,000 to $5,000 annually. They can be renewed for up to four years contingent on NASA funding and students' meeting program requirements.

Alexander, a Lopez Island resident, participated in regular high school classes, plus Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth via the Internet. He was also a member of the volunteer fire department.

Megan, an Auburn resident, managed to combine sports, music and advanced calculus. She aims for a research career and a chance to be "part of something bigger than myself."

Matching funds for scholarships are provided by the Office of Student Affairs and by the Mary Gates, Sigurd Olsen and Irving R. and Louise Donnergaard endowments. Space Grant has also made a graduate research award and offered five scholarships to community college students transferring to the University of Washington.

Toppenish girl blends culture and science through Space Camp

Shanoa Pinkham, a seventh grader at Wapato Middle School in Toppenish, received a Space Grant award to attend the U.S. Space Academy this summer.

Shanoa is one of three students selected by the Migrant Education Program to attend the U.S. Space Camp program in Huntsville, Ala. The 13-year-old says she enjoys challenges and is eager to learn how the Space Shuttle works, what kind of fuel rockets use, and more about telescopes.

A member of the Yakama Tribe, Shanoa says her culture—especially her role as a food gatherer in the Wa'shut religion for the Satus Longhouse—has given her strength and taught her the importance of a focused mind, as well as the meaning of sacrifice and hard work.

She said her dream is for her family to own their own home and for her to become a champion fancy dancer, write a bestseller and help build a spaceship fueled by alternative sources.

SG Scholars' Achievements

Space Grant scholar Natalia Ospina, a UW senior, received a summer overseas fellowship through the University of Pennsylvania's Minority International Research Training.

Marleen Martinez, a Space Grant scholar and sophomore, has been accepted into the REU program offered by the Astronomy Department at University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Space Grant scholar Luke Winstrom, a senior, was part of the UW Mathematics team which took top honors in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, administered by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. A math and physics major, he will continue his physics studies at UC Santa Cruz.

SG scholars after graduation: Computer engineering major Ben Nordstrom will join the Xbox team at Microsoft as a software design engineer in test (SDET).

Hillary Cummings, a double major in astronomy and physics, plans to spend the summer in Europe before starting work on her physics master's at University of Wisconsin.

Sheeny Lan will continue her studies in material sciences and engineering as a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Devin Kipp, an aeronautical and astronautical engineering major, received a Presidential Fellowship to pursue a master's in space system design at Georgia Tech.

Physics and astronomy major Jennifer Pope will continue her astronomy studies at the University of Virginia.


Space Toys exhibit offers travel in time

Toys, games and fanciful stories of space travel have been around a lot longer than space travel itself. The Museum of Flight is now hosting Space Toys, a traveling display of more than 1,200 toys, models, games, publications and collectibles.

The collection covers 130 years, revealing our views of space from Flash Gordon to Star Wars. It also includes film clips from 1902 to 1960 and a series of interactive learning stations. The exhibit is on display through Sept. 7. For more information and museum hours, visit www.museumofflight.org.

NSIP winners

Peterson and class

Congratulations to teacher Barney Peterson and her fourth grade class at James Monroe Elementary in Everett. The class took first place in the My Planet Earth category of the NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP).

Fly the Wright Way

Join NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Brian Hawkins for a six-hour workshop on flight in all its glory. "Learning to Fly the Wright Way," a free NASA Regional Educator Resource Center workshop, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 16 in Room 137, Johnson Hall, on the University of Washington campus.

The workshop is excellent preparation for a classroom celebration of the Centennial of Flight. Participants will learn how to make flying contraptions and receive a Centennial packet with posters, Web site addresses and activities to make students' imaginations soar.

A second summer workshop will be held August (date and topic to be announced).

For more information, visit Free ERC Workshops for Teachers.