Sunday, August 1, 2010

First Day of ISAS Summer Academy

Welcome to the 2010 Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy blog and media channel. These daily blogs will be posted on the Department of Education website, keeping parents, students, and others informed about the program's activities.

My name is Andrew and I am one of the bloggers for the ISAS summer program. I will be attending Valparaiso University this coming fall with an intended major in Mechanical Engineering. Last year I interned at NASA Ames Research Center with the NASA INSPIRE program. I am happy to be a part of this first ever ISAS Summer Academy and can't wait to be involved.

My name is Jaime. I am also one of the bloggers for this ISAS program and will be attending Valparaiso University in the fall as well. Like my co-blogger above I will also study Mechanical Engineering. I am happy to be one of the first bloggers for this ISAS Summer Academy and hope that the parents will be pleased with the program their kids are involved with during this key week in their lives.

The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy is a week long academic workshop that engages and challenges high school Juniors to utilize the knowledge they have gained in their classrooms and apply this knowledge in real life scenarios. The students, while residing and working out of Boise State University, will also undertake a trip to NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California where they will be exposed to the many different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers available to them. While partaking in activities that encourage thought and problem solving skills, the students will also have the opportunity to interact with scientists working in their field on real life projects.

The first day started with all of the students checking in with their housing arrangements on Boise State University's campus. Students were given their room assignments and excitedly hastened off to see who they would be spending the camp with. After getting settled in, the new 2010 ISAS community quickly walked through Julia Davis Park to go explore the Discovery Center of Idaho.

Students on the way to DCI
       The students meshed well together and did not hesitate in enjoying the many scientific exhibits. When approached the students were happy to disclose their feelings on the upcoming week. We asked them what they wanted most out of this week and what had made them decide to come to ISAS.
"I am mostly looking forward to the main project"
"I thought that coming to ISAS would be a lot of fun"
-Nick J.
After experimenting throughout the Discovery Center the students were called into an orientation detailing the rules and regulations of the camp and were assigned into their groups and given their own personal ISAS bags and supplies. The students were randomly given the identification cards of other students and had to search for whoever was holding their actual identification card. This activity allowed students to intermingle and meet the people they would be working alongside of during the upcoming week. After their meeting, the students were called back into the presentation room and told the groups about the person they had met. The students were initially shy, but eventually began to warm up to the crowd and even laughed and smiled with one another.

Students listening at orientation
The possible future rocket-engineers refueled with pizza and salad and immediatley began an exciting new project called the "Table Tennis Triathlon". For this project, the students had to use supplies given to them to create machines to perfom the functions of a catapult, cantilever, and rocket. Each of these different machines must carry with it a table tennis ball and at the same time fulfill certain requirements. Each event is scored and the team with the greatest overall score is declared the winner.

Blue Team building a cantilever
Overall, the first day of the new Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy was succesful, engaging, and fun for students and mentors alike. These blogs will be uploaded each day once the students have completed their final activities every night. A more "live" version of the days' events are being uploaded onto the ISAS: Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars' facebook page.

--Andrew Schrader and Jaime Guevara--

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