Sunday, July 21, 2013

ISAS 2013 Academy 2: Day 1

Hello and welcome to family members, friends and others who are following the activities of the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars.
My name is Camille Eddy and I will be writing the blogs, posting media updates and photographing the events that happen at the Academy as well as the many students, professionals and other individuals who make up this program. I am a former ISAS Academy participant myself (ISAS 2012) and in the fall I will be attending Boise State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I hope to give you more than just a glimpse of how much fun these students are having every day at the Academy. You can check out many more photos on the ISAS Facebook Page and receive frequent updates as they are happening on the ISAS Twitter page.

The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Summer Academy was formed in 2010 based off similar programs in both Texas and Virginia. It is a competitive academy for high school juniors where students apply for the program prior to their second semester of their junior year. After completing a semester of course work, the top students are chosen to join the week long program. This week they will help create a mission to Mars, tour NASA Ames Research Center in San Jose, California, and explore the potentials of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Around eleven o'clock today students began arriving and checking in to Kieser Hall. After check-in the students had time to meet each other and group into their teams. Then the time finally came for the students to make the short walk to the Discovery Center of Idaho where the fun began. They had the chance to look around the Discovery Center and experience the different exhibits it had to offer.

Students participate in the hands on activities at the Discovery Center of Idaho

The students were then brought to a classroom in the Center where they would construct a planetary lander. This lander needed to deliver a payload safely to the ground. In this case the payload was an egg. The students were given a limited amount of materials to work with and had to come up with a design themselves. This then led to the launching of the planetary landers from fifty feet in the air. Each team was able to successfully launch a lander without breaking an egg. Special thanks to Carl Baker of Quality Electric and Corey Morasch of Micron for making this launch possible.

Students proudly present their finished landers to the rest of the group.

A little bit later it was time to introduce each other to the group. Students were given a random name tag and then had to find that person to learn a few things about them to say before the group. The introduction concluded with the student's hometown being pinned on the board.

Students introduced each other to the rest of the group.

A map of Idaho showing where the students come from.

Then they continued with the introduction of team names, patches and white pages. There are four teams, each focusing on a specific aspect of the mission including Mission Integration, Getting There and Back, Living There and Working There. Each white page for the teams needed to detail the parameters in which the teams will be working on in their specific groups.

Soon after this the students participated in the Ping Pong Triathlon facilitated by Woody Sobey of the Discovery Center of Idaho. Each team was given materials to construct a cantilever, a free standing structure the extended up and away from a base and a ping pong at the end. They also constructed a catapult that sent the ping pong into the air and a ping pong rocket that would be propelled by a stomp launcher.

Students work on the Ping Pong Triathlon Challenge.

As you can see ISAS students are launched into rigorous activities right away. And today was a great example of fantastic students easily interacting with each other and engaging enthusiastically with the activities of the academy. Tomorrow they will build on the team relationships they have begun to form today and build a better awareness of the mission they will be developing.


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