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Goddard Kicks Off 2008 with a 'Poster Party'
01.18.08
 
It seems that Goddard employees have made a New Year's resolution to celebrate and appreciate the center’s achievements in 2008. The Science Poster Party Blowout on January 16 was the first opportunity to do just that.

Steve Kempler explains ATrain data to onlookers. Image right: Goddard’s Laurie Leshin, Rich Mushotzky and Mark Schoeberl listen on as Steve Kempler explains how to visualize A-Train instrument data. Click image for enlargement. Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo

Led by Goddard’s director of sciences and exploration, Laurie Leshin, the Deputy Director’s Council on Science sponsored the party to ring in the New Year with a celebration of the center’s scientific discoveries and achievements.

Goddard’s best and brightest were dishing out science, and attendees quite literally ate it up. A “your science as food” contest brought in visually stunning and delicious entries, including a spiral galaxy cake with dark matter gum balls.

Cake decorated with the LVIS logo Image right: Pam Millar demonstrates a knack for cake decorating with her intricately iced Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS) cake. Click image for enlargement. Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo

Roaming the crowded floor of the Building 28 atrium, it was tough for anyone to decide which of the 150 posters to check out first. Displays on polar coronal holes were presented alongside information on Sun-Earth Day and how to develop a sustainable site plan. Luckily for attendees, many Goddard scientists stood by their work to explain some of the more complex aspects.

Fun was not the only item on the agenda for this unique party. Leshin remarked that, “To address large, complex science problems, perspectives from multiple disciplines are a must. We need to encourage multidisciplinary approaches wherever possible. Plus, interacting with others tends to increase everyone’s creativity -- new ideas and new collaborations come from these events.”

Also featured were a number of posters created by 11th and 12th grade Frederick County Public School students. Using NASA mission data, students completed research projects for an Earth System Science research course.

Fred Minetto demonstrates how a shape memory alloy fastener can be used for tetrahedral robotics. Image right: Fred Minetto demonstrates how a shape memory alloy fastener can be used for tetrahedral robotics. Click image for enlargement. Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo

John Leck, an education specialist in Goddard’s Public Affairs Office, arranged for this portion of the presentation. NASA maintains a constant interest in educating and stimulating young minds, so partnering with public schools to do independent research projects has been a creative and fun way for Goddard to have a hand in accomplishing that.

2008 brings with it the opportunity for innovative science unlike anything we have ever seen before, and it will certainly prove to be a big year at Goddard in particular.

High school students Ariel Weagley and Kristy Steiner explain how El Nino affects rainfall in San Diego. Image right: High school students Ariel Weagley and Kristy Steiner explain to Goddard’s Laurie Leshin how El Niño affects rainfall in San Diego, Ca. Click image for enlargement. Credit: NASA/Pat Izzo

The launch of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), as well as Hubble Space Telescope’s (HST) final servicing mission, are just a few of the big projects currently slated for Goddard in 2008.

By this time next year, it seems that Goddard will have even more scientific achievements to celebrate.

 
 
Kelsey Paquin
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center