Tag Archive for: nasa

Smithsonian Affiliations at 25: Chapter 3: 10 Years of Reaching for the Stars Together

Affiliations Anniversary Series: 25 Years in Your Neighborhood
Chapter 3: 10 Years of Reaching for the Stars Together

By: Tricia Edwards, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Affiliations and Natalie Wimberly, Management Support Specialist and Universe of Learning Project Manager, Smithsonian Affiliations

A young boy crouches in front of a telescope next to an adult in a bright green shirt seated next to him.

Student astrophotographer at Carolinas Aviation Museum (Charlotte, NC). Photo credit: Carolinas Aviation Museum.

“Working with Affiliations over the last 10 years has been one of the most productive collaborations for our Science Education Department,” says Mary Dussault, a STEM education program director at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, MA. Since 2012, with generous support from the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grant program (YAG), Smithsonian Affiliations and Affiliates have collaborated with SAO to bring astronomy and astrophotography education to their communities through the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program (YCCC). Dussault adds, “Right from the get-go, we realized that the educational goals of the YAG program, the strategic partnership capacity and national network of Smithsonian Affiliations, and the scalable and accessible technology resources of SAO’s MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network were a case of the stars aligning.”

YCCC introduces communities, especially students, to the wonders of the universe. Participants can access SAO’s robotic telescopes, take images of the cosmos, and manipulate the photographs to produce their own artistic and scientific interpretations of the stars and galaxies. Along the way, they gain important technology skills and engage in—and apply—science, technology, engineering, art, and math content. As one young participant said, “I loved editing the photos. It grew my imagination and made me want to do more with it.”

A black and white image of the moon is pictured to the left of a brightly colored red, green, yellow and blue interpretation of the moon on right.

Photo captured by the MicroObservatory robotic telescope (left) alongside a student’s interpretation of the image.

Many Affiliates have participated in the program for multiple years and used YCCC to reach new audiences or forge deeper partnerships with existing collaborators. One Affiliate commented, “As a direct result of implementing the program we have already begun discussions with [our local] high school to develop a more intense astronomy program for next year.”

Since 2012, YCCC has grown to include 29 Smithsonian Affiliates and has reached more than 7,000 participants across the nation.

“Each Affiliate brings particular expertise and knowledge of their local community to adapting our SAO resources and materials, thereby creating wonderful program models that we never would have anticipated on our own,” says Erika Wright, SAO Education Specialist. For example, arts educator Annette Eschelman from the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH) was able to combine visual arts and astronomical imaging techniques to engage incarcerated youth. Starr Kelly from the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) developed a summer camp program in which indigenous knowledge of the Wabanaki Nations informed the experience of students in the local Indian Township School.

Pieces of the Astronomy Kit rest on a table

Astronomy Kit for virtual NASA UoL 2020 Programming at Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC). Photo credit: Cape Fear Museum

The successful collaboration model itself has also expanded, as SAO and Affiliations have teamed up to pursue a number of other astronomy-based education programs funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA. NASA’s Universe of Learning (NASA’s UoL), for example, connects the science, technology, subject matter experts, and adventure of NASA Astrophysics with STEM concepts, education standards, and 21st century skills central to science understanding and literacy. Resulting products, programs, and professional development experiences span a spectrum of environments and applications, enabling a rich learning “ecosystem” across the traditional boundaries of education. The goal of the program is to create and disseminate education products, programs, and professional development experiences that use NASA Astrophysics science, technology, and subject matter experts to advance NASA’s Science Mission Directorate education objectives on a national scale.

In partnership with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 15 Smithsonian Affiliate partners, over the course of 3 years, were identified to join the national network of collaborators for this project. The majority of the Affiliates who participated were already building on the long-term partnerships and successful implementations of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. Growing from these past project relationships, NASA’s UoL is able to extend its reach through Affiliates and the communities they serve.

“We have great content that we’ll share in our virtual portfolio and will gladly share with any other organization that can make use of it. I also hope to do other projects with Universe of Learning when possible.” Nathan Meyer, Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, KS

NASA’s UoL project asks 3 main questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? The project creates and delivers science and audience-driven resources along with experiences designed to engage and immerse learners of all ages and backgrounds in exploring the universe for themselves. Its main goal is to expose astrophysics content to a wider underserved audience as well as create a Community of Practice within the Affiliate partners to document, share, and discuss ideas about how this information could translate into their own institutions.

Astronomy resources are placed on a table at the Anchorage Museum

NASA’s UoL Science of Light Program at Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK). Photo credit: Anchorage Museum.

“Students wanted to spend more time doing these activities and engaging with astronomy related STEM resources. For some of the students, it was their first time in a planetarium, and being able to go there twice was their favorite part of the program. Others really enjoyed learning about the MicroObservatory resource and said they would continue using it on their own.” Aaron Slonecker, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK

Within the 3-year program period, our Affiliate partners have created long-term NASA UoL community programs and are actively still engaged with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to help broaden the scope and reach of NASA’s UoL future programming.

Through both YCCC and NASA’s UoL, Affiliates have helped to broaden access to SAO resources and magnify the reach of their expertise, all while engaging young learners in their communities in astronomy. Affiliates have also built their capacity. They have bolstered their astronomy knowledge and expertise, while also learning how to implement public workshops and programs for audiences of all ages. They have created a community of learners through online discussions and webinars, brainstormed programming ideas, and learned with and from one another.

Later this year, Smithsonian Affiliations and SAO will debut the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Abbe Museum, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (Honolulu, HI), and Springfield Museum of Art. The toolkit will provide how-to instructions for accessing the MicroObservatory, along with successful YCCC program models implemented by Affiliates with different audiences and in different settings, enabling even more Affiliates and their communities to explore the wonders of the cosmos. We also look forward to rolling out the Observing with NASA program soon. Affiliates will have the opportunity to apply to host Observing with NASA kiosks that allow public audiences to request their own telescope images and to practice image processing skills. Stay tuned for more details on these two exciting projects!

Stay tuned next month for another chapter in our 25th Anniversary Series! Until then, catch up on stories you’ve missed:

Coming up in Affiliateland in November 2019

We are thankful for our amazing Affiliates and all that you do!

WASHINGTON
The Museum of History and Industry will open SITES’ Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation exhibition in Seattle, 11.2.

Group of women in colorful saries,

The Museum of History and Industry will host ‘Sari Stories’ featuring personal stories and a draping demonstration.

OHIO
National Museum of American History curator Frank Blazich is giving two talks at the Ohio History Connection for Veteran’s Day on Navy Pontoon Technology and on the Army’s Pigeon Service, in Columbus, 11.9.

MASSACHUSETTS
The Moon Landing in Context series continues at Framingham State University with a talk by National Air and Space Museum curator Teasel Muir-Harmony on The Future of Space Exploration: The Policy Perspective, in Framingham, 11.14.

MARYLAND
National Air and Space curator emerita Valerie Neal will moderate a discussion of three former and current astronauts in a program commemorating the Apollo program with Historic Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, 11.17.

 

Join the Universe of Learning

Universe of Learning logo

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and funded through NASA’s Universe of Learning, is launching a new, two-year science literacy pilot program and looking for participants. Funding is available–up to $2,000 per year– for seven Affiliate organizations to use resources from the Universe of Learning site to develop programs exploring  art, history, and natural science. The goal of the pilot is to create sustainable models of innovative STEM learning for youth, families, and lifelong learners.

To participate, interested candidates must complete three of  seven professional development online webinars.* The webinars are hosted by astrophysics scientists and educators and discuss NASA’s three main questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? An accompanying online forum will further strengthen the discussion topics and address how your organization can best use the available resources to develop and share your program model.

Webinars are every two weeks on Wednesday at 2pm EST (the next one is on Sept 13th). *Two out of the seven webinars have already occurred. However, they were recorded and we encourage for your institution to partake in this great opportunity.

The application opens in November and is only available to Smithsonian Affiliates.

For any inquiries, please email Patty Arteaga at ArteagaP@si.edu.

affiliates in the news-march enews edition

Here’s a recap of our Affiliate news makers since January 30, 2017. If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you would like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

“Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” (Multiple Affiliates)

Apollo capsule

Dane Penland / National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution

Apollo 11 capsule going on tour after decades in D.C.
The capsule will begin its tour in Houston in October of this year and spend about five months at each site, ending in Seattle where it will be for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing: July 20, 2019. The capsule also will visit: the Space Center Houston from Oct. 14, 2017, to March 18, 2018; the Saint Louis Science Center from April 14 to Sept. 3, 2018; the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh from Sept. 29, 2018, to Feb. 18, 2019; and The Museum of Flight in Seattle from March 16 to Sept. 2, 2019.

Apollo 11 Space Capsule Is Going On Another Mission
In 1970 and 1971, before it came to the Smithsonian, the capsule went on a 50-state tour. This time around, it will be going here: Space Center Houston — Oct. 14, 2017–March 18, 2018; St. Louis Science Center — April 14–Sept. 3, 2018; Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh — Sept. 29, 2018–Feb. 18, 2019; The Museum of Flight, Seattle — March 16–Sept. 2, 2019. Those museums were picked for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they had the capacity to display such a large, heavy object.

Apollo 11 command takes off for 4-city tour through 2019
“It did things that up until then were hardly imaginable, and it stoked tremendous excitement about the possibilities of technology in the future,” Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton said about the Apollo 11 mission. The traveling exhibition will allow the museum “to reach out to the much greater number of people in their hometowns, in their communities, so they can share the magic of the Smithsonian.”

NASA’s Apollo 11 Space Capsule Is Taking a Road Trip Across America
Starting this fall, Columbia will be on the move once more—though it won’t be going nearly as far as it did on its maiden voyage. The Apollo 11 space capsule will be embarking on a four-city road trip that’ll criss-cross America over the next two years.

Apollo 11’s crew capsule is going on tour
The traveling exhibit, called “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission,” will reach four US cities in 2018 and 2019, the lunar mission’s 50th anniversary year. All told, the display will include the space capsule, along with other “one-of-a-kind artifacts.”

‘Destination Moon’: Museums and science centers plan for Apollo 11 exhibit
For Houston, it will be a homecoming; for St. Louis, a product of its past. In Pittsburgh, it will be seen as a symbol of innovation; and in Seattle, an arrival worthy of a celebration.

Apollo 11 module, exhibit headed to Pittsburgh’s Heinz History Center
“It is fitting that the ‘Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh’ will host this exhibition, since innovations from Pittsburgh companies such as Westinghouse, Alcoa, North American Rockwell, Union Switch & Signal and others played an important role in putting a man on the moon,” History Center CEO Andy Masich said

Smithsonian space exhibition to come to Heinz History Center
Apollo 11 command module Columbia spent 8 days, 3 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds in space. It spent 46 years at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. And now it’s being prepped for a 142-day mission in Pittsburgh.

Apollo 11 capsule to go on road trip, visit Seattle’s Museum of Flight
The capsule will begin its tour in Houston in October of this year and spend about five months at each site, ending in Seattle where it will be for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing

Apollo 11 command module is coming to a science center near you
The St. Louis Science Center will host the “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” exhibit during the 49th anniversary of the moon landing, on July 20, 2018.

St. Louis Science Center will host Apollo 11 moon landing exhibition in 2018
“It’s historic, it’s nostalgic, it’s American, it’s science and it’s special,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the science center. “I see this as one of those really cool opportunities that we don’t have very often, where a grandparent can stand in front of an object and tell their grandkids their perspective.”

Apollo 11 capsule going on road trip, including to St. Louis
The Apollo 11 command module, which traveled more than 950,000 miles to take Americans to the moon and back in 1969, is going on a road trip, leaving the Smithsonian for the first time in more than four decades.

Columbia Goes On Tour: 11 Fast Facts On Apollo 11 Command Module
As the only piece of the spaceship that completed the first mission to bring humankind to the moon and return him safely to Earth, Columbia has a rich story to tell eager audiences in Houston on Oct. 14 and St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle afterward.

Apollo 11 command module readies for road trip
This year, one of the most important artifacts of the Space Age, the Columbia command module of the Apollo 11 mission, will leave its home at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum for the first time in almost 50 years. The historic spacecraft will be the centerpiece of an exhibition traveling to top museums across the US that will tell the story of the Space Race and the conquest of the Moon.

 

photo of andromeda galaxy

Sarah Markley’s picture of the Andromeda galaxy was colorized using software provided by the Smithsonian’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. (Courtesy photo)

Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos (Multiple Affiliates)
Star pupils
Two students from the Telluride Middle/High School will present on their astrophotography work at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., for a two-day National Youth Summit, Feb. 22-23. Seventh-grader Mylo Meyers Ornowski and sixth-grader Sarah Markley were selected to attend the summit because of their dedication to the Smithsonian Institution’s Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program, which is run by the Pinhead Institute, one of 13 Smithsonian affiliates that participated in the initiative.

California African American Museum and High Museum of Art
Naima J. Keith Wins High Museum’s David C. Driskell Prize for African American Art History
California African American Museum deputy director Naima J. Keith has been named the winner of the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Prize, which is awarded annually to a scholar or artist who has made a major contribution to African American art history.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, New York)
Rockwell Museum Kicks Off Smithsonian Speakers Series
The Rockwell Museum is getting ready for the kickoff of its Smithsonian Speakers Series. This is the first time the Rockwell is holding an event like this, and the goal of this series is to identify leaders in the Smithsonian network while exploring diversity.

Kona Historical Society (Kona, Hawaii)
State Honors Kona Historical Society
Kona Historical Society was presented with a certificate of honor on its 40th anniversary for efforts to preserve local history and share Kona’s culture with residents and visitors.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate opened a new permanent exhibit, Spark!Lab, sponsored by the Smithsonian, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. RICHARD SHIRO/Contributor

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, South Carolina)
Spark!Lab Smithsonian opens at TCMU
“Spark!Lab will give children and their parents new ways to explore and discover, ultimately opening their eyes to the possibilities of what they can create and achieve through the process of invention,” said Nancy Halverson, president and CEO of TCMU. “We are incredibly grateful to the Smithsonian and the Lemelson Center for giving Upstate children the opportunity to explore the process of invention through an incredibly unique and special experience.”

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan)
Arab American National Museum Invites Immigrants To Document Their Stories
“We’re all Americans, and the Arab American culture is a segment of our population we should get to know and celebrate,…”

Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (Aurora, Illinois)
Aurora University’s Schingoethe Center named a Smithsonian Affiliate
The Smithsonian Institution has granted the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University affiliate status, making possible new opportunities for collaborative exhibits, artifact loans, research and educational programs

Schingoethe Center to feature ‘art of facts: Brian Dettmer’ exhibit
The Schingoethe Center of Aurora University begins its 2017 season with an opening reception for “art of facts: Brian Dettmer,” Tuesday, Feb. 7, 5-6:30 p.m. The reception will be followed by an announcement designating the museum as a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Affiliates in the news: March edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Idaho Museum of Natural History uses 3-D technology to bring Titanoboa monster snake to life
“Having the opportunity for something I made to go along with something the Smithsonian created is personally very cool,” Schlader said. “Not to mention the fact that the University of Florida made the scans of the fossil available so we can print it and actually hold a copy of a piece of this snake is just amazing.”

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Ford Island, HI)
12 Museums for the Aviation Enthusiast

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE)
Hagley Now Has World’s Largest Private Collection of Patent Models
The Rothschild Patent Model Collection of 4,101 one-of-a-kind models – going alphabetically from an adjustable pillow sham to a wrestling toy – builds upon 849 patent models already at Hagley and the early innovations and patents from the DuPont Company.

Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)
Space Center Houston Drives Greater Houston Economy With More Jobs
“The museum plays a vital role in the region by bringing tourism dollars and stimulating the workforce,” said the center’s President and CEO Richard E. Allen Jr. “Globally, it is inspiring creativity and innovation in people from all over the world. With our hands-on educational programs, we’re exciting young minds and inspiring them to think about a possible future career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
Video games have scored their way into one South Florida art museum. Atari, PlayStation and other home systems are the main players of “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University in Miami.

‘Art of Video Games’ on exhibit now at the Frost Art Museum
One take-away Rodriguez hopes students visiting the exhibit will go home with is that the museum is a fun, exciting place that asks a question: what is the role of art in your life?

FROST ART MUSEUM PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE MAN-CAVE EXPERIENCE: “THE ART OF VIDEO GAMES” EXHIBITION
On March 16, 2012, “The Art of Video Games” opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is Melissinos’ homage to the world of Marios and Sonics. For the past three years, “The Art of Video Games” has been on a cross-country adventure visiting various museums. The final stop of the tour is Miami’s Frost Art Museum.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU opens “The Art of Video Games”
The Art of Video Games is one of the first major exhibitions to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking graphics, creative storytelling and player interactivity.

Smithsonian’s Video Game Exhibit Opens in Miami
Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit and revolves around the 40-year evolution of video games, and their art expression.

The Art of Video Games” National Tour’s Final Stop in Miami
By teaming up with Florida International University’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum for The Art of Video Games exhibition as Presenting Sponsors, we have another great opportunity to be active in the community that is at the heart of Alienware,” said Frank Azor, General Manager of Alienware. “It was almost 20 years ago that Alienware started in Miami and even though we’ve evolved to a global community of gamers it’s great to have this incredible exhibit conclude in the South Florida community that’s been so instrumental in our success.”

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center unveils new exhibit
 “Above and Beyond” is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing, in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and in educational collaboration with The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Antique Automobile Club of America (Hershey, PA)
Pioneers in African American Automotive History at the AACA Museum
While learning the history, visitors can take the opportunity to assemble their own paper traffic signals, patented by Garrett Morgan, courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Challenger Space Center Arizona (Peoria)
Challenger disaster: 30 years later
Inspired by and named for the lost shuttle, the Challenger Space Center in Peoria opened in July 2000. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and the Challenger Learning Centers, it was the first stand-alone facility not only in Arizona, but in the entire Southwest.

 

new webcasts from the National Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) is developing nine STEM in 30live, fast-paced 30-minute webcasts which will be made available to teachers and students in grades 5-8 classrooms across the country. The primary goal of this program is to increase interest and engagement in STEM for students.  STEM in 30 hopes to achieve:

from the webcast "Earth Day: A View from Above"

from the webcast “Earth Day: A View from Above”

– Increased interest in STEM and STEM careers
– Increased understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics
– Increased awareness and importance of current and future human space exploration

This series of webcasts from the National Air and Space Museum and partner sites focus on STEM subjects that integrate all four content areas. The webcasts will feature NASA and NASM curators, scientists, and educators exploring STEM subjects using museum and NASA collections, galleries, and activities. During the 30-minute broadcasts, students will engage with museum experts through experiments and activities, ask the experts questions, and answer interactive poll questions through the interactive ‘Cover It Live’ feature.

The webcast will be available live on the National Air and Space Museum website as well as NASA TV.  After the live broadcasts, NASM will archive the webcasts in an interactive STEM in 30 Gallery.

from the webcast "Hot Air Balloons and Air Pressure"

from the webcast “Hot Air Balloons and Air Pressure”

Upcoming and archived topics include Space Junk, the Wright Brothers, Space Food, Living and Working in Space, and more.

Affiliates are encouraged to share this new resource with their school partners, host “viewing parties” in their own museums, or show the archived webcasts in their galleries or theaters at any time.  If your organization decides to broadcast any of these webcasts, let us know!