Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Expanding Frontiers 2010

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Table of Contents:


NWIC rocket team shoots for NASA success

Wright and rocket

NWIC student Michael Wright and Gary Brandt position Michael's rocket for launch at the First Nations competition.

Over the past 18 months, Northwest Indian College's student rocket team has been winning certifications and spreading rocket fever around the state, with presentations and bottle rocket launches at Head Start programs and reservation high schools.

Now NWIC's rocketeers are gearing up to take on technical powerhouses like MIT and Purdue University next spring in the 2010-2011 University Student Launch Initiative (USLI).

"We just did our live USLI presentation to NASA and immediate feedback was that the students sounded well prepared and knowledgeable," said Gary Brandt, faculty advisor and technology and robotics instructor.

"The previous Sunday we launched our full-scale competition rocket for the very first time and it worked perfectly."

The NWIC team is one of two WSGC-sponsored teams competing in the event. The other is from the University of Washington.

Last spring, the NWIC team placed second in the First Nations Tribal College Rocket Competition. They also won the team spirit award at the NASA High Powered Rocketry workshop in Utah last summer.

USLI challenges students to design, build and fly a reusable rocket with scientific payload to one mile in altitude. The team's scientific payload will be a modified weather station that will gather atmospheric data such as pressure, temperature, relative humidity, solar irradiance and ultraviolet radiation.

The team also received a Senior Design Project Award from NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) last fall and are busy building a separate rocket designed to measure the airflow around various parts of the craft.

Because of the interest generated by the rocketry program, NWIC offered its first physics classes in nearly five years, said Brandt and NWIC Vice President Dave Oreiro, the team's other faculty advisor.


Research opportunities offered year-round

Jane Hung at computer

WRF/Space Grant Fellowships give UW students like math and physics major Jane Hung a chance to take their student research experience to an advanced level.

University of Washington undergraduates have more opportunities to participate in advanced research year-round, thanks to a partnership between WSGC and the Washington Research Foundation.

WRF/Space Grant Fellow Jane Hung began working with her mentor through the Space Grant Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

Excited by her experience, she continued to work with Professor Xiaosong Li and his computational chemistry group. Their study of nonlinear optical chromophores may play a key role in future nanotechnologies and photovoltaic devices (e.g. LEDs and solar cells).

“The insight I have acquired into the materials of the future is absolutely priceless,” she said. “My goal now is to help turn clean technology into global power.”

WRF/Space Grant Fellowships support promising students who have participated in undergraduate research for at least three quarters. Applicants must be working on a science or engineering research project that require creativity and advanced knowledge.

"Being able to work on real research projects across a diversity of topics is a major benefit of attending a large research institution like UW," wrote recipient Noah Horwitz.

The chemistry major worked with Professor David Ginger on organic photovoltaics, needed for use in solar cells. So far 12 WRF/Space Grant Fellowships have been awarded.


Two student teams float their experiments

Rider and Coe in microgravity

UW Astro-Dawgs team members Jeff Rider and James Coe. Five members of the eight-student team took part in the test flights.

MUST team members

MUST team members Hannah Clevenson of Cooper Union, Olivia Lenz of Seattle Pacific University and Tanya Miracle of the University of Akron.

Two microgravity teams sponsored by WSGC won the opportunity to test their experiments last summer aboard Johnson Space Center’s flying reduced-gravity laboratory.

The UW Astro-Dawgs’ project addressed NASA’s need for more stable and energy efficient fluid storage systems for space travel. The project used a rotating, beveled tank that created its own gravity to reduce fluid slosh during flight.

The team members not pictured above are Professor James Riley, faculty advisor, and students Ashley Clark, Alex LaComb, Matt Walker, Stephen Choi, Kyle Wetzlar, Amanda Rutherford and Jon Fowler.

The second team was comprised of interns from the NASA MUST program. Not pictured are students Kristine Collins and Courtney Giannini and their advisor Dr. Cattien V. Nguyen of NASA Ames Research Center. Their project addressed the changes observed in the length, straightness, and quantity of nanowires grown with decreased gravitational stresses.


Area teacher takes Presidential honors

Kareen Borders

Kareen Borders

Kareen Borders, team lead for the NASA Explorer School program at Key Peninsula Middle School, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

For the past six years, WSGC has supported the veteran science teacher's continued professional development and her efforts to provide professional development for others.

Her aerospace students have won student science investigations nationwide, including several NASA engineering challenges.

"My students are not passive learners of science, they ARE scientists," she said recently.

She and her KPMS team have developed and led workshops for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is also a Spitzer Space Telescope teacher and a Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Telescope ambassador.


New WSGC partners

Edmonds and Everett Community Colleges have joined the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium as partners.

This doubles the number of community colleges with Space Grant programs.

Edmonds awarded its first WSGC scholarships last fall. Awardees are Joshua Griffith, a computer science and physics major, and Ryan Jordan, a mechanical engineering major. Everett will launch its program in 2011.


Teacher workshops

Washington Science Teachers Association is now offering Space Grant-sponsored astronomy and space science workshops around the state.

The free workshops are designed to help teachers overcome student misconceptions about the Sun-Earth-Moon System including phenomena such as eclipses and phases of the moon.

Workshops are scheduled in February, March and April, 2011. For more information, go to www.wsta.net.


SG Scholars' Achievements

UW scholar Cosmo Smith (a physics and computer science major) received a NASA Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology scholarship. Noah Horwitz, recipient of a UW WRF/Space Grant Fellowship, was awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

WSU scholar Sarah Miller received a travel grant from the Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Fund for the Advancement of Space Science Education to present a research talk at the Materials Science and Technology annual conference last October.

At Seattle Central Community College last fall, SG scholarships were awarded to 11 students: Jessica Coleman, Gina Kim and Amiee McCrea (engineering); Lacy Greer, Michelle James, Jacob Mellinger, Jose Mendiola and Jonathan Nations (biology); and Connie Huang, Daniel Severin and Erin Yano (science).

Erik Josberger, a UW major in physics and electrical engineering, received the 2010 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award. Last May Andrew Ishizuka, the 2009 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation awardee, took part in ASF's annual meeting of scholars and astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center. In addition to attending the Astronaut Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the UW senior watched SpaceX’s launch of Falcon 9. This fall he started an M.D./Ph.D. program, with medical studies at Duke University and doctoral studies split between the National Institute of Health and the University of Oxford.

Lake Washington Technical College's CanSat team received a WSGC team award to design and build a space-type system for launch competition next spring. Student team members are Phil Hutchinson, Moraima Marchany, Francis Kiarie, Daryl Yourk and Michael Baseman. Their advisor is Joe Gryniuk. This is Lake Washington's second year in the competition.

Graduation news: Lorne Arnold is continuing his civil engineering studies in UW's Geotechnical Engineering program. Rebecca Ball will receive her degree in astronomy and physics in December and begin U.S. Air Force flight training. Elizabeth Korsmo headed to the University of Minnesota for a chemistry doctorate. Bioengineering major Alyssa Sheih was accepted into UW's Molecular and Cell Biology Program. Genia Vogman, a dual major in math and A&A, was accepted into the Applied Science and Technology program at UC Berkeley. Matthew D’Asaro will continue his electrical engineering studies at MIT. ESS major Michelle Sybouts is headed to the US Navy's officer candidate school.


Where are they now?

SG scholar Sara Su (‘02 UW) received her doctorate in computer science from MIT. Her research focused on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

SG scholar Peter Norgaard ('03 UW) was awarded an American Institute of Physics Congressional Science Fellowship. The post-doctoral fellows provide analytical expertise and scientific advice to Congress. He recently completed his doctorate in mechanical & aerospace engineering at Princeton University.

Emmett Lalish (‘05 UW), an SG scholar and SURP participant, received his UW doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics. His dissertation was on collision avoidance for automating air traffic control. He is now an engineer with Moiré Inc.

SG scholar Marianne Powell ('07 SCCC) graduated from the UW this year with a bachelor's degree in plant biology and is now pursuing graduate studies in plant pathology at Washington State University.

SG scholar Sara Lim ('08 SCCC) is now pursuing a biochemistry degree at Smith College.

Physics major and SURP participant Carin Schlimmer ('09 UW) is an analyst with Accenture, a business technology consulting company.

Alumni, share your news

Tell us what major events have happened in your life: a new job, marriage, children, retirement, advanced degrees, you name it.

Mail to: Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, Box 351310, Seattle, WA 98195-1310, or e-mail nasa@u.washington.edu


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