Former NASA Dryden life-support technician Jim Sokolik demonstrated details of a pressure suit like those worn by astronauts and pilots of high-altitude aircraft. (NASA Photo / Tom Tschida)
Antelope Valley College biology professor Steve Langjahr's colorful hot-air balloon provided a focal point for activities at the Bohn-Meyer Math-Science Odyssey for middle school students Feb. 4 at the college. (NASA Photo / Tom Tschida) More than 200 Antelope Valley seventh-graders experienced a variety of hands-on learning activities Feb. 4 during the 2011 Bohn-Meyer Math and Science Odyssey at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif.
Students from eight area middle schools attended workshops led by professionals in the fields of engineering, meteorology, physics, chemistry and mathematics from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Antelope Valley College and Lockheed Martin.
Centered on the theme "STEMing a Greener Future," the odyssey featured a series of three workshops focused on engineering and science, medical technology and environmental or "green" technologies. The odyssey was designed to encourage students to pursue studies in STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to promote career interest in those fields.
The workshops featured such topics as "Flying Toward A Greener Future" and "Green Aircraft-1,000 Miles Per Gallon," as well as hands-on activities with "Physics is/Phun" and aircraft life-support technicians' demonstrations.
The event is named for Marta Bohn-Meyer, former chief engineer at NASA Dryden at Edwards Air Force Base. Bohn-Meyer, who was a staunch supporter of and regular participant in the event. Bohn-Meyer died in a private plane accident in 2005.
Bob Meyer, NASA's program manager of the SOFIA flying observatory encouraged students to focus on math and science classes. (NASA Photo / Tom Tschida) Bob Meyer, husband of the late Marta Bohn-Meyer, the Math-Science Odyssey's namesake, and college president Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr. served as co-hosts. Meyer, NASA's program manager for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), challenged middle school students to focus on math and science classes that could eventually lead to rewarding careers in engineering and technology fields.
The day's activities wrapped up with a low-level flyover by a NASA F/A-18 Hornet flown by NASA Dryden research pilots Jim Less and Denis Steele.
In addition to NASA Dryden, Antelope Valley College and Lockheed Martin, sponsors and contributors included the AERO Institute, the American Association of University Women, Impressive Printing and Sparkletts.