Online Learning: Ask a Scientist at the Mars Base Camp Scientists Panel

Get a chance to listen to world-renowned space scientists behind innovative Mars research and the scientists who created the Mars Base Camp Challenge. If you missed this opportunity make some popcorn and click here to watch the recorded webinar now!

Meet the Scientists for the Thursday, October 1st, 7-8 PM Panel!

Dr. Juliane Gross is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. Her academic interests are focused on understanding the formation of history and geochemical evolution of differentiated celestial bodies and early Solar System processes. Currently, she is investigating the mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry of extraterrestrial planetary samples using a variety of experimental and microanalytical techniques. Dr. Gross is also a NASA Early Career Fellow.

Dr. Shaunna Morrison is a Carnegie Research Scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth and Planets Laboratory, is co-director of the 4D Deep Time Data Driven Discovery Initiative and is a CheMin co-investigator on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Mission. Her research centers around mineralogy, crystallography, planetary science, and data science applications therein. Her recent work has focused on characterizing Earth’s mineralogy through deep time and its correlation with geologic processes, its co-evolution with the biosphere, and its relationship to other planetary bodies, particularly Mars.

Dr. Lujendra Ojha is a NASA, Co-Investigator of the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), a NASA science team member of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars, the co-investigator of the NASA Mars Data Analysis Program on Martian Dust Devil Tracks: Albedos, Lifetimes, and Dust Deposition Rates, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University.

Need Help thinking of a Question?  Here are some Tips 

You have heard the phrase “there are no dumb questions”.  This is very true when we are trying to encourage your creativity and passion for science.

Most youths are curious about what it’s like to be a NASA or space scientist – the challenges, daily routines, and technology.  In addition, you may want to know more about scientists’ motivation, career path and inspiration.  We definitely encourage these types of questions! Please prepare for this unique experience by reviewing these websites to help think of a question:

NASA – Mars Exploration Program
Video of the Launch of Perseverance Rover

Get a Close up Look at the Rover

A quick look at what we know about Mars

Images from Mars

Please note, registration is first come first served, so do not wait! Register for the panel and our 4-H STEM Mars Basecamp Challenge! You MUST register for the Oct 1st panel to attend the Oct 3rd challenge. Once you register, the Mars kits will be mailed to you directly!

Invite a Friend!  Use these flyers to spread the word about this event

The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge will explore sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.

 

The Scientist Panel is Co-sponsored by the Free Public Library of New Brunswick, NJ


ENIGMA: Searching for Life on Other Planets

Are we alone in the Universe? To answer this fundamental question, scientists from Rutgers University and NASA are going all the way back to Earth’s beginning — back before there were people, dinosaurs, or even plants!

Video Lecture Coming Soon!

Figuring out how life developed on this planet will be key to discovering if or how life could have formed on other planets, including Mars. As part of the 2020 4-H Mars Base Camp STEM Challenge, ENIGMA’s goal of finding where, how, and why the key ingredients of life develop will be a critical part of any Mars mission.

Learn More About the 2020 4-H STEM Challenge

More ENIGMA resources for students and educators

World Ocean Week

On our blog, we posted a week-long series of activities in celebration of World Ocean Day 2020. Those activities have been archived here for use during any time of the year. The activities have been bundled together as an interactive slide deck, which you can check out below!

Click here to get started

Virtual STEP Clubs

Join us for a STEM-related virtual Short Term Exploratory Program (STEP).  Young people in grades 5-8 are invited to join us for three consecutive sessions to explore a science theme with a real scientist. Sessions are limited to 30 youth to engage in interactive science activities developed from current research projects.  Youth will join the fun online via Zoom videoconferencing for these one-hour sessions.

Explore Life in the Southern Ocean

Help identify some of the amazing marine organisms that live in Antarctica!  Join Andrew Corso, a Ph.D. candidate at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and identify “mystery” creatures from his recent research cruise off the coast of the Western Antarctic Peninsula.  Youth will learn how to use a dichotomous key and will receive at-home challenges to explore and discuss with their family, friends, and online STEP club participants.

*This program has concluded – but you can follow along by using the resources and recordings posted below. The slide deck is a visual, Internet-powered walkthrough of the activities listed on the table.

Have fun exploring the Southern Ocean!

ID Antarctica Slide Deck

Date Adventure
April 1; 3pm-4:15pm EDT Observing predators and prey in Antarctica

Before you get started, get oriented: Antarctica Worksheet

Then, check out this photo and see if you can identify the predator and prey using the key: Week 1 Mystery Creature and Dichotomous Key

Watch the recording to learn more and find out the answers: Link to Recording of Andrew Corso’s Science Talk

April 8; 3pm-4:15pm EDT Exploring the Penguin Populations at Palmer Station Antarctica

Download this week’s mystery creature and see if you can identify the two circled species: Week 2 Mystery Creature and Dichotomous Key

Watch the recording to learn more and find out the answers: Link to Recording of Andrew Corso’s Science Talk

Explore more penguin data: What can penguins teach us about the ocean? – Project SWARM

Penguin Propulsion Video from BBC Wonder of Animals series

April 15; 3pm-4:15pm EDT Fish of Antarctica

Download this week’s mystery creature and see if you can identify this larval fish: Week 3 Mystery Creature and Identification Key

Watch the recording to learn more and find out the answer:  Link to Recording of Andrew Cross’s Science Talk

Explore more about these unusual Antarctic fishes with this Polar Data Story!

Mystery Doug invites you to another LIVE SCIENCE SHOW

‘Mystery Doug’ has been apart of our STEM Club programming, so we wanted to share an educational opportunity coming up!

Next week, Mystery Doug invites you to another LIVE SCIENCE SHOW. Doug is excited to answer kids’ questions with the help of astronaut Jessica Meir, who filmed videos for us while she was in space! (Seriously!)

Thursday, May 21 (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 11am Mountain / 12pm Central) mysteryscience.com/live

Mystery Doug Livestream

See you on Thursday!

– The Mystery Science Team

Club Highlights from 2018-2019

By: Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension

LED Display Circuit Board Challenge

Elementary STEM Club just started its third year of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programming, engaging approximately a hundred 4th and 5th graders in after school hands-on STEM challenges and career exploration throughout the academic school year. Judy Walley, Teays Valley High School Chemistry Teacher, and Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator, co-teach the program, which also involves over two dozen high school mentor students. The mentors assist with club activities while themselves gaining both soft and technical skills, leadership, community service, and college/career exploration opportunities.

Physics and Center of Gravity Challenges

STEM education programs can have a positive impact on students’ attitudes towards STEM disciplines, 21st century skills, and a greater interest in STEM careers. Educators throughout Pickaway County have been busy in supporting a number of problem-based learning initiatives, business-teacher partnerships, and STEM teaching initiatives.

Foldscope, Origami Microscope Biology Challenge

Elementary STEM Club is one of those local initiatives that employs hands-on learning through a multidisciplinary approach into many subjects and career paths. The program challenges its youth in chemistry, astronomy, biology, coding, drone technology, connected toys, wearable tech, strategic mind games, escape classrooms, electric circuits, physics, renewable energy, beekeeping, aerospace, flight simulations, aviation, fostering a community service mindset, and more.

Strategic Mind Games and Bee Science Challenges

We invite specialists from the community to teach, share, and engage with the students, such as the Scioto Valley Beekeeping Association, OSU Professors, an Extension Energy Specialist, an OSU Health Dietitian, and the Civil Air Patrol to name a few. Next year we’re hoping to bring some virtual reality, 360 photography, and video production challenges to our students. If you’re interested in sharing a skillset, a technology, a career path, or a meaningful life experience to some amazing and eager-minded students, please email, thoreau.1@osu.edu or jwalley@tvsd.us.

We’d like to also thank everyone who has been involved in the program over the last two years. It’s been a pleasure and a plunge into the wild side of STEM education, youth workforce development, and promoting a mindset of lifelong learning – all critical to today’s workforce.

Civil Air Patrol and Aerospace Careers

Civil Air Patrol

We ended last year with a great program partnering with Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Civilian volunteers – with a passion for flight, science, and engineering – led the program highlighting STEM careers in aviation, space, cyber security, emergency services, and the military. The whole organization is powered by a team of dedicated civilian volunteers with a passion for aviation and STEM education. If you know of a student, 12-years and up, that has in interest in aviation, would like a chance to fly a plane, work towards their pilot license, attend leadership encampments, career academies, and more, visit http://www.ohwg.cap.gov/.

Aerospace Officer Donna Herald, Lieutenant Casey Green, and Lieutenant Colonel David Dlugiewicz volunteered their time and aviation skills to lead our youth into exploring the history of the Civil Air Patrol, emphasize the value of civic engagement, and underscore the growing deficient of pilots and aerospace specialist in the workforce.

Physics Concepts, Bernoulli Principle on Air Pressure Differential Theory Challenges

The CAP lessons built on previous STEM Club programming that taught physic concepts, the law of gravity, and re-instilled aircraft principal axes, such as the friction, center of gravity, and coding parrot drones challenges. Lieutenant Colonel Dlugiewicz taught the discussed Bernoulli Principle (an air pressure differential theory) and Sir Isaac Newton and the laws of motion and lift. The students engaged in a hands-on activity such as filling an air bag with one breath, leaving a gap between their mouth and the bag to allow a vacuum to form, demonstrating Bernoulli’s principle.

Part of a Airplane and Axis Challenges

Lieutenant Casey Green discussed the parts of an airplane focusing on the components that control an aircraft’s moment and direction. The students broke into groups and rotated between two stations. The first engaged the students in building paper airplane that they cut strategic slits into. The students experimented by folding different components of their airplanes to change and control the overall direction of their paper airplanes. The second station engaged the students in two different sets of CAP flight simulators to further the students’ understandings of the aviation principles taught in the program. The flight simulators provided a semi authentic experience that helps young pilots learn to fly.

Flight Simulator Challenges

Our community has some amazing young minds that are thinking and embrace the many dynamic career pathways of a STEMist. Please get involved and support more STEM programming in your community, it matters.