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Latest Buzz « The NASA Lady
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STEM Girls Rock!

May 26, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

On Tuesday May 24, I had the special honor of being part of Oakton Community College’s first STEM event for girls and their parents. We have long lists of evidence and reasons why girls do not choose to enter STEM career fields or become interested in and passionate about science, math, technology and most recently, engineering. While the event was designed for parents to provide them with ideas, strategies, and tools to help them inspire their daughters towards STEM, there were many young ladies present too with lots of questions for those of us who served in a lightening round table of questions and answers. It was definitely exciting and fun and it is always wonderful to share my passion of STEM with girls as well as their parents.

This video was shown during the event and it definitely does show how STEM girls rock!

Thanks to Gloria Liu and all the staff at Oakton Community College for organizing a fabulous event. Here are a few tips on inspiring girls to rock STEM:

1. Hook them early on some cool aspect of STEM. For me it was a microscope kit in 5th grade.
2. Encourage their participation in science fairs and other STEM competitions and challenges.
3. Buy them LEGO’s. Research shows that building with LEGO’s increases spatial skills.
4. Be positive and encouraging.
5. Introduce girls to fun STEM events and programs and encourage them to participate in after school,
summer, and enrichment STEM activities, events, competitions, and programs.
6. Mentor, mentor, mentor. Locate mentoring programs for girls interested in STEM.
7. Become involved and bring your ideas on involving and including girls in STEM to your school and community.

We can all make a difference one girl at a time!

Godspeed Endeavor!

May 16, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

Space Shuttle Endeavor

Space Shuttle Endeavor Launches into Space

Space Shuttle Endeavor took to the skies at 8:56 am ET this morning on her 25th and final flight.
If you missed the launch watch it here as every time we send humans into space it is an awe inspiring moment.

Commanded by Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), and carrying a total of 6 crew members including one European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Andrew Feustal, Endeavor is also carrying a quite unique and possibly groundbreaking instrument as part of the payload. The the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a $2 billion particle accelerator is Endeavour’s main payload and will search for cosmic rays that might help astrophysicists, scientists, and a few friends of mine that study dark matter, come closer to understanding not only what our Universe is made of but its origins as well.

Now, not to the top the scientific nature of the AMS and its importance to the study of our Universe, but there is another payload, one that is very near and dear to my heart, that is also worth mentioning aboard STS-134. LEGO’s! The LEGO Bricks payload is a series of toy Lego kits that are assembled on orbit and used to demonstrate scientific concepts. Some of these models include satellites, a space shuttle orbiter, and a scale model of the International Space Station (ISS). NASA launched the LEGO partnership with events at Kennedy Space Center during the launch of STS-133. Working with those little bricks in space will definitely keep the shuttle crew occupied!

LEGO kits in space!

Model of space vehicles made at KSC NASA/LEGO Event Courtesy NASA

Follow Endeavor’s 16 day mission on NASA TV and UStream and catch the excitement from lucky STS-134 Tweetup participants on Twitter hashtag #NASATweetup.

High School Students Register for NASA’s INSPIRE Program

May 6, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA  //  1 Comment

High School students are invited to apply for NASA’s INSPIRE, Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience, a multitier year-round program designed for students in ninth to 12th grade who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education and careers.

Research is a primary component of the NASA’s operations and as we work to engage more young people in preparing for STEM careers to join our nation’s future workforce preparing students to enter post-secondary education with an interest in pursuing NASA research opportunties, we can impact change in increasing the number of STEM graduates as well as the innovators of tomorrow through programs such as INSPIRES.

Students need a 2.5 GPA and with an interest in pursuing a STEM career field in college. The deadline for applications for 2011-2012 is June 30th. Visit the NASA link to find out more information on the program. Click here to apply.

The New Cool: FIRST Robotics is a Rockstar

Apr 30, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

The 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition season kicked off with a suprise appearance by of the Black Eyed Peas. During the kickoff, with Dean Kamen right at his side, pledged his support for FIRST as an inspirational program that not only those of us who are deeply involved in FIRST, but the whole world see the excitement and value of participating, sponsoring, mentoring, coaching, and volunteering with a FIRST team(s). We all knew that whatever and Dean were planning it would be much bigger than the two of them standing in Manchester talking about’s coming on board as a……………..

That was the tricky part. What exactly would be bringing and doing to promote FIRST? That question was clearly answered last night as and the Black Eyed Peas performed to a packed Championship FIRST Robotic Competition crowd in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.
The performance itself was outstanding but what has done is brought celebrity to the game where entertainers Snoop Doggy Dog, Miley Cyrus, Jack Black, and Steven Tyler talked about the importance of science and technology and ended their thoughts with “My robot is better than your robot.”

He received a FTC kit of parts and built a robot that competeted against Dean Kamen’s robot and according to the story,’s robot beat Dean’s by a score of 73-9. After being involved in FIRST and building robots at all three FIRST program levels FLL, FTC, and FRC, I am ecstatic that has taken the lead and brought rockstar status to FIRST. He told the crowd that in his initial conversations, Dean stated he wanted to bring an element of cool to FIRST. Kick it up a notch, connect with a huge pool of young people who are so pluged in to their iPods and MP3 players that having a star power would elevate FIRST through the roof. He told Dean that FIRST was already cool but what he could bring was loud.

He was so right. The performance was videotaped as well as interviews around the pits with teams and will air on ABC this August. The performance was so loud smaller cameras don’t do it justice but here is a clip from last night. I’ll post several of the ones I shot when I get back from Championships. Not only was last night a good night but FIRST Robotics will never be the same. As always, enjoy!

Let the Games Begin!

Apr 28, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

Excitement is everywhere at the 2011 FIRST Robotics Championships in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO. I’ll be covering the events and will stream video live beginning Friday, April 29 on the NASA Lady USTREAM channel. I’ll have interviews with teams, live action from the fields, and a cool behind the scenes peek of all the FIRST programs at the Championships.

Practice rounds start today for FLL and FRC. FTC matches begin today and full match action starts tomorrow for FLL and FRC. If you’re there, don’t forget the FIRST Conference. Every year there is a wealth of information you can gather from the presentations which also are located in the Edward Jones Dome. FRC events willl be be streamed live on NASA TV beginning tomorrow at 9:30 CST.

Teachers, your classes can follow the action via my tweets as well as my live video feed on Ustream where you can ask questions and provide comments during the live feed.

See ya there!

Time to Relfect

Apr 23, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

Yesterday was Earth Day! I think over the past ten years many of us have become more aware and active over protecting the fragile planet we call home. Some of the most breathtaking and awe inspiring moments I have had in past years of working in K-12 NASA outreach are looking at photos of Earth from space and sharing these images with young people to inspire them to dream big.

As NASA winds down the Space Shuttle Program with STS-134, the last flight of Endeavor, and hopefully the launch of Atlantis, STS-135, this June, here is a dramatic, powerful, inspirational and visually stunning tribute to the Space Shuttle Program created by @ScreenscapeS. Thanks Mike! Enjoy everyone!

To learn more about NASA’s Space Shuttle Program and the 30 years of historic missions and American ingenuity and innovation that has allowed hundreds of astronauts, including a fantastic list of female crew members, to experience a ride on a rocket to space visit the NASA Space Shuttle Program website.

You’re Invited to Live Whitehouse Town Hall Forum Online

Apr 20, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

Valerie Jarrett, White House Senior Advisor and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls will moderate the White House’s “Women in Technology Panel” immediately following President Obama’s live Town Hall meeting on Facebook tonight, April 20th.

Participants have the opportunity to submit questions prior to the event or during the event. If you are involved in technology, science, or STEM programs for girls put this event on your calendar and be online tonight. See you there virtually!

Learn more about the event

Join us for a panel on Women in Technology hosted by White House Senior Advisor and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls Valerie Jarrett.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm PT / 6:15 pm ET, shortly after President Obama’s facebook Townhall.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Jocelyn Goldfein, Director of Engineering, Facebook
Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Accel Partners
Jessica Herrin, CEO & Founder of Stella and Dot

Moderated by: Valerie Jarrett, White House Senior Advisor and Chair of the White House Council on Women & Girls

Watch and participate live online

More diversity in technology companies means more innovation, increased competitiveness and greater business success. Join us to hear about what the public and private sectors are already doing to reap the benefits of more women in tech roles, and what more can be done.

How you can participate:
RSVP now and submit a question on this event’s wall or submit a question live during the event at the link above.

Message from Astronaut Ron Garan

Apr 19, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz  //  No Comments

Expedition 27 Flight Engineer Ron Garan shares his education message on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to empower the next generation of explorers, scientists, and engineers.

Follow the Expedition 27 mission at the NASA web portal and get updates from space by following @astro_ron on Twitter.