Day Four: Jet Propulsion Lab,the Famous JPL

Team Colorado in Infrared

Jet Propulsion Lab here we come!! Moving inland we could feel the humidity drop and the temperature rise, but it still felt cool compared to the heat we’ve been experiencing in CO. After the extensive check-in at JPL (they are sticklers for identification details), we were led to a conference room and introduced to several JPL education/outreach personnel and scientists. Wow…did I say we were at JPL? One of the scientists, Jorge Vasquez, gave a fascinating presentation on how satellites have revolutionized our understanding of Earth. We were introduced to more websites that provide incredible sets of data that students could use to ask and answer questions related to oceans, weather, climate, and global changes. Zareh Gorjian, another JPL scientist showed us how video and animation is used to inform other scientists and the public, in general, about current research. During his presentation you could hear a pin drop. His video was rock star status. Hollywood has nothing on these guys! We were given a tour of the facilities which included a trip through their new education center. It had some great interactive stations from which most of us had a hard time leaving. We ended the tour with a trip through the JPL white room and mission control where satellites are built, tested, and monitored during and throughout their launch and mission. Just an incredible place! We completed our time at JPL with a chance to work on a lesson plan to incorporate into our classroom from any of the previous days’ activities. How do you pick just one lesson to use? There are literally hundreds of things we could do based on what we’ve seen the last four days! Finished the day with pizza at a restaurant near our hotel. We’re amazed at the number of people we see out every evening, late, eating and enjoying the night life. Most of us are from small communities where the streets get rolled up by 9pm. We’ve been out every evening well after 10pm and the crowds are incredible. Tomorrow is our last day and we’re already reminiscing about our adventures. Good night!