Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). What an incredible place!! Excellent presentations with fun and meaningful examples of how to teach students about space, the oceans, satellites, etc… while having a great time. The speakers were some of the top scientists in their fields. We were afforded the privilege of sitting in one of NASA’s control rooms. We also were able to see the ‘still in construction’ next generation Mars rover, Curiosity. It will be about 2 or 3 times the size of the current Mars landing rovers. It will also be deployed on Mars with a propulsion system instead of with the air bags that were used on the previous rover mission. The new rover will be to massive and would ‘pop’ the air bags. The video enactment looks like a sci-fi movie.
We also learned about research taking place on Antarctica. Again, another lesson on how data is being collected with satellite technology. The speaker, Dr. Will Hobbes, a postdoctoral researcher studying Ocean Circulation, has never been to Antarctica but is still able to gather data and share his valuable finding with the rest of us.
The next two presenters were the scientist, Kevin Hussey, and engineer, Eric (and I don’t have his last name and hope that one of my colleagues will supply that for us) that our students probably wish they could be. They showed us how to use 3-D and animation in the classroom. Much fun with excellent information.